Tar surfacing vs Paving (An interesting debate)

Tar surfacing vs Paving (An interesting debate)
One of the most interesting debates home owners, business owners and other individuals/organisations whom own properties have is whether to tar or pave on roads and driveways.

One of the most interesting debates home owners, business owners and other individuals/organizations whom own properties have is whether to tar or pave on roads and driveways. There are many things to consider when making this decision. This article therefore tries to answer the questions that fuel this debate and ultimately help make this challenging decision.

When one decides to surface their driveway or property they must consider various key factors:

i. Cost

ii. Surface on the ground (amount of ground preparation to be done by the contractor)

iii. Durability

iv. Maintenance

v. Final look (What looks better for the property owner)

The above mentioned factors are critical when deciding which option to take. To help potential clients with this decision we will provide a summarized description of what each factor entails. This should help in the decision making process


The paving option is certainly more expensive. Paving prices tend to be close to double the price of the tar surfacing option. This is due to the cost of materials to be purchased. Property owners will be expected to purchase materials such as paving bricks, River and Plaster stand and PVC plastic. High transport costs could also be incurred bringing materials on site. On the other hand the tar surfacing option has way less materials to be utilized as the main materials are the Asphalt itself and bitumen

Surface on the ground

Another issue to take note of is the surface on the ground (is there grass, paving, tar, concrete, sand etc). This determines how much ground preparation is to be done. This also determines whether gravel is needed to stabilize the ground (particularly for the tarring option). In a nutshell, the more ground preparation needs to be done, the more cost implications.


One of the advantages of tar surfacing is durability. A tarred surface will definetely last much longer than a paved surface.


Paving seems to have a much higher maintenance cost as it is not as durable as tarring. Maintenance will be needed to replace cracked bricks and when bricks begin to have their colors fade. The cost of tar rejuvenation is way cheaper than reinstalling paving bricks

Final look

It is a known fact that Paving has a beautiful homely look. Many believe it looks way more beautiful that tar which we will not dispute. Paving also allows property owners to have variation to bring beautiful look. Such variations include patterns. The tar surfacing can also look nice as addition like garden kerbs can be used to make it look good.

In conclusion, this decision remains a tricky one and one that should be based on preference. Property owners must therefore address the stated factors and weigh their pros and cons.

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