Gravel driveways and walkways have their own distinct appeal, and one of the most popular types among homeowners is pea gravel. Pea gravel is usually made up of small rocks and stones about the size of green peas, hence the name.
Pea gravel is small enough to form a solid, level surface for walking and driving, especially when used in conjunction with a stabilizer grid. The space between pieces of gravel is enough room for water and other liquids to drain through as well, making it permeable to a degree.
There’s plenty to learn about how to pack pea gravel during the installation process, as well as how to seal a pea gravel walkway, so in case you want to learn about installing a pea gravel driveway or walkway, let’s go over everything you need to know.
Preventing the Spread of Pea Gravel
The main thing you need to know about a pea gravel driveway or walkway is how to keep the gravel in place. Pea gravel is made up of many small pieces, so it cannot be used as loose material for driveways or walkways, as it simply spreads too easily.
Thankfully, there are a number of options for how to keep pea gravel from washing away. The two most effective methods for stabilizing pea gravel are cement and permeable pavers. If you’re stabilizing pea gravel with cement, it will hold for a while until it’s eventually damaged by traffic and water exposure.
A pea gravel binding solution like cement will not be permeable and will displace water to the edges of the pavement. This can lead to erosion and even flooding, in severe cases, and if you don’t know how to seal a pea gravel driveway, you’ll have to pay someone to do it every few years or so to prevent water infiltration.
Another way to stabilize a pea gravel walkway or driveway, however, is with permeable pavers. Pavers by TRUEGRID, for instance, will hold the pea gravel in place without the use of binding agents. They are made up of empty cells which are filled with gravel and held in place by the weight of it. Installation will be quick and easy.
The process for how to set pea gravel into TRUEGRID pavers is simple. First, the desired paved area is excavated to a depth of about 1 inch. Next, it’s filled to the top with pea gravel and compacted. Then, the empty pavers are snapped into place over the top of the filled pit.
Afterward, the surface pavers are filled with gravel and the pea gravel is set into place by driving over it with a vehicle or heavy roller. This is the entire installation process in a nutshell, completed much faster than if you were to use concrete, and it doesn’t require any special equipment..
Using Permeable Pavers for a Higher-Quality Pea Gravel Driveway
The main benefit of using permeable pavers for pea gravel walkways and driveways is their durability. TRUEGRID permeable pavers will last up to 60 years with almost no maintenance required. Compared to a cement pea gravel driveway or pathway, this will cost you thousands of dollars less over the course of its lifetime.
TRUEGRID plastic permeable pavers are also better for the environment because they’re made from 100%-recycled plastic and take far fewer resources to produce and install. They also help to accentuate the aesthetic beauty of pea gravel better than a grey or off-white cement. The cell walls are only semi-visible from the surface, allowing the pea gravel to stand out more.
With TRUEGRID permeable pavers, you will never have to worry about how to firm up pea gravel, or how to use binding agents to prevent it from spreading. You can use your pea gravel as-is, allowing the pavers to do all the work of keeping it tight and compact.
Whether you’re building a driveway for heavy usage or a basic footpath, TRUEGRID pavers provide a vastly superior level of stylistic flexibility, durability, cost-effectiveness, and eco-friendliness.
Let TRUEGRID Help You Create the Perfect Pea Gravel Driveway or Pathway
Cement is a crude and flawed solution for stabilizing pea gravel. If you really want to get the most out of this unique and versatile material, you need to stabilize it with TRUEGRID permeable pavers. Not only will you save time and money on long-term maintenance, your pavement will look cleaner and will avoid erosion and flooding problems, last longer, and provide a much more eco-friendly solution than cement.
If you’re designing a pea gravel pathway or walkway, contact a pavement professional at TRUEGRID today to help you get started.
option for the base layer of a gravel driveway is item #4. Item #4 is comprised of sand, dirt, and golf ball-sized stones. This type of gravel is available in a few different variations including recycled item # 4, which is made up of recycled stones, brick, blacktop, concrete, and rock.
There is also quarry item # 4, or crushed limestone, gray item # 4 which appears dark grey in color, and crushed bluestone item #4. Crushed bluestone item #4 is usually found in municipal driveways, though.
The middle layer of a gravel driveway features stones closer to golf ball size, with #57 stone being the prominent type of gravel. Otherwise known simply as crushed gravel, #57 stone also helps promote drainage.
5 Types of The Best Surface Gravel for Driveaway
There isn’t a lot of variety for the bottom layers of a gravel driveway, however, there are more options when it comes to finding the best gravel for driveway surfaces. Among the other options are crushed stone #411, quarry process, pea gravel, jersey shore gravel, marble chips, and river rock. These are the best options for driveway surfaces gravel, because they are small stones combined with rock dust, which makes a more solid driving surface.
1. Crushed Stone #411
It is crushed up #57 stone combined with rock dust. This mixture is able to handle moderate traffic from heavy vehicles.
2. Quarry Process
It is also called “crusher run” and works well for the surface of both driveways and walkways. It’s made from stone dust fines and crushed stone.
The stone dust will settle and become compact to create a semisolid surface that is smooth. It is important that you know that this type of surface gravel needs to be sloped towards the sides of your driveway for better drainage.
3. Pea Gravel
Pea gravel is popular gravel for driveway aesthetics. It’s made up of round, small stones that can come in many different colors. This type of gravel will easily migrate and spread under the weight of vehicles, though, and needs to be stabilized for long-term, maintenance-free usage.
4. Jersey Shore Gravel
It is made of yellow, tan, white, gold, and brownstones and looks quite a bit like sand. It’s similar to pea gravel since it needs borders or stabilizing pavers to prevent it from spreading.
5. Marble Chips
Marble chips are white and they sparkle in the sunlight. They typically cost more than other gravel types but are another favorite when it comes to being the best gravel for driveway aesthetic appeal. This type of gravel also needs a border or stabilization to prevent it from spreading, migrating, and washing away.
6. Blackstar or Blacktrap Rock
A very attractive dark gray gravel, this is an excellent choice as it is angular and locks together. When combined with stabilizing grid paving system, this provides a super durable and beautiful driveway.
A Better Alternative to Typical Gravel Driveways
Some of the aforementioned gravel types require stabilization, but the best way to construct any gravel driveway is by using TRUEGRID permeable pavers to lock in your gravel.
TRUEGRID PRO LITE and PRO PLUS stabilizing pavers simply require fill gravel and surface gravel, although you can use the same type of gravel for both. The fill gravel is poured over the top of a piece of fabric at the bottom of the excavated area where you want your driveway that provides drainage for water and other liquids.
It is then compacted and leveled before TRUEGRID permeable pavers are snapped in place over the surface. Next, your surface gravel of choice is poured over the pavers and locked into place using a heavy roller or vehicle. This weighs the pavers down and locks them securely into place.
The main benefit of using TRUEGRID pavers to build a gravel driveway is that they will keep your gravel in place, eliminating the need for almost any maintenance during the course of your driveway’s lifetime.
A properly installed and maintained TRUEGRID gravel driveway is durable enough to handle all types of vehicle traffic and will last up to 60 years without cracking or breaking down in the sun, rain, or other types of weather like asphalt does.. Choosing the best gravel for driveway usage is only part of the equation.
If you want to build your gravel driveway the maintenance-free way, get in touch with the pavement professionals at TRUEGRID today for a quote.