When To Use Crushed Stone As Opposed To Gravel
When it comes to building, hardscaping and landscaping materials, there are a lot of varieties from which to choose. Exploring the differences between similar materials such as crushed stone and gravel, rock vs stone will help you select the best materials for your project.
Crushed stone is made from rocks that have been broken down by machines called crushers, giving the stones more angular surfaces. This material is produced rather than formed naturally and comes in a variety of sizes ranging from stone dust or screenings to about 12” or larger in diameter. Although it has many uses, including decorative landscaping and garden drainage, its main use is as an aggregate, with or without a binder, for construction purposes. Color will vary depending on the type of rock from which it was made.
Crushed gravel, on the other hand, is produced by the natural processes of weathering and erosion, and typically has a more rounded shape verses the angular surfaces of stone. This material comes in sizes generally ranging from less than a half inch up to 20” in diameter. The smooth surface of the stones makes it a good choice for driveways, walkways and more decorative landscape use. Color will vary from yellow and reddish hues to bluish and grayish hues.
Limestone, dolomite, granite and trap rock are the most common types of rock used to produce crushed stone. Less common are marble, slate, sandstone, quartz and perlite. The overall geology of any given state will generally dictate the types of material that are mined from that state. This material is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other types of landscaping and building materials, with prices being greatly influenced by the cost of production and transportation which is why it is often locally produced and marketed.
As opposed to certain types of gravel, most crushed stone is used as an aggregate for building and construction purposes. It can be used in its raw state without a binder or can be mixed with a binder depending on the end use. The most common uses for the material to be used without a binder are as a road base or sub-base material, shoreline riprap and railroad track ballast track beds, while it is most often used with a binder for cement and bituminous concrete (asphalt/blacktop) in road construction and repair as well as macadam roads and other general construction projects.
Angular stone is the key material for projects that depend on the interlocking properties of the individual stones’ angular facets for its strength. The rigid surfaces allow the stones to be tamped, rolled or even vibrated into place until they lock and form a more stable surface, unlike when using a smooth surfaced material such as gravel.
Crushed stone is a versatile material and can also be used for many commercial, residential and DIY projects. Due to its modest cost and easy installation, it is often used for horse riding arenas (screenings) and walking and bike paths (screenings and 3/8” size), as well as for drainage systems and as a base or sub-base for residential crushed rock driveways and retaining walls.
For more information about the varieties of crushed stone and gravel types and uses available from ATAK Trucking, including bulk delivery options in NJ and Staten Island, call 917-912-2900.