The Complete Guide to Crushed Stone and Gravel (2023)

The Complete Guide to Crushed Stone and Gravel (1)

Most people don't understand the ins and outs of construction materials. In fact, it's easy to assume that only the experts know anything about it.

This is especially true when it comes to one of the most basic construction materials: stone.

We all know a stone when we see one, and we know they are important in construction, but what specific roles do they play in different construction projects?

In this article, we are going to take a deep dive into the types of crushed stone and gravel, how they are made, and their basic applications. By the end, you will understand the basics for your next concrete or hardscaping project.

Are you ready to learn more about gravel and crushed stone? Let’s get started!

The Complete Guide to Crushed Stone and Gravel (2)

What is crushed stone?

By its simplest definition, “crushed stone” is as basic as it sounds: Stone that has been crushed.

The Complete Guide to Crushed Stone and Gravel (3)

Most crushed stone is produced in quarries and is crushed when machinery breaks up and crushes larger rocks. Instead of being shaped or formed naturally, such as in a riverbed or canyon, crushed stone is produced with man-made machinery and processes.

So what does this stone-crushing process look like?

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It begins with using a rock crusher in a quarry or site with plenty of large rocks. There are many types of crushers, but their main job is the same: Crush larger rocks into smaller pieces to be used for construction material.

Crushed stone is then passed through different screeners to be organized and stored in different piles according to their size. The screening process starts by removing larger stones, then medium stones, and eventually goes all the way down to the stone dust.

This screening is important because contractors need very specific types of crushed stone to complete different types of projects. For example, you don’t want large stones in ready-mix concrete, and you don’t want stone dust in drainage systems.

After being sorted into different piles depending on the size of the stone, the stone is ready to be shipped from the quarry. Quarries deliver directly to job sites, to concrete plants, or to wholesale distributors who sell the stone through retail to customers.

(Video) Comparing Crushed Rock (& Gravel) Sizes and How They're Used

You can even purchase bags of stone, whether it is for construction or decoration, from Lowes and Home Depot.

So has crushed stone always been used widely for construction?

The simple answer is "no."

Crushed stone did not become a staple in construction until after WW2 for a simple reason: The equipment did not exist to crush or move stone efficiently.

Because large stones and quarries are hard on tires and require heavy metal, crushed stone was hard to make and transport until heavy machinery with tracks was developed. WW2 expedited the development of this machinery, and crushed stone began to be widely used in construction projects in the 1940s and 1950s.

Large-scale building projects, particularly in infrastructure like the Eisenhower Interstate System, helped usher in an era where crushed stone was used in almost every part of construction. Foundations, concrete, drainage systems, and roads were all needing large quantities of crushed stone.

What are the concerns with the widespread use of crushed stone?

Because crushed stone mostly comes from quarries, there has been growing geological and environmental concern over the large number of quarries operating and their long-term effects.

In response to this, construction companies are beginning to use recycled construction products to replace crushed stone.

When a road is being replaced or resurfaced, for instance, many road construction companies are beginning to grind and crush the existing road as they remove it. This crushed road, which is essentially crushed stone, then becomes the base for the new road.

Due to a lack of reporting, the exact amount of crushed stone recycling is unknown. Much of the crushed stone is also recycled right on the construction site, especially with road construction, and this makes it difficult to measure.

The most common use for recycled crushed stone is as a base for roadways, especially when the old road can be torn up, crushed, and reused. Concrete blocks and bricks can also be crushed and recycled as a base.

What is gravel?

Gravel is similar to crushed stone because it is a type of rock, but gravel is produced naturally.

A geological definition of gravel is “a natural material that consists of water-transported materials and usually has a rounded shape as a result of the water transport.”

One of the key differences in the look and feel of crushed stone and gravel is the edges of the stone.

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Crushed stone often has an angular and jagged edge that occurs during the crushing process. Gravel, on the other hand, typically has a very smooth texture and surface because of the natural weathering and wear of being exposed to the effects of running water.

