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Landscape River Rock Prices

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When it comes to landscaping, many homeowners find that they are faced with a decision: grass or another alternative. Of course, you can always split the difference. Many landscapes look fantastic when partially covered with grass and partially covered with another natural material. River rocks are one of the best options on the market, and they are especially useful in certain climates where watering sod could be problematic.

See what river rocks cost near you, then connect with a local landscaper to help add them to your yard!

Table of Contents

  1. Cost Of Landscape River Rocks
  2. Cost Of Installing Landscape River Rocks
  3. Popular Types Of River Rock & Pricing
  4. The Benefits Of Landscape River Rocks
  5. Where To Use Landscape River Rocks
  6. DIY Or Hire A Landscaper?
  7. Find A Landscaping Contractor

Costs Of Landscape River Rocks

The total cost of your river rock landscaping materials will depend on a few factors including how much space you want to cover, the need for professional installation and the quality of river rocks you decide to use. Keep in mind that if you choose smaller river rocks or any special variety, then the cost will increase.

  • The average cost of river rocks (just materials) per pound: $0.05 - $0.35
  • The average cost of river rocks (just materials) per ton: $100 - $700

Cost Of Installing River Rocks

The cost of installing river rocks will be another expense, and it can vary based on your geographic location, seasonality and the experience of your landscaper. Professional landscaping companies generally charge by the ton. If budgeting by the ton seems confusing, see our breakdown below:

  • Square Feet Multiplied By Depth = 1 Cubic Foot
  • Cubic Feet Divided By 27 = 1 Cubic Yard
  • Cubic Yards Multiplied By 1.35 = 1 Ton

For an hour of basic, work expect to pay as little as $20 and as high as $85. Basic labor to install river rocks will include the delivery, distribution and leveling of the rock to a consistent thickness and appearance. This will also include planning, equipment, materials, area preparation, setup and cleanup.

If you have a very specific vision in mind, then you may want to hire a landscape architect to help plan, order and place materials. Hiring a landscape architect vastly increases your odds of a successful river rock project.

River Rock Prices Per Ton

Popular Types Of River Rocks & Pricing

Another important factor to take into consideration is what kind of river rocks look best in your landscape. Generally, river rocks count as anything larger than one inch in diameter. They are very smooth rocks and rounded like pea gravel, but are much larger and come in many different colors.  

However, it excludes natural stone that is created into sculptures, and anything very large might be considered a feature or a boulder rather than a river rock, even if the material is the same.

In addition to the overall size of river rocks, buyers can choose a grade, which indicates the quality of the materials. Finally, the finish, which determines whether the river rocks look more polished or matte, and the color of the rock give buyers an additional level of customization for your landscaping.

Type of Rock

Price

Arizona River Rock

$230/yd

Colorado River Rock

$170/yd

Rainbow River Rock

$100/yd

Cherokee River Rock

$130/yd

Mexican Beach Pebble

$270/yd

Lava River Rock

$100/yd

The Benefits Of Landscape River Rocks

To some homeowners, the obvious benefit of landscaping with river rocks is the aesthetic appeal. The attractive look that river rocks bring to any outdoor terrain should be noted, but that isn't the only way that they enhance a landscape:

  • River rocks work as a type of ground cover, just like mulch, but they are a lot more effective than most mulch materials.
  • River rocks used in landscaping are also environmentally friendly, especially in hot climates where watering grass on a regular basis is irresponsible, time consuming or simply too expensive. So, they're used extensively in places with warm climates like Arizona, Florida and Nevada.
  • Landscaping river rocks are more affordable than using large paving stones in a defined space, and they can cost less than pouring concrete in small areas.

Adding landscape river rocks is an incredible way to enhance the look of any outdoor space. Whether for a more traditional English cottage garden full of rosebushes, a Southwestern desert landscape or a contemporary Asian Zen garden, these rocks can fit in perfectly and may cost less than homeowners expect.

River Rock Cost

Where To Use Landscape River Rocks

Landscape river rocks can be used in a variety of ways throughout your yard, which is why they are so popular. A popular option is to use them to create beautiful pathways from one area of your property to another. There are plenty of other ways to use landscape river rocks as well:

  • River rocks can be used in place of a grassy garden
  • Used to define spaces
  • River rocks make great beds for potted plants or other shrubs
  • Great replacement of mulch for weed growth prevention
  • Build a pond border
  • Erosion prevention

Finally, another great area you can use river rocks is for edging a garden or garden path. This can add a nice contrast to your yard and an even cleaner edge to your garden beds. See our landscaping edging price guide to see the average curbing cost near you!

Landscape Rocks

DIY Or Hire A Landscaper?

A common misconception among homeowners is that installing landscaping river rocks is as simple as unloading a truck and then flattening out the surface. In reality, homeowners may need to dig out root systems for a flatter terrain, lay down plastic to act as insulation and use large pieces of equipment to create an attractive final product.

With the amount of work that it takes, many homeowners wisely opt to hire landscapers for the job.

  • Along with calling multiple companies to get quotes, those who hire pros should also do some research and preparation before the team arrives.
  • Homeowners should be clear about what type of river rock you want to use, as there are a variety of options on the market.
  • You should clearly show or outline the areas where river rocks are to be installed.
  • If homeowners want river rocks to be placed underneath large items like planter pots, it might be easier to remove them ahead of time and place them back on top of the river rocks once installation has been completed.

If you need other landscaping materials delivered and installed, the average cost to deliver mulch and rocks is $662, with most homeowners spending between $403 and $746.

Find A Landscaping Contractor

For those who want a clean outdoor living space with minimal maintenance, river rocks are the clear option for most landscape needs. Hiring a professional is a guaranteed way of loving your addition and enjoying your new landscape.

Let ImproveNet help by connecting you with a local landscaper ready to create your dream yard!

Get free estimates from local landscaping contractors

Last updated on Jun 27, 2017

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