• Gravel And Shingle: Exploring the Differences

    | by Holly Wood

    In the realm of construction and landscaping, gravel and shingle are two commonly used aggregates that serve a multitude of purposes.

    Whether you’re looking to create a beautiful garden, construct driveways, or secure drainage, understanding the difference between gravel and shingle is crucial to selecting the most suitable material for your project.

    Let’s delve into the various aspects of these materials, exploring their characteristics, benefits, and applications.

    Understanding Gravel and Shingle


    Firstly, let’s discuss gravel. Gravel is a versatile and popular aggregate known for its varying sizes and shapes.

    It typically ranges from 1/4 inch to 2 inches in diameter and is a blend of small fragments of rock. This diversity in size and texture makes gravel suitable for various applications, from driveways and pathways to patios and gardens.

    Furthermore, it provides excellent drainage capabilities and is commonly used in projects requiring stability and durability.


    On the other hand, shingle is a specific type of gravel with a rounded stone composition, the size of which usually falls within the 1/12 inch to 3/4 inch range.

    It is commonly found in gardens, front yards, and borders, as it adds a decorative touch to outdoor spaces.

    While shingle offers aesthetic appeal it also serves practical purposes such as drainage and preventing soil erosion.

    Pea Shingle: A Subtle Distinction

    Pea shingle, often referred to interchangeably as pea gravel, is essentially a type of gravel that consists of small, rounded stones in the 0/2–4 size range.

    This slight variation in terminology highlights the similarities between the two materials.

    Pea shingle shares the same qualities as gravel, offering excellent drainage and providing a visually pleasing addition to gardens and landscaping projects.

    Here, at Materials Market, we stock bulk bags of pea shingle on-site. For more bagged products, navigate our sand and aggregate homepage.

    Applications and Suitability

    Gravel Applications

    • Ideal for driveways and pathways due to its stability and durability.
    • Suitable for pipe bedding, providing a solid foundation for pipes.
    • Widely used in construction, back gardens, and patios.
    • A coarse aggregate for fine concrete mixes or drainage.
    • Offers a range of colours to complement various landscape designs.

    Shingle Applications

    • Perfect for decorative purposes in gardens, front yards, and borders.
    • Used for ground cover to prevent soil erosion and enhance drainage.
    • Creates stable surfaces for pathways, driveways, and patios.
    • Adds a visually appealing element to outdoor spaces.

    Gravel Benefits

    • Provides excellent drainage and prevents water accumulation.
    • Offers stability for heavy traffic areas like driveways and pathways.
    • Enhances landscaping projects with a variety of colours and textures.

    Shingle Benefits

    • Adds aesthetic appeal to any front garden/back garden and general outdoor spaces.
    • Promotes proper drainage and reduces soil erosion.
    • Creates stable surfaces for pathways and driveways.

    Choosing the Right Material

    Selecting the most suitable aggregate depends on the specific requirements of your project and the desired visual impact.

    Gravel is perfect for projects that require stability and functionality, while shingle excels in decorative landscaping and drainage applications.

    Meanwhile, pea shingle offers a unique texture and complements other aggregates in construction.

    We stock bulk bag quantities of both decorative gravel and shingle.


    Gravel and shingle are valuable aggregates that serve various purposes in construction and landscaping. Understanding the differences between these materials empowers you to make informed decisions for your projects.

    Whether you need stability for driveways or a visually appealing garden, choosing the right aggregate for your project list will lead to successful and beautiful results, elevating the overall appeal of your outdoor spaces.

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