Pea Gravel Patio Basics
Pea gravel is the easy-to-handle material that makes all of this happen. While hardscaping materials like poured concrete, concrete pavers, and natural flagstone are solid, reliable patio surfaces, they are expensive and can be backbreaking and/or technically challenging to install.
As suggested by the name, pea gravel is about the size of 3/8-inch-diameter peas. Each piece of gravel is rounded and smooth, making it nice to walk on and less prone to clumping up and retaining footprints than gravel with angled sides.;
Best Way To Dig For Pavers
Use our tips to properly dig and prepare a foundation for pavers. The right paver depth will lead to a strong base that secures your pavers and makes them long-lasting. For more information about laying pavers such as removing stains from pavers and how to grow moss between pavers read the rest of our blog.
Why Is Gravel The Best Choice For Your Your Flagstone Patios Foundation
Cement will crack. Especially grade level cement. Especially in a climate with winters like ours in Pennsylvania. A worse way to go about it would be to lay the flagstone upon a bed of gravel and then cement the joints between stones. Horrible idea. The gravel base is flexible and will move ever so slightly during freeze-thaw. Well, if the base was done poorly the movement might be more then slight, but lets assume the base was done well. A gravel base will definitely move a bitlooking at any of my patios, youd never know that, but the movement does happen. Cement is rigidif you put a rigid top on a flexible base then systemic cracking is inevitable.
Cement based mortar is a fine joint filling material if the flagstone happens to rest upon a concrete foundation. But why on earth would you want to have a concrete foundation anyway? The concrete itself will crack, eventually. In a northern climate it will likely crack within ten yearsand the chances of it cracking within the next three years are pretty high too. Environmental impact of concrete production is no small issue either. Anyway, I personally prefer dry stone work. More harmonious, warmer, just better. The feeling you get from a well done dry laid flagstone patio, in my humble opinion, is just better than a flagstone patio set in cement.
Compact The Soil And Lay Landscaping Fabric
Once you’ve got the soil cleared away, compact the soil with a tamper.
Then roll weed blocking landscaping fabric across the entire area and secure with stakes. This will prevent dirt from mixing with the gravel and making a muddy mess in the rain, and will stop weeds and roots from growing through.
What Is Paver Gravel
The other option you have, if paver base panels arent your thing, is gravel. Paver gravel comes in a variety of different sizes and is made with different materials. Some of it is crushed stone, while others will be classic paver sand.;
It goes by the nicknames C-33, leveling sand, and all-purpose gravel. You cant use just any gravel to get the job done. Play sand, for example, is much too fine and can make the pavers uneven when compressed.;
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Slate And Gravel Patio
Slate is a fine grained greenish, blue, gray rock. It is usually sold for $18 to $30 per square foot. Though it costs up to three times more than other paving materials, slate still remains to be well loved by landscapers and homeowners because it is natural looking, durable and resilient.
Irregularly shaped slate gives patios and garden an interesting and eclectic touch. The combination of slate and gravel works perfectly for Mediterranean inspired homes and gardens by giving them a rustic flair.
Just like majority of gravel patio types, slate and gravel patios use the same dry laying method wherein the slate pieces are arranged in a particular pattern and filled with pea sized gravel in between the joints. During installation, it is ideal to start at a corner while keeping the gaps at a minimum. When the slate is completely set in a foundation base material, tamp each piece with a mallet and pour sand to fill the gaps then add grave as topper.
Two colors of gravel are used to create variation and contrast in this patio design. Bricks function as edging material and border to define space. This brick and gravel patio perfectly blends to the surrounding Mediterranean inspired landscape.
Prepare The Gravel Patio Sub Base
If you expect your gravel patio will be receiving a large amount of foot traffic or any outdoor furniture, it is strongly recommended that you prepare a subbase for added stability usingMOT Type 1.
Lay the crushed levelling material to a depth of around 10 cm or 4 inches and ensure it is spread evenly across the base of your excavated patio area.
Always make sure the Type 1 is well compacted to avoid an uneven gravelled surface once the final material is applied and ensure at least 2-3cm is left empty to provide space for the decorative gravel.
Frame The Gravel Shed Base
Once the area for the Gravel shed base is level and tamped you will need to frame the foundation. ;Prior to framing the foundation make sure you place a 1000 gauge Polythene vapor barrier in the tamped area.
Take your shed plans and find the dimensions of the shed foundation. ;The next step will be to take some 2×4s and make an outline of the shed foundation, like the picture below. It is recommended that you build the shed base about two feet extra in length and width from your shed plans. ;This allows for more drainage and a nice perimeter around the shed.
Square the frame properly by the method below.
- Length Measure and make sure the 2×4s measure exactly.
- Width Measure and make sure the 2×4s measure exactly.
- Measure diagonally from corner to corner and make sure that is exact also.
- Now you can screw together each 2 x 4 and place the proper pegs on the outside of the frame for stability. ;This will make sure it is a stable outline of your gravel shed base.
How Do You Maintain A Gravel Patio
Gravel patios have low maintenance needs and do not require regular cleaning. If you find your gravelled surface getting dirty, a simple rinse with a pressurised power washer for 30-60 seconds will do the trick!
If you need to remove fallen leaves from your gravel, simply give the gravel a gentle sweep with a soft broom.
To ensure your gravel patio requires minimal maintenance, make sure to lay your gravel onto a weed prevention membrane.
Read more about how to maintain gravel in ourultimate guide to gravel.
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Can I Use Gravel As A Paver Base
If youre thinking of laying a new patio then this article should help ensure you get strong, level foundations for your pavers.
You can use gravel as a paver base as it performs the same function as paver base itself. While paver base is coarser and locks together more tightly than gravel, they are both used to form a thick layer over your landscape fabric which is then covered with sand that you lay the pavers on.
Recycled Concrete Gravel And Quarry Rocks
Consider using recycled gravel or salvaged quarry rocks underneath your pavers. Recycled gravel is created by crushing salvaged or used-up concrete and comes in the same sizes as regular types of gravel. Quarry rocks are left over from inland quarry operations. Both of these options help preserve limestone rock, from which most commercial gravel is derived, and both come at a significantly cheaper cost than new gravel. Both are considered sustainable sources for paver foundation material.
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What You Need To Know Before Creating A Pea Gravel Patio
Using natural materials in hardscaping is among one of most the popular trends in patios right now. Among these natural options, pea gravel is one of the best. Pea gravel is visually appealing as the small, round stones offer a soft look to the space they occupy. The gravel is also versatile and can accommodate any shape you pour it into. Best of all the cost. Pea gravel is less expensive than poured concrete or other traditional patio materials. If you have been giving any consideration to going the pea gravel route, this article will shed some light on the subject.
Can Pea Gravel Be Used For Paver Base
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Compared to other hardscaping materials, installing pea gravel is relatively easy. Generally, you work the soil about 6 inches deep, remove any weeds, lay down 2 inches of coarsely textured base rock , and cover that with a 3-inch-deep layer of pea gravel.
Likewise, what is the best base for pavers? Roughly crushed stone makes a good base for pavers that will be used more regularly. A base of 4 to 6 inches of well-compacted stone pieces provides a sturdy and stable foundation for nearly any type of paver installation, notes Concrete Construction, an industry website.
Additionally, what kind of gravel do you use under pavers?
The best type of gravel for a paver base is medium 3/4-inch crushed rock. This gravel comes in irregular shapes with sharp edges that wedge together when compacted. Small gravel typically contains sand-like particles that compact into a dense base that won’t allow moisture to escape.
Can you put paving slabs on gravel?
There are many shapes and sizes of paving slabs you could lay on gravel as a stepping stone. Concrete or stone, circular, square or oblong all make good stepping-stones and the method of laying them in gravel remains the same whatever type you want to use.
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Select The Patio Space
Confirm that the patio location will work for gravel. Steep places will not do well with this project. Because pea gravel is rounded and smooth, its angle of repose can be as low as 20 degrees; at steeper pitches, it will begin to shift. Heavy foot traffic can disturb gravel and create a mess. If;an unusual amount of water is coursing through the area, the water can easily wash away the gravel.
Best Kinds Of Gravel For Patio
A patio is no more just about a cement block jutting, but much more cooler innovations. People tend to rely on a slate, stone, or gravel patios. A gravel patio, however, wins the most preferred rank among all. Gravel patios add a sense of nature and comfort to your home. Most amazingly, not only do they look soft but are softer to your budget.
If you have made up your mind already to head to a landscaping firm and get your stock, hold on till you are well-versed in the several kinds of gravels out there. Different varieties can show up different results when constructed into a patio. To educate yourself more about the types of gravel, continue reading.
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Best Kinds Of Gravel For A Patio Construction:
Gravel makes a captivating, durable, and pocket-friendly material for patios. Gravel is usually set up on a base made up of cement, bricks, stones, or any other material. This base is then adorned with several kinds of decorative and durable gravel kinds.
Here are some kinds of gravel that can make the best choice for your patio.
Types Of Paver Base Materials
Your base will determine whether your pavers remain smooth and level or grow uneven with time. Qualities of a suitable base material include:
- Allowance of proper water drainage
- The durability to support the weight and force the pavers will endure
- The appropriate thickness for your subgrade material
Contractors and DIY homeowners use a variety of materials underneath pavers. Here are some things to know about the most common paver bases and their properties.
