Choosing the Best Driveway Materials: 5 Top Driveway Options

driveway materials

Whether you are installing a new driveway or refreshing your current one, the driveway materials you choose will have a big impact on your results.

There are so many options for driveway materials, from the classic asphalt to a more alternative material like seashells, that it can be difficult to make a choice.

Here is a breakdown of the top materials available today.


Asphalt is one of the best driveway materials to use because it is affordable and durable. It’s resistant to extreme weather conditions, which makes it less likely to crack than other materials.

The average cost per square foot is $2 to $5 and the average lifespan of an asphalt driveway is 12 to 20 years.

While asphalt is an overall great option, it does require regular upkeep in the form of resealing every 2-3 years and the dark color absorbs heat, making it very hot during the summer months.


Resin is a modern driveway option because it adds visual appeal while being completely functional. A resin driveway is durable, versatile, quick to install, easy to DIY using one of the available resin driveway kits, and easy to maintain.

The average cost per square foot is between $8 and $11 and the average lifespan of a resin bonded driveway is 12 to 18 years.

While using resin is a great option, it’s not ideal for people who have heavy traffic on their driveways, as frequent turns will result in the resin lifting.


Concrete is smooth, solid, customizable and durable. It requires moderate maintenance and, for the most part, holds up well in harsh conditions.

The average cost per square foot is between $5 and $7 and the average lifespan of a concrete driveway is 30 to 40 years.

While concrete driveways are ideal for most, they do stain easily and develop small cracks that can be repaired as a DIY project.


Gravel is one of the cheapest driveway materials, also making it one of the most popular driveway materials. It’s quick to install, easy to repair and creates a stable surface.

The average cost per square foot is between $1 and $2 and the average lifespan is forever, with proper maintenance.

While there are many reasons to use gravel, it does require a lot of maintenance and the rocks and dust seem to get everywhere.

Paving Stones

Paving stones are one of the most visually appealing materials to use for your driveway. They come in different colors and shapes and are great for curb appeal. Pavers are also durable and eco-friendly.

The average cost per square foot is between $10 and $50, depending on what type of pavers you choose. The average lifespan is 20 to 25 years, however, pavers made of natural stone can last even longer.

While pavers are a great option for many, they are expensive and can be frustrating to replace as you’ll need to find a matching stone.

Best Driveway Materials: The Bottom Line

There are many different driveway materials to consider and every option has pros and cons. By doing some research into all of the options, you’ll be able to choose the best material for your driveway.

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