When trying to figure out how thick should asphalt be for a driveway, you have to know the types of vehicles that will use it and the land that it sits on.

Parking lot sealcoating job in Murfreesboro, TN

If you are thinking about installing or upgrading your asphalt driveway, you might find yourself wondering how deep the asphalt actually goes. That’s one of the most common questions we get asked, and the answer depends on the purpose of the asphalt paving. Murfreesboro, TN, homes and businesses may also need different thicknesses based on the ground and drainage needs.

Residential Driveways

Residential driveways are usually around two to three inches thick. This is deep enough for most vehicles and allows for heavy equipment or large trucks on occasion. Underneath the asphalt, you’ll find around eight inches of aggregate, which is a coarse material that includes gravel, used concrete, crushed rock, and sand. This acts as the base layer and is compacted before asphalt paving begins.

Commercial Lots

Most commercial driveways and parking lots require an asphalt depth of a minimum of three inches. Underneath that, you have between six and eight inches of base aggregate for driveways and parking lots, respectively.

Industrial Drives

How thick should asphalt be for a driveway in an industrial setting? That’s a tough one. Depending on how often it’s used, you might find that commercial lots and driveways need a total of about 13 inches of asphalt, which includes a specialized series of binding layers along with six inches of traditional asphalt paving materials. Murfreesboro, TN, businesses that utilize heavy-duty commercial equipment will also require a three-inch or thicker base layer.


Regardless of whether you are asphalt paving a home, retail establishment, or loading dock, you have to have proper drainage. Land with sandy soil is much easier to pave on and requires less prep work. If your proposed lot or driveway covers loamy or clay soil, there will be much more preparation time and potentially thicker layers of aggregate.

Depth Matters

When you’re standing on a solid foundation, it’s easy to think that the actual thickness underneath doesn’t matter. The truth is that asphalt paving is a science that requires a keen eye and an experienced hand. If asphalt is spread too thin, your investment will deteriorate quickly, leaving you footing the bill for a driveway redo. That’s why it’s so important to choose an expert for your asphalt paving jobs, no matter how big or small.

Proper Maintenance

Caring for asphalt means knowing how to properly maintain your surfaces. If your initial asphalt paving was done correctly, your surface will last many years. But asphalt is not a maintenance-free addition to your home or property. You’ll need to apply a sealer every few years, pressure wash once each year, and contact your asphalt paving and repair specialist to fix cracks as soon as they appear so that small problems don’t become a big headache.

Asphalt is one of the most common paving materials throughout the Middle Tennessee area. It is flexible, versatile, and, when installed and maintained correctly, attractive. But it is also a finicky material that requires an expert in everything from soil drainage to material thickness. Our asphalt paving professionals will get your project done right the first time, so you never have to wonder if your driveway or parking lot is thick enough, you can just enjoy your investment.

Hargrove Sealcoating offers homes and businesses in the Murfreesboro, Columbia, and Nashville areas an extensive line of asphalt paving, parking lot striping, and driveway repair services. Our staff are experts in the industry and know how to create the ideal environment for your asphalt surfaces to reduce potholes, cracks, and other unsightly imperfections. Whether you need an expansive asphalt parking lot or a small driveway, we have you covered. We’ve recently added forestry mulching to our menu and can clear your land in as little as one day. Call us or take a look at our portfolio to find out more.