What Is The Ideal Thickness For A Commercial Asphalt Parking Lot

What Is The Ideal Thickness For A Commercial Asphalt Parking Lot


What Is The Ideal Thickness For A Commercial Asphalt Parking Lot

  • 2022-10-21 18:50:32 /

Asphalt uses to pave roads and parking lots in Southern California. However, not all paved surfaces necessitate the same asphalt thickness.

A typical asphalt parking lot has three key structural components: a subgrade, asphalt thickness, and a drainage system. You should hire professional contractors to ensure proper compaction layering and asphalt thickness on the commercial parking lot.

Designing a parking lot's thickness depends on the subgrade's condition and quality, traffic type, and business conditions. However, most commercial owners and paving contractors frequently overlook critical elements of a parking lot, such as asphalt thickness, resulting in the ongoing need for maintenance and repairs.

What If Your Commercial Asphalt Parking Lot Is Too Thin?

The base layer beneath the surface course supports the weight of the parking lot's traffic vehicles. Proper asphalt thickness aids in spreading and distributing this weight for improved balance and functionality. Parking lots with thin asphalt, on the other hand, do not distribute the weight evenly and compress it all under the tire because of the uneven distribution and the immediate surface cracks due to too much weight.

Without proper maintenance and repair services, fatigue cracks will extend and grow larger, causing the parking lot surface to fail sooner than expected.

So, How Thick Should A Commercial Parking Lot's Asphalt Be?

The thickness of the subgrade course and the paved surface course correlates to the parking lot's functionality, reliability, and durability. As previously stated, the precise calculation of what level of thickness is best will depend on the subgrade soil quality and the type of traffic expected at your facility. Heavy trucks, for example, weigh more than small cars on asphalt parking lots.

Some contractors will layer the surface with aggregate and asphalt, while others will apply a full-depth asphalt layer after compaction of the subgrade. In either case, the parking lot surface must be built on top of a solid, dependable, and supportive subgrade in good condition.

The Thickness Of The Commercial Asphalt Parking Lot

The surface course of a light-duty parking lot should be at least 4 inches thick, with full-depth asphalt on top of an excellent subgrade layer.

For parking lot traffic involving heavy-duty vehicles such as loading docks, trucks, or roadways, the asphalt should be 10 to 12 inches thick for a poor subgrade and 6 inches thick for an excellent subgrade.

Commercial Parking Lots: Heavy Duty vs. Light Duty

  • A full-depth asphalt light-duty commercial parking lot will require a layer of asphalt approximately 4 inches thick on a solid and practical subgrade.

  • For a heavy-duty commercial parking lot with a full-depth asphalt layer, apply the asphalt layer 6 to 7.5 inches thick on a fine subgrade.

  • Should apply a 3-inch thick asphalt layer on top of a 6-inch aggregate base for a light-duty commercial parking lot with an aggregate base.

  • A heavy-duty commercial parking lot with an aggregate base will require a 6-inch layer of asphalt mix on top of a 3-inch layer of aggregate base.

It recommends that a commercial parking lot designed with aggregate base and hot-mix asphalt have a thickness of at least 9 inches. Calculate the aggregate-to-asphalt ratio based on the amount and type of traffic your company anticipates.

Use thicker base and asphalt layers for substantial, heavy traffic to create a firm surface course that can support a heavy roller truck driving over it without leaving tracks for the best experience. Furthermore, some parking lot areas with high traffic, such as entry and exit points, may require thicker asphalt than others.

Why is the thickness of a commercial asphalt parking lot important?

When customers or clients arrive at your business, the first thing they see is your parking lot. It serves as a welcome sign and represents your company's brand, appearance, and level of customer service.

A clean, sturdy, and well-kept parking lot gives a good impression of your company and communicates how established and up-to-date it is. It boosts your brand's reputation and brings in more customers for your business.

A well-maintained thick asphalt parking lot makes a good first impression on customers and ensures the safety and functionality of clients and customers who access the property. Potholes, cracks, and depressions form quickly when a parking lot has a poor paved surface with insufficient thickness. These can increase the likelihood of accidents, resulting in decreased business and even lawsuits.

Finally, an improperly thickened commercial asphalt parking lot cannot withstand the weight of light and heavy-duty vehicles parked on it. The weight causes breakdowns and surface damage soon after installation or repair, whereas a good asphalt surface should last up to 20 years or more.

To ensure a positive customer experience and safe traffic, you should invest in appropriate asphalt materials and skilled contractors. Skimping on the thickness of your commercial parking lot will result in a poor business reputation and increased recurring maintenance costs.


Give the parking lot the same consideration and attention as the business building. It is usually your clients' first and last impression and experience with your facility. And while many business owners fail to recognize it, the state of the commercial parking lot can make or break the flow and functionality of the business.

The quantity and type of asphalt used in the parking lot should meet the proper thickness specifications. GTAcrete professionals understand what it takes to design and maintain your lot, even in adverse weather conditions. Contact us now if you need help with your next asphalt parking lot maintenance.


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