The Ultimate Guide to Gravel: Pros, Cons, Types and Uses of Gravel

Gravel is one of the most versatile and affordable materials that you can use for your garden. It is a popular choice for both decorative and practical purposes, and can be used in a variety of ways to create different effects.

Whether you’re looking to add a new path to your garden or simply want to spruce up your existing landscaping, gravel is an excellent option. However, with so many different types of gravel available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your project.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about gravel, from the different types that are available to the best uses for each type. By the end of this guide, you’ll be an expert on all things gravel!

What is gravel?

Gravel is a type of small rock that is often used in construction and landscaping projects. It comes in different sizes, so it’s important to select the right size for your project.

Gravel can be made from a variety of materials, including limestone, granite, sandstone, and more. It can be used for driveways, paths, gardens – the possibilities are endless!

Gravel Sizes Categories

Gravel comes under different classifications, depending upon the particle size.

International Organization for Standardization ISO 14688:

  • Fine gravel: This is gravel that has a particle size larger than 2mm but equal or than 6.3mm (>2mm ≤ 6.3mm).
  • Medium gravel: This is gravel with a particle size that exceed 6.3mm but less or equal than 20mm (>6.3mm ≤ 20mm).
  • Coarse gravel: This is gravel with a particle size that are larger than 20mm but no more than 63mm (>20mm ≤ 63mm).

Udden-Wentworth scale:

  • Granule: 2mm to 4 mm (0.079-0.157 inches)
  • Pebbles: 4mm to 64 mm (0.2-2.5 inches) particles.
  • Cobblestones: 64mm to 256 mm (2.5–10.1 inches)
  • Boulders: Larger than 256 mm (10.1 inches).

As well as gravel for construction and building purposes, you also have decorative gravel. This is often chosen for its aesthetic appeal, its durability, and its low maintenance requirements. It’s also a great choice for projects that require a rugged texture or color.

The Different Types of Gravel

When it comes to gravel, there are many types to choose from. To help you make the best decision, we’ve outlined the different types of gravel below. Keep in mind that these types of gravel have different uses and benefits, so be sure to select the right one for your project. Here is a list of the different types of gravel:

Pea gravel:

pea garvel 1 The most common type of gravel, pea gravel is often used in landscaping and construction projects due to it’s versatility and low-cost. It’s made up of small, round rocks that are about the size of a peas. Pea gravel is easy to work with and doesn’t require much maintenance. Drains water very well and keeps areas clear and less muddy, which makes it an excellent choice for driveways and playgrounds.

Crushed stone:

Crushed stone is a good choice for areas that need a more durable surface. It’s made up of large pieces of rock that are crushed into smaller pieces ranging from ¾ to 4 inches in size, which makes it versatile and great for a range of projects.

River rock:

Perfect for areas that are water-sensitive or have water runoff. As well as it’s functional benefits, river rock is also very aesthetically pleasing, as well as easy to install and requires minimal maintenance. As good as river rock is, it is not the best choice for option for driveways or paths.

Marble Chips:

A popular choice for indoor and outdoor areas, as they offer a natural look and feel. reflective surface is one of their key features which helps reflect light to brighten up any area. The downside is that it is not a good choice for areas with plants, as it can reflect too much sunlight. Marble chips can also add salts and chemicals into the roots which can be bad for your plants.

Slate Gravel and Chips:

A more unique gravel, slate gravel and chips offer a beautiful natural look for any area. Slate is also very strong and durable, making it a good choice for areas that see high traffic or are subject to wear and tear. These decorative aggregates are very aesthetically pleasing, and look great when wet due to rainfall. Available in a variety of different colours such as grey, plum and blue, there is something for everybody’s taste and garden colour scheme.

What Can You Use Gravel For

Gravel can be used for a variety of purposes – from landscaping to driveways. Here are some ideas and uses for gravel.


Paths are a popular way to add visual interest to your landscaping. Not only do they look great, but they are also low-maintenance and easy to install. There are a variety of different types of gravel you can choose from, so find the one that best suits your needs and style. Gravel paths create an elegant appearance that is perfect for areas where visibility is important, such as front yards or gardens.


Driveways are a great way to improve the appearance of your home and increase the curb appeal. They are easy to install and maintain, and can last for years if taken care of properly. There are many different types of gravel available, so you can find the perfect look for your home. When it comes to choosing a driveway material, gravel is one of the best options on the market due to its affordability as well as durability. However, be sure to consult with a professional before installing it yourself. They will know exactly what kind of surface you need and how much gravel should be used in order not to damage your driveway or sidewalks.

Mulch Substitute

Mulching is an essential part of gardening and landscaping, as it helps to reduce the amount of soil lost through drainage and also prevents erosion. There are many different types of mulch available on the market, from bark chips to gravel. Gravel can be used as a great mulch substitute for a variety of reasons:

  • It helps with drainage.
  • Suppresses weed growth.
  • Comes in different colors.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to fit your needs.


Rockeries are a great way to add some visual interest to your garden while also helping with drainage and erosion. You can use different types of gravel to create different looks – for example, using pebbles of different colors can create a mosaic effect. Installing a rockery is relatively simple – just be sure to consult with a professional beforehand to make sure you are doing it correctly.

Decorative Borders and Edges

Decorative borders and edges can be a great way to add personality and interest to your garden. Be sure to use landscape fabric underneath the gravel so that it doesn’t get weed-filled, choose gravel in different colors for an added visual appeal, or even create unique borders by mixing gravel with other materials like stones or bricks. Gravel is also perfect for adding texture and interest to your landscaping; you could use it as the groundcover of a border around a bed of flowers, for example.

