5 Steps to a Handsome Asphalt Walkway

Asphalt delivers many benefits as a building material. It’s budget-friendly, durable, and eco-friendly. Those benefits are a large part of the reason asphalt is a favored material for roads. You can reap the benefits of this building material in your hardscaping, too, specifically your walkway.
Don’t worry — your walkway won’t end up looking like a highway. Follow the steps below to design a handsome asphalt walkway for your yard.

1. Plan the Path
A walkway’s main purpose is to guide people from one point to another. For that reason, straight walkways are popular. Straight walkways tend to feel formal. This type of path works well to lead visitors to your front door or for the area between a detached garage and your entryway.
Other pathways may focus more on the journey. For example, you might plan a pathway in your backyard that leads from a shed to the patio. Instead of cutting across the yard, which also cuts your yard in half, you might curve the pathway partially around the yard. You may even devise the curve to coincide with attractive landscaping.

2. Choose the Color
The standard color for asphalt is dark charcoal gray or black. However, the contractors have different methods of introducing other colors to the material. You can get asphalt that’s light gray, brown, red, and even pale orange. The vibrancy ranges from subtle to bright.
Decide how much you want your asphalt walkway to stand out because, obviously, a red walkway will be center stage. You’ll choose a stamping option in a later step, so think about whether you want the asphalt to resemble another material at this stage. For instance, you could choose a terracotta color if you want your asphalt to resemble brick.

3. Consider Aggregates
Asphalt consists of asphalt cement as a binder mixed with aggregates. When pouring roads, contractors usually use a mixture of sharp and rounded stones to withstand carrying heavy loads. However, since trucks won’t be using your asphalt walkway, you can choose from a range of aggregates.
Talk to your contractors for exact specifications, but any kind of rock should be fair game. You can choose rocks with natural coloration or a specific size to fit in with your vision. As people walk on the pathway, the binder’s surface will wear away and reveal your aggregate.

4. Pick Your Stamp
As mentioned above, one of the steps in designing your asphalt walkway is choosing a stamping option. The contractors use a heavy-duty wire frame to stamp a design onto the hot surface of the asphalt. The wire creates indentations that resemble the grouting between bricks or stone pavers.
You have many of the same options for stamped asphalt as for stamped concrete. If you’d like your walkway to look like it’s made of brick, you can choose one of the brick stamps. You can also have a walkway that looks like cobblestone or other stone pavers. The stamping process also adds another layer of traction, which is ideal for a walkway when it gets wet.

5. Devise a Border
A border isn’t necessary for an asphalt walkway. It is, however, another method of adding beauty. The border can be relatively simple. You could have the contractors stamp or color the edges of the asphalt differently than the rest. For instance, your border could consist of dark terra cotta around a sandy walkway.
However, you can also introduce a new material. Many landscape designers like to add either flat or raised bricks along the edge of walkways. You could also have the contractors add a second channel along the edge and fill it with the same aggregate you chose for the asphalt mix. Finally, another popular bordering technique is specific landscaping, such as a border bed or low bushes.
Use the five steps above to design an asphalt walkway that’s unique to your property. Contact JR Paving & Construction CO., Inc., for help realizing your vision.