How Much Does Pea Gravel Cost?
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Stones and rocks are used frequently in all sorts of outdoor landscaping designs. Small pieces of gravel can be the ultimate base for a basic and affordable driveway, larger rocks can help divert water and most varieties can limit the amount of water and maintenance needed. One of the most common types of landscaping rocks on the market today is pea gravel.
See their costs below and once you're ready to install, connect with local masons ready to help!
Table of Contents
- Pea Gravel Cost
- Pea Gravel Cost Factors
- What Is Pea Gravel?
- Types Of Pea Gravel
- Advantages Of Pea Gravel
- Disadvantages Of Pea Gravel
- How To Choose The Right Pea Gravel
- Pea Gravel For Driveways
- Pea Gravel For Walkways
- Pea Gravel For Weed Prevention
- Pea Gravel For Playgrounds
- Determine How Much Pea Gravel Is Needed
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Pro
Pea Gravel Cost
Pea gravel is a rather simple landscaping, driveway and patio feature that comes in many different shapes, sizes and colors. Fortunately, the average pea gravel cost does not vary too much:
- Minimum Pea Gravel Cost: $30 per ton or $4 per bag
- Maximum Pea Gravel Cost: $55 per ton or $8 per bag
- Pea Gravel Installation Cost: $220 to $365 for 200sf
As you can see, pea gravel prices are not expensive and luckily, you don’t need much more than one ton for most gravel projects. However, it always pays to know other options.
- Crushed Granite: $0.50/sf
- Crushed Stone: $27.50 - $64.20/ton
- Dry Stack Stone: $5 - $60/sf
- Granite Pavers: $395 - $580
- Stone Steps: $300 - $1,050/ton
Pea Gravel Cost Factors
The cost of pea gravel almost always falls in the range described above, but there are ways to make sure your pea gravel price falls on the lower end. As such, keep the following cost factors in mind before you make a final decision:
- Supplier: You can buy pea gravel from a landscaping supply company as opposed to a local home improvement store. While you’ll have to buy more from the supplier, you’ll get a better rate than say a Home Depot. Even throwing in a delivery charge from a pea gravel supplier, the price per ton is still less.
- Type: Some gravel is tougher with no defined shapes. Some gravel is softer and ideal to walk and play on. The softer gravel costs more.
- Amount: More gravel costs more. Larger projects, like patios or full driveways, require at least 6” of gravel depth where a walkway may only require 1” or 2”.
- Border: You’ll have to add some form of landscape edging around the pea gravel. This ensures that the pea gravel stays in place during a storm or high winds. No matter what you add, it will add a few dollars to your pea gravel budget.
- Color: Gravels come in a wide array of colors. Standard is gray. Anything else will cost more. Furthermore, lower grades of gravel can discolor. While it’s cheaper, it won’t last as long.
- Preparation: If you have any weeds in your path or need to clear some land, that will add to your pea gravel project. To save some money, apply some weed killer and clear the land yourself.
- DIY or Hire A Pro: Installing pea gravel is usually as simple as laying it in your desired spot, in your desired formation. However, landscaping pros can install pea gravel. Of course, that adds to your overall pea gravel price.
What Is Pea Gravel?
Just like the name suggests, pea gravel is a hard stone that resembles the size and shape of a pea. Unlike crushed stone, which is uneven and can have sharp edges, pea gravel is often quite smooth and relatively uniform in shape. This makes it a more decorative and attractive option for all kinds of landscaping projects. Those looking for specific sizes of pea gravel should note that these small stones measure between diameters of ¼” and 1” on average.
Types Of Pea Gravel
Pea gravel may be the name given to small, round stones, but there is more than one type of pea gravel on the market. Along with the size variations, pea gravel can vary significantly in color. Gray may be the standard color used for most landscaping projects, but property owners can also find pea gravel in shades of blue, red or beige.
Pea gravel is primarily used in landscaping, but it can also be used in driveways and aquariums. Ordinary pea gravel works fine for aquariums, but some fish owners prefer to buy specialty gravel from a pet store.
Advantages Of Pea Gravel
Besides the low price, this landscaping material is versatile and offers a range of benefits for all homeowners:
- Rather than pouring concrete, installing paving stones or putting down sod grass that requires extensive maintenance, pea gravel is an affordable and simple landscaping feature.