Unlike crushed stone, gravel is usually sold and used in its natural state. If it is crushed, gravel loses its unique smooth rounded texture and becomes crushed stone.

It is important to note that some contractors refer to any stone in certain size ranges as “gravel,” even if it is crushed stone.

For example, depending on the region of the United States, crushed stone in the size of a few mm to 2 inches is referred to as “gravel,” even if it has been crushed and is no longer smooth.

To provide clarity and avoid confusion, we will stay with the definition that gravel cannot refer to crushed stone and must remain in a natural state.

There are three types of natural rock and stone: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

(Video) Gravel Driveway for CHEAP $600 How to install maintain top with crushed stone asphalt concrete

The Complete Guide to Crushed Stone and Gravel (7)

Igneous: Igneous rocks are formed after molten rock or lava solidifies.

Sedimentary: Sedimentary rocks are formed over time by the accumulation of small particles cementing together, often producing layers in the rock.

Metamorphic: Metamorphic rocks become changed through intense heat or pressure. Similar to clay hardening in an oven, metamorphic rocks become very hard and crystallized by intense heat or pressure.

Common types of gravel

If you go to a creek or river, you'll see all types of rocks, both large and small. These larger rocks can be used for foundations or other building projects, but typically gravel is screened and only the smaller pieces are used.

What are the most common types of gravel?

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Pea gravel: Pea gravel is some of the smallest gravel—typically ½” or smaller in size. Pea gravel is often used in places like fish tanks, walkways, swimming pools, or other places where foot traffic occurs or small gravel is needed.

When using pea gravel, it is important to have set edges and boundaries for the gravel. Because of its small size, it quickly spreads out unless it has a clear edge.

River rock: River rock is larger than pea gravel and typically used for aesthetic purposes. It is typically 1”-2” in diameter.

Even though river rock usually has rounded edges, it's still larger than pea gravel, which makes it more painful to walk on.

River rock is often used as edging, in decorative landscaping like flower beds, or to line a walkway or driveway.

There are other types of gravel, but pea gravel and river rock are the most common. You can also purchase gravel based on color, but this tends to be more expensive since it takes more work to screen for color than size.

Common types of rock used in construction

There are many types of natural stone and rock all around us. If you dig into the ground, go to a river, or look into a canyon you'll see a wide variety of colors, sizes, and styles.

However, like trees or dirt, not all natural rock is created equally. Some rocks have a softer texture, while some are harder. Different rocks react differently to pressure.

When planning your construction project, it's important to know what kinds of rocks are ideal for specific applications. After all, if a rock type crumbles easily under pressure, you don’t want to use it as a component in ready-mix concrete or pavement.

Different types of rock also bond differently. This is important in ready-mix concrete in which it is imperative the rock bonds correctly with the sand, water, and other components.

So what are some of the most common rocks used in construction, and what are they used for?

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  • Basalt: An igneous rock often used for road pavement or concrete aggregates. They are also used for masonry projects

    (Video) How to Create the Perfect Gravel Path With Chris Myers

  • Granite: An igneous rock that is durable and easily polished. Because of the color, grain, and polishing ability, they are often used inside homes for countertops or on the outside of monumental or civic buildings. However, they can also be used on bridge piers and river walls.

  • Limestone: A sedimentary rock that is the most commonly used to make crushed stone in the United States. One of the most versatile rocks for construction, limestone is able to be crushed easily making it a primary rock used in ready-mix concrete, road construction, and railroads. It is widely available in quarries across the country.

  • Sandstone: A sedimentary rock used primarily for concrete and masonry work. It is unsuitable for use as a building stone because of its sediment composition.

  • Slate: A metamorphic rock typically found in layers. Because it is easily mined and cut in these natural layers, it works well in applications requiring thin rock layers. Common examples are roofing tiles, certain types of chalkboards, gravestones, and some pavement applications.

  • Laterite: A metamorphic rock with a highly porous and sponge structure. It is easily quarried in block form and used as a building stone. However, it is important to plaster the surface to eliminate the pores.

