When it comes to enhancing the appeal and functionality of your home’s exterior, a gravel driveway offers timeless charm and practicality. In the United Kingdom, where weather conditions can vary, choosing the right type of gravel is crucial to ensure durability and aesthetics. Let’s explore the 10 best types of gravel for driveways in the UK, each offering unique benefits to elevate your home’s curb appeal.
Known for its smooth, rounded texture, pea gravel is a popular choice for driveways due to its comfortable surface and excellent drainage properties. Its small size makes it easy to walk on and provides a soft, natural appearance that complements any home exterior.
Yorkshire Cream Gravel
Originating from the picturesque landscapes of Yorkshire, cream gravel exudes understated sophistication. Its creamy-white color brightens up outdoor spaces and complements both traditional and contemporary architecture, making it a versatile option for UK driveways.
It is also known as pea shingle. It is made up of small, smooth stones that are perfect for forming the top layer of a gravel driveway. This is because of its smooth texture and aesthetic appeal. It is usually 3/8” in size. Pea gravel comes in a variety of colours, such as brown, grey, blue, and red. Unlike crushed stone which is angular in shape, pea gravel is round. This round shape makes it harder for it to be locked in place. Unless some form of edging is used to keep it in place, driving across it might not be so easy. Known for its smooth, rounded texture, pea gravel is a popular choice for driveways due to its comfortable surface and excellent drainage properties. Its small size makes it easy to walk on and provides a soft, natural appearance that complements any home exterior.
Available in a variety of sizes and colors, crushed stone is a versatile option for driveways. Its angular edges lock together to create a stable surface that withstands heavy traffic and erosion, making it a durable and long-lasting choice.
Crushed stone refers to a mixture of small rocks and coarse sand. There are different types of crushed stone for driveways, and they come in different colours and sizes. Crushed stone is quite versatile, durable, and affordable, making it an excellent option for gravel driveways. It is the best material for gravel driveways. It can be used for either the base, second, or top layer forming the gravel driveway. Before you make use of crushed stone, you need to be familiar with its size chart.
The #57 crushed stone is the most popular type of crushed stone. It is preferred because its angular shape promotes good drainage. It also prevents the rocks from sticking together. It is often used as the second layer of a gravel driveway. It could also be used for concrete mix, drainage, and landscaping.
The #411 crushed stone is also another preferred choice for gravel driveways. It is smaller and finer in texture than the #57 stone. It is a combination of coarse stone dust and the #57 stone. Because of its finer texture, it is used to fill the top layer of the driveway. It also forms a solid surface that vehicles can drive across easily. In other words, it helps to create a stable crushed gravel driveway.
With its smooth, polished surface and natural earth tones, river rock adds a touch of elegance to any driveway. Its rounded edges create a visually appealing texture while offering excellent drainage and erosion resistance.
Renowned for its durability and low maintenance, granite gravel is a practical choice for high-traffic driveways. Its angular edges interlock to create a stable surface that resists shifting and compaction, ensuring years of reliable performance.
Quarry Process Stone
It is also known as dirty stone, crusher run, shoulder stone, QP, dense grade aggregate, and ¾ blended stone. It is a mixture of stone dust and three-quarter inch crushed stone. It is mostly made out of crushed granite, limestone or trap rock. The pieces bind together to form compacted gravel. This kind of gravel is strong and durable, making it an excellent option for the top layer of the gravel driveway. If you decide to use this kind of gravel, you should ensure that the middle of the driveway is higher than the sides. This structure would facilitate proper drainage and minimise damage to the driveway. It’s always a good idea to have a CCTV drain survey to get the best understanding of how your current driveway drain system is working.
White Marble Chips
They are commonly used as the top layer of gravel driveways and walkways. They are not purely white but have grey streaks, which make them more attractive. They come in different shapes and sizes. Also, they sparkle and shimmer in the sun. This sparking effect makes them seem quite elegant and aesthetically appealing. It also helps to prevent the property from being too hot. Thus, they are one of the best driveway gravel.
Just like pea gravel, marble chips need a driveway edging to hold them in place and prevent them from being washed away. The downside with this gravel stone is that it is usually more costly than the other types.
As the name implies, this type of gravel is an excellent option for filling the base layer of your driveway. It is the best gravel for creating the driveway base. It is another type of crushed stone but is larger. It can be up to 2 or more inches in diameter.
Washed Clean Stone
It is like crushed stone in texture. The only difference is that it is cleaner than crushed stone, thus making it more attractive. Depending on the size, it can be used to form the middle or top layer of the driveway.
Tips For Laying A Gravel Driveway
Selecting the best gravel type and sizes is only one part of the process of installing a gravel driveway. There are so many other things you should do to ensure that your gravel driveway is properly installed. We have compiled some tips that could be useful in helping you create a solid and attractive driveway they are:
- Seek Professional Advice: If you are unsure as to what type or size of gravel would be the best to use, talk to us today. Seeking professional advice also helps you have a pretty accurate estimate of how much gravel material would be required.
- Prepare the site to be used beforehand: Until this has been done, you must not lay your gravel driveway. You need to clear the land of weeds, grass, and debris. You also need to remove the topsoil off the ground, leaving only hard rocks which would make your driveway more durable.
- Ensure that you have good drainage: If you do not have good drainage, your driveway would be damaged. The gravel pieces would become loose and start to separate. Eventually, the gravel would sink into a mud hole. The simple solution to prevent this from happening is to insert a layer of geotextile fabric between the subsoil and base of the driveway.
- Make use of driveway borders or edgings where necessary: Some gravel types would not form stable driveways because of their sizes and textures. Therefore, it would be necessary to make use of edgings to hold them in place and create a solid ground for your vehicle to drive across.