Underlayment showing - Smaller Goes Farther
30Mar 20

Smaller Goes Farther

When it comes to deciding what size rock to use for your project, it’s important to understand what your installation area encompasses. For instance, the larger the stone that is used, the more product that will be needed to cover the same base area in contrast to a smaller stone. This concept is due to the minimum installation depth needed to completely cover the base, including elements like soil or weed cloth that should not be visible.

The end result of your project will greatly vary depending on the size rock chosen. The depth of the installation base will determine how much product will be needed. Here are some examples to put things into perspective:

• It will take approximately one ton of 3″-8″ sized rocks to cover an area of 50 square feet that requires an average installation depth of 7″ to ensure 100% of the base is covered.
• In contrast, the same area would only require .66 tons of 1″-3″ sized rocks to cover the same 50 square feet area at a depth of 3″ to ensure 100% of the base is covered.

In other words, you cannot install a 3″-8″ sized rock to a 3″ average depth because the average height of an individual piece would be 5″-6″. You should consider this concept when deciding on what size landscape rock to use against what a realistic budget for your project is.

Some other considerations to take when thinking about what size rock to use are:
• Whether you are looking for stable walking surface or just decorative ground cover.
• What kind of blower maintenance to expect. For instance, high velocity blowers can displace smaller stones and create a mess.
• What texture you are looking for. In most cases a larger area would benefit from a larger stone so that the scale is maintained and the eye can visually pick up on more of the surface texture.

It’s important to note that it is ultimately of personal preference what size rock to use. We look to educate and provide this is a guide to better understand how much product will be needed when preparing a realistic budget. If you are looking for some inspiration between varying options, feel free to check out or Design Gallery!