Austin Asphalt: Differences Between Asphalt and Blacktop

Austin Asphalt: Differences Between Asphalt and Blacktop

Austin Asphalt: Differences Between Asphalt and BlacktopMany refer to Austin asphalt as a “blacktop” and vice versa. While they look similar, asphalt and blacktop are not the same thing. However, some would argue they’re two sides of the same coin! Technically, blacktop is a subset of asphalt paving, but that’s not where the similarities and differences end.

How is Austin Asphalt and Blacktop Similar?

The confusion between asphalt and blacktop likely comes from the shared ingredients. When asphalt contractors pave surfaces, you get a smooth, durable black surface. The same goes for a blacktop. That’s because they use the same ingredients!

Both asphalt paving and blacktop are a combination of crushed stone and bitumen. Bitumen is what gives blacktop and asphalt its distinct color. It’s a tar-like petroleum byproduct with many applications in modern construction.

For both blacktop and asphalt in Austin TX, these two basic ingredients go through a mixing and heating process before workers pour onto subgrade and compact it for a smooth finish.

Are There Any Differences in Ingredients or Preparation Processes?

Where blacktop and asphalt in Austin differ is the crushed stone and bitumen ratio. Blacktop contains more crushed stone, giving the final product a rougher surface. It also makes the pavement more porous. Asphalt has more bitumen and less stone than blacktop, giving it the signature smooth finish you’d expect on roads, parking lots, etc.

Another key difference is how workers prepare the two mixes. An asphalt contractor will heat the bitumen and crushed stone to 120 degrees Celsius (about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.) Meanwhile, creating a blacktop requires contractors to heat the mixture to about 150 degrees Celsius (over 300 degrees Fahrenheit).

What are the Different Applications for Asphalt in Austin Versus Blacktop?

While many use the terms “asphalt paving” and “blacktop” interchangeably, asphalt companies use the two products in different applications.

Because a blacktop has a rougher texture, it’s not great for heavy-duty traffic or loads. Therefore, it’s often the go-to choice for low-traffic uses in driveways, playgrounds, paved pedestrian walkways and some parking lots.

You’ll often see blackstops on small-scale applications that don’t require ultra-durable materials.

On the other hand, asphalt is tough enough for more rigorous use. As a result, asphalt contractors use it for highways, dams, water reservoirs and high-traffic parking lots.

How Does Austin Asphalt Differ from Blacktop in Durability?

When it comes to durability, you can’t beat asphalt in Austin. When an asphalt company puts down asphalt correctly, it can last decades and hold up well to heavy traffic. That’s why many commercial and industrial properties utilize it for parking lots, driveways, loading docks, etc.

Asphalt is more durable because it’s less porous and has more bitumen. It’s less prone to water damage and cracking. Of course, the material will degrade with time. However, you can hire an asphalt company for regular maintenance and occasional sealcoating to prolong the life of your pavement.

Want to see just how tough Austin asphalt is? Turn to RDC Paving for your next project involving asphalt in Austin TX! We’ve been the go-to asphalt company for property owners in Austin and the surrounding areas for nearly a decade, and we’re eager to add you to our roster of happy clients!

In addition to providing the best Austin asphalt pavement, we do repairs, sealcoating, milling overlays and more. We’re also a trusted provider of concrete work, constructing ramps, sidewalks, parking lots, curbs and driveways. You can also trust us with parking lot maintenance and striping.

When you work with RDC Paving, you can expect top-notch results and excellent customer service from start to finish. We set the bar high, and we intend to keep it there! Call us today at (512) 920-9155 for your free job quote. If you prefer, you can also submit our online contact form or email us at

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