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Pea Gravel Patio Border
A pea gravel border is an edging material placed around the perimeter of the gravel patio. Its main purpose it to contain the stones in one place. Aside from the function it offers, a gravel patio border also adds elegance and aesthetic appeal to your patio by defining it.
Some of the edging materials which can be used as a gravel patio order are bricks, stones, cobblestones, flagstones, metal, galvanized steel, plastic, bender board, cedar or pressure treated wood. These items can be sourced from local home improvement stores.
In choosing a material for your pea gravel patio border, remember to choose something which has a good quality. Do not skimp on the edging material as it will last longer.
Regarding the size of the pea gravel patio border, its height must exceed the depth of your patio excavation. It is typically ½ inch higher than your dug out area but this dimension is adjustable according to your preference.
Gravel may be used to cover large areas of backyard spaces to give them a more natural feel. Limestone pavers are used as a walkway and as flooring material for the outdoor living space. The Rustic theme of this paver and pea gravel patio is complemented by the warm earthy color of the stones used.
What Size Gravel To Use For Paver Base Fine Medium Or Coarse Gravel
Whether you have stamped concrete or pavers it is important to consider the size of gravel you will use. This guide will list the best size gravel materials you can use as paver bases. If youre planning on installing a paver patio and dont know where to start, or are planning on reinforcing yours but dont know how to keep pavers straight, this article must be your first stop: laying pavers without a base is the worst place to start from!
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Pick The Correct Gravel For Your Shed Base
There are a lot of options when it comes to picking the right gravel. ;You dont want it too large or too small. ;The gravel purpose is to allow drainage and provide support. ; The most recommended stone is 1/2 to 3/4 crushed stone. ;Do not use Pea Gravel. ;You can get the stone from many different providers. ;If the shed is small, then you may want to get bags of stone. ;However, if your shed is going to be large, then you may want the gravel delivered.
Building A Gravel Patio
Gravel can make an attractive, long-lasting and economical material for patios or garden seating areas. Before you select a gravel material, though, you need to spend some time preparing the base. Typically, gravel patios are surrounded by an enclosure made of cement, stone or brick, or a combination of materials. The strongest enclosures have a base of cement, topped with decorative elements, such as slate or stone.
Once the enclosures complete, youll excavate the patio area, removing the topsoil so youre left with the hardpan. This soil makes a sturdier base for your gravel patio than soft, spongy topsoil. When excavating, keep in mind that your gravel should be at least 4 inches deep from the bottom of the enclosure. Use square shovels and a level to ensure an even surface and install drainage pipes, if necessary.
The next step in making a gravel patio is installing a gravel base. Spread a layer of road rock over the patio surface, filling the area three-fourths full. Road rock, sometimes called road base, contains larger pieces of gravel that are angular in shape. Road rock is not only less expensive than other types of gravel, but the angular pieces lock together, forming a strong base for your patio. Most landscaping firms or contractors can supply this for you. After laying the foundation, tamp it down with a plate compactor, which is a small machine available for rental at rental supply stores.
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The Type Of Gravel To Use For Pavers
Construction gravel, derived from crushed limestone, is used to create a solid foundation for pavers, whether you’re making a patio, driveway or walkway in your yard. Larger rocks are mined in a quarry and then crushed into smaller pieces. The finished product — construction gravel — is classified by size and coarseness. Choosing the right gravel to use as the foundation for your pavers means examining your climate and the site of construction, and considering what will be sitting atop the pavers once your project is finished.
Completely Even The Base
As you lay your concrete sand base, aim to make it;less than 1.5 inches thick. Once the sand is laid, youll need to level, or screed, it. There are many types of tools to help level the sand base. You can use a flat, heavy 2×4 with an attached handle to smooth out the sand, or you may consider renting a dedicated screed rail for the project. Whatever you decide, the end goal is to have a completely smooth surface for your pavers.
Gently lay the broad side of a 2×4 onto the sand and set a level on it to ensure your surface is as even as possible.
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Place The Gravel And Prepare For The Shed
The process is coming along nicely. ;You have the permits and the right shed plans. ;The ground is properly level and the gravel shed base is dug to a 4-6 inch base. ;The foundation is framed with a 2 foot extra length and width frame. ;The frame is squared and the soil is tamped. ;The right gravel is bought and delivered into the framed area.
Lots of work done already and a little more to go. ;Now place some sand on the vapor barrier to protect it from the gravel. ;Then place the gravel in the foundation and tamp it again with your Ames manual tamper.; If it is a large area to tamp then go with the the one by Dirty Hand Tools as we discussed above. ;The gravel is now tamped and level so move on to the building process.