Tar & Chip vs. Asphalt: Which Is The Better Option For Driveways?

Tar & Chip vs. Asphalt: Which Is The Better Option For Driveways?

Choosing the right driveway material can be confusing and overwhelming for homeowners who lack basic paving knowledge. And choosing the wrong material means you’re essentially signing up for ongoing surface repairs, property downtime, and unnecessary stress in your already hectic life as a homeowner!

Make your life easier by determining your driveway needs and choosing the appropriate materials.

At C.H. Paving & Sealcoating, we offer our expert residential and commercial paving services to enhance your driveway’s performance and quality for years to come. Click here to get a free estimate today. Trust us; we have effective solutions for all your paving needs anywhere in Blairstown, NJ. Contact us now!

In today’s blog, we will compare tar & chip with asphalt so you can explore your driveway paving options.

Tar & Chip

You might have driven over various tar & chip surfaces but never noticed them. Although tar & chip driveways look the same as asphalt ones, their installation process is what sets them apart.

First, we start with a roadbed followed by a gravel base, which acts as a primary layer. Next, a hot mix of liquid bitumen asphalt is applied to the gravel foundation to bind the base. Thirdly, loose stones are spread over the freshly laid hot asphalt surface and compressed to smoothen the layer.

Pros of Tar & Chip Driveways

– The paving installation process is easy and straightforward

– They are low-cost alternatives to asphalt and concrete

– Don’t require extensive maintenance

– Work best even without sealcoating

– You can easily spend ten years without worrying about repaving or resurfacing

– Offer excellent surface traction

Let’s now go over the basics of blacktop driveways.


Most homeowners choose asphalt because it is the most widely used paving material, and it also provides durability and optimal performance. And while it is as sturdy as concrete, it offers better results due to its flexible nature.

However, the installation process is a little complicated, as the area first needs to be evacuated and graded. This is where you also need to make sure that the base is fully settled before laying the hot asphalt on the surface. Otherwise, the installed driveway would never achieve its true potential.

Pros of Asphalt Driveways

– Can last up to 20-25 years.

– They are durable and robust enough to carry heavy vehicle loads

– Less likely to crack or break

– Affordable and economical when compared with other driveway paving options, such as concrete

Let’s now compare the two materials in terms of cost, durability, and other factors.

Tar & Chip vs. Asphalt


Tar & chip pavement would last around 7 to 10 years at max. But asphalt driveways can continue giving the best performance for 20 to 25 years (with ongoing maintenance).


Tar & chip driveways are cheaper than asphalt paving, mainly because the latter requires oil for installation. Hence, asphalt paving and maintenance costs can increase proportionally with oil prices.


As already mentioned, tar & chip driveways are low-maintenance as compared to their blacktop alternatives. However, that doesn’t mean that you can simply ignore a tar & chip driveway; these do require special care in extreme weather conditions.


Finally, tar & chip offer aesthetic variety as you can choose the color of the stones. With asphalt driveways, you only get a blacktop surface, though most would find that more aesthetically pleasing!

We suggest that you talk to a contractor to communicate your driveway vision and further explore your paving options. Or simply click here to hire C.H. Paving & Sealcoating and get your driveway in Blairstown, NJ, installed at budget-friendly prices!

Snow On Your Lot? Here’s Why Drainage Matters!

Snow On Your Lot? Here’s Why Drainage Matters!

5 Essential Factors To Consider When Planning A Repaving Project!

5 Essential Factors To Consider When Planning A Repaving Project!

Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Patching Potholes ASAP!

Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Patching Potholes ASAP!