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Block Paving vs Tarmac Driveways: Which is the right choice?

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17th August 2023

Block Paving vs Tarmac Driveways: Which is the right choice?

If you thinking about a new driveway, but are unsure about the best surface to choose then you are in the right place. When it comes to paving your driveway, the myriad options available can seem overwhelming; chief among them being the decision between block paving and tarmac.

While both have their merits, deciding on the optimal choice depends largely on your specific needs, design preferences, and budget. This blog post aims to assist you in navigating through these options, comparing the benefits and drawbacks of both block paving and tarmac driveways, to help you make an informed decision that complements your home and lifestyle.

Henson Surfacing

At Henson Surfacing, we pride ourselves on our rich heritage of quality and excellence. Our 20 years of service in the driveway surfacing industry stands as a testament to our commitment to customer satisfaction. We don't just pave driveways; we build trust and relationships, ensuring that our customers receive services tailored to their specific needs. Our expertise and extensive knowledge allow us to guide you through the process of choosing the perfect driveway surface, be it block paving or tarmac. Trust us to provide you with a driveway that does more than just enhance the aesthetic appeal of your homeā€”it increases its value too.

Importance of choosing the right surface for your driveway

Choosing the right surface for your driveway is more critical than one might initially believe. Not only does it significantly impact the aesthetics of your property, boosting curb appeal and thereby increasing the overall property value, but it also plays a pivotal role in the driveway's usability and longevity. A well-chosen driveway surface can withstand the pressures of daily use, varying weather conditions, and the weight of vehicles, thereby reducing maintenance costs over time. Furthermore, depending on the material used, some surfaces can offer better traction during wet conditions, providing an added element of safety. Therefore, making an informed decision when choosing your driveway surface can lead to long-term benefits, both financially and aesthetically.

Block Paving

What is Block Paving?

Block paving, also known as brick paving, is a popular choice for driveways due to its durability and versatile design options. It is comprised of individual blocks or bricks that are laid out in a specific pattern on a prepared surface.

Advantages of Block Paving

Block Paving Design Options

One of the major advantages of block paving is the wide variety of design options it offers. The blocks come in an array of shapes, sizes, colours, and textures, allowing homeowners to create a completely customized look that complements their house and landscaping.

They can be arranged in different patterns such as herringbone, basketweave, or stretcher bond, introducing an element of individuality to your driveway.

Additionally, decorative borders and edging can be incorporated, providing a finished look that adds to the overall appeal of the property. This flexibility in design makes block paving an ideal choice for those looking to add a distinctive touch to their outdoor space.

Versatility

With a multitude of block shapes, sizes, colours, and patterns to choose from, block paving offers an unrivalled level of versatility in terms of design options.

Moreover, it can be applied to all sorts of surfaces; from driveways and patios to garden pathways and terraces. This makes it an ideal choice for homeowners looking to add a touch of character and elegance to their outdoor space.

Durability

When it comes to driveway paving materials, block paving is renowned for its durability and strength. Its ability to withstand the pressures of daily use, together with varying weather conditions, makes it a popular choice among homeowners.

This longevity means a lower overall cost in terms of maintenance and repair, thereby providing more value for money in the long run.

Repairs

In cases of damage, block paving can be easily repaired as the individual blocks are relatively easy to remove and replace. This is a cost-effective way to restore the integrity of your driveway without having to lay an entirely new surface.

Disadvantages of Block Paving

Cost

One of the major disadvantages of block paving is its cost. Due to the labour-intensive nature of installation and its wide range of design options, it can be significantly more costly than other materials such as tarmac. This makes it an expensive option for those on a budget. The choice of brick also has a large effect on the overall cost of your driveway, choosing a lower-cost brick will bring the price down, but may limit your choice of colours and designs. So it's best to keep this in mind

Infiltration

Block paving can sometimes be prone to infiltration by weeds, which is a common issue in block paving. This can be prevented by using a suitable sealant and weed killer, but it does require regular maintenance to ensure the integrity of your driveway.

Colour Fade

Another drawback to block paving is that the colour of the bricks can fade over time due to exposure to UV light. This means it will require regular cleaning and sealing every few years in order to maintain its vibrant look.

Tarmac

What is tarmac?

Tarmac, also known as asphalt, is a popular option for driveways due to its cost-effectiveness and high durability. It is created by mixing stone aggregate with liquid tar and then applied to the surface.

Advantages of Tarmac

Cost-Effectiveness

The major advantage of tarmac driveways is its cost-effectiveness. Compared to block paving, tarmac can be significantly cheaper due to its simpler installation process and limited design options. This makes it an ideal option for those working with a tight budget.

Low Maintenance

Tarmac driveways require minimal maintenance as they are extremely durable and able to withstand the pressures of daily use, as well as varying weather conditions. This makes it a great option for busy homeowners who don't have much time to spend on maintenance and repairs.

Quick Installation

Tarmac driveways are relatively quick and easy to install, taking only a few days to complete the process, making it an ideal choice for those in a hurry to get their driveway finished.

Resistance

Tarmac is highly resistant to water, oil, and mould, making it an ideal material for driveways located in areas that experience frequent wet weather. This makes it less prone to infiltration by weeds and eliminates the need for regular maintenance such as weed killer or sealant application.

Disadvantages of Tarmac

Aesthetics

The main disadvantage of tarmac driveways is their limited design options. Unlike block paving, it only comes in one colour and texture, making it difficult to tailor the look of your driveway to match your house and landscaping.

Fading

Tarmac can fade over time due to exposure to UV light, which could lead to a loss of colour and visual appeal. This will require regular cleaning and sealing in order to maintain its vibrant look.

Fragility

Tarmac can be prone to cracking due to the expansion and contraction of the material with changing temperatures. This does require repairs, but due to tarmacs nature, most problems are solvable and don't require a completely new driveway.

Comparing Block Paving and Tarmac Driveways

Durability

When it comes to durability, both block paving and tarmac driveways are highly resistant to daily wear and tear, as well as varying weather conditions. While tarmac may be slightly more durable due to its composition, block paving is renowned for its longevity.

Maintenance

Both block paving and tarmac driveways require minimal maintenance. Block paving needs to be sealed and treated for weeds every few years, while tarmac is more resistant to water, oil, mould, and weeds, making it less prone to infiltration.

Cost-Effectiveness

Tarmac driveways are generally cheaper due to their simpler installation process and limited design options. While block paving can be costly due to its labour-intensive installation process and wide range of design options, it does offer more value for money in the long run.

Aesthetics

While tarmac offers limited design options, block paving offers an unrivalled level of versatility with a multitude of shapes, sizes, colours and textures available. This makes it an ideal choice for homeowners looking to add a touch of character and elegance to their outdoor space.

So which surface should I choose?

Ultimately, the choice of surface will depend on your individual needs and budget. Block paving offers an unrivalled level of versatility in terms of design, while tarmac is more cost-effective and low maintenance. It's best to weigh up all the factors before making a decision.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to consult a professional contractor or driveway specialist to ensure the job is done correctly and your new surface will last for many years. They can advise you on the best materials, designs and installation methods that suit your individual needs.

At the end of the day, a well-installed driveway will not only increase the value of your property but also enhance its aesthetic appeal. So it's important to choose the right surface for your needs and budget. With the right approach and professional advice, you can be sure to make the right choice.

 

You might also be interested in:

Resin vs Tarmac: Which is the best driveway surface?

Block Paving: Pros and Cons They Don't Tell You

The Factors That Affect the Cost of a Tarmac Driveway