Gravel driveways have many benefits over a conventional paved driveway. For instance, gravel driveways are cheaper to put in and are additionally permeable—making them extra environmentally pleasant whereas additionally serving to to stop drainage issues.
From commonplace drainage crushed gravel to pure pea gravel to elegant marble chips, there are a stunning variety of supplies to select from when forming a gravel driveway. The one drawback? With so many choices obtainable, selecting the best one will be complicated. This information digs deep into gravel driveways and identifies components to contemplate when planning a brand new gravel driveway. We additionally present an inventory of a few of the greatest forms of driveway gravel and the place to search out them.
- BEST OVERALL: Quikrete 50 lb. All-Function Gravel
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Vigoro Bagged Pea Gravel Pebbles
- BEST AESTHETICS: Vigoro Bagged River Pebbles
- BEST CRUSHED STONE: Southwest Boulder & Stone 30 cu ft Decomposed Granite
- BEST UPGRADE: Vigoro Bagged Marble Chips
What to Think about When Shopping for the Finest Gravel for Driveways
Whereas selecting between crushed stone and naturally shaped gravel is essential when deciding on the appropriate materials, there are a couple of further components to contemplate, together with the gravel’s sturdiness, drainage, form, and coloration. Maintain studying to study extra about these attributes of driveway gravel.
Varieties of Gravel
Gravel is out there in two predominant varieties: crushed stone and naturally shaped gravel. Per its title, crushed stone is created by taking bigger items of stone or rock and crushing it into smaller items. The crushing course of sometimes provides the items a white or grey coloration.
Naturally shaped gravel, compared, consists of pure stone that has been formed from the pure erosion of bigger rocks (some gravel is shaped in a stream or riverbed). Pure gravel is available in quite a lot of differing types, starting from river rock to pea gravel.
Pure gravel, resembling pea gravel, has a rounded form and easy texture. Due to this, it’s extra more likely to migrate out of the driveway when a automotive rolls over it. As such, pure gravel driveways usually want edging to maintain the gravel within the driveway.
Crushed stone sometimes has irregular sizes, a tough texture, and angular edges which might be created throughout the crushing course of. This enables the person items of stone to interlock with one another, stopping them from shifting as visitors rolls over the driveway. As such, crushed stone requires much less upkeep and refreshing than pure stone.
One of many benefits of going with a gravel or stone driveway versus a stable concrete or macadam (tar and chip) floor is that gravel presents higher drainage. That stated, various kinds of gravel drain higher than others. Bigger gravel that’s 1 inch or extra in diameter creates gaps between the rocks. These gaps enable water to simply cross by way of, leading to higher drainage. Smaller gravel that’s lower than 3/4 of an inch in diameter or that has a major quantity of mud combined in it’s going to compact extra simply than gravel with bigger chunks, creating fewer gaps for the water to cross by way of.
Form and Shade of Gravel
Gravel is available in many shapes and colours that impression the aesthetics of your private home. Whereas crushed stone could also be extra purposeful than pure gravel, its drab, grey coloration provides a utilitarian look that may detract from a house’s curb attraction. There are some crushed stone merchandise, resembling marble chips, which might be extra engaging; nonetheless, they’re significantly dearer.
With its rounded shapes and earth tones, pure stone resembling pea gravel and river rock is extra engaging than crushed gravel, which is why it’s usually additionally utilized in landscaping functions.
Quantity of Gravel
For many driveways, a depth of 4 inches is satisfactory for a brand new set up. Most gravel retailers promote gravel in cubic toes. To find out what number of cubic toes are wanted, measure the size and width of the driveway to find out its whole space in sq. toes. Divide that end result by 3 to get the correct quantity for the depth, since 4 inches is 1/3 of a foot. The result’s the amount of gravel wanted to cowl the realm in cubic toes.
