What Are the Different Gravel Sizes?

Size #10 gravel is the smallest gravel.
Gravel sizes can vary greatly.
Size #57 gravel is often used to make walkways or for decoration.
Size #10 gravel can be used in paving.
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  • Written By: K. Gierok
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Gravel sizes can vary dramatically, being anywhere from 1/8th of an inch (.32 centimeters) in diameter, up to 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) in diameter. Though these various types of gravel may be quite different, they all serve important functions. Size #10 gravel is typically considered to be the smallest of all gravel sizes, and generally is used as a base in paving. In contrast, size #57 gravel is used in the creation of retaining walls. Size #1 gravel is the largest of all gravel sizes, and is used primarily as a form of decoration in yards and parks.

The smallest of all gravel sizes is size #10, which is also commonly known as screenings gravel. This gravel is typically around 1/8th of an inch (.32 centimeters) in diameter, making it similar in appearance to coarse sand. Often, screenings gravel is used as the base for bricks, paving stones, and other similar items. In some cases, it can also be packed into the crevices created when other, larger stones are stacked, therefore aiding in the prevention of slippage. Size #10 gravel can be made from a variety of larger stones, but is most often made from slag or limestone.


Size #57 is another of the more popular gravel sizes. This particular size of gravel ranges in diameter from 3/4th of an inch (1.9 centimeters) to 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) in diameter. This gravel is often used for paving walk or driveways, at it can be walked and driven on with relative ease. In addition, size #57 gravel is commonly mixed with size #10 for use as a base for retaining walls, bricks, and other types of paving, such as in filling in large holes. Though size #57 obviously serves many purposes, it usually is avoided for use in areas that are prone to become muddy.

In contrast to the gravel sizes of #10 and #57, gravel known as size #1 is relatively large. Typically, this gravel ranges in diameter from 2.5 inches (6.35 centimeters) to 4 inches (10.16 centimeters). Size #1 gravel can be difficult to work with, as it generally cannot be shoveled and instead must be moved individually, stone by stone. As with other types of very large gravel, size #1 is primarily used as decoration, and can be found in yards, gardens, or even parks. This type of stone is typically available in washed river gravel, slag, or limestone, though other materials may be available in some cases.


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Post 2

Weeds pop up where sun hits the soil between gravel pieces. Lining a driveway with landscaping plastic before pouring the gravel is one way to avoid weed growth.

Post 1

Since gravel is used in gardens and lawns, do experts recommend removing grass before application? Does it work as a discourager of weeds and other unwanted plants, or is it mainly used for garden paths and driveways?

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