How Much Does It Cost to Install an Asphalt Driveway?

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated July 11, 2022
Father and son playing basketball
Photo: Monkey Business / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • The cost of asphalt is around $100 to $200 per ton.

  • A 600-square-foot driveway needs between 7 and 15 tons.

  • The minimum asphalt depth for a driveway is 2 inches.

  • Most homeowners should opt for a 6-inch depth.

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Whether you’re pouring an asphalt driveway for more cars or more court-side seating for neighborhood basketball games, many factors impact how much an asphalt or blacktop driveway costs. Those factors include the type of asphalt, the size and depth of the driveway, the gradient, whether you need a new installation or just an overlay, and what type of finish you want. The national average cost of asphalt driveway installation is $4,740, or about $7 to $15 per square foot, including labor.

How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost Per Ton?

The cost of asphalt is around $100 to $200 per ton. A ton covers between 30 and 80 square feet, depending on the depth of the driveway. The minimum asphalt depth for a driveway is 2 inches, and homeowners often go with a depth of up to 6 inches to enhance stability and longevity.

DepthCoverage per Ton600 Sq. Ft. Driveway Cost
2 inches80 sq. ft. $750 – $1,500
4 inches40 sq. ft. $1,500 – $3,000
6 inches30 sq. ft. $2,000 – $4,000

An average driveway of 600 square feet needs between 7 and 15 tons of asphalt, depending on depth and surface area.

Asphalt Driveway Cost Breakdown

When it comes to asphalt driveway installation, costs fall under two main categories: labor and materials. Here’s a look at where your money will go.

Location 

The location of the area you plan to pave can be a big factor in overall cost. For example, a driveway located on an incline will cost more than one on a flat surface. You’ll also pay more to pave a larger area, so the further your garage is from the road, the higher your costs.

Where you live geographically is also a factor. Fuel costs and the local cost of living in your area will directly impact asphalt driveway prices.

Labor Cost to Pave a Driveway

Labor costs between $5 and $7 per square foot. So, if you have an average-sized driveway of 600 square feet, expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,200 in labor costs. If you need an old driveway removed, or if a new driveway needs significant leveling and grading, labor costs will increase.

Cost for Asphalt Driveway Materials

The materials cost varies based on the type of asphalt you choose. For instance, recycled or reclaimed material costs a little less than standard asphalt, but more than porous asphalt (which is the least expensive option. Stamped or colored blacktop will cost the most.

Driveway Size

The average driveway is 600 square feet, so if yours is larger, expect to pay more. Many driveway contractors have a minimum fee, so if your driveway is smaller than the 600-square-foot average, you might still pay that price.

Gradient

The gradient of your property significantly impacts the total driveway cost. If the driveway is on a steep incline, it requires more leveling to make asphalt a viable option. This is labor-intensive and may require the use of extra equipment.  At the very least, grading and leveling will increase labor costs significantly. If you do have a steep gradient, speak to a driveway pro about your best options.

Asphalt Depth

Asphalt driveways must be at least 2 inches thick, which gives you approximately 80 square feet of coverage per ton. For a more robust driveway with greater durability and longevity, your contractor may recommend a depth of 4 or 6 inches, which reduces the coverage per ton and increases the amount you'll spend on materials.

Type of Finish

Plain asphalt costs considerably less than stamped or dyed finishes. If you live in a cold climate and want a heated driveway, again, that will increase the cost of installation substantially.

Type of FinishCost (Per Sq. Ft)
Standard asphalt$7 – $13 per square foot
Stamped or colored asphalt$10 – $17 per square foot
Heated asphalt$12 – $25 per square foot

Foundation Type and Condition

If the driveway and foundation are still reasonably solid, you may be able to save money by just adding a top coat instead of getting the whole driveway surface replaced. But if your driveway is more than 20 years old, or the foundation is beyond repair, expect to pay more than the cost of a standard installation. The reason? There's a lot of labor involved in digging out the old driveway and foundation to add a new one.

Types of Asphalt Costs

The cost you pay for asphalt will depend on the type of driveway you choose. You can minimize costs by using recycled materials or pay a little more to add some personality to your driveway as an investment in your home’s curb appeal.

Recycled or Reclaimed Asphalt Costs

A recycled asphalt driveway costs $6.20 to $8.75 per square foot, including installation. Recycled asphalt is an eco-friendly choice that can be much more affordable than new asphalt. On average, you’ll pay $10 to $20 per ton or $0.20 to $0.75 per square foot for recycled asphalt material and $5 to $7 per square foot for labor.

If you have an existing driveway removed and your contractor is able to use the reclaimed asphalt, you’ll pay $1 to $2 per square foot more for labor, but you’ll also save on transport and loading costs. On an average-sized driveway, you could potentially save up to $1,350 on material costs by using recycled asphalt instead of new asphalt.

Standard Asphalt Cost Per Square Foot

New, plain asphalt driveway costs between $7 and $13 per square foot installed. That includes $5 to $7 per square foot for materials and $2 and $6 per square foot for labor. You also need to consider the cost of the hardcore or gravel layer that sits between the soil and the blacktop, which costs an additional $0.50 to $1 per square foot.

