25.02.2022
There are a lot of people who are simply unsure of the best surface to use for their driveway. Tarmac has been a staple of all driveway work for years, as it is the cheapest option. Using the term ‘Tarmac’ is slightly inaccurate as Tarmac is actually the name of the company and tarmacadam is the name of the material used.

When comparing it to the prices of block paving you start to quickly understand why so many of our roads are made from asphalt and bitmac now, because alternatives like block paving costs a lot more per square metre. Secondly block paving also takes a lot more work to lay and also to present and maintain. If you have a cracked block it can throw off the whole appearance of your driveway, so why is it so popular?

What are the advantages of block paving?

The reason that a lot of private driveways are surfaced with block paving is that while the initial investment is comparatively expensive, the blocks will last years, perhaps even decades, without ever being touched. The only way block paving is disturbed is by extreme weather conditions, whereas the cheaper alternatives such as asphalt, tarmacadam or bitumen solution are a lot more likely to be noticeably damaged and stop looking their best after only a few years. This makes block paving a worthwhile investment if you are looking to add long term value to your home. However whichever option you choose, resurfacing your driveway will greatly enhance the overall appearance and kerb appeal of your property.  

Block paving has the added advantage of customisability with the only limits being the range provided by your chosen supplier. So if you’re a fan of everything custom they could be the perfect avenue for you to explore. Tarmacadam on the other hand is fairly standard across the board,  it can be combined with block paving edging stones for a more designer feel if that's something you would like to try. For a minimalist and sleek design tarmacadam and bitmac are hard to beat. There are hundreds of driveways which look absolutely stunning with a properly prepared bitmac or tarmac finish. It is very popular in rural areas where the driveways stretch for many metres at a time, and when it’s done correctly it can give the perfect finishing effect.

Which paving method is the best for me?

For less expansive driveways, especially in suburban areas, block paving can be a great, stylish addition. On our site you can see a few examples of this, including larger houses with block paving which simply looks spectacular. You can check out a few examples here, and if it’s something you’re interested in then get in touch with us. Our case studies are examples of completed jobs with a distinctive and unique finish on every property.

There are many different providers of blocks who we work with and source our materials from, allowing you to have a driveway that is truly your own. Tarmac and bitmac, whilst very popular for domestic driveways, can also be used for industrial and commercial settings. This is naturally because they are cheaper but also very hard wearing. In fact most of the bitmac and tarmacadam sourced now is of a higher quality which means that not only is it more reinforced for the weather, but is also covered for pressure and damage. You can check out our tarmac and bitmac driveways here.

Get in touch with Premier Surfacing to pave your driveways

If you need any extra information about driveways or just paving roads and paths in general check out our blog and main pages which have all the news you could possibly ever need. If you’re simply a fan of designs then have a look through our case studies to see the differences for yourself. Each of our pages has images which you can browse through in order to decide for yourself which driveway style suits your individual style.
Published: February 2022

Thank you for the work you carried out on our driveway, it has totally transformed the appearance of our property. I certainly would not hesitate in recommending premier Surface.

Mr Palmer
Admaston, Telford
29.03.2021
If you’re looking for a new driveway, tarmac and block paving might both be options you are considering. There are a number of factors to consider when exploring which material is best for your driveway, we have examined all these factors to help you determine which is the most suitable for your needs: 

Durability/ Longevity

It’s important to remember that no matter the surface type chosen, the best way to ensure longevity in your driveway is to start with the correct level base. Both surfaces are considered fairly long-lasting, tarmac as a surface is not exclusively made for driveways, but road surfacing is often very long wearing as by design it is made to be resilient to heavy repeat vehicle use and various weather conditions. Block paving is also often long lasting as the interlocking herringbone pattern makes for a sturdy structure. Maintenance to ensure the good quality appearance of the block paving driveways is however required more frequently than for tarmac, as the joint gaps between the blocks can be prone to weed growth. Check out our tips to maintain the quality of your driveways here.

Cost and installation

Block paving is almost always more expensive than tarmac, not only because the blocks themselves can be a little more on the pricier side to purchase, but also as a result of the cost of installation. Whilst tarmac can be installed very easily, after being laid down, it has a quick drying time, block paving however is far more time consuming. Issues with this surfacing arise only with small or unusually shaped areas of a driveway, which may require smaller machinery in order to reach.  Unlike tarmac you are unable to overlay block paving over another surface, so the process has to start with prep to ensure there are stable foundations, before laying down each brick individually in the desired interlocking pattern finished with kiln dried sand brushed into the joints. The overall process can take a few days depending on the size of the driveway or patio being worked on. 

