3 Landscape Options for Rock Driveways

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  • 12-24 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-300

There are a number of materials and methods for creating a driveway, but creating a rock driveway is one of the quickest and most affordable options of all. Rock comes in a variety of textures and colors and provides a multitude of choices to choose from. A rock driveway can be beautiful, and cost much less than a concrete or asphalt driveway. When considering this option, keep in mind that preparation of the area where the drive will be is critical. The area will need to have the topsoil removed and compacted. You may also want to consider creating ditches on either side of the driveway to facilitate drainage. Rock is sold in cubic yards, which is three feet long by three feet wide by three feet tall. One cubic yard equals twenty-seven cubic feet. You will want the depth of the rock to be at least six inches, and perhaps more depending on your particular situation. If the area of the driveway is easily accessible, most companies deliver the rock by a dump truck, and they can usually do most of the spreading of the rock as they dump it, saving you a lot of heavy work. Here you will find three options to consider for a rock driveway.

Crushed Rock

The crushed rock provides a very appealing option as it compacts very well, leaving the surface smooth and easy to drive on. Crushed rock is usually gray, and comes in two sizes, 3/4 minus, and 1/4 to 3/4. What this means is that 3/4 minus is pieces of rock that are smaller than three-quarters of an inch, as small as dust. This size provides the components that will make sure that the gravel settles, and the smaller particles fill in gaps caused by the larger stones, further ensuring that the compaction is as good as possible. The 1/4 to 3/4 size will add an additional layer that still provides a level layer, while also providing good drainage.

Volcanic Rock

Otherwise known as cinder rock, volcanic rock drives can be beautiful, and offers similar compaction as crushed rock, as it comes in similar sizes. It offers excellent drainage. It usually comes in red or black, can be difficult to find and isn't available in all areas. The overall surface texture is usually a little rougher to drive on than crushed rock, but not significantly so. This rock can be extremely sharp though and is not comfortable at all to walk on barefooted.

River Rock

River rock is beautiful and comes in a lot more variety of colors and sizes than crushed or volcanic rock. Additionally, river rock is usually substantially larger than crushed or cinder rock and therefore does not settle and compact as neatly as the other two. River rock is much easier on bare feet than the other two options, but certainly provides a bumpier ride in driveway applications. If there are particularly large stones it can be downright uncomfortable, so make sure that the size of the river rock you use is appropriate.