Driveway Dilemma: Crushed Asphalt vs. Gravel – Which is Better?

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crushed asphalt vs gravel driveway

There are tons of considerations when you want to construct a driveway. Especially there are various materials with their own qualities. So, it will be tricky to choose the best material for your driveway. Today, we are going to compare and contrast a couple of materials that are equally used in the construction field, crushed asphalt and gravel. Which one is better for constructing a driveway? We have brought you a comparative discussion in this blog post so you will be able to identify their pros and cons. Let’s begin the battle of ‘crushed asphalt vs gravel driveway.’

What is Crushed Asphalt? 

Crushed asphalt is manufactured using old asphalt. Old asphalt is recycled to crush into small particles. Then they are used as a base material for paving and landscaping. They are smaller in size and black in color. Since they are dried tar, the texture of crushed asphalt is smooth. Due to the aesthetic appeal of crushed asphalt, they are used to enhance the beauty of landscaping projects most of the time. Thus, they are widely used for projects such as parking lots, playgrounds, patios, etc.

What is Gravel? 

Gravels are rock fragments that are used for construction projects. There are natural gravels as well as crushed gravels. Both of them are used to construct different things, such as driveways and parking lots due to their durability. Depending on their size, shape, and colors, the purpose can vary. When it comes to crushed gravels, they are made by crushing large rocks into tiny fragments. So, they take a rough texture and contain dust. In general, crushed gravels are larger than 2 mm and take an irregular shape. They are available in any area, so they are inexpensive.

Differences Between Crushed Asphalt vs Gravel Driveway 

We are going to compare these two materials under these aspects.

  1. Texture – crushed asphalt is smooth; thus, you can compact them easily. Gravel has a rough texture, so you have to make some effort to get a smooth finish.
  2. Durability – if you properly install, crushed asphalt can last up to 20 to 30 years, while gravel construction can last up to 100 years.
  3. Maintenance – you may have to repair crushed asphalt constructions because they are weak. It cannot bear heavy machines or vehicles. Consequently, they can be cracked and need to be repaired from time to time. But crushed gravel can bear heavy machines and vehicles; they are not easily cracked or chipped. However, crushed asphalt is not washed away easily. In contrast, crushed gravel has no ability to bear heavy floods; it can be washed away when there are heavy rains.
  4. Cost – crushed asphalt is pricy, while gravel is cheap in most states and countries. In general, crushed asphalt is double in cost when compared to gravel.
  5. Appearance – crushed asphalt can give the landscape a nice finish because they are small and smooth particles. On the other hand, gravel cannot be compacted well due to its rough texture, so the final outcome is not as neat as crushed asphalt.

Which is Better: Crushed Asphalt or Gravel? 

Both materials come with different advantages and drawbacks. Thus, you should choose the material according to your need. If your constriction project is a heavy-duty one like a driveway, you will need a strong and durable material. Then gravel is the most suitable one because it can last up to 100 years and bear heavy vehicles and machines. But if you live in a cold area, crushed asphalt is the best choice because it has the ability to make the ice and snow thaw. And it is not washed away by heavy rains.

In addition, you can go for crushed asphalt if you want to prioritize the final look of your constriction project. They can make your landscape neat and clean since they can be compacted well. Last but not least, you should consider the budget. The Gravel is cheaper than crushed asphalt, so you can choose one according to your budget.

Which is Better: Crushed Asphalt or Gravel? 

What is Crushed Asphalt Called? 

Crushed asphalt has some other names in the industry. Basically, it is known as reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). The reason why, it is the second use of old asphalt. New materials are not used at all when making crushed asphalt. Apart from this name, it is called asphalt milling or pavement milling. All these names are referred to crushed asphalt, so do not misunderstand.

What is the Best Gravel for a Driveway? 

It is advisable to use gravel for driveways rather than crushed asphalt. This is because gravels are strong and durable. Driveways are often beaten by vehicles, so the material should be strong enough to bear them. Gravels are extracted from heavy stones, so they are better for driveways. Thus, they are not cracked or chipped as well. So, you do not have to repair your driveway from time to time. If you install gravel properly, it can last up to 100 years. On the contrary, crushed asphalt is weak because they are extracted from recycled asphalt fillings.

What Size of Gravel is Best for Driveways? 

It is recommended to use gravels that are 14mm to 20mm in size. If you use a larger gravel, it will affect the stability of the driveway. Then there will be cracked or chipped gravel over time. on the other hand, if you choose a smaller gravel for your driveway, there will be a lot of work because you have to put multiple layers to construct the driveway. Crushed stones come in different sizes, so make sure to choose the correct size.

How Thick Should a Gravel Driveway Be? 

A gravel driveway should be 10 to 18 inches thick. Thus, you have to make at least three layers of gravel. The thickness of gravel is really important for the durability and longevity of your driveway. If you do not put enough layers, there will be repairs due to the cracks. However, the thickness of the driveway depends on some factors, such as static and dynamic loads of the vehicles and soil type. So, make sure to consider these things and make layers.

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