Tarmacadam Drives Installation

Whether it’s left over tarmacadam from the back of a truck for a resurface or a full installation from scratch using a professional tarmacadam contractor, below provides a rough tarmacadam drives installation guide.

Step 1 – Tarmacadam Drives – Preparation

  • Before any preparation work, it is advisable to have emergency contact numbers in case of disruption to utilities. 
  • Excavate the driveway area to appropriate ground depth (approx. 200mm).
  • Use a licensed waste carrier
  • Attention to levels! Adjust sub base levels to ensure appropriate water surface drainage. Adjust gradients to make a driveway less steep. 
  • Lay a sub base membrane for additional support and prevent weed growth.
  • Lay type 1 sub-base aggregate (or recycled crushed concrete) to a depth of 150mm.
  • Compact to a solid base of 110mm.
  • Adjust manholes or utility boxes to the right levels.
  • If surface drainage water is flowing towards a house install a soak-away and connect drainage channels. Alternatively, if levels allow, it may be possible to direct surface drainage water flows to grass or bedded areas.
tarmac drive

A prepared sub base for a tarmac drive


Step 2 – Tarmacadam Drives – Edging

Concrete edging provides support, therefore install concrete edging around the perimeter of the driveway. You can use a string line and level as a guide. As a minimum it is usually necessary to lay paving edging stones across the front of a driveway where it meets with the public pathway. This provides a clear line for the border of a property and ensures a flush finish. 

Step 3 – Tarmacadam Drives – First layer binder course

Lay the first surface layer, known as the ‘binder course’ (this contains a larger stone/aggregate).  The binder course provides a strong base for the surface layer. Keep the hot binder course covered to retain heat. Place piles of binder around and rake to correct levels. 

Once driveway surface is covered, roller as many times as necessary until the surface is compact. 

Step 4 – Tarmacadam Drives – Surface course

Lay the surface course in the same way as the binder course. The only difference is the size of the aggregate in the surface course compared to the binder course. It is much smaller and leaves a much smoother finish. Before it is applied, it may be treated with sealing grit, as this helps with the finer aggregate sticking to the binding agent.

Step 5 – Tarmacadam Drives – Finishing touches

Tar edges that join other surfaces to help prevent water ingress and stop weed growth.

tarmac driveway

A completed tarmac driveway installation

Tarmacadam Drives Installation (Resurfacing option)    

This is the most common type of tarmacadam drive installation for residential driveways. A tired and/or faded looking concrete driveway can look ‘good again‘ and resurfacing is by far the most effective method. Preparation is minimal as long as existing drainage is sufficient. If not drainage should be a priority. Fill any holes and remove loose areas. Refill with suitable sub-base material such as Type 1 aggregate. The surface layer can be applied in the same way as outlined in the new installation process above.

Achieve significant cost savings by avoiding the installation of a new sub base!


Tarmacadam laid over old concrete driveway

Tarmacadam laid over concrete driveway – quite some time ago

Some are Saying RESIN is the NEW TARMACADAM – What do YOU think?

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