What Do Different Rock Sizes Mean?

If you’re interested in using stone, rockery, or crushed gravel for your landscaping needs, you’ve made a great choice. Research shows that landscaping has the potential to increase the resale value of a home by as much as 14%, and that’s just one benefit of using rocks and gravel. Even a one-inch layer of small rocks can provide good control against weeds in a garden, for example. As useful as gravel is, though, you might wonder, “What do different rock sizes mean?” Here is your comprehensive guide to rock and gravel sizes and uses.

What Do Different Rock Sizes Mean: Understanding Stone Grades

Let’s begin with crushed stone, which differs from gravel in that is mand-made and tends to be more rounded. Here are some of the grades of crushed stone:

  • Crushed stone #1. This ranges in size from two to four inches in diameter and is the largest grade. This is typically used for big jobs like providing ballast for culverts.
  • Crushed stone #5. This is stone that ranges in size from an inch in diameter down to very fine particles and is commonly used as a base for roads.
  • Crushed stone #3. This grade comes in sizes between a half inch and two inches. It is very useful for drainage.
  • Crushed stone #8. This grade comes in sizes from three-eighths of an inch to a half inch and is most commonly seen in mixes for concrete.
  • Crushed stone #10. This is also sometimes known as stone dust. It’s the screenings and dust left over after larger pieces have been separated, and it is used to make pavers or to line riding arenas.
  • Crushed stone #57. This size of stone is about three-quarters of an inch. It is one of the best for use in driveways and landscaping.

What Do Different Rock Sizes Mean: What Are Rockery Rocks?

You may have heard this term bandied about and been unsure of what it means. Simply put, a rockery is a pleasant and purposeful arrangement of rocks, often combined with alpine plants. Rockery makes a lovely focal point for a landscaping project, and also allows you to take advantage of natural slopes. Rockery rocks are typically large and chosen to either catch the eye or to mimic natural looks. Normally a few very large rocks anchor the rockery and space around these rocks is filled in with sizes and shapes of rocks that please the personal taste of the designer. Rockery is one of the best uses for river rock.

  • Half man: 10 to 50 pounds and 8 to 12 inches in diameter.
  • One man: 20 to 240 pounds and 12 to 18 inches in diameter.
  • Two man: 150 to 750 pounds and 18 to 30 inches in diameter.
  • Three man: 750 to 3500 pounds and 24 to 36 inches.
  • Four man: More than 3500 pounds and greater than 36 inches in diameter.

What Do Different Rock Sizes Mean: Gravel Sizing

Gravel comes in sizes as small as a grain of rice to as large as two feet in diameter and more. Gravel is simply an aggregate of stones of different sizes, usually with sharper angles than crushed stone. Unlike crushed stone, which is man-made, gravel tends to be rounder as it is formed by natural processes. While crushed stone is made by breaking larger rocks, gravel is harvested from rock quarries.

  • #1 Gravel. Pieces are the size of a baseball and are used for topping driveways and for drainage.
  • #2 Gravel. Pieces are about an inch in diameter and make good drainage around concrete slabs and perforated pipe.
  • #8 Gravel. Pieces are the size of a pea are used for outdoor paving and decorative ground cover.
  • #9 Gravel. Pieces are the size of grains of rice and are good for walkways and drainage or to go under paving stones.
  • Boulders. Pieces are two feet in diameter or larger and are often used as decorate landscape accents.

There are many sizes of rock and gravel available. This means that whatever your project, gravel delivery near you can get your exactly what you need.

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