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Paver Base Panel Vs Gravel: Which Is Better For Your Home Project?

When it comes to home projects, using the best option should always be the case. And for the base of your pavers, the paver base panel, and gravel must have been the final contenders, as both are really good materials. To make things easier for you, we have researched this carefully to know which one is better to use, and here is the answer:

The better choice for your home project depends on the benefits you want between the paver base panel and gravel. Since both are excellent paver bases, the comparison will be based on their slight differences.

If you are after an easier installation, the paver base panel is the way to go. However, if you are after a more durable outcome, then you should go after the gravel. 

We know you need more information to come up with the final choice, so that is what we are going to do. Aside from that, the related inquiries regarding this matter will also be discussed to help you weigh the options. So make sure that you will read until the end of this article. 

A comparison between Paver base panel and Gravel base panel, Paver Base Panel Vs Gravel: Which Is Better For Your Home Project?

Choosing Between Paver Base Panel And Gravel

For you to be able to distinguish what you will use, we will introduce each of the choices carefully. By this, we are referring to the benefits and drawbacks that come with each of them. 

Gravel Base

Green plastic grid with gravel in the parking lot

Here are the reasons why gravel is good for your home project.

  • Known for being highly durable, which is perfect for pavers. Even with concrete slabs, gravels are used to strengthen and act as a solid base, so you can expect it to make the ground sturdy for many years.
  • Gravel can withstand erosions. They are used to prevent the soil from being swept away during a course of damaging phenomena such as flooding. If you live in areas that are susceptible to wind and storms, this might as well be the one for you.
  • Prevent the ants from building their anthill on your paver. Since the layering of your base is soil-landscape fabric-gravel-sand-paver, the ants will have a rock barrier between the moist earth soil and the sand where the concrete paver lies, making it hard for them to break through the surface of the paper.
  • It acts as a good draining element because the rocks are nonporous, so the water flows much faster through them. 

However, the biggest drawback of using it is the duration for the project to be completed since you will need to dig deeper for the layering of other base materials.

Also, if you are going to do this all by yourself, a lot of work and effort has to be done since you will need to carry the load of the gravel and dig the required depth in the ground. The bigger the area, the more work you will have to give and the longer it will take you to finish the task.

Cost Of Gravel

When it comes to the cost, the pricing depends on your area. However, we will give you the average cost of gravel depending on the amount. 

  • Per bag - $2 to $8
  • Per ton - $10 to $50
  • Per yard - $15 to $75
  • Per square foot (12 inches deep) - $1 to $3 

Do not know how to level the ground for your gravel? Learn the proper procedure for doing it here: How To Level Ground For Gravel

Paver Base Panel

Weed barrier and leveling paver sand to hold the concrete patio stone on paver base panel with edging

Before you think you are finally choosing gravel, look at the list of things that may change your mind and go for a paver base panel instead. 

  • Takes lesser time to install since paver base panels do not require a several-inch deep digging of soil. They only require you to excavate the total depth of the paver's height and half an inch level of sand. 
  • Saves you the effort. In connection to the first reason, you will just need to level the soil before layering it with the fabric and then the sand. You will not need to move the heavy rocks and get rid of a lot of soil.
  • It is cheaper. Excluding the labor and the number of materials you will need in a traditional base, choosing a paver base panel lets you save more money.
  • You can spread the load from a spot towards the whole piece of the paver panel. This allows your ground to stay leveled and prevents the areas frequently stepped on from going low down due to the weight of the things and people that goes through them.
  • A paver base panel has excellent thermal resistance. It insulates the soil beneath from the cold above. Through this, you are saving yourself from the freeze-thaw cycle or freezing the pipes underground during the winter season. 

In contrast to these great benefits, you should note that the base panel's long-term performance hasn't been as good as the traditional base. 

Cost Of Paver Base Panel

The Paver base panel can be bought online for $306.63. This amount can cover 5 square feet already. However, the price still varies depending on your location or the brand. To get an accurate budgeting quote, you can go to the local stores near you that have this product and ask about it.

Having trouble with water pooling on your patio pavers? Read the solution to your problem in this article: Water Pooling On Patio Pavers; What To Do?

How Thick Should Gravel Be Under Pavers?

The general thickness that you should dig for gravel ranges from 4 to 6 inches. But this depth usually applies to areas used for walking only. If heavy-loaded things like vehicles are parking over it, you will need to make it deeper

How much weight can paver base panels hold?

Paver base panels can hold up to 1,152 pounds. This is because the product is specially designed to withstand heavy loads to solve the problem of sinking spots that gravel base usually has in traffic areas.

What Kind Of Gravel Do You Use Under Pavers?

Man holds in his hand a sample of stone gravel or pebbles of one size

Medium gravel is the kind that is usually used and is the most popular for pavers. This is because it does not have a too tight or loose compact for regular to moist soil. This means good drainage is possible to happen under your paver if you use this size of gravel.

What To Put Under Pavers To Prevent Weeds?

Paving slabs made of artificial stone at the stage of filling the joints with dry sifted sand

Using polymeric sand under the pavers can help prevent weeds from growing. This is because this kind of sand hardens, so it serves as a solid binder in between the spaces of pavers. Because of this, the weeds cannot penetrate through the free spaces in which they can supposedly come out. 

Aside from using polymeric sand, you can also deal with this problem by ensuring that your paver's base is draining well. Are the weeds invading your garden?

Check out this article to figure out how to stop this from happening: How To Keep Weeds Out Of Your Garden

In Summary

Comparison between Paver base panel and Gravel base panel

The best sub-base for your home project depends on the convenience that you will need. If you are after a quick and easy installation, the paver base panel is your choice.

It can also serve as an insulator to prevent the freeze-thaw cycle. Another good thing about it is that it deals with the load as a piece, so you will not have an uneven surface over time. 

On the other hand, proven durability and good drainage are what gravel can offer you. Although it takes significantly more time and effort to complete the task, gravel is the method that has been used ever since for a strong base.