Crushed Stone Vs. Gravel
Why Gravel Suppliers Sell These Two Aggregates Separately
Did you know that crushed stone and gravel are not the same? Although both come from the same material and the same quarries, these two products have different uses in construction and landscaping projects. Crushed stone and gravel suppliers keep these two aggregates in separate categories because of their differing production methods, sizes, and uses. When deciding on which type to use for your construction project needs, consider these differences when speaking with your local gravel supplier.
Crushed stone is a product of rocks being broken down using a crushing machine. The most common rocks used for crushed stone are:
- Trap rock,
- Dolomite, and;
Crushed stone typically has more angular surfaces due to the crushing process; it also ranges in size from fine stone dust (screenings) to larger and heavier stones.
Although gravel is a natural product of erosion and weathering, gravel suppliers will mine gravel in quarries using the same crushing equipment for crushed stone. Compared to the angular surface of crushed stone, gravel tends to have a rounder shape and is usually much smaller than crushed stone. Gravel comes in various sizes, starting from about a ¼ inch, and going up to 2 inches or more.
The most common use for crushed stone is as an aggregate for construction projects. The angular surface of crushed stone makes it easy to tamp, roll, and vibrate into place, locking and forming a stable surface. Other common uses for crushed stone include:
- A base for pavers, roads, and driveways,
- A sub-base,
- Shoreline riprap,
- Railroad track ballast beds,
- Concrete and asphalt mix,
- Concrete blocks,
- Drainage systems, and;
- Retaining walls.
Gravel is more often used for aesthetic purposes due to its smooth, round surface and various natural colours like hues of yellow, red, blue, beige, and grey. Gravel is ideal for:
- Decorative landscaping,
- Garden beds,
- Patios and patio bases,
- Around stepping stones in walkways,
- Driveways and driveway bases, and;
- Drainage in flower pots and flower beds.
If you originally considered these two aggregates to be the same, you are not alone. They are often confused for one another since both gravel and crushed stone comes from rocks and are aggregates used for construction projects, however, these two aggregates serve different uses.
Ultimately, if you want an aggregate for construction, such as building, paving, and any hardscaping, go with crushed stone. If you are looking for decorative stones for your landscape, garden, walkway, and driveway, go for gravel. For more information on these two aggregates and to figure out which is the best option for your construction project needs, contact your local crushed stone and gravel suppliers.