Porous Asphalt Costs Per Square Foot

Porous asphalt costs between $3 and $8 per square foot. This product lets water drain easily instead of running off into the gutters or your lawn. It effectively minimizes runoff, so you can usually save on leveling and grading, as it's not as important with a porous driveway. Remember that you'll also need an extra layer of crushed stone beneath the blacktop to allow for better drainage.

Stamped or Colored Asphalt Cost Per Square Foot

A stamped driveway or one made using colored asphalt material costs $10 to $17 per square foot, including installation. Materials alone for this type of installation cost $2 to $6 per square foot, while labor costs $8 to $11 per square foot. You’ll pay between $6,000 and $10,200 for the average 600-foot driveway.

Both of these driveway types give you a custom, high-end look that stands out from normal blacktop surfaces. Stamped or colored asphalt can also give your home extra curb appeal, making it a good investment if you plan to sell your home in the future.

Heated Blacktop Cost Per Square Foot

Materials for a heated blacktop driveway cost $12 to $25 per square foot, which includes $7 to $13 per square foot for the asphalt driveway and $5 to $12 per square foot for the heating system installed below the asphalt. So, if you have a standard 600-foot driveway, a heated driveway costs between $7,200 and $15,000 installed, including the heating system.

Cost of Asphalt Driveways By Project Type

The cost to pave a driveway depends on the complexity of the project. It's not just the labor costs that increase, either. For some projects, you'll need more gravel or crushed stone for a deeper base layer. For others, you'll need a thicker layer of asphalt. 

New Asphalt Driveway Cost

A new asphalt driveway, without any dramatic leveling or grading, costs $7 to $13 per square foot, including installation. That breaks down to $2 to $6 per square foot for materials and $5 to $7 per square foot for labor. Of course, you may be able to save by buying at least a small percentage of reclaimed asphalt to lower the materials cost. 

But if you go for porous asphalt, you'll pay $3 to $8 for materials and an extra $0.50 to $1 per square foot for additional crushed stone, plus labor costs.

Replacement Asphalt Driveway Cost

The cost to replace an asphalt driveway is $8 to $15 per square foot. The cost covers $1 to $2 per square foot for removal of the existing surface, $2 to $6 per square foot for materials, and $5 to $7 per square foot for labor.

Asphalt Overlay Cost

An asphalt overlay, also called a top coat, usually costs $3 to $7 per square foot. It’s less expensive because an overlay requires fewer materials and less labor. Instead of removing the existing surface and replacing it, a thinner layer of asphalt is poured directly over the old. But if your driveway is covered in holes and spiderweb cracks, an overlay won't save it.

Cost to Install Asphalt Over Concrete Driveway

Overlaying asphalt onto concrete costs $3 to $7 per square foot, the same as overlaying old asphalt. It's important to note that this option, while reasonably budget-friendly, isn't a long-term solution as it doesn't have the same life expectancy as a new concrete or asphalt driveway. Plus, because concrete expands and contracts, cracks can appear in the asphalt top coat, so you'll need to inspect and patch the driveway regularly.

Cracks are inevitable on asphalt driveways. But a quick repair can add to your home's curb appeal.

Additional Costs and Add-ons

Several factors can add to the price of an asphalt driveway. Consider the following when setting your budget.

Location Preparation 

Before an area can be paved, it must be leveled so the new driveway is smooth and drains easily. Trees and bushes need to be excavated, which can cost $1,500 to $5,100. Grading and leveling costs an additional $5 to $10 per square foot. Expect to pay more if you’re paving a steeper driveway due to the additional work required to make the paved surface safe.

Heated Driveway

If you want a heated driveway, installation involves adding a heating system underneath a new asphalt surface. The average homeowner can expect to pay $7,200 to $15,000 for a heated driveway, or a rate of $12 to $25 per square foot.

Maintenance Costs

A new asphalt driveway has specific maintenance needs that can add to your costs. Asphalt sealing should be done at least six months after your installation to protect the driveway from cracking and other environmental damage. Expect to pay $3 to $7 per square foot every three to five years for this service.

How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway Yourself?

Family riding bikes in driveway
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DIYing a driveway could save you up to $7 per square foot on labor costs, but even if you’ve tackled your home renos in the past, it's not a good idea. It's unlikely that you have a jackhammer or a roller hanging out in your tool shed, so what you’ll save in labor you'll spend on tools you’ll probably only use once. Plus, it's intensive manual labor that requires a lot of time and challenging physical activity. 

You also need to consider whether you can do the job as well as a pro. If you don't get it right, the asphalt will only last a year or two before you need to do it all over again. Or you'll have to hire a pro anyway to remove the work you didn't lay well, rework the foundation, and install a new driveway. 

Save yourself the time and hassle and contact an asphalt driveway pro near you to do the job right.

FAQs About Installing an Asphalt Driveway

Yes, unless you buy the most inexpensive concrete, which isn't a good plan long-term. Asphalt costs $7 to $13 per square foot, whereas concrete costs $3 to $18 per square foot.

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