Repair 

Repair for block paving can often be easily restored when damaged, as the individual tiles can be removed and replaced quite efficiently. Tarmac paving can also be repaired without too much hassle via a process called “tarmacadam”, in which new tarmac is poured over the cracked or damaged old surface to close up any gaps and smooth over the area in question. The time required for the reparations varies, if the area of damage is only small then block paving may only require exchanging a few blocks, the larger the area the more time consuming block paving would be. Tarmacadam however, resurfaces the entire area no matter the size of damage, so the time would remain consistent and fairly speedy regardless of the amount of repairs needed.

Look

The look of either surface is completely down to personal preference, tarmac offers a uniformity with the road, and has a clean and simple appearance. Block paving on the other hand generally has a more refined look as it has a range of styles and blocks to choose from. More freedom comes with the surface to match the design of the house, or colours and textures to the surrounding area creating more of a cohesive feel and enabling you to achieve a particular desired look. Ultimately there is always the option to combine the two in opting for a tarmac drive with a paving decoration. For advice or more information about which surface would best suit your driveway contact us for a quote, or call a member of our team on 01952 840 838.  
Published: March 2021

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
09.12.2020
One of the most popular driveway surface options available is block paving, as it’s a durable surface material that provides a cost-effective way to really enhance the look of your home. If you’re wondering how to go about looking after and cleaning your block paving in the best way, we’ve got some advice right here for you.

The basics of cleaning block paving

  • Use a quality broom and a strong detergent to clean the block paving
  • It’s a good idea to use weed preventative, simply apply it between the joints of the paving to keep your driveway looking its best.
  • If you decide to use a power washer, make sure you angle it at thirty degrees and spray diagonally on a medium pressure.
  • Ensure you always rinse away any cleaning products you’ve used on the paving. And consider re-sanding or re-pointing any joints if needed.

What about stains and spillages?

Different stains and spillages can unfortunately occur on your driveway surface, and they require different treatments. When treating a spillage or stain, it’s important that you carry the application of the treatment out on a small section of the affected area to begin with. And of course ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Focus on establishing the source of any staining that you notice. For example, the rust on iron gutters, and take steps to repair it sooner rather than later. Taking action early will help you to avoid further staining and possible damage to your paving. 

Treating the paving with chemicals and acids

When it comes to treating your block paving with chemicals or acids, it’s important that you:
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Make sure you have sufficient ventilation when using any chemicals.
  • Use extra care to avoid damaging or staining adjoining material.
  • Remember to always add acid to water and not the other way around when diluting any acids.
  • Safely dispose of any clothing that has been stained with chemicals. 
  • Always keep the operating area as safe as possible, ensuring there are no hazards for those working in the surrounding area.
  • Dispose of any excess run off material.

Block paving maintenance

A general clean can work wonders for maintaining your block paving. As mentioned, simply use a good quality broom and a good detergent followed by the application of a proprietary weed preventative. As this helps to restrict the ingress of weeds between joints, which can affect the paving’s long-term durability. Also, make sure that you thoroughly rinse the surface after using any cleaning products, and channel the run-off to suitable drainage points. When cleaning, inspect the integrity of all the paving joints, and re-sand or re-point any damaged joints if necessary. We’ll be more than happy to offer you our advice and/or ideas and work with you to plan and design the perfect surface for your driveway. Our friendly experts can visit your property and provide you with a free quotation - feel free to contact us with your requirements on 01952 840 838 or [email protected]
Published: December 2020

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
14.12.2018
We’ve talked about how to best deal with snow and ice on your driveway this winter, but what if your driveway could handle the snow and ice on it’s own? What if you didn’t even have to leave the house to shovel or sprinkle salt? This is where a heated driveway comes in. A heated driveway may seem like a little bit of an extravagant luxury, but if you happen to live in a part of the UK that frequently gets icy, or has some snowfall, then the potential benefits could save you time and money.

How exactly does a heated driveway work?