  • Marble: A metamorphic rock. Like granite, it can be polished well and is often used for decorative purposes. Common uses are columns, flooring, or steps in monumental buildings.

  • Gneiss: A metamorphic rock. Due to the harmful components of the rock, it is rarely used in construction, although hard varieties are sometimes used in building construction.

  • Quartzite: A metamorphic rock that is used in building blocks and slabs. It is also used as an aggregate in ready mix concrete.

As you can see, there are multiple kinds of rocks used for construction!

Many of them have a specific purpose for their use in construction, and if you know what to look for, you'll start seeing these rocks in their different applications.

Labeling crushed stone used in construction

As we already discussed, crushed stone is simply natural rock that is crushed by machinery and then sorted and screened into different groups depending on size and components.

This crushing and screening process is typically done at quarries. Depending on the rock available at a construction site, crushers are hauled directly to the site for use.

So how is crushed stone categorized?

There are several specific terms to know when working with crushed stone. If you know what these terms mean, you can quickly know what kind of stone you are working with or ordering.

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Stone dust: this is the very fine dust, similar to sand, that is created as the stone is crushed. Stone dust is useful when tamping or packing stone, but it causes problems for applications where water needs to drain, such as behind a retaining wall.

Clean stone: If crushed stone is clean, it has been screened so the majority of the stone dust has been removed, but some dust is still mixed in. This is useful for the top layer of a stone driveway or other places where some minor compaction is not harmful.

Washed clean stone: This is stone that has been screened like clean stone, but then also washed to ensure there is no stone dust on the finished product. This is often used for drainage purposes, for ready mix concrete, or for places that need aesthetic appeal, such as curbing or decorative stone.

Crushed stone: The term “crushed stone” usually refers to stone that has a mixture of stone dust in it. This type of stone is best used for a base when heavy compaction is needed. As a result, it is typically used for the base of concrete and paving projects, foundations of structures, and driveway bases.

Size: Stones are often referred to in size. For example, 2” stone means the stones used have been screened to be roughly 2” in diameter.

Now, let’s put these terms together!

If we are doing a drain system, we want larger rocks with no stone dust. We would call the quarry and order “4” washed clean stone.”

Or, if we were putting the base down for a patio, we want stone that compacts well and makes a strong base. Therefore, we want our stone to have stone dust, so we would call the quarry and order “2” crushed stone.”

Best applications for gravel

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(Video) Measuring for Gravel

Natural gravel is often used in walkways, driveways, and decorative hardscaping for several reasons.

First, because gravel typically has a smooth rounded edge from water erosion, it is an easier surface to walk on with shoes and even bare feet.

Second, gravel often has aesthetic appeal due to its color and texture. Smooth gravel is nicer to look at than jagged crushed stone, and gravel is usually more colorful.

Gravel, especially river rock or similar types, is also popular in flower beds when mulch or cover plants are not a good option.

When putting down gravel in a flowerbed, make sure you start by laying down a quality landscape fabric, securely stake the fabric in place, and then layer the gravel on top of the fabric, usually 2”-3” thick.

If the fabric is not put down first, grass and weeds quickly grow up among the gravel resulting in a lot of maintenance and a weedy flower bed.

Like crushed stone, gravel can be used as an aggregate for pavement, ready-mix concrete, or other construction applications.

Best applications for crushed stone

We have already referenced many places where crushed stone is used, but the most common are construction projects that need concrete, solid bases, or drainage systems.

Parts of crushed stone are commonly used as aggregates for ready mix concrete. Concrete plants keep large quantities of different parts of crushed stone on hand to make their concrete batches.

Crushed stone with stone dust in it is highly compactable and is therefore commonly used when making any kind of base for construction.

Whether it is a road, driveway, building foundation, patio base, retaining wall base, or other projects needing a solid foundation, you typically find crushed stone at the bottom.

