Which Gravel Is Best For Patios

Gravel is a low-cost option for patios, driveways, and walkways. If you’re considering gravel for your patio, you may come across different types of gravel and would want to know which type is better for you. Most patio builders suggest pea gravel as the best type of gravel for patios, however, there are more types as well that have their advantages.

Pea Gravel

It’s the most popular type. Peal gravel is usually found near riverbeds. The stones are small and round and easy to walk on. Usually, peal gravel is available in 1/4 inches to 3/8 inches in size and the color option with this type of gravel are many. This will make it easier for you to choose the different colors you want to use in for your pea gravel patio.

The smooth and small pieces of peal gravel allow rain to pass through easily so the patio dries quickly after rain or water spill.

On the other hand, small rocks of pea gravel don’t lock in place. You will have to maintain it well because many small pebbles will scatter outside of the patio boundaries. Moreover, some pieces can stick to the footwear and track into the house and can lead to scratches to your indoor flooring. Plus, peal gravel isn’t suggested for driveways and any other plan where wheel traffic is expected.

Crushed Stone

Crushed stone has stones of irregular shapes that settle well without scattering outside the patio. They are favored for wheel traffic. Moreover, the choices of colors and sizes allow you to choose a good match for your landscape.

A downside of crushed stone patios is that the stones are crushed with foot and wheel traffic affecting the height of the patio. You will have to refill it after a few years to avoid this problem.

Decomposed Granite

There are different types of decomposed stones in the market. The most common of them is decomposed granite. The rocks are of decomposed granite are the smallest compared to other gravel types and can as small as a sand grain. If you require bigger, select the 1/8 inches size or any other gravel option.

Due to the small particle size, the patio or driveway appears compact and level, favorable for foot traffic and vehicles. Decomposed granite stones come in dusty colors and also in dark and red-brown tones.

The disadvantage of decomposed granite patios is that water doesn’t drain properly due to the compacted surface and small particles of decomposed granite. Furthermore, decomposed granite can stick to your footwear making the small stones uninvited guests in your house scratching tiles and floors.

Lava Rock

It’s an expensive gravel that is used for its absorption characteristics. Lava rock patios can absorb rainwater. Moreover, lava rock stays in place when installed and doesn’t scatter. Therefore, if you require a patio material that is low maintenance and appear different than usual gravel patios, you can select lava rock. However, the cost of lava gravel is on the higher end as discussed earlier.

The hardness of lava rock keeps the rocks in place, but they can hurt you if you fall on your lava rock patio. The color options for lava rock are limited to black, gray, and red so if you want any other color, you will have to go with other types of gravel.

Drain Rock

Drain rock patios drain water easily so you won’t see puddles of water on your patio. They are similar to crushed stones and offer the same benefits such as a stable surface and easy flow of water through the stones.

There are different shades of drain rock like light colors, dark gray, red-brown hues, and sandy colors.

Marble Chips

This is another expensive gravel type like lava rock. However, it is favored by homeowners due to the attractiveness and aesthetics added by marble chips. The type of gravel can settle quickly and offer a stable surface. Moreover, marble chips don’t require frequent refilling.

Having said that, marble chips are high maintenance because they collect dirt and dust and require cleaning.


The cost and look of your gravel patio can change with the type of gravel you select. So, discuss it with your patio contractor Long Island and choose the best option.

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