As the name suggests, a heated driveway can essentially keep its concrete surface at just the right temperature to melt any ice or falling snow. There are actually two variations of heating systems that are used for this type of driveway. One uses an electrical current, which works in a similar way to underfloor heating, to generate heat. The other method involves the use of tubes, which pump antifreeze water under the surface of the driveway.

So, what are the benefits of a heated driveway?

  • Your driveway will be much safer to walk on in winter, and the risk of you or someone else slipping and falling on any ice will be eliminated.
  • You’ll be able to avoid accidentally chipping or scraping the surface of your driveway, because you won’t need to use a shovel or ice pick.
  • You won’t need to use any salt or de-icer on particularly icy or snow covered areas of your driveway. Since these can have damaging effects to the surface and to any nearby vegetation, minimising their use is very beneficial.
  • You’ll be able to prevent further long-term damage to the surface, as there will be less moisture left on the driveway to seep through any cracks.
  • You won’t have to spend a lot on maintenance costs, as typically once a heated driveway is installed, there’ll be nothing else required to run it for many years.
Whether or not you want to install a heated driveway is of course entirely down to you. Keep in mind that you will have to remove your existing driveway in order to install the system. At Premier Surfacing, our highly trained operatives, plant operators and supervisors are dedicated to helping you get your dream driveway, so feel free to check out our range of paving services. Or for more information, contact us today on 01952 840 838.
Published: December 2018

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
03.04.2018
When it comes to choosing the right kind of surface for your driveway, block paving is one of the best options. Not only is it cost-effective and environmentally sustainable, block paving is also incredibly versatile. There are a number of styles and patterns that can be used, ranging from a mixed colour design to intricate layers. As block paving specialists, we have plenty of experience with creating bespoke driveways, so we’ve come up with a list of five designs to consider:

Basket weave

The basket weave is one of the most common and simplistic patterns. It’s best suited to a driveway with a long, straight edge and there’s little cutting involved. Different colours can be utilised with the basket weave design for a more eye-catching style.

Herringbone at 90 degrees

Considered the easiest form of block paving to put down, this specific type of herringbone pattern is laid at a 90 degree angle. The paving is installed through the use of a straight-edged timber rail. This method also allows for half a block to be used each time, meaning you’ll be able to use anything that’s leftover.

Herringbone at 45 degrees

This is the most difficult kind of pattern to install, due to the angle. Unlike the 90 degree variant, the 45 degrees uses up an entire block when it’s put down. This leaves a lot of waste behind. The first few blocks need to be correctly lined up so the pattern direction is straight.

Mixed colour

A good way of achieving a unique driveway is by mixing different coloured blocks together. You could have a darker block to offset a brighter one, providing an interesting contrast. A multi-coloured pattern works with a herringbone and standard design.

Diamond

One of the most intricate kind of block paving designs is a diamond pattern. If you’re looking to be creative, then there are plenty of variations to choose from with diamond block paving. The colour of the diamond is usually the same colour as the border paving. This is done to showcase the specific shape and make the driveway stand out. At Premier Surfacing, our experienced staff are on hand to work with you every step of the way to make sure you have the right kind of block paving. We cover a range of areas, including Staffordshire, Cheshire and Stoke. For more information call us on 01952 840 838.
Published: April 2018

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
09.02.2018
The material you use for the surface of your driveway can have a big impact on its overall appearance and practicality. Block paving and resin are popular materials, though there are less conventional substances that can make your driveway stand out. For example, a cellular paving system is ideal if you want to allow grass to grow and reduce flooding problems for certain organisms. But what kind of materials are used in a cellular paving system?

What is a cellular paving system?

The system is an eco-friendly option that combines plastic, gravel and grass together. They usually come in a hexagonal cell mesh that’s placed over an existing surface to provide a protective and environmentally sustainable layer. Once the mesh has been put down, the cells can be filled with soil or compost to facilitate a green atmosphere. There are a variety of cellular paving systems available.

How is the system constructed?

Construction methods will differ depending on the system, but there’s a similar pattern to follow. Foliage and topsoil needs to be removed to an exact depth and made level. Some systems may require a composite membrane to be put down, aiding drainage and ensuring that roots don’t go too far down. The sub-base should be a porous material and the laying course is likely to be grit sand to support the cellular structure.

What are the advantages?

