Pea Gravel Patios: A Guide With Everything You Need to Know

If you’re like most NJ homeowners, you place a lot of value on the amount of time you’re able to enjoy making use of your outdoor living areas. For many people, this means installing an attractive and functional patio. Pea gravel patios are a great option for making this change to your property.

Although pavers are a top choice for patio construction, it’s becoming increasingly common for folks to make the decision to install a loose-fill patio with stones like pea gravel.

If you’ve been giving any consideration to going this route, this post will shed some more light on the matter as we share the top 10 things that you should know about pea gravel patios.

1. Pea gravel patios are beautiful.

Despite the fact that most homeowners are more familiar with the traditional look of a paved patio, pea gravel offers a completely different element of beauty and sophistication to your property. Pea gravel is very attractive in and of itself.

The smooth, rounded texture of pea gravel is appealing to everyone and the variety of shades and colors makes it possible for the stones to look fabulous in any setting.

You’ll find that the loose-fill material will create interesting textures and visual interest, all while working within whatever landscaping style or theme you created for your property.

2. You’ll enjoy design flexibility.

Although it’s possible to create all sorts of interesting shapes and patterns with pavers, there’s a certain sense of freedom and flexibility in the design process for those who choose to work with pea gravel.

Because the loose stones are poured into the designated patio area, you can fill in just about any shape, no matter how unique or irregular. The materials won’t need to be cut or customized to these specific demands which will make the process a lot simpler and more affordable.

3. It’s easy to stay on budget.

No one wants to spend an arm and a leg on the installation of a new patio. Fortunately, those who are working on a budget will find that it’s easy to meet their financial goals when constructing a pea gravel outdoor living area.

Pea gravel is extremely affordable, and a little bit is able to go a long way. This means that you end up with the most bang for your buck.

4. You can install a pea gravel patio by yourself.

Homeowners who like to get their hands dirty and tackle do-it-yourself projects will love knowing that they can be an active participant in the construction of their pea gravel patio.

Although we recommend that those without much experience or those who have physical limitations seek out the help of a professional, the installation process is actually quite simple and can be completed in a relatively short period of time. As long as the right tools and materials are used and the correct steps and procedures are followed, you can design and build the patio of your dreams all by yourself.

5. You may need multiple types of stone.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that all you need to construct a pea gravel patio is pea gravel. While this is obviously an essential component, in some cases there are other types of stone that are required to establish a firm foundation for your new outdoor living space.

To determine if you’ll need a base material, you will need to consider your soil consistency. If the soil is densely packed and has a consistency that’s similar to that of clay, the soil will be fine as a base. In the event that your soil is a bit loose or sandy in nature, you will need to create a base layer of tamped-down and packed stone, like quarry process.

6. Certain depths must be met.

You can’t simply pour pea gravel on top of a designated area and expect it to stay in place or serve any real function. In order for pea gravel patios to be of practical use, you must first excavate the area to designated depths.

If you determined that your soil itself will act as the base for the patio, you’ll need to dig to a depth of 2-3″. If you’ll be using a packed, tamped-down stone, on the other hand, you will be required to dig to a depth of 4-5″ with the bottom 2-3″ being the base material and the top 2-3″ being pea gravel.

7. Use landscaping fabric to prevent weeds.

Many homeowners worry that pea gravel patios will become unattractive over time as the result of weeds, grass and other unwanted vegetation growing up from beneath the loose stones.

To prevent this from happening, we recommend that, after excavation, a layer of landscaping fabric be laid down across the entire coverage area. Any base stone or pea gravel should then be filled in on top of the weed barrier.

8. Pea gravel patios are dog-friendly.

If you’ve got a canine companion, you’re probably concerned about his ability to hang out with you and your other loved ones on your new pea gravel patio. After all, you don’t want your pooch’s paws to be compromised.

The good news is that pea gravel is great for dogs and other animals. Because it’s smooth and round, the stones are comfortable to walk upon. In addition to this, the pebbles don’t tend to retain heat, so they won’t be too hot for your dog’s paws.

9. They hold up well when exposed to the elements.

Because the stones are loose, there is virtually no threat of your pea gravel patio becoming cracked or otherwise damaged when exposed to the freeze-and-thaw cycles that we’re so familiar with here in the northeast.

The stones also don’t fade when exposed to the sun, and they promote healthy drainage during periods of rain. Essential, pea gravel patios are capable of handling just about anything Mother Nature throws their way.

10. Pea gravel patios are low-maintenance.

After taking the time to install your pea gravel patio, the last thing you want is to be required to put a lot of time, money and effort into the maintenance process. Fortunately, this isn’t the case at all. You’ll find that pea gravel patios are very easy to take care of.

All that you’ll need to do is make sure to rake over the surface of the stones on a regular basis in order to remove any leaves, sticks or other debris. This process will also ensure that the patio area remains level and that you have an even surface. You may also want to consider applying a fresh layer of pea gravel each year or every other year.

Contact a Pea Gravel Expert

Do you feel as though a pea gravel patio could be the right solution for your home? Feel free to reach out to the experts here at Braen Stone. We’ve been in the industry for more than 110 years, manufacturing and supplying the highest quality stones at the most competitive wholesale prices.

Our professional team members can provide you with all of the information that you need about pea gravel patios, and can help you to calculate how much you’ll need to purchase. Our pea gravel can be picked up or bulk delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, PA and CT.

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By | 2020-03-31T13:42:26-04:00 January 20th, 2018|Pea Gravel|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dirk is a Project Manager at Braen Stone. He's an expert on a variety of construction materials and prides himself on helping the company meet the needs of companies large and small.