Crushed stone that has been cleaned and washed is typical for drainage systems.

Why can’t regular crushed stone with stone dust be used for drains?

When stone dust becomes wet it compacts and hardens. Since drains need to always be open, it is important to keep stone dust out of drains. Therefore, construction projects needing drainage systems make sure they use only stone that has been cleaned and washed.


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Crushed stone and gravel will continue to be a staple in construction, decoration, and industry for years to come. As recycling picks up, mining and quarries may slow down, but we will always need crushed stone in general construction and industry.

You don’t need to be a geological or quarry expert to know some of the basics of these products, such as what they look like or how they are used in construction.

So next time you visit a quarry, canyon, or see bags of stones at the local hardware store, see if you know what stone it is and how it is being used!

If you want to learn more about ready mix concrete and preparing for it, read our blog post on the Beginner's Guide to Ready-Mixed Concrete, Everyone's Guide to pouring Concrete in Any Weather, and Understanding Concrete Strength.

Also, if you are looking for stone products, particularly ready mix concrete in Miami County, IN, look us up at Gra-Rock today, and check out our reviews!

We offer:

Contact us today for more information on how we can help you with your construction project!


Is crushed stone the same as gravel? ›

Gravel is a material made up of naturally occurring loose stone chunks with rounded edges. You can find it occurring naturally, perhaps in a gravel pit or river. Crushed stone, on the other hand, is man-made. Large rocks (often limestone) are processed in a stone crusher to make smaller pieces.

What does 57 mean in gravel? ›

#57. Crushed stone #57 refers to stone that is about ¾”. This is typically used for concrete mix, landscaping and drainage.

What is the best size crushed stone for a driveway? ›

The ideal gravel size is around ¼”-1” and selecting gravel that is not too large and flat, or too large and roundish will ensure you better results and less issues and a better surface. Most commonly used is 57 Granite, Crusher run, Small pea gravel and even Alabama Path Stone.

How do I calculate how much crushed stone I need? ›

Formula for Crushed Stone for a Project

In the construction world, most materials are measured in cubic yards. Multiply the length (L), in feet, by the width (W), in feet, by the height (H), in feet, and divide by 27. This number is how many cubic yards of crushed stone you need.

What is better for a driveway gravel or crushed concrete? ›

Crushed Concrete driveways are a much more cost-effective driveway solution compared to gravel driveways, regular concrete driveways, or asphalt driveways. With benefits like the price, sustainability, and the fact that it can never crack and require a repair, crushed concrete is a great driveway option.

Which is better for a driveway gravel or crush and run? ›

Crush and run gravel is useful for a number of reasons. It's cheaper than regular gravel, which is already pretty cheap to begin with. Also, the limestone sticks together when wet, to help the surface of your driveway last a bit longer. For these reasons, crush and run is frequently used to build cheap driveways.

What size gravel is best? ›

Choose gravel that's around 3/4 of an inch in diameter. This size stone is large enough to create a firm base for cars while leaving enough gaps between the stones to allow water to pass through for good drainage.

What depth should gravel Be? ›

How deep should gravel be? If you are using a 10mm gravel aggregate, lay this at a depth of 30-40mm. However, if you are using this for the purpose of a driveway, this should be laid at least 50mm deep. When using a 20mm aggregate, this should be laid at least 40-50mm deep, and at least 50-60mm on driveways.

What does #4 gravel look like? ›

Often referred to as Construction Gravel or Driveway Gravel, #4 Gravel is gray in color with a rough texture, and ranges from about 3/4 – 1 1/2 egg sized. #4 Gravel is most commonly used as a driving surface for construction and logging entrances, and also driveways.

How deep should a crushed stone driveway be? ›

The answer is anywhere from 12-18 inches. This is to give stormwater the proper amount of space to drain through your aggregate and into the soil below without flooding. The ideal depth of your gravel driveway will depend on how much rain your area typically gets.