A major advantage of a cellular system is that they are more environmentally friendly compared to hard surface driveways. As the mesh retains water it’s less likely for it to run straight into the drain, reducing the risk of flooding. A byproduct is that plant life will grow and create a more attractive driveway. A cellular paving system helps to prevent the loss of microhabitats for insects and the local bird population. As insects are a main food source, birds are more likely to gravitate to areas that have the system in place. Another advantage involves a cellular system not heating up in the summer compared to a regular driveway. As a result, it won’t release heat and contribute to the warming of the atmosphere. Cellular paving systems are becoming more popular due the ease of which they can be installed. At Premier Surfacing, we offer a range of services that can help to get your ideal driveway. Contact us today for a quote and more information.
Published: February 2018

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
16.01.2018
Having a good-quality patio or driveway can make your home more visually appealing. The right kind of surfacing material can complement your property, whether its having a patio in your back garden or another kind of structure. One of the best materials is block paving, made from concrete and clay. The blocks can be laid in detailed patterns and shaped to individual taste. There are various advantages to block paving and we’re listing five benefits.

Versatility

The versatility of block paving makes it an excellent material to use. Coming in a range of styles and colours, block paving can be customised to your own specifications. Different designs and shapes can be formed, further adding to the appeal of the material.  

Environmentally sustainable

Compared to other surfacing materials, block paving is more environmentally sustainable because of its porous nature. This means the paving will absorb rainwater and stop it from gathering on your patio or driveway. The added benefit is that the surface area will have better drainage.  

Low maintenance

Another advantage of block paving is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance because of what the material is made from. All you’ll have to do is apply soap and water to keep it clean. Block paving is also durable enough to withstand all kinds of weather.  

Durability

Due to its durability, block paving is a long-lived material. Block paving is durable enough to withstand the pressure of an airplane, which is why it’s a common material at airports. You can drive your car over it many times and it won’t suffer from any wear and tear. Also, block paving is highly resistant to most chemicals, oils, salts and frosts.  

Visual appeal

With the variety of styles on offer, block paving is guaranteed to improve the appearance of your home. There’s the option to use a simplistic design, or go for something more intricate. If you’re planning to sell the property in future, then a clean, well-maintained driveway will add value, highlighting another advantage of block paving. At Premier Surfacing, we offer a bespoke block paving service that adheres to the requirements of relevant British and European standards. With a range of products and styles on offer, we’ll work with you to make sure you find the right kind of design. Be sure to contact us on 01952 840 838.
Published: January 2018

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
26.10.2017
One of the most frequent questions we receive is whether block paving or pattern imprinted concrete is the right choice for patios and driveways. And of course the answer depends entirely on the project. To give a clearer picture of whether block paving or imprinted concrete is the right choice for your residential property, here’s an overview of both materials.  

Durability

Both offer the same amount of durability but because pattern imprinted concrete is monolithic it will not sink which is what can happen with block paving if a suitable sub base is not installed, or low quality slabs are used. However, the sealant on pattern imprinted concrete can deteriorate more quickly than usual if it sees a significant amount of traffic.  

Maintenance & Repair

Pattern imprinted concrete does not suffer from weed, moss or grass growth as there’s no space for the matter to push through. However, this can happen with block paving due to the nature of the installation and the tiny gaps between the blocks. For this reason block paving requires more maintenance to keep it looking good. Pattern imprinted concrete simply needs resealing every few years. On the other hand, block paving is much easier to repair as individual blocks can be replaced if they become cracked or broken. Pattern imprinted concrete is much trickier to repair and it can be difficult to repair small areas without it being extremely obvious and ruining the overall aesthetic. So it can become quite expensive to repair if the whole area needs to be redone.  

Aesthetic Quality

It could be argued that block paving delivers a superior aesthetic however, the whole point of patterned imprinted concrete is to mimic the look of block paving so you’re going to end up with a similar standard whichever one you opt for. Both offer a range of designs, styles and colours to work with to create your perfect outdoor area. However, it does depend on who is installing the materials. Pattern imprinted concrete can look inferior if not aligned properly.  

Environmental Issues

Because block paving can be provided as a permeable option, it requires no additional drainage and will comply with planning regulations that relate to front gardens and resurfacing. However, because pattern imprinted concrete is non-permeable, it does need proper drainage solutions to comply with planning regulations.  

