Tarmac is generally considered to be the cheapest method of laying a hard surface. But it’s a time-consuming job which requires specialist tools, machinery and, not least, knowledge. This means that it only becomes the cheapest method once the driveway is up to a suitable size, where the economies of scale kick in.
Once laid Tarmac driveways can look very pretty and can last you years with less maintain. The most popular standard colours are black or red tarmac but there are also other colours available too.
Bitmac or Tarmac?
The name tarmac was original derived from John MacAdam, who developed the process in the West. He used tar, which can be found naturally, to hold the small stones together, hence the name tar macadam, or tarmac for short. Nowadays, as the binding agent for the aggregates is bitumen, a by-product of the oil refining process, rather than tar, it is known as bitumen macadam, shortened in the trade to bitmac
Tarmac driveways are the cheapest option for a permanent driveway. Tarmac or Bitmac is a cheap, flexible medium made up of rock, shale and asphalt cement. Since some of its ingredients are extracted from crude oil, tarmac and asphalt are very dark. Some contractors will mix the asphalt with a polymer dye for a more pleasing appearance. Generally these driveways last about 15 years.