Asphalt Paving Thickness — What Do You Recommend in Houston? In many construction trades, it is possible to give definitive answers that are applicable for most jobs in a specific city. For example, Houston roofers know that plywood roof decking must be no less than 5/8 of an inch, but the minimum thickness in San Francisco is 3/8 of an inch. However, asphalt paving contractors have to do a little more work to determine how thick to make your new pavement. They need to analyze the soil at your building site, gather information from you about how the pavement will be used, and discuss the type of mix you want installed.

Asphalt Paving Thickness – What Do You Recommend in Houston?

How Does Soil Affect Asphalt Paving Thickness?

Asphalt pavements have three basic sections. The top section contains one or more layers of asphalt. The middle section is the foundation supporting the asphalt layers. The bottom section is the soil, which is also known as the subgrade. The contractor must be able to achieve proper compaction of the subgrade to deliver a strong, stable pavement. As any experienced Houston asphalt company can tell you, there are several types of soil that can be encountered within the city limits that encompass more than 635 square miles. Soil types include sand, clay shales, and unconsolidated clay. If the soil contains primarily sand, gravel, or rocks, it is usually possible to compact it sufficiently. However, clays and other soft soils can make proper compaction impossible. An asphalt company in Houston will typically address problem subgrades by constructing an aggregate subbase, and this can affect the asphalt thickness.

How Does a Pavement’s Intended Use Affect the Thickness of Asphalt Paving?

Your asphalt company will design a pavement that has the strength and flexibility to deliver excellent results when subjected to the loads you expect. For example, an asphalt paving company hired to build a residential driveway that will be used to park two passenger vehicles will not make the asphalt as thick as would be needed for a pavement that is used by 200 fully loaded trucks every day. A driveway usually does not need more than two or three inches of asphalt thickness, but a parking lot for heavyweight trucks will need to have an asphalt thickness of up to eight inches. Certainly, an asphalt paving company could simply make all pavements, including residential driveways, with an asphalt thickness of six or eight inches, but that would be a waste of natural resources and the customer’s money. However, if the asphalt is not thick enough, it will quickly develop cracks and other damage from being overloaded.

How Does the Asphalt Mix Affect the Desired Thickness of the Pavement?

There are various asphalt mixes available, so you want to be sure that you choose an experienced contractor to perform your paving services. One key factor that can influence mix selection is the type and size of the aggregates to be used in the mix. Typically, the asphalt layer needs to be at least three times as thick as the aggregate. However, if you want your pavement to provide a smooth, quiet ride without sacrificing strength, your contractor may recommend that you use an asphalt mix with large aggregates for the lower layers, then use a different mix with small aggregates for the surface layer.

Let Marathon Solutions Group Guide You

Whether you need asphalt paving or asphalt milling for an existing pavement, or other paving services, Marathon Solutions can help. We have over 15 years of experience, and we are very knowledgeable about everything from construction to routine maintenance. Our paving services include asphalt repairs and paving, asphalt sealcoating, asphalt milling, parking lot striping, thermoplastic markings, concrete installation, concrete repairs, asphalt resurfacing, bollard installation, marking removal, parking lot signage, and asphalt crack repair. We are committed to giving every customer the highest-quality work and service possible. For a free quote, fill out the online form, give us a call at 800-879-1147, or email us at