If you’re looking to add rustic charm and and curb appeal to the front of your home, chances are you’ve considered a gravel driveway. Chosen for their offbeat look and upfront cost-effectiveness, gravel driveways can be a beautiful addition to any home, but it’s important that they be installed properly. Gravel driveways require more maintenance and more frequent replacement than their asphalt or concrete counterparts, but if they’re cared for properly, a gravel driveway can last up to 10 years. So, when selecting gravel for driveways, where do you start? You may be asking horself, “how small is driveway gravel?” In actuality, your gravel driveway is actually made up of three types of gravel. Today we’ll be discussing how to choose that gravel, and what that process looks like.
Layer One: Larger Gravel
The base layer of your gravel driveway will be the largest layer. Made up of baseball-sized gravel for driveways, #1 sized stones, approximately 4 inches in diameter. These rocks will form the foundation of your driveway, allowing for good drainage and keeping the smaller gravel above it from disappearing into the soil. Rather than using round gravel, which can dislodge easily and move under the weight of vehicles, go with angular gravel instead. This machine crushed gravel has many flat edges to it, which can help the pieces interlock and create a more durable finish. Your driveway will contain a layer of this larger gravel that’s approximately four inches deep.
Layer Two: Mid-Sized Gravel
Once you’ve laid your larger gravel, you can then form your second layer with #4 gravel for driveways, which ranges in size from 1-1.5 inches in diameter, about the size of a golf ball. This gravel will settle on top of your base layer and helps to form a more solid foundation. Again, be sure to get angular gravel, which will lock together and create a sturdier finish. Once again, you’ll be laying down about four inches of gravel here.
Final Layer: Smaller Gravel
Once you’ve put down your first two layers, it’s time for the final layer of your gravel driveway. Laid with #57 gravel for driveways, whose size ranges from 3/8-1 inch, or approximately the size of a marble, this gravel will fill in the smaller, more uneven holes between the first and second layers, which will allow for a more even, uniform look. When you’re choosing the gravel for your top layer, make sure to ask your gravel dealer about traffic bound gravel, which contains rock dust and smaller pieces of gravel, which form a cement like bond when compacted. You have a number of choices for this top layer, depending on your preferences and the area in which you live. Popular choices include shale, limestone, granite, or colored gravel, depending on your aesthetic needs.
When you’re selecting gravel for driveways, make sure you discuss any quirks of the area in which you live with your gravel dealership. They might be able to make some recommendations about the best type of gravel for your specific needs. They can also help work out details like gravel delivery if you wind up requiring that service.