How To Lay a Gravel Driveway

How To Lay a Gravel Driveway

Are you after a quick and easy way to add some style to the front of your home? Well, a gravel driveway might be the answer. 


After all, a gravel driveway is a sleek and cost-effective way to build a stable parking spot for your vehicle - and it’s straightforward to install too! 


So, to break down this landscaping task, we’ve pulled together a quick guide for how to lay a gravel driveway: 

1.     Gather materials you need to lay a gravel driveway

2.     Measure your driveway

3.     Choose your gravel and edging

4.     Dig the area

5.     Lay your sub-base and weed membrane

6.     Add your gravel chippings 

Keep reading for a step-by-step breakdown to laying a gravel driveway. 

1. Gather all the tools to lay a gravel driveway

Before you begin, you’ll want to ensure you have all the tools and materials necessary to lay your gravel driveway to hand.


Look below for a list of tools and materials you should have at the ready to lay a gravel driveway:

Tools and Material Available
Measuring tape
Weed membrane
Edging of your choice (optional)
Gravel chippings of your choice
Safety gloves

2. Measure your driveway

First things first, you always want to know what size area you’re working with. This allows you to figure out how many gravel chippings you will need to properly cover your gravel driveway.


We sell our gravel chippings by m2, so you’ll need to measure the width and length of your driveway first. Once you’ve got that sorted, multiply the width by the length to get an accurate m2 for your driveway.


To make this even easier, you can calculate how much gravel you will need by using our aggregates calculator.


3. Choose your gravel and edging

Once you have the measurements of your driveway, you can start shopping for the type of gravel you like best.


From the rustic look of granite chippings to the more modern style of crystal white chippings, we have a range of gravel available to suit all different styles and tastes.


If you’re stuck for choice, darker driveways tend to be one of the most popular picks in our collection. Take our Clee Hill Aggregate, for example – not only is it stylish and sturdy, but the dark shade also helps keep dirt hidden!


Installing edging on your driveway isn’t a necessity, but it can be useful to hold the chippings in place. This keeps your gravel driveway looking clean and tidy, reducing the need to rake them back into place as often.


You could also create a bit of contrast with your gravel driveway edging and go for a different colour to your driveway chippings, or you could opt for symmetry and pick a similar shade. The choice is yours – just browse our collection of driveway edging to find your favourite!


4. Dig the area

With your gravel chippings and edging slabs picked out, it’s time to grab the spade.


You will need to dig a minimum of 50mm to allow plenty of room for your gravel. Alternatively, if you are planning on laying a sub-base and weed membrane, then we recommend digging up to 200mm.


To ensure the best-looking gravel driveway, make sure you are keeping your ground level and compact by raking the ground into even lines as you go.


To install your edging, dig a trench between 175mm to 200mm around the edge of your driveway. Shovel in some sand and tamp it, making sure it is nice and compact. Then, you can lay your edging.


5. Lay your sub-base and weed membrane

After you’ve prepared the ground and are happy with the depth, you can lay your sub-base and weed membrane.


A sub-base helps to keep your gravel driveway sturdy, allowing for heavy vehicles to drive and park on it without the ground sinking. The most common type of sub-base is MOT 1 which is made up of rocks crushed into dust to 40mm size chippings.


To lay your sub-base, simply shovel it onto the dug-out area, spreading it out evenly with a rake. Make sure the sub-base is compact for the best effect.


Once you’ve laid your sub-base, it’s time to add the weed membrane. This is to stop weeds from growing up through the gravel, keeping maintenance to a minimum and your gravel driveway looking fresher for longer.


6. Add your gravel chippings

Now you can add your chosen gravel chippings on to the driveway area, keeping them as neat and even as possible. We recommend laying them with a depth of 50mm.


Congratulations – you’ve finished laying a gravel driveway! The next step is maintaining that fresh look you’ve worked so hard to create. The trick is to be vigilant, raking aggregates back onto the driveway as they spill out of place or removing any errant weeds or leaves as they appear. 


Now you know how to lay a gravel driveway, you’re ready to put on your gloves and get to work. Here at Simply Paving, we offer a wide range of driveway gravel and edging to start your paving project. Or, if you’ve got any questions, give us a call on 0800 037 6306 or start a live chat.


Simply Paving, F Mill, Dean Clough Mills, 1st Floor, Halifax West Yorkshire, HX3 5AX. Registered office: Bardon Hill, Bardon Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, England, LE67 1TL © Simply Paving is a trading division of Aggregate Industries UK Limited, part of the Holcim Group of Companies. All rights reserved.