Kane Construction

Paving vs Tarmac: What Is The Cheaper Driveway Surface Option?

Selecting the right surface for your driveway can be a challenging decision, especially when considering factors such as cost, durability, and installation. We’ll delve into the cost comparison between block paving and tarmac, two popular choices for driveways, helping you determine the most cost-effective option for your needs.


Block paving driveways offer a range of benefits that contribute to their popularity among homeowners. 

The versatility of block paving allows you to create visually appealing designs that complement your home and driveway. Whether you prefer black, brindle, or a different colour, block paving offers plenty of choices to suit your taste. Additionally, block paving allows for different laying patterns, and incorporating curves can add a touch of elegance to your driveway.

Durability is another advantage. These driveways are built to withstand heavy loads, making them suitable for accommodating large vehicles and multiple cars. Block paving also fares well in challenging weather conditions, ensuring its longevity. Maintenance is relatively straightforward, as any damage or loose paving blocks can be easily replaced or relaid without leaving noticeable traces of repair. 

One aspect that may influence your decision is the cost of block paving. It tends to be more expensive than tarmac, albeit falling within the mid-range price category when compared to other driveway options. 

The installation process can also be more time-consuming and complex, especially for intricate designs. Proper attention should be given to the sub-base to ensure the longevity of the driveway. 

To reduce installation time and cost, opting for a simpler design can be a more prudent choice.


Tarmac driveways are often favoured for their affordability. Tarmac is a less expensive material, and its installation is generally quicker and simpler compared to block paving. Tarmac driveways can be completed within a day, while block paving may require several days. This streamlined installation process significantly reduces labour costs, making tarmac an attractive cost-effective option.

While tarmac driveways are considered durable, they may not match the longevity of block paving. Occasional cracks or puddles can develop over time, usually due to improper installation or insufficient base preparation. Hiring a professional with a good reputation is crucial to ensure the longevity and quality of your tarmac driveway.

It is important to note that in small or irregularly shaped driveways. The machinery required for tarmac laying may struggle to manoeuvre efficiently in confined spaces. If you have specific constraints in your driveway layout, this factor should be taken into consideration. 

Additionally, tarmac offers fewer options in terms of aesthetics. Its dark colour, resulting from the combination of broken stone and tar, may limit your choices. While coloured tarmac is available, it may come at an additional cost. 


To summarise, both block paving and tarmac have unique advantages and considerations in terms of cost. Block paving offers versatility, durability, and ease of maintenance, but comes at a higher price and requires more intricate installation. Tarmac, on the other hand, is more budget-friendly, and quicker to install, but may not match the longevity of block paving and offers limited aesthetic options. 

Ultimately, the decision between block paving and tarmac hinges on your specific budget, desired aesthetics, and the requirements of your driveway. Consulting professionals in the field will provide valuable insights tailored to your needs, helping you make an informed decision that strikes a balance between cost-effectiveness and desired outcomes.