When it comes to paving your driveway or parking lot, cost is often a major consideration. Two popular options for pavement are tar and chip and asphalt. While both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, many people wonder whether tar and chip is cheaper than asphalt.

Is tar and chip cheaper than asphalt? Let’s take a closer look at the costs associated with each option.


The Cost Of Tar And Chip

tar chip driveway

Tar and chip is generally considered to be one of the more affordable paving options available. This is because it requires fewer materials than other types of pavement, such as concrete or asphalt. In addition, tar and chip can be installed on top of an existing surface, which can save time and money on site preparation.

The cost of tar and chip varies depending on several factors, including the size of the area being paved, the type of stone used in the process, and the complexity of the installation process. On average, you can expect to pay between $2 to $5 per square foot for a tar and chip installation.

While this may seem like a significant savings compared to other types of pavement (such as asphalt), it’s important to keep in mind that tar and chip has a shorter lifespan than some other options. Depending on usage patterns and weather conditions, you can expect your tar and chip pavement to last anywhere from 7-10 years before needing repairs or replacement.


The Cost Of Asphalt

Asphalt is another popular option for pavement that offers its own set of advantages over other materials. Unlike tar and chip, asphalt requires a base layer (typically made from crushed stone) before being applied. This additional layer adds to the overall cost but also provides increased durability over time.

The cost of asphalt varies depending on several factors similar to those affecting tar-and-chip pricing: size/square footage; thickness; additives (e.g., recycled content); location/region; etc. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $3-$6 per square foot for an asphalt installation.

However, despite its higher initial cost compared to tar-and-chip paving, asphalt has a longer lifespan – usually around 15-20 years before needing repairs or replacement – making it potentially more cost-effective in the long run.


Additional Costs

It’s worth noting that there are additional costs associated with both tar-and-chip paving as well as traditional asphalt installations beyond just material costs:

Labor – Both methods require skilled laborers who are knowledgeable about proper installation techniques.

Maintenance – Proper maintenance will help extend the lifespan of any paving project.

Repairs – Over time all pavements will need repairing due to use & wear plus weather-related damage.

Striping/Painting – If applicable based on intended use/parking requirements then striping/painting costs should be factored in as well; For example – if you plan on using your newly-paved area for parking space(s), then painting stripes will be necessary after completion which will add an additional expense regardless if choosing Tar & Chip or Asphalt paving methods.


Who To Install Asphalt Or Tar And Chip On Your Driveway

Once you have decided which material is best for your needs, the next step is finding a qualified contractor to do the work. Be sure to research your options and get multiple quotes to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Hickory Asphalt serves the Charlotte NC area, and make sure that you select an experienced professional who has the skills and expertise to ensure a quality job.

It’s also important to confirm that your contractor is properly insured and licensed in order to protect yourself from potential liability issues. If you are unsure of the process, many local paving companies offer free consultations and can provide more information about installation costs and timelines specific to your project.

It’s highly recommended not do proceed with these projects on your own because it’s a complex and relatively dangerous job that requires the appropriate training and resources to do correctly. A professional paving contractor will make sure that the job is done safely and efficiently, leaving you with a long-lasting pavement surface for years to come.



So is tar-and-chip cheaper than asphalt? Ultimately this depends on several factors including square footage needs; location/region; thickness desired; additives required (asphalt); etc… However even though Tar & Chip paving typically costs less initially than traditional Asphalt installations – they have shorter lifespans requiring more frequent repairs/replacements over time which could ultimately mean higher long-term costs if not maintained properly.

When deciding between these two options consider what’s most important for your specific application – upfront savings vs longevity/durability – along with any additional expenses needed such as striping/painting/etc.

You’re now armed with all of the information you need to make an informed decision about whether to go with asphalt or tar and chip for your driveway.