Price

Price is a deciding factor for lots of people so it’s good to know which is the most cost-effective option to consider. It’s generally considered that pattern imprinted concrete is the cheaper option but it depends on the size and scale of the project. Contact us at premier Surfacing to get a quote, we’re block paving specialists and can also create beautiful pattern imprinted concrete driveways for you.
Published: October 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
22.08.2017
Everybody wants to achieve that perfect looking house. Taking pride in your home is something that we can all relate to. Whether it’s because we want to live in luxury and comfort, or we see our home as an investment, making the most of our home can be done in a number of ways. Most focus on the kitchen and bathroom; two rooms which are integral to any home, but what about the exterior of the home? The outside can be just as important as the inside. After all, first impressions count and the first thing people see when they approach your house is the outside. Increasing the overall aesthetic of the exterior of your home, whilst increasing the value of your property can be achieved in a really simple and easy way - block paving. Block paving is a popular choice with homeowners but has the benefit of providing a unique and distinctive finish so every home doesn’t look the same. Here are just a few ways block paving can benefit and add value to your property.

Enhancing The Appearance of Your Home

Block paving is one of the most attractive types of paving homes can have. It comes in a variety of different styles to create a bespoke pattern and finish to complement every individual home. A well-designed block paving driveway provides a fantastic approach to your home and enhances the kerb appeal which is essential for potential buyers.

Cost and Time-Effective

Adding value to your home can be extremely costly. For example, the average cost of a new kitchen in the UK is around £7,000 and if you don’t have that kind of spare cash lying around it can become pretty difficult to achieve. Plus, it can be a lengthy process to remodel. Block paving is a much more cost-effective and time efficient way to add value to your home, without having any internal disruption.

Convenient Off-road Parking

Parking can be the bane of many homeowners existence but by installing a block paving driveway you instantly create secure, off-road parking. Any potential buyers will see this as a massive advantage compared with other properties which means you can bump up the asking price.

Block Paving Specialists

Here at Premier Surfacing, we are block paving specialists who have transformed many driveways with different patterns and designs, including both traditional and contemporary styles. All of our block paving work adheres to the requirements of relevant British and European standards, to which the need for any rectification and rework is minimised. We use only the best materials on the market: Marshalls, Blockleys and Brett and all blocks are made to the British Standard 6717/6677. If you’re looking for block paving specialists to improve the look of your driveway and the overall appearance of the exterior of your home, contact us at Premier Surfacing.  
Published: August 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
24.04.2017
Block paving is perhaps one of the most versatile, long-term and cost-effective methods of surfacing your driveway or garden. Whether you want your home’s exterior to look simplistic, elegant or quirky, the possibilities are endless when it comes to block paving designs. Need some inspiration? Here are a few block paving designs to consider:

Break Tradition

If you’d like to embrace traditional patterns but you’re keen to put a unique spin on your driveway, consider using bricks that break the mould. The wavy bricks pictured below could be perfect for those looking to create a simple design with a softer feel.

Make a Statement

If you want your garden or driveway to stand out from the rest, why not use your block paving to make a statement? You could cover the majority of the surface in neutral bricks before creating a contemporary focal point like the design pictured below. If you’re adding a contemporary design like this to your garden, you could even place a table and chairs in the centre and plant pots all around the edges of your garden. If you fancy being a little more adventurous, you could go crazy and treat the surface like one giant mosaic. We love the design below as it reminds us of Gaudi’s mosaics in Barcelona. If you have children, they’ll love running around the garden and following the crazy patterns until they’re dizzy. That’s one way to keep them occupied!

Experiment With Colour

While neutral colours can help you create a sophisticated look, adding a splash of colour can really add an original touch to your driveway. In the picture below, bright colours have been mixed with white and grey to create a quirky feel with lots of character. We love how none of the bricks in this picture are perfect, making them look old and worn. If you’re a fan of all things vintage, this could be the look for you. If you want to use colour in a more organised way, this design could be more to your taste. This one reminds us of a race track, making it perfect for running rings around your neighbours. Although the design below might not go down too well with the neighbours if it’s placed on your driveway, it shows just how much fun can be had with block paving. A playful design like this could work well if placed in your back garden, particularly if you break it up with flowers and plants while neutralising it a little with minimal or rustic accessories. Your surfacing company is likely to have a wide range of designs to choose from to suit every taste.  But, if you have your own idea in mind, let them know so that you can work together to plan the design.
Published: April 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire