Last Modified: January 25, 2024

Black and White Stone Chippings

Outdoor Style in Contrast

Black and white stone chippings close up

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist

Classification:

Stone landscaping material and construction aggregate

Geological name(s):

Calcite, dolomite and igneous rock.

Other Name(s):

Black white stone, zebra pebbles, black and white stone chippings, noughts and crosses garden pebbles, chessboard chippings

Overview

Black and white stone chippings, also known as zebra pebbles, blend black and white stones to create this widely available decorative aggregate that exudes an understated elegance. They are unique in their striking contrast and appeal, seamlessly integrating with various garden themes. Panda gravel is slightly different in colouration, with black and everest blue stone chippings making up the blend.

This encyclopedia entry comprehensively details the key specifications, advantages, and popular black and white stone chippings applications. This listing also provides links to design fundamentals, inspirational ideas, and DIY-friendly project guides, enhancing the usage of these decorative aggregates.

Black and White Stone Chippings Specifications

material

colour

shape

sizes

fall safety

price

Stone

10-30mm

durability

fish friendly

eco friendly

degradability

ph

diy friendly

Non-degradable

Neutral

Material

Basalt and marble, with variation by supplier

Colour

Black and white mixed

Shape

Irregular, rounded

Close up of black white stones

Size Range

10-300mm (0.4-1.2")

20mm black and white chippings

Fall Safety

Unsuitable for play areas

Price

Mid

Durability

High

Fish Friendly

Not generally, but may vary by supplier

Black and white stones close up

Eco-Friendly

Low environmental impact

Degradability

Non-degradable

pH

Neutral

DIY-Friendly

Yes

Black white stones garden path

Benefits

Decorative aggregates, such as black and white stones for garden design, offer multiple benefits in landscaping. They are durable, low maintenance, and provide a natural aesthetic that complements various outdoor themes. These decorative stones also aid in soil moisture retention and weed prevention.

Good quality black and white chippings offer a striking visual contrast, which can highlight features in a garden, driveway or patio paving. Their unique appearance makes them ideal for creating focal points or delineating different outdoor areas.

  • Inhibits weeds
  • Improves drainage
  • Hard-wearing
  • Eco-friendly, sustainable
  • Low-maintenance
  • Moisture retention
  • Versatile all-rounder
  • pH alkaline
  • Quick space transformation
  • Unsafe for aquatic life
  • Root protection
  • Easy to lay

Applications

White and black decorative stone chippings are particularly suited for paths and borders and as a top layer for plant pots and water features. The small 3-8mm gravel is primarily used for pebble dashing, although it is also well-suited to decorative garden projects, landscaping schemes, lawn borders or between paving slabs.

Black and white stones provide a clean, modern look and look even more striking when wet, making them appealing for use in a water feature or pond. However, care should be taken when selecting these stones for aquatic life, as they may not be suitable.

In the following section, we list many common black and white stone chippings uses, although it is not exhaustive. Wherever there is a hyperlink beside an item, an article from Outdoor Aggregates about the topic is available.

Panda chips garden with a plant

Informational & Inspirational Articles

DIY-Friendly How-To Guides

Need to work out how many stone chippings your  project needs? Try our free gravel calculator.

Other Applications

Some other excellent applications for black and white stone chippings include:

  • Base for terrace, patios or outdoor seating areas
  • Art and crafts
Black white under leaves in a garden

Unsuitable For

The following list represents the kinds of applications that black and white chippings are not suitable for:

  1. 1
    Black and white stone chippings are unsuitable for french drains because there are cheaper options.
  2. 2
    Black and white stones as primary material for driveways or foundations. 
  3. 3
    Play surfaces

Similar Alternatives to Black and White Stone Chippings

The following is a list of decorative aggregates which are alternatives to black and white stone chippings but offer unique variations on the primary colour, offer more economical options or substitute where they may not be optimal for the project you are creating.

Name

Colours

Material

Size

Shape

Availability

Price

black, grey, white

basalt, marble

10-30mm (0.4-1.2")

angular

UK, USA, EU

black

10-40mm (0.4-1.6")

flaky, flat

UK, USA, EU

black

10-50mm (0.4-2")

irregular

UK, USA, EU

dark grey

basalt

5-20mm (0.2-0.8")

irregular

UK, USA, EU

black, grey

marble

10-20mm (0.4-0.8")

angular

UK, USA, EU

Under £80

£80-£120

£120-£150

£150-£200

£200-£300

£300+

Maintenance

Cleaning garden gravel with a hose

Black and white stone chippings are generally low maintenance, especially when a heavy duty membrane is installed underneath to suppress weeds, with most work limited to the occasional removal of debris. Occasional power washing is advisable to maintain the original colour and prevent algae or moss buildup. Natural quarry materials also may have dust, which should be hosed off with water at the time of installation.

For areas with heavy footfall, such as paths or footpaths, replenishment of chippings may be required over time to maintain depth and coverage. For more on how to clean stone chippings, read our article: how to clean garden stones.

Purchasing Tips

Panda gravel garden with slate feature

When purchasing black and white stones, consider the size and quantity necessary for your project. Where available, it is cost-effective to request a sample to assess the stone's colour and quality against your design requirements. Also, consider the size you'll need; for instance, 20mm black and white chippings are typically used for driveways, while smaller 10mm black and white chippings are better suited to footpaths.

Using our gravel calculator to get an unbiased estimate for your project needs is one of the best and easiest ways to get the right amount without the risk of shortfalls or over-spending - all you need is a few measurements of the space. Ordering in black and white stone chippings bulk bags is often more cost-effective than smaller quantities. Also, always check they type you want is in stock for nationwide delivery and consider the delivery aspects, especially the vehicle access to the site.

FAQs

Is panda gravel the same as black ice?

No, panda gravel and black ice are different; panda gravel has a more distinct black and white contrast.

What are black ice chippings made of?

Black ice chippings are typically made of basalt and marble, providing a unique black and silver appearance.

What is black ice gravel?

Black ice gravel is a decorative stone blend with a black and silver finish, used in landscaping and as garden pebbles.

What area will a 25kg bag of decorative stones cover?

A 25kg bag of gravel typically covers about 0.5 square metres at a depth of 50mm.

How much will 850kg of gravel cover?

An 850kg bulk bag of gravel covers the ground of approximately 14 square metres at a depth of 50mm.

There are many other varieties of stone chippings available for your project. Check out them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.