How do I keep my gravel from moving off my driveway? ›

One of the alternative options is a resin-bond driveway. This is where a base layer is placed on the driveway, and then a layer of resin is applied, with the gravel and stones simply laid over the resin, so that they stick to it, and are held fast.

Is 2 inches of gravel enough for a driveway? ›

Gravel should be a minimum of 4-inches deep. The smaller the gravel, the more even the coverage will be. If rocks are on the larger side, allow for an additional 1/2 inch.

How much does 1 ton crushed rock cover? ›

A ton of gravel will cover approximately 100 square feet, 2 inches deep.

How deep should crushed rock be? ›

For projects such as walkways and patios, use a 3- to 4-inch depth of crushed stone beneath a 3- to 4-inch depth of surfacing material. You will need to dig a depth of 6 to 8 inches in total.

How many square feet will 10 tons of gravel cover? ›

A ton of gravel will cover around 108 square footage at 2 inches deep, so, 10 tons of gravel will cover approximately, 108 × 10 = 1080 square feet.

What is the best sub base for a gravel driveway? ›

The bottom layer should be comprised of stone (6” crushed rock) or consider 6” recycled concrete. The ideal thickness of each layer is between 4 to 6 inches. The middle layer should also be angular stones about 2” to 3” in diameter such as our #2 Bluestone.

How long does gravel last in a driveway? ›

With proper care and maintenance, a gravel driveway can last up to 100 years. The beauty of gravel is that it can be repaired and replenished on an ongoing basis. By contrast, wear and damage to asphalt and concrete driveways are difficult to remedy and replacement is often more cost-effective than extensive repairs.

What is the best base for a gravel driveway? ›

#2 Limestone gravel is most commonly used as the base for gravel driveways. These small rocks are able to form a solid and dependable foundation while providing adequate drainage. Both of these factors are an essential part of constructing a gravel driveway.

What are the cons of a gravel driveway? ›

The Challenges of Gravel Driveways

Snow and rain can cause the gravel to move around and even sink, causing ruts and sinkholes. Regular maintenance and top dressing the driveway may be required. Snow and ice removal can also be difficult unless supported by a porous paving system.

What's the cheapest way to do a driveway? ›

Gravel and Stone Driveways

A gravel driveway is by far the cheapest and quickest to install, especially if the existing driveway's sub-base is sound.

How do I make my gravel driveway solid? ›

Level the surface of the driveway, compact the dirt, and install a weed barrier. Place a border, and you are almost good to go. At this point, you can start laying and spreading the gravel. This is the point when some experts recommend adding a little cement to make the gravel more solid.

Does gravel need a subbase? ›

The sub-base of the gravel driveway is really important as needs to be able to support heavy loads. It will also help if you have an uneven surface as will create a flat and solid base. We suggest using a sub-base that consists of various sized pieces of aggregate that compact together such as MOT Type 1.

What are the three types of gravel? ›

Almost any rock can be used to make gravel, but the most common rocks are sandstone, limestone, and basalt. These pieces are sorted and sold according to size.

What is best for spreading gravel? ›

A box blade is used primarily for spreading material like soil or gravel, and for grading, leveling, or backfilling an expansive area of land for a driveway, lawn, garden, building site, etc. They dig into and break up hard ground so it can be shaped to your need.

Do you need to lay anything under gravel? ›

Including a permeable membrane between the base of the trench and the top layer of gravel is highly recommended. A membrane will ensure the gravel does not mix in with the base layer of hardcore or the soil beneath, and is also a strong, permeable and will prevent weeds from sprouting through your gravel.

Do I need to dig before laying gravel? ›

If you're building a driveway, you might be wondering “Can I pour gravel on top of grass for a driveway?” The answer is no. You need to dig it up. Even if you're laying pea gravel right on top of grass, it's still going to be a problem.

Should you wash gravel before laying? ›

Yes, you should remove the gravel from the bag and place it in a clean bucket. Run water over the gravel several times to remove any dust that may be on it. Then hold the gravel in place and empty the water from the bucket.

