Best Types of Stone for Your Driveway

Driveway Gravel

Best Types of Stone for Your Driveway

Replacing your driveway can be complicated. But you’re determined, thrifty, and know what you want. Stone driveways are affordable, efficient, quick to install, and easy to maintain.

But with all the different types of rock to use on the driveway of your dream build, choosing the right one isn’t easy. Here’s a quick guide on choosing the best stone to use for your driveway.

Back to Basics

First, let’s talk about how to pick which stone is for you. Most driveways use a blend of several different sizes of stone. This stone is layered from largest to smaller, with a kind of padding of stone dust in between. 

These layers help by creating a solid foundation and ensuring proper and complete drainage of moisture through the layers. Additionally, they make a more solid driving surface. And you only have to replace the top layer once every couple of years!

Picking the right stone is not difficult and there are a lot of options. You’re going to want to find out which size, what color, and what type is right for you. Once you have an idea of what you want, shop around or call a local dealer to ask about their pricing and availability. 

A Homeowner’s Guide to Rock Types

So you know how to pick—now let’s talk about what you should pick. Different kinds of gravel have different uses, but here’s where you should start. 

Crushed Stone 

Crushed stone is the go-to for durability and low-cost driveways and will probably be your best option. . If you’re making a gravel driveway for an area with tons of traffic, this is your old reliable. And it doesn’t look half bad, either.

Typically in Indiana when we speak of driveway stone we are referring to crushed limestone which is relatively abundant and affordable because of the proximity of limestone quarries. Crushed limestone for parking areas is easily maintained and is the most cost-effective surfacing when you are looking to save money on your project.

McCarty rock and stone carries Indiana limestone that is screened and crushed into differing sizes for base layers in a driveway or topdressing. For new drives or parking areas, we recommend a base stone such as #2 or #4 stone. #2’s are approximately 3”-4” in size and work great as your primary base layer on top of the dirt and provide that firm foundation so the smaller rock does not get lost in the ground.

For topdressing there are numerous sizes available including #4’s with an approximate size of  1 ½” or the size of a golf ball, #8’s with an approximate size of 1” and they represent the size of a marble, then you have #53 stone. #53 stone is roughly about ½ stone and ½ lime dust, which gives it the ability to pack better than some of the looser limestone.

We also stock white limestone sand, or patio sand/flume. Flume sand is basically just screened limestone dust and provides a great material for tamping and packing in hardscape projects or can be used between flagstone gaps.  Our wide selection of limestone varies in size depending on your need. 


How Do You Choose

Like we said, picking the right types of rock to use on the driveway can be a hassle. But with this little cheat sheet, you should be able to get right into choosing the best ones for you.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at our webpage, or check out our blog for more tips and tricks.


gravel driveway

Driveway Renovation: Gravel vs. Crushed Stone

Does your driveway do your home justice? It could add an aged appearance to an otherwise well-maintained property, especially when the driveway is filled with debris, cracked asphalt or concrete sprouting brown vegetation.  An easy fix that will give your home a modern look is to Install pea gravel or crushed stone.

Characteristics of gravel and crushed stone


A gravel driveway can function like a concrete driveway. Gravel is more attractive: it’s multi-colored, used to create walkways and creates accents around stepping stones and garden beds. Without reinforcement, gravel can travel outside of boundaries due to foot traffic and vehicles. Using edging materials, like bricks and stones, keeps gravel in place and adds aesthetic–especially around larger pavers. Even though it’s cheaper than new asphalt or concrete, maintenance include:

  • Refilling to keep a clean cut look
  • Raking in the fall
  • Shoveling in the winter

Crushed Stone:

Has multiple classifications, but the stone size will determine how it should be used. Examples include: serving as a base for pavers and roads, fence drain and concrete blocks. This easy-to-find material is available in a variety of types and sizes, including clean and decorative stone. Crushed stone can look and function well within any landscape or exterior home decor, and it pours into any shape no matter how irregular. It’s typically cheaper than other stone options, and maintenance is simple:

  • No need to dry and cure before being used
  • Rake grass clippings and leaves, which spreads the rocks evenly
  • Fill  patches immediately

How to prepare your  driveway

Filling the area is only part of the work required for a gravel or crushed stone driveway. First, measure the parameters of the area you want to be covered, especially if it’s long with a few curves or has a slope.This will save you time and headaches later. Additionally, you will need to:

  • Remove topsoil
  • Drain any subsoil water
  • Use geotextile to keep subsoil dry when it rains (optional)

Gravel or crushed stone is simple to install, but since crushed stone is heavier it’s best to use it on top of the geotextile. If you don’t, high wind gusts will carry it away. Adding a crown, which is a slight dip in the center, directs water flow off the sides of the driveway during rainy seasons.

Contractors, landscapers, and homeowners can access our tonnage rates on stones and gravel to save money on large projects at McCarty Mulch and Stone. All of our rock and stone is versatile for a variety of projects. We have affordable stone solutions for you. Call us today!