The Best Gravel for Driveways

When looking for the best gravel for driveways, it’s important to remember that everyone’s requirements are different. Some people value drainage properties, others value aesthetics such as size and colour, and other factors such as cost and durability are added to the mix too – so let’s take a look at the best types of driveway gravel that best suit your needs. 

Type of gravel and what they’re good for

Ideal for country gardens but works well with modern gardens too, loose gravel and stones are water-permeable, easy to lay yourself and are cost-effective. As the name suggests, loose gravel or stones are simple to install and simply require even distribution. This can be achieved effectively across a compacted sub-base like a driveway, for example, but can also be used for soft landscaping purposes too. All you will need is a rake to ensure even coverage but chances are – if you’ve ordered enough – this won’t take long. 

  • Slate chippings – appearance & moisture retention (better for plant decoration)
  • Shingle – drainage properties & appearance & affordability (better for driveways)
  • Pea gravel – surfacing & drainage & affordability & small in shape (better for driveways)
  • Quarry process – base layers & durability
  • River rock – edging & durability & large in shape (better for water features)
  • Marble chips – surfacing & appearance (better for pathways)

The benefits of gravel driveways

  • Reduces maintenance – the weight of the gravel helps to suppress weeds in summer, gravel driveways remove the need to mow, water or feed. A simple rake of gravel where necessary is about as far as maintenance goes. 
  • Improves drainage – gravel helps to absorb water into the ground, rather than retain water and form troublesome puddles.
  • Ample flexibility – gravel comes in both functional and decorative forms and can be used for pathways, driveways, pond edging, plant decoration and much more. Gravel also comes in a range of shapes, sizes, colours and textures. 
  • Extremely durable – weather doesn’t affect the performance of gravel, if anything, it can enhance the colour of gravel when wet.
  • Enhanced security – the crunching noise that gravel makes underfoot is an effective way of knowing someone is on your property – it might be the case that your dog notices first and comes to tell you.
  • Simple to install – gravel surfaces are easy to lay and can be used and enjoyed almost immediately.
  • Drought-resistant – although gravel is good at draining water, it can also maintain a level of moisture underneath, which makes it a friendly choice for your plants – especially if you tend to experience long belts of hot weather. 

What size gravel is best for driveways

Is your driveway used for parking cars or for decoration? If your gravel driveway will have cars sitting on top of it, avoid the smallest size of pea shingle, you don’t want them sticking in your tyre treads. Opt for larger sized gravel, anything less than 6mm can be easily moved around but anything over 18-20 is too hard to walk on and not good for car tyres. 10-18mm gravel is recommended for driveways that house cars but it’s entirely dependent on taste.

Generally, gravel sized between 6-10mm is used for footpaths – which could be an option for driveways that do not need to worry about housing cars. On a side note, the smaller the gravel on your driveway is, the more likely your or your neighbour’s cat is likely to use it as a litter tray.

Still unsure what type of gravel is best for driveways? Contact Essex Aggregates today, we have a wide range of aggregates, recycled aggregates and topsoil for you to choose from and we’re more than happy to talk you through our best options. Whatever it is you need, whenever you need it – we will listen, assist and deliver, simply contact us today.