What is number 8 gravel used for? ›

#8 limestone is primarily used as backfill and a base for driveways and patios with outstanding drainage. Varying in sizes from 3/4″ – 1″ Approximate coverage of 100 sf/ton.

What is type 8 gravel? ›

Grade 8 Crushed Stone & Gravel

AASHTO #8 is a large grade of crushed stone. Like AASHTO #1, #3, and #57, it is a clean material that will not compact. However, the top size of AASHTO #8 aggregate is significantly smaller, making it ideal for different applications within the construction industry.

What is 2 inch gravel called? ›

River rock: River rock is larger than pea gravel and typically used for aesthetic purposes. It is typically 1”-2” in diameter. Even though river rock usually has rounded edges, it's still larger than pea gravel, which makes it more painful to walk on.

What is crushed stone driveway called? ›

There is no denying that a gravel driveway is quite an attractive addition to your home. Whether you live in a rural or urban area, it is an excellent paving option. Gravel driveways are not just durable; they are also inexpensive and easy to install.

How much sub-base do I need for a gravel driveway? ›

The depth of the sub-base will depend on the size of vehicles using the drive with a typical domestic construction requiring a minimum depth of 100mm but preferably 150mm to be able to take cars. The most common sub-base material is DT Type 1 (MOT) which consists of crushed rock graded from 40mm down to dust.

How do you bond a gravel driveway? ›

Clean the application area of all debris and excess dust. Sprinkle your pour on gravel binder onto the surface of stones or gravel using a watering pail. Using a trowel, smooth over bumps or rough edges. Allow the binder to dry overnight, then apply a second coat to achieve a more robust bond.

Should you tamp a gravel driveway? ›

One easy, DIY way to help prevent the spread of gravel is to tamp and pack it a bit. This simply means using a hoe or other tool to pack your gravel down tightly, and then spraying it down with water.

What can I put on my gravel driveway to keep the dust down? ›

Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride prove to be the top solutions to dust control. These hygroscopic salts absorb moisture from the air to help dust particles stick together and keep road surfaces damp. Additionally, they act to stabilize unpaved roads, as the products sink into the surface of the roadways.

Does a gravel driveway require frequent maintenance? ›

To keep the look and performance of your surface, it's best to add fresh gravel at two yearly intervals, or more frequently if that's what is required. All these issues are entirely natural through normal, day to day use of a gravel driveway and simply addressed.

How much gravel do I need for a 1000 foot driveway? ›

At 4″ thick, for 1000 square foot driveway, you will need approximately 330 cubic feet, or 13 cubic yards, or 19 tons of gravel, if you are using 1/4″ to 1″ size of gravel and for 100 square foot, 1.25 cubic yards, or 2 tons of gravel will be required.

What size is #57 Rock? ›

57 stone has an average size of ½ to 1-1/2 inch and is a sound, hard naturally occurring material. 57 stone aggregates may contain, gravel, granites, limestone, dolomite, and sandstone. It is most often used as a base for driveways, walls, pipe bedding, concrete.

How many tons of gravel does a dump truck hold? ›

How much can a dump truck carry? Typically, larger dump trucks can carry about 28,000 pounds or about 14 tons. On average, smaller dump trucks can transport around 13,000 to 15,000 pounds or 6.5 to 7.5 tons.

How many yards of gravel does a dump truck hold? ›

While there is room for variance, most full-size dump trucks have a capacity of between 10 and 16 cubic yards. These types of vehicles often have their capacity listed in the owner's manual.

What is the cheapest rock to use for landscaping? ›

But what are the cheapest landscaping rocks? The cheapest landscaping rock available is pea gravel. This is a versatile landscaping rock that looks great for many types of landscaping, including driveways.

Should I use landscape fabric under crushed stone? ›

A good landscape fabric beneath a layer of pebbles or gravel goes a long way in preventing weed seed germination. Even the best landscape fabric won't stop 100% of the weeds. Some seeds will inevitably germinate and sprout, however having a weed block barrier will keep the roots from getting a foothold in the soil.

