The Ultimate Guide to Driveway Gravel
Your driveway is the first area guests will see when they turn up at your home, so you want to make a good impression. Choosing the right materials is key to doing just that!
Gravel is just one of the many driveway options out there, and it’s one of the most popular - for good reason. Its affordability, versatility, and pleasing appearance makes it a common sight on properties all around the world.
M B Wilkes have specialised in the supply of premium garden and building supplies for over 50 years. To help you decide on the right material for your new driveway, we’ve laid out everything you need to know about driveway gravel in the guide below. From the benefits of gravel to the many types available, you’ll get all the information you need to make an informed decision about your driveway. Let’s get started!
What are the benefits of driveway gravel?
Wondering what’s so great about gravel? Here are the main reasons it can be such a fantastic option for your home!
Gravel doesn’t crack or change appearance
Concrete driveways tend to develop cracks over time, especially when they're exposed to harsh weather conditions. They may also fade in colour. Gravel, on the other hand, remains durable and crack-free no matter the weather, making it an excellent long-term choice for your driveway.
Gravel looks (and sounds) great
Driveway gravel has a natural aesthetic, setting it apart from alternatives like tarmac and brick that can sometimes give off an industrial feel. Its rustic charm adds character to homes in both rural and urban settings, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Rather than suffocating nature, driveway gravel effortlessly blends in for a harmonious coexistence.
Driveway gravel is available in a plethora of colours and styles, so there’s sure to be an option that perfectly complements your home's exterior. And let's not forget the pleasing sound of a car gently rolling over gravel - not only does it add a charming acoustic touch, but it also serves as a handy alert for visitors or even potential intruders.
Gravel is weather resistant
Other driveway options, such as concrete and tarmac, are susceptible to weather-related damage caused by frost, heavy rain, and intense sunlight. They may develop cracks and fade in colour, especially when covering a large surface area.
In contrast, driveway gravel is strongly resilient against all weather conditions. It's fully permeable, meaning it allows rain to slowly soak through into the ground rather than sitting on the surface. This is particularly effective when the gravel is laid with a slight dip on either side of the driveway.
Gravel is affordable
Driveway gravel is the most pocket-friendly option for filling driveways around, especially if you have a large surface to cover. Not only is the installation of driveway gravel quick and cheap, but it will also save you money in the long run, as maintenance costs are incredibly low.
What are the drawbacks of a gravel driveway?
Gravel driveways have plenty of benefits, but they also have a couple of drawbacks.
Gravel can kick up dust
Driving over gravel can cause dust to fly into the air - not ideal for those with allergies, or those who like to keep their cars gleaming! If you'd prefer a clean, smooth surface, stone paving may be a better choice for you.
Gravel can form puddle dips
As gravel is loose on the ground, walking and driving over it can cause the stones to move and collect together, leaving open gaps for puddles to form. If you would prefer an immovable surface, you might be better off choosing a concrete driveway instead.
Things to consider when designing your gravel driveway
So, you've settled on gravel for your new driveway - good choice! Before you get started, however, it’s a smart idea to plan out your driveway’s design first.
Think about the space you have, the design of your house, and the look of the surrounding area. Consider the textures of different types of gravel - how do you want your driveway to look? Would you like it to be a focal point, or would you prefer it to blend into the background? Keep these ideas in mind when choosing the material for your driveway.
Space and shape
Think about the space you have and decide on the shape of your path. Would a curved path work? Or maybe you'd like to keep it simple with clean, straight lines?
You should also consider car space. If you have more than one car, think about how you can utilise your space in order to fit them comfortably. Widening your path could allow for side-by-side parking, saving you from having to move your cars around every time you need to use the one furthest from the entrance.
What colour scheme are you working with? Would you like your driveway to complement the colour of your home, or contrast it for added interest? Choosing neutral colours such as grey, beige, or white will pair well with the majority of homes. However, if you'd like to create more of a focus on your new drive, perhaps a coloured slate or even a combination of different gravels would be a better choice.
Why buy gravel from M B Wilkes?
M B Wilkes have been the South’s leading supplier of high-quality driveway materials since 1964. We pride ourselves on the quality of our products, the professionalism of our team, and our rapid delivery service - in fact, we aim to deliver within 48 hours of your order.
Thanks to our well-established connections within the industry, we’re able to provide you with the most extensive product range available. Whether you're looking for gravel, shingle, or other materials, we have you covered. And the best part? We offer them at the most competitive prices you'll find anywhere.
We also put sustainability at the forefront. We offer a wide selection of recycled aggregate gravel, crafted from crushed concrete or asphalt debris. This type of gravel not only enhances the beauty of driveways, but also plays a crucial role in preserving our world’s natural resources. By repurposing surplus building materials, we help reduce waste while providing you with stunning and eco-friendly solutions for your driveway.
Types of driveway gravel we offer
Create a wonderful welcome for you and your guests with our attractive and hard-wearing driveway gravel options!
We stock a wide range of stones, shapes, and colours, so to help you narrow down your search, we’ve created this quick guide to some of our most popular options.
- Blue slate: This stunning driveway gravel is made from blue slate chipping which boasts an ever shifting blue-grey tone. Contrast the neutral colour with bright evergreens for a sophisticated driveway all year round.
- Shingle: The classic driveway gravel, our shingles come in 2mm, 6mm, 10mm and 20mm varieties. No matter which size you choose, each option boasts a beautiful light golden flint colour, varying from deep black to the lightest gold.
- Scottish pebbles: Looking for something a little different? Scottish pebbles are made up of smooth stones in a mixture of greys, browns, and pinks, though you’ll also spot other colours poking through. They look particularly attractive when paired with pots bursting with colourful plants.
- Cotswold chippings: If you’re looking for a more traditional style of driveway gravel, then Cotswold chippings are the ideal choice for you. Their gentle, creamy gold colour will complement a country-style home perfectly.
- Basalt chippings: This driveway gravel has seen a recent rise in popularity thanks to its modern grey colouring. Resistant to moss and high volumes of traffic, basalt chipping will stay looking pristine for years with little maintenance on your part.
Buy competitively priced gravel online
Now that you know all there is to know about gravel, you’re ready to start creating a gravel driveway of your very own!
If you’re not sure what gravel type to go for, why not browse our full range of driveway materials? We have dozens of options in stock, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your home. We’re also happy to discuss our materials and recommend the best option for your driveway, so don’t hesitate to get in touch - we’re always happy to help.