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How Thick Should the Gravel Base Be Under an Asphalt Driveway?

By Randa Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017

Standard Asphalt Driveway

According to nationally syndicated newspaper columnist Tim Carter in his article "A Strong Asphalt Driveway," a standard asphalt driveway needs a sub-layer of crushed gravel between 8 and 12 inches deep.

Full Depth Asphalt Driveway

A full-depth asphalt driveway needs a sub-layer of gravel between 6 and 8 inches deep, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association. A full depth asphalt driveway requires that at least 3 inches of asphalt be laid over the gravel.

Bottom Line

According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, a full depth asphalt driveway is the best option. "We recommend full-depth asphalt for driveways," says Dave Newcomb, NAPA Vice President of Research and Technology. The NAPA also states that "Full-depth asphalt provides a better balance of strength and flexibility---plus durability."


About the Author


Randa Morris began her freelance career in 1994 as staff reporter for the "Ogemaw County Herald." She works as a full-time content producer for online and print publications. Her writing is often motivated by her work with adult and child trauma survivors. Morris received level two trauma certification from The National Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children.