The Right Types of Gravel for a Driveway

A gravel driveway can create a distinctive entry to your property. There are many types of gravel for a driveway, and each can add a different look to your home and landscaping.

Choosing the right type of gravel for a driveway can help you create a beautiful and long lasting entry that you'll be proud of.

It's all About the Shape
No matter what type of stone you choose, make sure that the stones have an angular shape. These types of stones are usually machine-crushed. Angular stones will lock together, reducing the movement caused by the weight of passing vehicles.

Although they are attractive, rounded "river stones" will quickly slide out of place. Rounded or smooth stones will dramatically increase your maintenance requirements.

One Size Doesn't Fit All
You'll need several types of gravel for driveway construction that will last:

  • The base layer of your gravel driveway should contain fist-sized stones, sometimes called #3 stones in the trade. These stones will create a solid foundation for your gravel driveway.
  • The second layer of your drive should contain golf ball-sized stones, also called #57 stone.
  • The final layer of your gravel drive should contain stones a bit larger than a thumbnail. Look for "traffic bound" or "dense grade" stones. This type of gravel has stone dust mixed in and forms a hard, cement-like surface as it settles.

Find out What's Available
As gravel is heavy material, it is usually crushed from local stone. The advantage of this is that your gravel driveway will reflect traditional local materials. In some areas of the country, you may even have the option of using crushed seashells.

In more populated areas of the country, you may have more choices in terms of color and type of stone. Visit several garden centers or stone dealers to find out what choices you have.

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