There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to selecting a hardscape material for your yard. If you have already asked around, you have probably heard about paver bases, gravel, and crushed stone. But what should you choose among those options? We have researched these three materials, and here is what you should know.
The best material for your yard depends on what you will use it for and the purpose that you are going after. For instance, crushed stone is ideal for heavy-duty and high-traffic spots such as walkways and driveways.
Meanwhile, gravel is perfect in gardens because it helps in water drainage. Lastly, the paver base is the best option if you install pavement blocks along the yard.
In the next section, we will talk more about the three choices to help you decide better which one you should choose for your yard. Aside from that, other related queries will be tackled for you to learn more about gravel, paver base, and crushed stones. If you are interested in learning them, keep on reading!
Choosing Between Paver Base, Gravel, And Crushed Stone
Before we start presenting the three flooring options for you, you will need to identify the purpose of your yard first. Doing so sets the criteria or checklist you will follow upon knowing more about paver base, gravel, and crushed stone. Once you are done, you can check out the helpful information we have about them below.
The Paver base, as its name implies, it is the base that is used when installing pavers. It keeps the ground level for the stone blocks to achieve the look and even surface. Aside from that, it can distribute the weight from a point towards the entire ground so that a traffic spot won't sink over time.
But did you know that you can also make the paver base as a ground surface? Yes, you can. All you need to do is to remove the grass in the designated area. After that, draw the shape that you will fill with a paver base using a shovel. Mark the outline with spray paint. Then dig 2 to 4 inches deep along the line.
Insert the form board into the trench and keep it upright by installing wood stakes every few feet. Lock them together using a screw. Using a soil tamper, compact the soil inside the form. Once leveled, put the paver base over it and rerun the soil tamper to create an even surface.
You can do this if you want a cheap, easy-to-make divider in your yard.
The second material is gravel, which is a rounded fragment of rock. Using it as a base will give you the advantage of good water drainage since the space between rock pieces creates a way for the liquid to flow faster.
And since stones are non-porous, they help the soil dry up quickly. Since they are solid and hard, weeds cannot pierce through them, so you do not have to spend time maintaining the condition of your yard. This is ideal if you are growing a garden in your yard or is living in a place that tends to rain a lot.
The paver base is an excellent multi-purpose material for using it as a ground surface. Since it comes in different colors and styles, it will add colors to your yard. They are also ideal for the spots being walked on by people or animals since they are not sharp and will not hurt the feet.
Unlike gravel, crushed stones are not ideal for pathways in your yard because of their angular-shaped body. On the other hand, that form makes them suitable for driveways and parking lots since they can lock themselves together to prevent them from pushing forward whenever a vehicle drives along them.
Crushed gravel is also cheap and easy to install. Some people even use it as decoration along the side of the pavement. Note that gravel can be higher maintaince since it's dusty.
Wondering if you can use play sand to keep the pavers together? Read this article to find the answer: Can You Use Play Sand For Pavers?
How Do You Keep Paver Base From Washing Away?
Using a paver sealer, you can prevent the paver base from being washed away. Paver sealer acts as a bond that holds the sand together. To use this product, you must first clean the area by blowing off and watering the present dirt. And then, pour the solution into a sprayer. Spray it evenly into the surface and put another coat if needed.
Are Pebbles And Gravel The Same?
No, pebbles and gravels are not the same. Although they may look alike, you can differentiate them by looking at their appearance. Pebbles have a more defined round shape and are more colorful than gravel. On the other hand, gravels are dull and are not always circular.
Uses of Gravel
- They are used as an ingredient to make concrete for infrastructure and other development projects.
- It keeps the soil in landscaping moist.
- It reduces the acidity in farm soil.
Uses Of Pebbles
- Enhances the appearance of landscapes and aquascapes.
- It can be used as a decorative element for art projects.
Are you curious whether a paver base panel is better than gravel for your home project? Check out this article to know the answer: Paver Base Panel Vs. Gravel: Which Is Better For Your Home Project?
What Should I Put Down Before Gravel?
Before spreading the gravel on the ground, you should put a landscape fabric first. This fabric landscape will give you a lot of benefits, such as:
- It blocks the weed from growing out.
- It acts as an insulator to keep the ground protected from the temperature above.
- It creates good water drainage.
- Give more support to support the weight that is on the gravel.
- It helps in erosion control.
If you do not have a landscape fabric, there are other alternatives that you can use, such as cardboard, newspaper, wheat straw, wood chips, or bark mulch. However, you should not expect that you will have the same benefits that you can get from landscape fabric since they are a different material.
To know which hardscape material you will use for your yard, you must first decide on the space's purpose. If you plan on turning the area into a garden or farm sanctuary, gravel is the best material since it drains the water faster and prevents weeds from growing.
Meanwhile, installing pavers along your yard will require a paver base. Putting a paver base helps you achieve the ideal base that will make your hardscape look even and suitable for a long time. You can also make it an outdoor surface if you want a cheap and alternative divider in your yard.
If a parking lot or driveway is your goal, you should opt for crushed stones since these angular-shaped rocks can lock each other when weight is present. This creates a firm and strong way for heavy vehicles. However, they are not ideal for pathways since they can have sharp edges that may hurt the people or animals walking over them.