Difference between Tarmac Driveways and Asphalt Driveways

Tarmac and asphalt driveways look alike on the surface, and it may be hard for a commoner to differentiate the two. Even though there are similarities between them, they’re quite different. There are several types of surfaces used in the making of driveways, such as tarmac, asphalt, concrete, and even bitumen. In this article, we’re going to look at the differences between tarmac and asphalt driveways, may it be for residential or commercial purposes.


Tarmacadam shortened as tarmac is a sturdy and long lasting surface. Tarmac is formed when a layer of crushed stone is covered with tar. Tarmac is sturdy, water-resistant, and facilitates a decent grip while providing the much-needed artistic to the finished surface. This is the reason why most tarmac driveways are made from tarmacadam. Tarmacadam is slowly being replaced with bitmac, which is less vulnerable to the damages that occur as a result of oil spillage, which can happen unexpectedly.

Bitumen and tar

The main difference between tarmac and bitmac is that bitmac contains bitumen while tarmac contains tar. During the manufacture of bitmac, tar is eradicated and replaced with bitumen. This builds a surface that resembles asphalt.

Concentration of sand and filler

Bitmac and asphalt differ in that bitmac have a higher concentration of sand and filler when compared to asphalt. Asphalt is composed of a much denser mixture of aggregates attached with bitumen. In other words, an asphalt driveway is a surface created by attaching a particular blend of aggregates with the help of bitumen to stick them together.

Cost and size

Asphalt is widely used in roads because it’s relatively cheaper when surfacing large areas. When used for small surfaces, it can be a bit costly when compared to other options.


Even though it is referred to as asphalt tarmac at times, the two are quite different. The difference between the two is that asphalt strongly made making it hard to wear; however, the main problem is that it is vulnerable to the persistent scuffing resulting from car tires.


The other difference between the two is that asphalt can cope with harsh weather conditions and requires little maintenance. This is a factor to consider when choosing the type of driveway that suitable for you, i.e., tarmac or asphalt.


Asphalts are environmentally friendly, and that’s why they are preferred over the tarmac. Asphalts can be re-used elsewhere whenever the surface ceases to function due to ageing. When staring at the driveway surfaces, it’s good to remember that even though it may be referred to as an asphalt driveway, it could be an asphalt concrete. This is surface is different from asphalt even though they look similar.

Wear and tear

Asphalt concrete is a blend of asphaltic cement mixed with sand or grit, which makes it hard to wear and extremely durable. The main drawback of asphalt concrete surfaces is that they are quite expensive and are hard to repair when compared to tarmac and asphalt. It’s also prone to damages, especially when temperatures are constantly changing.

From the above, the type of driveway you choose will depend on your requirements and the kind of surface you’re planning to bui

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