Driveways are an essential part of any property, be it a house or a commercial building. They serve several important functions such as an entrance, access road and parking space, to name but a few. For these reasons, it is crucial to ensure that careful thought and proper execution are given to the construction of driveways.
One popular type of driveway you should consider getting is a gravel driveway. Gravel is a material that can help you achieve a beautiful and long-lasting driveway without breaking the bank.
If you decide to use gravel, you should know that this paving material has different types. The classification is primarily based on the size of the particles.
Before discussing the best gravel for a driveway in Dublin, let’s talk about how it is built.
How Are the Best Gravel Driveways Constructed?
Basically, a high-quality gravel driveway is constructed in layers. Normally, it is composed of at least three layers, and each layer is made up of stones of different sizes.
In case you didn’t know:
Gravel is a collection of loose or crushed rock fragments.
The bottommost part or the sub-based layer consists of large stones. The middle part, called the base layer, is made up of medium-sized stones. Lastly, the topmost layer, referred to as the surfacing layer, consists of small stones.
Why are stones of different sizes used per layer? This method of construction makes it possible to have a smooth transition from one layer to another and consequently, form a solid foundation. Using different sizes of stones on each layer also makes the driveway permeable, allowing water to seep through easily.
Best Types of Gravel for a Driveway
Now, let’s talk about the various types of gravel used on the surfacing layer. What you have to keep in mind is that the material you pick for this layer determines the appearance of your drive, specifically the colour and texture.
This option is a popular choice amongst property owners who want an elegant driveway. When the sunlight hits the chips, they glisten which adds a unique visual element to the drive.
Marble chips can hold their temperature better than the other options. As an added benefit, they can help keep your driveway cool.
The downside though is that using it for the surfacing layer may significantly increase the cost of your gravel driveway. Admittedly, this type of material is significantly more expensive than other types of gravel.
Composed of smooth, rounded and naturally weathered stones, pea gravel comes in different colours. For your driveway, you can opt for a single colour variation or a multicoloured one.
As it is available in an array of colours, this option makes it easier for you to complement the design of your property.
Since the stones that make up pea gravel are rounded, they do not lock together. Hence, when vehicles drive over them, they are more likely to move and even get displaced out of the driveway unless there is something that holds it in place like a border or edging.
One of the widely used gravel driveway surfacing material in Dublin is Ballylusk chippings. Quarried in county Wicklow, this stone features a warm colour and firm texture. Its golden cream or yellowish hue can give your property that spark of colour it needs to stand out and turn heads.
In addition, it stays in place when driven over, so you would not have to worry about having displaced stones.
Also referred to as quarry process stone, this type of gravel is made up of smaller crushed stones and stone dust.
A distinct advantage of this combination of stones and stone dust is its ability to bond well together. In fact, the dust seeps into the gaps between the gravel and the compacts, resulting in a smooth and semisolid surface.
Using this type of gravel may require additional work though as you may need to crown your driveway. Completing this task is necessary to prevent rainwater from accumulating and minimise damage to the vehicle.
So, which type should you use for your driveway in your Dublin home? It largely depends on various factors such as the look you want to achieve and your budget. To make an informed decision, talk to a trusted paving contractor.
Are you looking for the best gravel for your driveway? We have experienced driveway pavers who can give expert advice and build high-quality drives. Visit our website now or call us on (01) 4851582 | 0852139591 to get a free quote!