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Best driveway materials

Choosing the best driveway material for your home is a big decision. Not only has it got to look good but it will also need to stand the test of time. There are lots of options out there, each with their own set of pros and cons depending on your particular driveway.

Choosing the best driveway material for your home is a big decision. Not only has it got to look good but it will also need to stand the test of time. There are lots of options out there, each with their own set of pros and cons depending on your particular driveway.

For example, the best material for sloping driveways won’t necessarily be the same as the best material for a flat surface. Keep reading to find out more.

What is the best driveway material?

It’s difficult to pick out one single ‘best driveway material’ as it depends on your home, the current driveway surface and your personal taste. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to look at the most popular driveway materials to help you decide which is the best driveway material for you and your home.

Factors to consider for the best driveways

The best materials for driveways will vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • Size of the driveway
  • Existing driveway surfaces
  • The angle of any slope
  • The amount of use the driveway will get
  • Budget
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5 popular types of driveway surface materials

When you start talking about types of driveways, driveways surfaces and best driveway materials, you’ll come up with a pretty common list. Below are the most popular driveway materials for the best driveways in the UK.

1. Asphalt (or Tarmac) driveways

Asphalt driveways are an extremely popular choice with homeowners in the UK – otherwise known to many as Tarmac. Some of the reasons for its popularity include:

  • Asphalt is often one of the cheaper drive materials
  • It has excellent longevity of more than 20 years
  • The seal applied on top of asphalt driveways makes it even more hard-wearing and durable
  • Asphalt looks good with its sleek finish

Gravel driveway in the UKThat said, there are some issues with asphalt – mainly when it heats up. During hot summer months, asphalt driveways can get sticky, show tyre marks and sometimes even alter the shape of the asphalt. Thankfully extreme heat isn’t something we often have to worry about in the UK.

2. Gravel driveways

Gravel is one of the best driveway materials for homeowners with a limited budget and for those who are more security conscious. Some of the benefits of gravel as a driveway material are:

  • Gravel is quick and easy to install
  • There are a lot of colour and style options for gravel stones to match your home’s style
  • It’s cheaper than most other driveway materials
  • The crunch of the gravel stones underfoot can act as a deterrent to opportunist thieves

On the downside, gravel driveways require a lot of maintenance to deal with moving stones, dirt, weeds and the fact that, over time, it can quickly look messy with visible ruts and sinkholes.

3. Block paving driveways

Block paving is one of the driveway materials that has become very popular in recent years, with many homeowners in the UK opting for block paved driveways to create a beautiful feature for their homes. Some of the big advantages of block paving driveways include:

  • Block paving is generally considered one of the top materials for creating the best looking driveways
  • There’s a huge range of blocks available in different shapes, sizes, colours and patterns
  • Block paving creates a very hard-wearing driveway surface (if installed correctly)
  • Individual blocks are easy to replace, which helps keep maintenance costs down

The main drawback of block paving as a material for driveway surfaces is the cost, as it tends to be one of the most expensive options available. It’s also one of the most complicated driveway materials to install and requires intricate block laying to create paving patterns.

4. Concrete driveways

If you’re looking for a super low maintenance option for your driveway surface, then concrete could be the best driveway material for you. Concrete driveways aren’t usually considered to be the most visually impressive driveway materials, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a certain charm. The benefits include:

  • Concrete is very low maintenance
  • It’s an excellent choice for homes that have an industrial style to them
  • Concrete driveways have good temperature regulation which stops them from getting too hot in the summer
  • There are now various colour options for concrete driveways

Asphalt drivewayAlthough concrete is a low maintenance driveway material, over time you may see cracks appearing and to repair cracks you would need to remove the entire driveway and install new concrete. Oil stains can also be an issue for concrete driveways.

5. Resin driveways

Last but certainly not least, resin earns its place on our list of best driveway materials thanks to its visual appeal and the fact that it’s a very hard-wearing driveway surface. The main advantages of having a resin driveway include:

  • Resin creates a beautiful finish that looks slick and will boost curb appeal
  • You can choose between permeable resin bound or impermeable resin bonded
  • There’s a wide range of colour options available to complement your home
  • Resin tends to be a fairly inexpensive driveway material, compared to some of the other options
  • It’s relatively low maintenance and easy to keep clean

If you go for a resin driveway, make sure you hire a reputable company with lots of experience installing resin to ensure it’s done properly.

How much does a new driveway cost?

The cost of a new driveway will depend on the size of your driveway, the type of driveway material you choose, and the complexity of the installation. Here are some average driveway costs you could expect to pay:

  • Asphalt £50 – £100 per m2
  • Brick£32 – £100 per m2
  • Concrete – £75 – £85 per m2
  • Gravel£50 – £70 per m2
  • Resin£80 – £210 per m2

To find out more about prices, check out our guides to driveway resurfacing costs and driveway paving costs.


What’s the best material for sloping driveways?

Out of all the driveway materials, resin is often considered the best material for sloping driveways. If you have a sloping driveway, it’s best to avoid materials like gravel and stones, which can easily roll down the slope and collect at the bottom. You also need to consider the slippery nature of some surfaces when wet, like concrete.

What type of gravel is best for driveways?

There are a number of different types of gravel available, but the best types of gravel for driveways are shingle and pea gravel – mainly due to them being excellent options for surfacing, drainage and affordability.

What is the best paint for concrete driveways?

There are typically three types of paint that are most suitable for concrete driveways: epoxy concrete paint, polyurethane paint, and polyurea paint.

What is the best concrete sealer for driveways?

When choosing a concrete sealer for a driveway, you want to make sure it’s 100% UV fade resistant, has anti-fungicidal properties, is made using premium quality resins, and ideally one that comes with a quality guarantee.

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