- Pea gravel is beneficial in warm climates where water use may be expensive or limited because it doesn't require watering like grass.
- Pea gravel can help drain standing water to prevent erosion, which is a big bonus in locations that get a lot of sudden rain.
- Used around everything from swimming pool decks to paving stones, pea gravel is a great decorative element that comes in a variety of colors and can enhance the look of just about any outdoor living space.
- It requires little maintenance.
Disadvantages Of Pea Gravel
No landscaping feature comes without its fair share of drawbacks and pea gravel is no different:
- You have to add lawn edging to keep pea gravel in place.
- Pea gravel can move around during storms or heavy wind. Therefore, you have to organize your pea gravel every so often.
- It’s difficult to push or drag landscaping equipment across pea gravel.
- Pea gravel can sink into soil.
- Pea gravel can discolor over the years.
- Pea gravel is not as comfortable as grass on the feet.
How To Choose The Right Pea Gravel
When it comes to choosing the right pea gravel, it largely depends on your design of choice and where you’re installing it. The more weight that will be applied to the gravel, the thicker gravel you’re going to need. Therefore, if you’re installing pea gravel on a driveway, look for 1” gravel. For aquariums, go with ¼” gravel and various colors. It will undoubtedly shine a bright like on that expensive aquarium.
Pea Gravel For Driveways
One of the most common uses for pea gravel is for driveways to a home or even a business. Pea gravel can make a rough driveway a little smoother for cars to use, and it can also prevent cars from getting stuck in muddy areas after a heavy rain. In order for pea gravel to be effective, however, it needs to be installed at least 6” deep and then compacted so that car tires won't sink into it when parked or moving.
Pea Gravel For Walkways
In order to clearly mark a section of a garden or a backyard as a pathway, pea gravel can be the perfect tool. Along with being incredibly practical, pea gravel walkways are very pleasing to look at and use. These walkways can also be a smart way to eliminate weed growth where people most commonly step, and they can cut down on the amount of maintenance needed in particular areas. Similarly, pea gravel can be used between paving stones that form a walkway.
This makes installing the paving stones much easier, and it’s a very common option leading up to the front door of a traditional home. Pea gravel walkways can be a clever way to distinguish gardening areas, and they allow individuals to walk through the rows of flowers or vegetables without worrying about stepping on anything important.
Pea Gravel For Weed Prevention
For many property owners, the primary purpose of using pea gravel is to prevent weed growth and the maintenance that comes along with it. A layer of 4” of pea gravel can generally eliminate weeds poking up through the surface. Using pea gravel as weed growth prevention is suitable for most landscaping projects, but it’s also beneficial when used in outdoor living spaces. Tables, chairs and other outdoor furniture can go right on top of the pea gravel, and the whole flooring area will require almost zero maintenance in the future.
Pea Gravel For Playgrounds
Families with children often turn to pea gravel for playground areas. Otherwise, a rainy afternoon could turn a charming play area into a messy mud pit. Having a layer of pea gravel means that rain is drained quickly and kids can get back outside just an hour or so after the rain has passed. Because pea gravel is rounded and less edged than crushed stone, it’s also safer for children to play on.
Determining How Much Pea Gravel is Needed
Once you determine that pea gravel is the best option for you landscaping or decorative project, you’ll need to figure out how much pea gravel is needed. For an accurate number, a pea gravel materials calculator is helpful. Homeowners will need to know the following information to calculate amounts and cost:
- Width of the area to be covered
- Length of the area to be covered
- Depth of the pea gravel layer that is preferred
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Pea gravel is an appealing landscaping material with a number of uses for indoor or outdoor spaces. While many homeowners buy and install pea gravel themselves, you should bear in mind that most pea gravel is heavy and often purchased by the ton. If you’re undertaking a big pea gravel project, delivery and installation could get difficult. Therefore, you should consider professional assistance.
Find A Pro
When it comes to landscaping features, nothing is more affordable or versatile than pea gravel. Whether you want to bring new life to your walkway or want to completely remodel your driveway, pea gravel is an excellent choice.
If you’re serious about any pea gravel project, ImproveNet can connect you with landscaping, driveway or walkway pros.
Get free estimates from local patio & pathway contractors
Last updated on May 22, 2017