The Quick Answer
There are a large variety of Tarmac styles and colours to choose from. Some of the most popular colours are; buff, green, red and amber. Coloured asphalt and tarmac is a fairly new idea that is rapidly becoming more popular for those looking to create a decorative entrance to their home on a budget.
There are also a number of different tarmac styles. These should be considered and recommended by the contractor based on the requirements of the project.
Thanks to industry giants such as ‘Tarmac’ and ‘Aggregate Industries’, we now have a variety of tarmac colours available to choose from. This has made tarmacadam a much more competitive decorative surface in comparison with other paving solutions as customers can now choose colours that best suit their property.
The colour swatch shows some of the different colour options available:
As you can see, there is a large selection of colours to choose from. Although new to the market, testing has been carried out to ensure that the different colour options do not reduce the strength of the product nor is the chance of fading increased.
Close Graded Tarmac is a solid surface created using 6mm aggregate and a binder (often bitumin), which produces a smooth and neat finish. To ensure longevity of the natural colour, it is best to source a natural 6mm aggregate that matches the desired tone. Providing you’re using a reputable contractor, they will ensure the correct aggregate is used.
Open Graded Tarmac is a semi-permeable surface often used on commercial projects to help with drainage. It is also used as a base for Resin Bound. It’s classed as ‘semi-permeable’, due to water taking longer than alternative permeable surfaces to drain through. This option isn’t the best choice for a driveway, as its an open product, therefore hard to finish to a neat, uniform surface.
Things to consider
Now that different tarmac styles and colours are available, it is being seen as a cheaper alternative to resin bound, as you can achieve a colourful decorative surface. We would suggest getting a quote for both, as coloured tarmac is more expensive than the standard ‘black’ colour, narrowing the gap between the two paving solutions.
If you’re looking for a permeable solution, open graded tarmac is probably not the one for you due to it being a rough, styleless appearance. Instead consider resin bound, permeable block paving or gravel.
Tarmac is prone to wearing with time. It is perhaps the greatest downfall to the product, with customers having to pay for it to be recoated every few years. Coloured tarmac appears to be more resilient to fading, and suppliers say it will not loose it’s colour for decades, however it has not been around long enough to tell.