Comparing Asphalt and Concrete for Parking Lots

Comparing Asphalt and Concrete for Parking Lots

Aug 08 2023

You have a few material options available to you when it comes to any kind of parking lot, and the two most well-known examples here in most cases are asphalt and concrete. Both of these are legitimate contenders for a parking lot depending on your broad needs and budget, and knowing how they compare and vary in certain areas is very important if you’re choosing between them.

At Asphalt Masters, we’re happy to offer a wide range of services for both these materials, from asphalt repair and sealcoating to concrete repair and pouring services around Ogden, UT. Let’s look at some specifics on each of these materials when it comes to parking lot usage, including several key factors that separate them.

Asphalt and Concrete Basics

For those unfamiliar with the basic formulation of one or both of these substances, here’s a brief rundown on each:

  • Asphalt: This material is created from petroleum and other materials, which are mixed together to form a durable, flexible material. Asphalt is best known for its low cost of installation and maintenance, making it an attractive option for many parking lots.
  • Concrete: This material, usually composed of cement, gravel, sand, and water, is the most commonly used material for roads and driveways due to its strength and durability. It has a slightly coarser texture than asphalt.

Our next several sections will go over some specific factors to consider within each of these materials for your parking lot.


When it comes to speed and convenience of installation, both these materials are robust – but asphalt does hold an edge due to its lower cost. For a new parking lot, asphalt can have you up and running faster with fewer workers, keeping costs down.

On the other hand, concrete has to be poured in sections and allowed to cure multiple times before it can withstand use. Its curing time can vary somewhat significantly, so this is a factor that must be considered.


On the flip side, concrete tends to require less maintenance than asphalt over its lifespan. Asphalt paving requires a periodic seal-coating to help protect the surface from oxidation and other damage, while concrete tends to be more resistant overall.

Additionally, potholes are more common in asphalt surfaces than concrete ones; however, they can still occur with both materials. For asphalt, these holes can be quickly filled and patched, while with concrete you may need to replace the entire affected section.

Visual Appeal

One factor that completely comes down to the eye of the beholder is the visual appeal of these two materials. Asphalt has a much smoother surface, and while it’s more prone to collecting dirt and debris from vehicles, its black color helps blend in with the surrounding environment better than concrete.

Concrete’s coarser texture certainly stands out much more, giving your parking lot an eye-catching look that may be desired for commercial properties. In addition, concrete’s color won’t fade nearly as much over time as asphalt – but it can be susceptible to staining and discoloration with some materials.

There’s really no “wrong” choice when it comes to aesthetics, however. It’s just about what you prefer.

Heat Retention

Due to its darker color and smoother surface, asphalt tends to be much more susceptible to heat retention than concrete. This can mean a higher degree of discomfort for those who are walking in your parking lot during the summer months – and may even melt certain materials like bubblegum if they’re left on the pavement long enough! Of course, this can be countered with regular sealcoating, but the fact remains that concrete is the better option in this regard.

On the other hand, concrete’s coarser surface does not absorb heat as, which can make it more suitable on those hot summer days. Additionally, concrete’s higher reflectivity also helps to keep surfaces cooler in the sun.


Cost is a huge factor for many people, and it’s an area where asphalt holds a big edge in most cases. As mentioned earlier, asphalt paving is much cheaper to install and often requires less labor in the long run.

Concrete tends to be more expensive for both installation and maintenance, making it a better option for those who can afford it or whose projects require higher quality standards. It also has a longer life expectancy than asphalt in many cases, so while its initial cost may be higher, it can end up being a more cost-effective material in the long run.

Ultimately, your choice between asphalt and concrete for your parking lot should come down to a variety of factors – including budget, desired aesthetics, maintenance needs, and heat retention considerations. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks depending on your project’s specific requirements, and understanding each will help you make the right decision in the end.

At Asphalt Masters, we’re here to help with all your asphalt and concrete parking lot needs around Ogden and other parts of Utah. Our team is always happy to provide assistance with any of the services we offer for both materials, so reach out today to get started!