Aside from asphalt and concrete, gravel driveways are some of the most popular nowadays. With so many different types of gravel as well as different methods of installing a new gravel driveway, it’s no surprise that many people are flocking towards this driveway material.
You might be wondering how deep your new gravel driveway should be. There are a number of factors that can determine the depth of a gravel driveway, so in case you’re looking to build one, let’s take a look at everything that goes into determining how deep your gravel driveway should be.
Types of Gravel Driveways
There are two main types of gravel driveways, loose and stabilized. Loose gravel driveways are gravel driveways built without any subsurface of stabilizing elements, save for an exterior border around the edges.
Loose gravel driveways don’t need to be deep at all because they don’t really require any digging. Even if you do prepare the surface of the earth by removing grass and cleaning up the area a bit, chances are you’ll be pouring your gravel right on the ground, so you don’t need to worry about digging.
How deep should gravel be for a driveway with a sub-base? The answer is anywhere from 12-18 inches. This is to give stormwater the proper amount of space to drain through your aggregate and into the soil below without flooding. The ideal depth of your gravel driveway will depend on how much rain your area typically gets.
If you aren’t using stabilizing pavers for your gravel and you’re just installing a gravel surface above a gravel sub-base, you may want to extend the depth of your driveway down to 18 inches, 6 inches for each layer of gravel.
Assuming you’ll be using three types of gravel for this type of driveway, if you’re wondering how deep the gravel base should be for a driveway, it’s about 6 inches. The sub-base and the surface will also be about 6 inches of gravel as well, for a total of 18 inches.
Building a Gravel Driveway with TRUEGRID
Using stabilizing pavers like the kind made by TRUEGRID is the best way to make your gravel driveway last as long as you can. If you’re using TRUEGRID pavers and wondering how many inches deep a gravel driveway should be, the answer is about 7 inches (6” base depth, 1 or 1.8” TRUEGRID height). The TRUEGRID PRO LITE and TRUEGRID PRO PLUS paving systems are both 100%-permeable, so a driveway made with these pavers only needs 8 inches of depth to get the job done.
The installation process for TRUEGRID pavers is very simple and requires only a basic excavation tool. This is great for anybody nervous about how deep a gravel driveway needs to be, in case you thought you might need some serious heavy-duty machinery.
First, the driveway is excavated 7 inches deep (6” base depth, 1 or 1.8” TRUEGRID height), at which point a piece of fabric is laid at the bottom to provide separation for optimal drainage. Next, the base aggregate is spread and compacted, after which the interlocking TRUEGRID pavers are snapped into place as easily as LEGO blocks.
Once this is complete, more gravel is spread over the top of the pavers to infill the TRUEGRID’s cells. This anchors down the pavers and prevents them from shifting at all. Once this is complete, so is the installation process.
TRUEGRID pavers are great because there’s no guesswork involved. 7 inches is the standard depth of any residential gravel driveway built with TRUEGRID pavers, though you can go deeper in commercial settings or extremely flood-prone areas.
Take the Guesswork Out of Digging a Gravel Driveway
Installing a new gravel driveway can be a bit of an unsure process if you aren’t schooled on the topic. Whether you’re just looking to install a cheaper driveway option or you want to maximize your flood protection, the depth of your gravel driveway could vary anywhere from 12-18 inches in most cases. It can be harder to decipher your necessary driveway depth while using unstabilized gravel, but TRUEGRID can help you take the guesswork out of the process.
Almost any driveway built with TRUEGRID permeable plastic pavers is going to be 7 inches deep (6” base depth, 1 or 1.8” TRUEGRID height). The permeability of the pavers and their effectiveness at draining stormwater makes it so that you don’t need to go deeper unless you are requiring more subsurface drainage and detention.
If you want to build a durable, permeable, clean-cut, stylish, and eco-friendly gravel driveway that will never spread, rut, or require significant maintenance, get in touch with a pavement professional at TRUEGRID today for a free quote.