Suggestions for Utilizing the Finest Gravel for Driveways
When laying down a brand new gravel driveway, it’s essential to observe a couple of essential tips to get the most effective outcomes. One of many cons of a gravel driveway is having to take care of pesky weeds. Earlier than laying down a driveway, take into account including a weed barrier to assist stop weed progress. It should prevent time killing weeds afterward.
When putting in gravel, take a layered method. A gravel driveway ought to include a base layer of 6-inch stones. From there use not less than another layer of two.5- to 3-inch stones earlier than including the highest layer. Layers guarantee a longer-lasting driveway and higher drainage.
To keep up your driveway, periodically rake it to even out any inconsistencies which will kind when driving over it and to take away leaves, sticks, and different particles that may mar its look. You can too set up gravel stabilizers earlier than laying the gravel to stop it from migrating.
- Set up a weed barrier earlier than laying the gravel
- Use base layers of bigger gravel to enhance sturdiness and drainage
- Set up gravel stabilizers to stop the gravel from migrating
Our Prime Picks
The record beneath options a few of the greatest driveway rock in the marketplace. It contains gravel that gives optimum stability and glorious drainage qualities, in addition to a few of the most visually engaging choices.
A mixture of colours that give it a pure look coupled with its small measurement and easy rounded really feel makes Quikrete All-Function Gravel among the finest decisions for these putting in a gravel driveway. The small measurement of the pebbles creates a fair floor that’s each straightforward to stroll and drive on whereas nonetheless permitting for glorious drainage.
This Quikrete gravel is extra engaging than crushed stone choices, and its small, irregularly formed items assist hold it in place. Because of this, as soon as it’s packed down, visitors gained’t be as more likely to push this gravel off the driveway, though putting in edging to maintain it in place remains to be a good suggestion.
- Measurement: ⅜ inch
- Texture: Clean
- Kind: Pure
- Engaging look
- Drains nicely
- Smaller stones are simpler to put
- Smaller items may migrate
As pea gravel goes, this product from Vigoro is on the bigger finish with items ranging in measurement from ½ inch as much as 1½ inches. The combination of various sizes helps this pea gravel bind collectively higher than pea gravel that consists of smaller stones. This implies Vigoro pea gravel is much less liable to being pushed round by visitors (although mixing in a little bit little bit of sand as a binder remains to be a good suggestion to enhance stability). This product is each purposeful and delightful, with its totally different shades of brown and off-white.
- Measurement: ½ to 1½ inches
- Texture: Clean
- Kind: Pure
- Bigger stone sizes give it higher stability
- Brown earth tones add aesthetics
- Gives good drainage
- Dearer than different gravel choices
Most river rock merely isn’t appropriate for driveways. The stones are too massive and rounded in form to create an appropriate floor for driving or strolling. However, for individuals who are in love with the thought of a river rock driveway, Vigoro Bagged River Pebbles are an awesome answer. This gravel consists of river rocks, or relatively pebbles, which might be between 1 and three inches in measurement. That’s sufficiently small to compact right into a kind that gained’t flip ankles or trigger tires to slide.
As for aesthetics, this river rock is tough to high. Its multicolored tones create a pure look. It additionally occurs to be one of the crucial costly gravel varieties.
- Measurement: 1 to three inches
- Texture: Clean
- Kind: Pure
- Stunning pure look
- Wonderful drainage
- Smaller pebbles compact nicely
- Not as uniform a floor as different gravels
Decomposed granite is just like gravel, nevertheless it’s a lot finer—making it one of many extra secure gravel surfaces for a driveway. True to its title, decomposed granite is created from the pure weathering of granite stone. It consists of a lot smaller items that vary from ⅜ inch right down to the dimensions of a grain of sand. This small measurement permits the items to compact down right into a agency floor that’s practically as secure as concrete. It is available in quite a lot of totally different earth tones, making it straightforward to coordinate with a house’s exterior.
Though it’s permeable, the compacted items don’t enable water to cross by way of in addition to bigger gravel, which may trigger drainage points. Since some particles are as nice as sand, they will additionally persist with sneakers, permitting it to be tracked into the house or a automotive’s inside.
