Gravel or Limestone: Which Is Better?

Gravel or Limestone: Which Is Better?

Gravel and limestone are both incredibly versatile materials that can be used for a multitude of purposes. Generally, the two are considered the primary alternatives to concrete when constructing driveways or walkways, and both can work fantastically for a wide variety of landscaping projects. Though there are a few particular advantages to each material, it’s important to know exactly what each of them are comprised of so that you can be sure you’re making an informed decision.

Gravel is a loose mixture of multiple kinds of stones and pebbles that have been worn smooth by erosion over time and is naturally found in and around bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. Since gravel is made up of multiple types of rock in different stages of erosion, there is usually some small variance in the sizes of pebbles. However, in order to be considered gravel and not sand, all rock fragments must be larger than 2 millimeters in diameter.

Limestone is a single type of rock and is actually one of the most common types of rock on Earth, making up about 10% of all sedimentary rocks on the planet. Limestone is often seen within gravel but can also be used for similar purposes as an entity. It’s made up of calcium carbonate and typically has a more jagged and bulky appearance when compared to gravel. Limestone landscaping will typically include a wide variety of sizes within its individual pieces.

As you can tell, gravel and limestone are rather similar, and can both be successful materials in a variety of landscaping projects. However, there are a few factors to consider when making your choice.

Location. Depending on your area, limestone or gravel may be more or less readily available, which could affect the pricing of either material. Do some research to find out which is more cost-effective in your region.

Rock size and porosity. As mentioned above, limestone typically comes with a wider variety of rock sizes than gravel. If rock size could pose a safety issue, such as within a walkway, gravel might be the best choice. Additionally, limestone is a porous material, which means it can aid drainage wherever it’s placed; this is a feature that gravel lacks.

Aesthetic. Since gravel is a mixture of many types of rock, there is greater opportunity for color variance within it. Limestone, however, is typically only found in shades of grey.