What do you put under crushed rock? ›

The two landscape fabrics that are best suited for rocks are spun landscape fabric and non-woven landscape fabric. In some cases, you might prefer using a thick woven fabric. The four main types of landscape fabrics are: woven, non-woven, spun, and perforated.

What is the difference between gravel and crushed stone? ›

Gravel is a material made up of naturally occurring loose stone chunks with rounded edges. You can find it occurring naturally, perhaps in a gravel pit or river. Crushed stone, on the other hand, is man-made. Large rocks (often limestone) are processed in a stone crusher to make smaller pieces.

How do I calculate how much gravel I need? ›

Length in feet x Width in feet x Depth in feet (inches divided by 12). Take the total and divide by 21.6 (the amount of cubic feet in a ton). The final figure will be the estimated amount of tons required.

Can a half ton carry a yard of gravel? ›

A half-ton truck can usually hold between 1-2 cubic yards of bulk soil or garden mix. A smaller pickup truck can hold about one cubic yard.

How many tons is 1500 square feet? ›

2.5 Tons

Can I use gravel instead of crushed stone? ›

Gravel is similar to crushed stone because it is a type of rock, but gravel is produced naturally. A geological definition of gravel is “a natural material that consists of water-transported materials and usually has a rounded shape as a result of the water transport.”

What is another name for crushed stone? ›

Crushed stone or angular rock is a form of construction aggregate, typically produced by mining a suitable rock deposit and breaking the removed rock down to the desired size using crushers.

Is gravel just crushed rock? ›

What Is Gravel? Also known as crushed stone, gravel is made up of unconsolidated rock fragments. The most common types of rock used in gravel are sandstone, limestone, and basalt.

How do I keep my gravel from sinking to the ground? ›

The silt will loosen the gravel pieces, they will lose their friction and start to weaken and separate. Under these conditions your gravel will be a total and complete mess. To prevent this from happening, place a layer of Geotextile fabric between your subsoil and the bottom layer of gravel.

What do you put on the ground before gravel? ›

In zones with hard clay, that can be the soil itself. But in most areas, especially where the soil is sandy, you'll need to create a base of tamped-down stone pack, which is a mix of ¾-inch stones and stone dust. A lining of landscape fabric over the base will keep weeds from growing up through the path.

Can I lay gravel without digging? ›

You need to dig it up. Even if you're laying pea gravel right on top of grass, it's still going to be a problem. However, just laying loose gravel on topsoil will cause it to migrate, especially if it's going to be exposed to any consistent foot or vehicle traffic.

Why is it called 57 stone? ›

A crusher breaks down the rock into various sizes. Crushed stone varies in size. The number “57” is a number that refers to the size sieve that was used to screen and sort the stone. It means that the stone was put through the #57 sieve which produces gravel stones of about 1” to 1.5” in size.

What is crushed stone good for? ›

There are many different uses for crushed stone, but it is typically used as an aggregate for underground projects. Many contractors prefer to use ½” or ¾” crushed stone as a subbase material before pouring concrete. Since it's durable, it is also regularly used for backfill, drainage solutions, or pipe bedding.

What is class A gravel? ›

Shaw Resources Class A Gravel is grey and primarily used for filling pot holes or fence post holes and can be used as a base under decks. The Class A Gravel is a great solution for walkways, driveways and because it is a natural stone, it works really well as a landscaping product.

What are the disadvantages of gravel? ›

Snow and rain can cause the gravel to move around and even sink, causing ruts and sinkholes. Regular maintenance and top dressing the driveway may be required. Snow and ice removal can also be difficult unless supported by a porous paving system.

What are the 3 layers of a gravel driveway? ›

Your gravel drive should consist of 3 parts. The sub-base, weed membrane and gravel. The sub-base of the gravel driveway is really important as needs to be able to support heavy loads. It will also help if you have an uneven surface as will create a flat and solid base.


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