Selecting the Right Stone for Your Driveway

Stone DrivewayDriveways are one of the first things a visitor sees when they come to your home, and therefore they can make or break a home’s curb appeal. Many homes have driveways that are made of asphalt or concrete surfaces, which in reality may be practical, but are not very visually pleasing and can be very expensive to install. Stone driveways offer a more visually appealing solution at a lower cost, with a variety of options that will enhance the exterior of your home.

One of the most important aspects of constructing a driveway, whether you do it yourself or have one built by professionals, is selecting the right stone or gravel, both in terms of the material and the color.

Types of Driveway Stone

There are several types of stone that can be used for driveways, including recycled brick, natural gravel and natural crushed stone. Natural crushed stone is, by far, the most popular choice and within the natural stone category, there are a wide variety of choices in terms of the shape, size, and color of the stone. Generally, driveways are topped with stones that have an angular shape that allows the stones to “lock” together when driven over and reduces movement. Natural gravel is rounded gravel and tends to “move” around, and thus not as widely used for driveway applications as natural crushed stone. The less movement that occurs with the material used, the lower your maintenance requirements will be over time. If you select a rounded stone, such as pea gravel, be sure not to install too deep and also install driveway edging to keep the stone in the driveway and not the surrounding yard

Selecting the Right Color Stone

Once you’ve chosen your stone or gravel, the next step is to explore color options. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of colors from which to choose – including red, gray, white, tan and brown – and therefore it is easy to select a color that will complement the exterior of your home.   You can check the Patuxent Materials website for color choices available.

Don’t Forget the Base Layers

Most people spend a lot of time selecting the top layer of stone for their driveway and forget that larger stone may be needed to form a solid foundation. A base layer of larger crushed stone may need to be applied if the conditions warrant it, such as in cases where there is poor drainage. The larger stone should contain stones ranging in the sizes 3” to 4” (in the trade, this is referred to as #3/#2 stones). The second, top layer of your drive should contain quarter- to golf ball-sized stones, called #57 stone.

Benefits of Stone Driveways

Not only are stone driveways more attractive than paved or concrete driveways, they are significantly more environmentally friendly due to their drainage properties. A typical stone driveway will allow water to drain through it like a sieve, and thus is deemed a pervious surface. Pervious surfaces allow rainwater to pass through them and soak into the ground instead of flowing into storm drains and, ultimately, local watersheds. Many jurisdictions are now mandating that no impervious surfaces be installed, especially around waterfront areas.

Once you’ve selected the stone that you will use on your driveway, you’ll need to determine how much stone is required for the project. The interactive Stone Calculator tool on our website makes this an easy process.   Then call Patuxent Materials @ 410-793-0181 for a bulk material delivery right to your home!

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