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20 December 2022

Which Gravel for your Garden or Driveway?

15th January 2019 / Laura

How do you choose the best gravel for your drive or path? There are so many factors to think about including colour, texture, and durability. This article should help to guide your decision to making the right choice for your landscaping project.

Gravel can be a low-cost landscaping material for covering large areas, or for adding decorative finishing touches to outdoor spaces. It is also a useful material to prevent weeds within your garden project.

There are a few key questions to ask yourself when choosing the right gravel for your garden.

Showing Path Gravel using Stone Warehouse Ice Blue Chippings 20mm

What are you using your gravel for?

If there will be a lot of vehicular traffic, choose a self binding gravel that will compact to form a smooth flat surface such as our Goldpath. Or use larger angular chippings that are 14mm – 20mm size ranges, as these will bed together and form a flatter surface.

Rounded stones (such as pebbles) will not form a compacted base for heavy wheel traffic. They will also move around a lot. Smaller gravels (10mm or less) can get caught in your tyre and shoe treads and relocated around your garden or into your house.

The best gravel for a drive should also be a hard-wearing stone. Basalts, Granites, Flints, and Quartz products are ideal for this application. Darker coloured materials will also hide dirt better.

For more information on choosing the best gravel for your driveway, please watch our handy video below.

The shape of the material is important when you decide to lay a gravel path. Smaller sized, rounded decorative aggregates such as pea gravel, roll underfoot and can get stuck in wheels. This will make it difficult to navigate prams or wheelchairs. Therefore the best gravel for a path would be angular gravel chipping.

There are lots of types of gravel that you can use for a path, however size wise, we suggest a chipping between 10 to 20mm. This will be large enough it won’t get stuck in shoe threads and is easier to walk over.

Also, there are a variety of colours that you can choose from. Light chippings will brighten up dark and shady areas, whereas darker colour tones will disguise mud left by foot traffic.

Stone Warehouse Polar White Chippings laid between Aged Oak Sleepers being used as steppingstones

You can use gravel as a border for paving, grass, or plant beds. If the area isn’t going to be walked on, then any size chipping is suitable.
The best gravel for a border is one that will complement other elements in your garden such as planting or patios.

If you want a flat look then just use gravel chippings. However, you can add height and interest to these areas with larger cobbles, pebbles, and boulders.

If you want to help plants grow, you can create a protective mulch layer with slate chippings.

Can I do it myself?

Gravel driveways and paths are easy to create yourself and you can find out how in our short video below.

Alternatively, you can hire a skilled landscape contractor to make sure the installation is done professionally. Gravel should ideally be installed on a compacted base with a weed membrane underneath. This landscape fabric will not only help prevent weed growth but keep your stone clean for longer.

What colour gravel should I choose?

Once you have chosen the right type and size of gravel for your needs, you can get creative and start to think about the colour and design of your project. Make sure that your choice compliments hard landscaping features such as paving.

Polar Ice Chippings 20mm, laid in a garden with Boulders & Slate Rockery stone

Warm coloured gravels such as Onyx, Flamingo Chippings or Apricot Gravel have a Mediterranean feel and can light up a small area. You can use bright tones like Polar White to make your garden feel more spacious. Whilst cool contemporary tones such as Polar Ice and our top seller Black Ice would make flower beds and foliage stands out though contrast.

How much gravel do I need?

We say that one bulk bag covers approximately 10m² if you are laying it at a depth of 50mm. We also offer various pallet quantities consisting of 20kg bags. A 50-bag pallet will cover around 12m² which 21-bags covers around 5.25m², again if you are laying to a depth of 50mm.

To calculate the amount of gravel you require you need to measure the length and width of your space. Then multiply them together to work out the area in square metres. For example, a garden that is 3 metres by 5 metres is 15m². We have a handy Gravel Quantity Calculator to help you calculate how much gravel you need.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of a particular gravel or chipping product for your application, Contact Us, or our friendly sales team are just a phone call away to answer your queries on 01629 636212.

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