The Cost to Install an Asphalt Driveway Doesn’t Have to Spread You Thin

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated February 21, 2022
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Photo: Monkey Business / Adobe Stock

The typical cost of an asphalt driveway varies between $1,500 and $11,000, depending on several factors

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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 Ton
2 inches80 sq. ft.
4 inches40 sq. ft.
6 inches30 sq. ft.

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

Recycled or Reclaimed Asphalt Costs

Recycled or reclaimed asphalt is much more affordable than new asphalt, at just $10 to $20 per ton. Ask your contractor about recycling your existing asphalt, if you have any, and ask if reclaimed asphalt is available in your area. 

It pays to be eco-friendly! Choosing recycled or reclaimed blacktop reduces the amount of new asphalt you'll need and helps bring down the overall materials cost. On an average-sized driveway, you could potentially save up to $1,350.

How Much Does Installing an Asphalt Driveway Cost Near You?

  • Florida: $1,000–$9,010 ($3,700 on average)

  • California: $2,800–$20,400 ($9,180 on average)  

  • Texas: $1,800–$14,000 ($5,970 on average)

  • Colorado: $1,850–$15,250 ($6,920 on average)

  • Missouri: $900–$8,100 ($4,240 on average)

  • Ohio: $1,580–$15,000 ($5,260 on average)

  • Maine: $1,920–$12,000 ($5,280 on average)

  • New York: $1,500–$11,000 ($4,700 on average)

How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway Yourself?

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 a driveway professional near you to do the job right.

Asphalt Driveway Cost Breakdown

When it comes to asphalt driveway installation, costs fall under two main categories: labor and materials. Take a look and see exactly where your money goes when you undertake a big home project like this.

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.

Standard Asphalt Cost Per Square Foot

New, standard asphalt costs between $2 and $6 per square foot. 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.

Recycled Asphalt Costs Per Square Foot

Recycled asphalt is an eco-friendly, cost-effective choice if it's available in your area. If you’re replacing an existing asphalt driveway, your contractor might be able to mill and reuse that in your new driveway, which can significantly reduce your materials cost. 

Reclaimed asphalt costs $0.20 to $0.75 per square foot, and, if your contractor can mill your existing blacktop on-site, you'll save on transport and loading costs, too.

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

Replacing an existing asphalt driveway costs $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.

How Much Does Blacktop Driveway Cost by Driveway Type?

The type of driveway you choose has a direct impact on cost. If you want to add some personality to your driveway, it'll cost more than a plain, purely functional installation. But a funky green painted driveway, a terracotta dyed surface, or decorative stamped driveway can really liven up your property and boost curb appeal.

Plain Asphalt Driveway

A plain asphalt driveway costs between $7 and $13 per square foot, installed. You'll pay $5 to $7 per square foot for materials and $2 to $6 per square foot for labor. So, for an average 600-foot driveway, expect to pay between $4,200 and $7,800.

Stamped or Colored Asphalt Driveway Cost

Stamped or colored asphalt gives your driveway a custom, high-end look and adds a decorative touch to your home's exterior. This type of asphalt driveway costs between $10 and $17 per square foot, including installation. 

The breakdown looks like this: $8 to $11 per square foot for labor and $2 to $6 per square foot for materials. For an average 600-foot driveway, you'll pay between $6,000 and $10,200.

Heated Blacktop Driveway Cost

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

Recycled Asphalt Driveway Cost

A recycled asphalt driveway costs $6.20 to $8.75 per square foot, including installation, making it an affordable option. Reclaimed asphalt costs just $0.20 to $0.75 per square foot, and you’ll pay $5 to $7 per square foot for labor. 

If, however, you are having an existing driveway removed or your contractor is lifting and recycling your existing asphalt, you'll pay an additional $1 to $2 in labor costs. So, for a standard 600-foot driveway, the price range is $3,720 to $5,250.

What Factors Influence the Cost of Asphalt Driveway Installation?

Many factors impact how much you'll pay for driveway installation. When calculating the cost, remember to factor in square footage, gradient, depth, and type of finish.

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 has a significant impact on 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.

  • Standard asphalt costs $7–$13 per square foot

  • Stamped or colored asphalt costs $10–$17 per square foot

  • Heated asphalt costs $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 older than your grandma or the foundation is beyond repair, expect to pay more than the cost of a standard installation, as there's more labor involved in digging out the old driveway and foundation to add a new one.

FAQs

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Is asphalt cheaper than concrete?

Yes, unless you buy the very cheapest 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.

How long does an asphalt driveway last?

An asphalt driveway should last 25 to 30 years, but it depends on your climate, the type of soil under the foundation, the strength of the base, and whether you seal your driveway and maintain it regularly. The cost to seal an asphalt driveway typically runs between $250 and $700 per 1,000 square feet.

Is asphalt better than concrete for driveways?

There are quite a few differences between concrete and asphalt. Concrete is more costly upfront and more challenging to repair. Asphalt does better in cold climates and works well with radiant heat systems. 

Porous asphalt is also great for wet climates, as it allows the water to drain away. However, it does get unpleasantly hot in the summer and requires more maintenance than concrete. 

Do asphalt driveways crack?

Like all driveway materials, asphalt can crack in the wrong conditions and with age. Lots of things can cause asphalt to crack, including shifting soil or settling under the foundation.

How do I maintain my asphalt driveway?

Regular maintenance will help you avoid costly repairs and early replacement. Clean the driveway surface with a stiff brush and water at least twice yearly and be sure to remove any weeds that try to take root. Additionally, every two to five years, apply a seal coat—this protects the driveway against damaging UV rays and keeps it looking like new.

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