Water Drainage Solution

It is essential to have a water drainage solution that will effectively clear away all the water from your property. This can be done through various means, depending on the situation and location of your home or garden. One of the most popular uses for gravel is to line the bottom of a drainage ditch in order to direct runoff away from your foundation and home. Additionally, gravel can also be used as an effective soil amendment for redirecting runoff from downspouts towards plants instead of flooding nearby areas. Furthermore, by doing this you help reduce erosion and maintain healthier soils overall.

The benefits of using gravel

Gravel is an affordable, low-maintenance, and versatile material that has a lot of benefits for your landscape. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.

Reduces maintenance

This natural surface of gravel not only looks great, but it also reduces maintenance needs. You don’t have to worry about watering or mowing; in fact, gravel doesn’t need much care at all!


Drainage is an important part of garden maintenance and can be dealt with in a number of ways. One popular option is gravel, which not only helps to improve the drainage of potted plants but also provides quick relief from heavy rain or snowfall. Gravel absorbs water quickly and allows it to flow away freely – preventing pooling or flooding. This makes it perfect for areas that are prone to these kinds of conditions, such as patios and walkways.

Versatile and Inexpensive

Gravel is a versatile and affordable material that can be used for various purposes. Its installation is not too difficult, making it perfect for DIY enthusiasts. In addition to driveways, paths and landscaping, gravel can also be used in the construction of walls or fences. It is also available in different colors and sizes, making it the perfect choice for any specific needs.


Looking for a durable and affordable surface to decorate your home? Gravel is the perfect option! It’s strong and can withstand high traffic areas – making it the ideal choice for busy homes.


Security is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when building or renovating a home. Gravel offers security due to the crunching sound when people walk over it.

Easy to Lay

It is easy to lay yourself, is durable, and can be used for paths, driveways, ponds or as general landscaping material. This means you can have a go at tackling the project yourself instead of paying for expensive services.

Drought Resistant

This low-maintenance option doesn’t require a lot of water to keep in check, making it an excellent choice for landscaping in areas where rainfall is scarce. Furthermore, gravel has a long lifespan and can be reused multiple times – perfect for sustainability-minded homeowners or landscape designers!

Disadvantages To Using Gravel

When it comes to gravel, there are a few things to keep in mind. Although it has a ton of advantages, there are a few minor disadvantages.

  • It’s difficult to control the amount of coverage that it provides.
  • Some types of gravel is very loose and can be displaced and moved around easily.
  • Gravel can also be a pain to remove if you need to change your landscaping in the future.

How to choose the right type of gravel for your project

Gravel is an essential part of any garden, and for good reason – it can add beauty and function to any space. But how do you choose the right type of gravel for your project? Here are some tips and things to consider.

  • Choose a color that compliments your project. For example, black gravel can be dramatic while white gravel is more elegant. As well as plum and blue decorative aggregates to add a splash of colour.
  • Consider the size of the stones – they should be big enough to stay in place but small enough to drain easily.
  • Decide what type of gravel you need – pea gravel, crushed stone, or something else. This will all depend on the type of project you need the gravel for.
  • Price out different types of gravel before making a decision. Here at TW Aggregates we offer very competitive prices on our gravel and building supplies.

With these tips in mind, you’re on your way to choosing the perfect gravel for your garden!

How to calculate the correct quantity of gravel for your garden

It’s easy to calculate the correct quantity of gravel for your garden, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any professional help! All you will need is three different measurements:

  1. Length
  2. Width
  3. Depth

Simply take these measurements and enter them into our aggregates calculator that will tell you exactly how many bags you will need to order for your project. We also wrote a full guide on how much gravel do I need. So make sure to check out that post.

How To Clean Gravel

If you’re looking to add a bit of rustic charm to your garden, gravel is the perfect solution. But with all the dirt, dust and grime that comes along with gravel use, it can be difficult to keep it clean. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you get the most out of your gravel, without having to spend hours scrubbing it clean.

  • Make sure to remove all the large debris – this includes everything from leaves to twigs to large rocks.
  • Rinse the gravel with water to remove any dirt or dust.
  • If there is still grime on the gravel, scrub it with a brush and soapy water.
  • Finally, let the gravel dry completely before using it again.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I wash gravel before laying?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it variables depending on the brand of gravel and the environment in which you are laying it. However, if you are concerned about potential allergens or other contaminants being brought into your home by the gravel, then it may be a good idea to wash it before using. You can try washing small pieces of gravel at a time with warm water and soap until all traces of dirt and grease have been removed. Once clean, gently reshape them into their original shape and continue laying them down.

What depth should gravel Be?

The depth of gravel will all depend on a number of factors, such as the type of gravel and what exactly you are using the gravel for. Here are some examples:

  • 10mm Gravel Aggregate: Depth of 30-40mm
  • For a Driveway: Depth of 50mm
  • 20mm Aggregate: Depth of 50-60mm

How do I stop weeds growing in my gravel?

The best way to prevent weeds growing through gravel is to use a thick weed membrane fabric. This fabric will be layed down first and the gravel is placed on top of the fabric.

The Ultimate Guide to Gravel Conclusion

Gravel is a versatile and affordable material that can be used for a variety of different projects. In this guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know about gravel. From the different types of gravel to how to calculate the correct quantity for your garden.

With this information, you’ll be able to choose the right type of gravel for your next project and get started on creating your dream garden!

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