The Basics of Oil and Stone Driveway Installation: What You Need to Know

The Basics of Oil and Stone Driveway Installation: What You Need to Know

An oil and stone driveway, sometimes referred to as a tar and chip driveway, isn't just a path to your home but an elegant statement of style and durability. Beyond its rustic charm, there are practical reasons homeowners might opt for an oil and stone driveway installation over other materials.

The Materials Used


Central to the process, a specific type of oil acts as the binding agent for the stones. This isn't just any oil but one engineered to withstand elements, ensuring the stones stay in place. The quality of this oil significantly determines the driveway's longevity and appearance. 


The selection of stones is equally critical. Not just for the aesthetics, but also for the durability of the driveway:

  • BlueStone offers a classic, rugged look.
  • Natural Pea Gravel adds a touch of coastal Long Island.
  • Brown and red gravel provide a warm, inviting tone.

It's worth noting that the size of the stones can affect both the appearance and durability of the driveway. Larger stones provide a distinct look but may be less comfortable for walking, while smaller stones create a smoother surface.

Preparation of the Site

Clearing and Excavation

Before the oil and stone driveway installation begins, the site must be prepared. It's not just about clearing the ground but ensuring the correct depth, especially considering the weight and frequency of vehicle usage.

Grading and Compaction

Next, grading ensures proper water drainage, which is vital to prevent pooling and subsequent damage. State-of-the-art tools and machinery are employed, laying the foundation for a well-constructed driveway.

The Installation Process

Applying the Oil

Applying the oil is a step requiring precision. The goal is an even application, ensuring optimal absorption, so the stones adhere firmly. Too little oil, and the stones may not bind; too much, and you risk a messy outcome.

Laying the Stone

Once the oil layer is set, the stones are spread over it. Expert techniques ensure the stones are distributed evenly, maintaining a consistent depth across the driveway.

Compaction and Setting

Heavy machinery then compacts the stones into the oil, ensuring they're set firmly in place. Patience is key here, as a newly laid oil and stone driveway will need some time to set before it's ready to bear the weight of vehicles.

Maintenance and Longevity

Regular Maintenance Tips

An oil and stone driveway is relatively low maintenance. To keep it looking pristine:

  • Regular sweeping and raking keeps loose stones in check.
  • Regular sweeping and raking keeps loose stones in check.
  • Avoiding harsh chemicals ensures the integrity of the oil and stone bond.

Potential Issues and Remedies

Like any driveway, wear and tear can lead to issues such as loose stones or even potholes. Fortunately, the modular nature of this driveway type means targeted repairs are often possible without redoing the entire driveway.


Beyond Just Oil and Stone Driveways

While we pride ourselves on our expertise in oil and stone driveway installation, PALERMO PAVING is versatile in all manner of hardscape improvements. From patios to walkways, our experienced team is adept at transforming landscapes.

Our Commitment to Excellence

At PALERMO PAVING, our commitment isn't just to quality materials but also to exceptional craftsmanship. Our seasoned professionals bring years of experience, ensuring each project, whether large or small, meets our stringent standards of excellence.


The rustic charm and durability of an oil and stone driveway make it a fantastic choice for many homeowners. However, like any significant home improvement, the final result is only as good as the professionals you hire.

Choose PALERMO PAVING for Your Next Project

Ready to transform your property? Whether it's an oil and stone driveway installation or another hardscape enhancement, trust in the expertise of PALERMO PAVING. Contact us today for a no-obligation quote and see how we can make your vision come to life.

About the Author PALERMO PAVING

PALERMO PAVING is a family-owned-and-operated Long Island paving company. As such, we have a vested interest in our work. This translates into your paving project being done correctly and professionally. We pride ourselves in our expertise in paving, as well as our dedication to honesty and treating all customers with the care they deserve.

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