- Measurement: ⅜ inch and underneath
- Texture: Tough
- Kind: Pure
- Compacts simply
- Creates a secure floor for strolling and driving
- Quite a few coloration choices
- Doesn’t drain in addition to different gravel
- Small particles can persist with sneakers
Marble brings magnificence to bogs and kitchens, so it ought to come as no shock that among the finest methods to make a driveway stunning is by making it out of marble chips. This gravel from Vigoro consists of marble chips that vary from brilliant glowing white to mild grey. And, in contrast to different merchandise which have smaller chips, this gravel measures about 2 inches in diameter, making it massive sufficient to withstand migrating underneath visitors. Getting that refined look isn’t low-cost, although. Like marble counter tops and sinks, these marble chips are costly.
- Measurement: 2 inches to 4 inches
- Texture: Jagged
- Kind: Crushed
- Elegant look
- Drains nicely
- Bigger stones are extra secure
Sturdy and fairly priced, Quikrete 50 lb. All-Function Gravel is an inexpensive and engaging possibility for a gravel driveway. In case your coronary heart is ready on a river rock driveway, take into account Vigoro Bagged River Pebbles for its pure look and superior drainage qualities.
How We Selected the Finest Gravel for Driveways
Selecting the most effective gravel for a driveway is known as a steadiness between kind and performance. Whereas crushed gravel, with its tough texture and angular form that permits it to interlock and resist erosion, is extra sturdy and purposeful, its grey coloration isn’t notably engaging. As compared, pure stone, with its rounded edges and easy texture, is superior aesthetically however is well pushed round by visitors. In making our choices, we selected crushed stone merchandise that had been the perfect measurement and form to create a sturdy driveway. We additionally chosen pure stone merchandise that may add to a house’s aesthetics whereas nonetheless being purposeful sufficient to carry out nicely on a driveway.
Nonetheless have questions? Learn on for solutions to a few of the mostly requested questions on gravel driveways.
Q. What measurement gravel is greatest for driveways?
Gravel sizes differ considerably, particularly when looking for pure gravel. Select gravel that’s round 3/4 of an inch in diameter. This measurement stone is massive sufficient to create a agency base for automobiles whereas leaving sufficient gaps between the stones to permit water to cross by way of for good drainage.
Q. Is pea gravel good for a driveway?
A pea gravel driveway doesn’t operate as nicely as a result of the stones are typically smaller and rounded, which permits them to maneuver round extra. Even so, pea gravel is a extra engaging possibility than commonplace grey gravel. It’s greatest when used as a skinny layer over a extra secure base of crushed gravel.
Q. What depth ought to gravel be for a driveway?
Gravel ought to include a base layer that’s about 6 inches thick with a floor layer that’s about 2 inches thick.
Q. Can I add cement to driveway gravel?
Whereas it’s attainable to put cement over current gravel, it’s normally not a good suggestion, because the gravel used for a driveway consists of smaller rocks than the kind of gravel used as a base for a cement pad.
Q. Can I stroll on pea gravel?
That is determined by what’s in your toes. If carrying sneakers, crushed gravel offers a extra secure base than pea gravel, which is extra more likely to transfer underneath your toes. In naked toes, pea gravel is way more bearable because the stones are small, spherical, and easy versus tough and jagged.
Q. How do I eliminate weeds and grass in a gravel driveway?
There are a couple of strategies you need to use. Fill a pump sprayer with white vinegar or an herbicide and recurrently spray the driveway. You can too dump boiling water on the weeds and even burn them with a propane torch. If weeds are a serious drawback, take into account fortifying the driveway with an extra layer of gravel.
Q. How do I stop my gravel driveway from sinking?
The easiest way to stop your gravel driveway from sinking is to make use of a number of layers when putting in it. The bottom layer ought to embrace bigger diameter rocks that may create a agency base for the smaller rocks above that won’t simply sink into the earth beneath.