What Grade is Driveway Gravel?

It’s a good idea to read this article before starting a new driveway or resurfacing an old one.

There are three main types of gravel used in driveway construction. Four-inch deep #3 gravel is frequently used as the basis for a drainage layer of #57 stones, followed by a decorative top layer such as pea gravel, marble chips, or Blackstar rock.

Taking a closer look at driveway gravel, we’ll examine the various grades, their uses, and how they’re applied…

What’s The Best Type of Gravel That Can Be Used For Driveways?

There are a variety of gravels to choose from. Is there any way to tell which one is best for your driveway? Due to the fact that most driveways are built with many levels of gravel, the answer is that you’ll want three different kinds.

The bottom layer is normally formed from a four-inch deep base of clean stone (sometimes called #3 gravel, and we’ll come into this in a minute).

The foundation layer benefits greatly from the excellent drainage provided by these stones, which have an average diameter of 2 inches.

A “crusher run” aggregate made of recycled stones, brick, concrete, and rock might also be used for the bottom drainage layer.

The intermediate layer is also beneficial for drainage and is commonly formed using #57 stones (we’ll explain this in a bit, too).

There’s also the top. Aesthetics, strength, and practicality are all factors in this. Pea gravel is a popular choice since it’s attractive (these small round stones come in a range of colors).

Although marble chips are more than other options, they shine brightly in the evening light. Jersey coast gravel has a rich, sandy tint which produces a really pleasant impression.

To prevent them from spreading further, the margins of these surfaces will need to be contained. Avoid this by using Blackstar rock, which locks together, or a more crushed mix that will condense to make a more solid surface.

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What Are The Different Grades of Gravel?

Gradations of gravel have previously been described, and you’ll be happy to know that they are the same across the United States.

As soon as you realize that we’re just talking about different-sized parts, it all becomes a lot obvious and doesn’t sound like some type of builders’ code anymore.

Let’s have a look at the different types of gravel and their respective grades.

#1. The biggest stones are found in grade #1, which can range in size from two to four inches. You’d use this to do things like fill up gaps.

#3. Crushed stone with a diameter ranging from half an inch to two inches is known as “number three.” In terms of drainage, it’s just the right size.

#5. There are items in this grade that are a little larger than an inch in diameter. As a driveway or paver basis, you may choose to use this one.

#8. Stones that measure between 3/8 and 1/8 of an inch in diameter make up number eight. Concrete mixtures include this ingredient.

#10. Finally, we’re down to the last few crumbs with the number 10. “dust” and “screenings” are both common terms for it. To build concrete blocks and pavers, you can use this material.

When the grading system starts to go haywire, skipping a bunch of digits and arriving at something greater than #10, things become very weird.

#57. This smashed stone is around 3/4 inches thick. Concrete, drainage, and landscaping are all common applications for this material.

#67. The material is a useful base material for roads and slabs since it is 3/8 of an inch or less in diameter.

In addition to fine and coarse aggregate, “crusher run” is a sort of crushed rock. This mixture of dust and tiny stones generates a layer that is both compact and able to drain effectively.. It’s also a lot less expensive than other options.

What is The Cheapest Gravel For a Driveway?

Crush & run (also known as crusher run) is a low-cost driveway construction material. Pavers, patios, walkways, and driveways are all frequent uses for this material.

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At about 40 cents per square foot, crusher run is the least priced gravel driveway material. It’s an excellent value for the money, and it’s built to last. If you choose this option, you will not be able to choose the stone or color because the truck will just dump whatever is on your lot.

If you’re going to utilize a crusher run as a foundation layer, the aesthetics aren’t going to be a factor. Your driveway will be solid and won’t break your bank account.

How Deep Should I Make My Driveway Gravel?

The average depth of a driveway is 12 to 18 inches. If it sounds like a lot, consider that you have three layers of gravel (or another aggregate) to get through before you wind up with a smooth, completed surface. It’s time to start digging.

These gravel layers must be at least four inches deep, and some people advocate six inches. Using a shovel and a wheelbarrow to dig out a wide space for your new driveway may not be tempting at this time. You might either hire an excavator or enlist the aid of a friend. It’s a significant undertaking to move soil up to a depth of 18 inches over the width of your driveway.

It’s critical that you compress each layer as you add it to the driveway since this will help it last longer. You may accomplish this by driving up and down the driveway a few times (just look out for your tires. You may wish to borrow a truck for this).

It’s a good idea to space out the delivery of different types of gravel so that none of them show up at once. Order your crusher run or #3 first, then leave time for that to be in place before your #57 comes. Afterward, apply your last gravel layer in the same manner (marble chips, pea gravel, and so on).

How Much Does a Ton of Gravel Cover?

Which sort of gravel is best for a driveway, and how deep is it? For the most part, a cubic yard of stone requires about 1.4 tons of stone.

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The amount of ground covered by a ton of gravel varies according to the type of gravel and the depth of the driveway. How many layers in inches are you aiming for? In terms of the amount of gravel you’ll use, this is a major difference Use this online gravel calculator to make your life a little simpler.

You should definitely do the math before placing an order, as over-ordering gravel might leave you with a mountain of extra stones to move, while under-ordering will stop the job while you search for more gravel.

Do I Need Fabric Under My Driveway Gravel?

It’s a good idea to lay down a layer of landscaping fabric underneath your driveway. In addition to preventing ugly weeds from ruining the appearance of the surface, it will also keep the structure safe from root erosion.

Your newly excavated driveway trench should have this at the bottom. Make sure the dirt is ready before you start putting in stones. Pull up any weeds and tamp down the soil. Dispose of any more waste, such as tree roots. Once you’ve established a sturdy dirt base, it’s time to add a membrane layer.

Drainage will be compromised if this isn’t done with the correct landscaping fabric. Amazon sells it in rolls, and it’s easy to cut to your desired length. You won’t be able to replace it after it has three six-inch layers of gravel on top of it, so don’t cut corners on quality.

Final Words

The three types of gravel you’ll need to make a new driveway (or resurface an old one) are around 12-18 inches thick, with a fabric layer beneath.

Pea gravel, marble chips, Jersey beach gravel, or Blackstar rock can be used as the attractive top layer, with #3 gravel for the foundation and #57 stones for the intermediate drainage layer.

Your final top layer is entirely up to you in terms of color and gravel/stone chip type preference.

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