North-Western Illinois Top Hardscape Material Supplier

The Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Gravel

Are you looking for the right gravel for your project? Read here for the ultimate guide to the different types of gravel to find the right option for you.
Closeup photo of gravel rocks

Research shows that making landscaping improvements can add 20% to 30% to the home’s ROI. This boosts the curb appeal and adds value to the overall property.

As a landscaper, you need to know about the different types of gravel. You will most likely have clients who want gravel options added to their landscape.

There are multiple kinds of gravel to choose from with different kinds of properties. This is why it is important to understand what you will be working with.

Keep reading to find out what the different types of gravel are and why you should use them.

Pea Gravel

The most popular type of gravel on the market is pea gravel. This gravel is small and round, composed of washed stone that is pea-sized.

It is considered to be one of the more affordable options that are also very versatile. Pea gravel has a nice appearance that is perfect for decorative touches in a garden or yard.

These stones are crack resistant and are perfect for allowing drainage. They last a very long time and protect the landscape from erosion and weed growth.

A ton of pea gravel is estimated to cover 120 square feet. This is accurate as long as you are laying a 2-inch thick layer of pea gravel.

River Rock

If you plan on adding gravel to a landscape, one great option is river rock. River rock is perfect for areas that have a lot of water.

River rock is beautiful and has a smooth and aesthetically pleasing appearance. It is very easy to install and lay out, requiring very little care after the fact.

This gravel is a little larger, so it is not going to be ideal for every landscaping project. Because the rocks are smooth, it also is not ideal for areas where people will be walking.

For instance, you would not want to lay River rock for driveways or walkways.

Limestone Rocks

When choosing gravel, you also have larger varieties. Limestone rocks are a perfect example of this, as they come in a variety of sizes.

One option is to get 3-inch limestone rocks that are perfect for decorating. They are a grayish-blue color and help to support soil and reduce erosion.

These provide plenty of drainage since they are large and will not sit too close together. These would be perfect around a patio or around a tree base.

It is a bit harder to estimate how much you will need to order because of the size.

Marble Chips

Another kind of gravel that is popular is marble chips. These are very natural in appearance and have a slightly reflective surface.

This helps to brighten up the area where the marble chips have been added. Keep in mind that this detail makes marble chips an option that shouldn’t be used around plants.

Marble chips are a great option for clients looking for something more unique. You don’t see this kind of gravel all the time, and it makes a beautiful outdoor feature.

Because of this, it is usually used for decorative edging and borders as well as rock gardens.

Limestone Chips

If you want to work with limestone, you can also use limestone chips. These are often used underneath other projects to act as a leveling material.

They have the appearance of gravel, except the rocks are a bit more flat and sharp. You can lay limestone chips down and build other landscaping features on top of them.

This is perfect if you want to build something and prevent weeds from growing underneath it. You could even add these lime stone chips under a driveway or sidewalk.

One ton of limestone chips can cover 100 square feet when spread out 2 inches thick.

Limestone Landscaping Rocks

Another limestone option is limestone landscaping rocks. This limestone gravel has a traditional look that goes with any landscaping project.

Clients will love this option as the rocks are not too rough or manicured looking. They are easy to spread and protect the soil beneath from extreme temperatures and weeds.

This gravel also acts as an erosion protectant, keeping the soil secure. The rocks are gray in color and are very durable.

These are most often used for decorative edging, borders, and rock gardens. A one-ton bag of limestone gravel will be able to cover 36 square feet.

What Can Gravel be Used for?

Now that you know about the different types of gravel, how is it used? You will want to understand how to use gravel for your clients as well as the kind to use.

Gravel is very useful, and you can start adding gravel to the majority of your landscaping projects. It creates a perfect finishing touch that also offers plenty of functional benefits.


You can start using gravel for pathways through people’s property. Pathways are very convenient and allow you to break up the landscape.

You may not want to create a concrete pathway, making gravel the next best option. It is easy to install and doesn’t require the homeowners to maintain it.


Not everyone has a nice concrete or asphalt driveway for their home. If this is the case, they may want you to create a gravel driveway.

This is a functional option that also looks very nice. But you will need to make sure you are careful about the kind of gravel you choose.

You do not want to use sharp gravel that could embed itself in vehicle tires. You also don’t want to choose gravel that is too smooth and polished, as it doesn’t provide traction.

Water Features

For clients with outdoor water features, gravel is a great option. This creates the perfect finishing touch to complete the area and make it look professional.

One example of this is using river rock around an outdoor fountain or small pond. This is aesthetically pleasing and perfect for a wet environment.


Many clients enjoy having decorative borders around their yards and gardens. This is the perfect way to finish off these spaces and separate them from the rest of the landscape.

Borders can be made of all kinds of different materials. But gravel is one of the more easy options that still looks amazing in any yard.

It doesn’t require much maintenance and helps the soil to stay put.

Bare Dirt

Gravel is also a great option for areas of bare dirt in the landscape. This is a common problem that people have and they may not always want to simply plant more grass.

You could create rock gardens where the bare dirt is covered with gravel. This works similarly to wood chips, but it is more durable and easier to maintain.

Patios and Porches

Gravel is also a common addition to patios and porches underneath the structures. There is most likely several inches of space under the structures with bare dirt.

Different types of gravel are the perfect option for covering the dirt and providing drainage. This ensures that water will not sit underneath your porch or patio.

The gravel allows it to slowly drain away so that it will not create any problems.

Benefits of Using Gravel

There are many benefits to using gravel in your landscaping projects. This is a service that is in high demand, which is why all landscapers should offer it.

Gravel is perfect for enhancing the appearance of certain areas. It is also a material that does not require hardly any maintenance from the homeowners.

It provides a finished look that will last for many years to come. Gravel also provides drainage that is often required in certain areas of a landscape.

It is often used in areas where soil erosion is a problem or water runoff. It provides structure for the soil, protecting it from being washed away.

Different kinds of gravel options will open the door for different kinds of opportunities. That is why you will want to choose the gravel depending on the project.

Types of Gravel to Know About

If you are a landscaper, it is important that you understand the different types of gravel. There are multiple kinds of gravel, and they are all ideal for certain projects.

For instance, river rocks are ideal for areas with a lot of water. And pea gravel is the perfect decorative or functional option for gardens and walkways.

Are you interested in purchasing high-quality gravel? Contact us today at Fox Landscaping Supply to order gravel delivery.

Share this article:


Search Our Site

Connect With Us on Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, only notifications about new products and updates.

Blog Categories

Related Posts

What are you looking for?