Installing a gravel or stone driveway is more economical than a concrete, asphalt or paver 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.
These gravels are anywhere from 1/8” to 1” and will clump up better when pressed by a tire. Let’s look at the benefits of each….
57 granite is larger, which leaves larger spaces between the stone. Because of the size and shape of this gravel your tires can spin a little when driving through, but does provide excellent drainage for a driveway. This is a very popular option and looks really nice when spread.
Small pea gravel is a decorative gravel and the size ranges between 1/8” to ¼”. When using it for a driveway make sure to install a solid foundation, such as Crusher Run, first to support it since it is a rounder stone and not as stable on its own. Small Pea Gravel gives a higher end look to your driveway with its colors ranging from a light brown and tan to a translucent white.
Crusher run is a mix of 57 Granite and Granite Fines which makes it ideal for drainage, expanding and contracting with temperatures, and compaction when used as a base. Make sure to have a way to secure the sides of your driveway with this product, as the granite Fines (sandy material) can wash a little over time.
Alabama path stone is 50% crushed Alabama rose stone (1/8” to 1/4") with 50% fines (sandy material). This material really packs down well because of the fine material in it and yields a really great dark red colored look. Make sure to have something on the sides of this material to keep the fines from washing over time. (Try 6x6 timbers or paver edging)
Planning your gravel driveway.
When planning your gravel driveway, keep in mind the ideal thickness is 3” to 8” and to purchase around 4% extra to compensate for compaction. Also, laying landscape fabric down beforehand can help prevent weeds from sprouting!