What Homeowners Need To Know About Gravel Driveways

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

how small is driveway gravel

Your driveway is a feature of your home that is often overlooked, but it’s actually very important in terms of both overall curb appeal and functionality. You drive your car up and down it every day. Your kids play in your driveway. Maybe your dog likes to take long naps in the sun on your driveway. But no matter how you use your driveway, it’s important that it is in great shape.

However, if you need to install a new driveway, it’s time to choose what kind of material you want to use. Gravel driveways have many advantages over other common types of driveways, but that doesn’t mean they are the right choice for everyone. So how do you know if a gravel driveway is right for you? Simple, keep reading this brief homeowner’s guide to this economical and durable driveway.

What is gravel?
If that seems like a simple question, then you have a lot to learn about crushed gravel and landscaping rocks. In general, gravel is any type of loose rock or crushed stone, and it comes in a variety of sizes. Small, pea gravel is often used for garden pathways, luxury driveways, and backyard patios, while the grey, crushed gravel most people are familiar with can be used for driveways.

How small is driveway gravel, specifically?
With the copious amounts of sizes that gravel exists in, it can be difficult to know what size to use. Crushed gravel can be as small as 1/10 of an inch, and it can get as big as 2.5 inches around. So even simple questions like, “How small is driveway gravel?” can be surprisingly difficult to answer. For more upscale applications, pea gravel and river rocks are ideal. They have a warm, tan color that can greatly boost curb appeal. However, for longer driveways, larger crushed gravel (1 to 2.5 inches) is ideal.

How many layers does my gravel driveway need?
In general, hardscaping experts will recommend three different sizes of rocks for gravel driveways. The very bottom layer of the structure should be made of four inches of rocks that are the size of a baseball. A middle layer of crushed rock should also be about four inches thick. This layer needs to consist of rocks that are about the size of golf balls. Finally, the top layer should be made of marble-size rocks, and this layer also needs to be four inches thick. These different sized rocks are all available for gravel delivery. 

How long will my driveway last?
A properly installed gravel driveway can last up to 100 years when properly maintained. Unlike other types of driveways, gravel does not to crack or sink. Water passes right through it, so drainage won’t be a problem. However, the topmost layer may need to be replenished every few years as needed. 

How much do gravel driveways cost?
Gravel driveways are the cheapest option when it comes to driveway materials. A gravel driveway can cost anywhere from under $1 per square foot to over $3 per square foot. Different variables go into the project’s overall cost, like how far the materials have to be shipped and the size of the driveway.

If you are looking into a gravel driveway and are asking yourself questions like, “How small is driveway gravel?” or “How much does gravel cost?”, then this guide should help you out.