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5 Loose Stone Driveway Ideas To Inspire You

loose stone driveway ideas

There are many ways to pave your driveway, and one of the most popular and least expensive is a loose stone or gravel driveway.

Whilst this method does have its advantages, and offer visual intrigue, there are other options out there that you may not have considered.

In this article, we will explore 5 loose stone driveway ideas in greater detail, and see if they suit your needs, or if you might find yourself leaning towards another option instead. Let’s begin!

What Is A Loose Stone Driveway?

This term might seem quite obvious – surely it is simply a gravel driveway? Loose stone can in fact relate to a variety of stone types, including laid stones and bricks that are not set into the driveway, but are “loose”.

The application of the stones is also important, and can make the difference between a good job, and one that looks uneven and bare within months.

People choose a loose stone driveway because it offers a cheap and relatively easy way to transform the way the driveway looks, increasing your property’s resale value in the process. It is good as a security measure, and you can choose different colours to achieve an interesting and attractive look.

But there is more to the different stone options that simply tipping stone or gravel over your existing driveway – it requires much more thought and preparation.

loose stone driveway ideas

Laid loose into levelled sand, brick or stone driveways are a very popular option. They can be laid in a variety of designs, and when professionally done, will last a long time-and elicit some serious envy from the neighbours!

Idea No.1: Gravel Driveway

A gravel surface can look lovely on the driveway, and offers extra security, as you can hear if someone is driving or even walking onto your property. However, it requires a great deal of preparation before it can be laid.

The ground needs to be levelled, all weeds and grass removed and a protective weed barrier laid down. Then layers of gravel are added with different sizes on each layer. The larger gravel size is the first with a small gravel added as the top layer.

These are flattened using a mechanical tamper, before the next layer is added. This allows for compaction and drainage, and ensures that the gravel actually stays where it should.

The edges of the driveway also need to be delineated with bricks or larger stones to prevent the gravel from spreading into your garden or grass.

Idea No.2: Feature Stone Driveway

These loose stone driveways use stone that is colourful or different in some way. A great example is loose slate. This black stone is an attractive option for the drive, and looks fantastic, although it is very expensive, and is known not to last as the stone does snap and break when driven over.

Another loose stone gravel idea is to arrange different coloured stone in patterns, separating each section with paving stones. This way you can have swirls or stripes – whatever you so desire.

Idea No.3: Brick Driveway

Laid loose into levelled sand, brick or stone driveways are a very popular option. They can be laid in a variety of designs, and when professionally done, will last a long time.

However, as with most driveways, the important step is the preparation, and the sand base needs to be perfectly level and compacted, with a weed barrier beneath to prevent unsightly weeds growing up between the stones.

Bricks are a great idea if you want to recycle the stones for your driveway. You can buy bricks from reclaim yards, and have a stylish looking driveway. This is however an expensive option and labour intensive.

It is also important to make sure the bricks or stones used in this way can withstand a heavy vehicles driving over them daily.

loose stone driveway ideas

The flagstones are laid to accept the car tyres as your drive onto your driveway and the spaces between are filled with gravel. This can be a good way to save money and get a driveway that will last

Idea No.4: Mixed Flagstone And Gravel

You may prefer a more durable option for the car tyres on your driveway and a mix of flagstones and gravel can be a good compromise.

The flagstones are laid to accept the car tyres as your drive onto your driveway and the spaces between are filled with gravel. This can be a good way to save money and get a driveway that will last.

Idea No.5: Asphalt And Stone Driveways

Another stone or gravel option is the use of asphalt with stone pressed into it. This is not strictly a loose stone driveway but is probably the cheapest of the driveway options.

Asphalt or tarmac is known to start disintegrating after around 7 years and if the ground beneath is not prepared correctly it may not last as long as that.

loose stone driveway ideas

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to loose stone driveways. This traditional look is very popular, but the drawbacks can be great. Choosing a fixed product like resin bound stones can result in a similar look, but without the issues that can result from loose stone and gravel. Result!

Loose Stone Driveway: Problems And Pitfalls

A loose stone or gravel driveway will usually look beautiful when first completed, and can really set off your home; however, in time, the good looks start to fade, due to all kinds of reasons:

● The ground beneath may not have been prepared correctly and was not level enough, causing the gravel to have different thicknesses, and even exposed areas.
● The ground beneath was not fully cleared of weeds, or the weed material is letting through weed growth. This can cause the gravel driveway to look very unsightly.
● The edging material is not doing its job, and gravel is making its way onto the road, into your garden, or onto the grass.
● The gravel moves excessively, and needs to raked often to even out areas where it has built up or thinned out.
● The gravel or stone is not sturdy enough, and breaks up when driven over – leaving sharp edges, and ground up sections.
● The stone just seems to disappear, and needs topping up often – this could be because it is being compacted over time.
● Some types of stone can be very expensive
● You may not be able to get stone or gravel that will exactly match the original if you want to top it up. This could lead to your gravel looking patchy.

Resin Bound Driveways: A Preferable Alternative?

One relatively new and increasingly popular option for your driveway is a resin bound stone driveway. This is essentially a combination of coloured stones which have been bound into a resin mix that is then pressed into the driveway surface.

The result is a long lasting and attractive driveway that can be produced in a huge range of colours and patterns.

Resin bound systems can be applied directly to the existing driveway, or simply added over a concrete or tarmac base. The best option is something that is one whole piece – not paving slabs or bricks. This is to prevent cracking.

The resin is then mixed with the chosen aggregate in a mixer, before being trowelled over the driveway surface. Using hand floats and screeding bars, it is levelled until the right thickness is achieved.

The benefits of this application method are that it is still slightly permeable, and allows water to penetrate through the surface. It also sets very quickly, and can be used within the day.

You can achieve the look of loose stone, but without the inconvenience of stones being spread around the garden, and needing to be respread or raked. When properly and professionally applied, resin bound driveways are a great option and are long lasting.

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to loose stone driveways. This traditional look is very popular, but the drawbacks can be great. Choosing a fixed product like resin bound stones can result in a similar look, but without the issues that can result from loose stone and gravel. Result!

Set your surfacing up for long-term success, with the help of Home Logic! Simply call 0800 1700 636, or click the button below, to get started today!