Gravel Parking Lots vs. Asphalt Parking Lots

You have a few options for your parking lot, but two of the most common are gravel and asphalt. When you are exploring your options, it is important that you talk to several contractors to get quotes and learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each. However, you should also do your own research so that you can get unbiased information.

asphalt gravel parking lots

Here’s what you need to know about how gravel parking lots compared to asphalt lots:


Gravel looks more natural than asphalt, which some may prefer, especially for their home. However, a gravel parking lot looks a bit unprofessional for a business. It has an unfinished look, and it if is not diligently maintained, it can also look unkempt and run down.

An asphalt parking lot creates a much more professional appearance. It has a more even tone and a much smoother surface. It also eliminates the cloud of dust and dirt that can be kicked up on gravel and stick to your customers’ vehicles.

Your parking lot and building are the first things that people will see to form an impression of your business. Make sure you make the right first impression by creating a beautiful parking lot and keeping it well-maintained.


Asphalt is also much easier to maintain than gravel. Over time, the gravel can become compacted into the dirt below it as people walk or drive on it. You will have to fill in sunken spots with gravel as they appear, and you will have to re-gravel the whole lot every few years to keep the lot looking full and even. In addition to this, the cost of watering and maintaining a gravel parking lot is tremendous, as there are stringent dust control measures in the Valley and it’s difficult to maintain ADA requirements.

With asphalt, you just need to have it sealcoated periodically to keep the surface strong and prevent cracks and potholes. You may also consider an overlay every 5 to 10 years to give it a whole new look.

Peoria Paving and Asphalt Contractor | Roadrunner


Gravel is much easier to install than asphalt, so it might be a good choice if you need a quick fix. The base just has to be prepared and then the gravel poured and spread. The whole process takes less than a week.

Asphalt installation is a bit more complicated. The asphalt contractor in Peoria must thoroughly evaluate the site to determine the strength of the base and the grade. Changes may then need to be made to the grade to ensure proper runoff of stormwater, which will be plentiful during the Arizona monsoon season. The contractor will then lay the sub-base before placing the final layer.

The process for asphalt installation can be quite time-consuming, depending on what kind of work is needed to prep the area. However, many people find the additional time to be well worth it since asphalt has a long life span and offers many other benefits.


For many businesses, the bottom line for the decision between gravel and asphalt is the bottom line. They want to know how much it’s all going to cost them.

Gravel is usually the much more affordable option. On average, it costs a little more than $1 per square foot, depending on the contractor and the thickness of the gravel. The thicker you want the lot to be, the more expensive it will be. A thicker layer of gravel will also improve the lifespan of the lot.

gravel asphalt parking lotsAsphalt costs a little more than $2 per square foot, but can go up to $3 per square foot or more depending on the mix used and the prep needed. Asphalt may cost more than gravel, but it is still quite affordable for most budgets.

Ultimately, you will need to consider all these factors and compare them to your business goals and budget to determine whether gravel or asphalt will be the better choice for you. Working with an experienced asphalt contractor can help you make the best decision by answering all your questions and helping you understand the factors specific to your property. Roadrunner Paving & Asphalt Maintenance provides parking lot paving throughout Arizona. We can install your parking lot and maintain it to ensure a long life span. Call us today to learn about your parking lot paving options in Arizona or to ask more questions about asphalt.

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Roadrunner Paving & Asphalt Maintenance
1959 S Power Rd, Suite 103-419
Mesa, AZ 85206

Phone: (480) 892-7101
Fax: (480) 892-0772

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