Last Modified: January 25, 2024

Ice Chippings

Elegant Aggregates for Modern Landscapes

Close up of black ice chippings

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist

Classification:

Stone landscaping material and construction aggregate

Geological name(s):

Igneous and calcite or dolomite

Other Name(s):

Ice chippings, black ice decorative stone, black ice aggregate, ice pebbles, black ice stones, ice gravel

Overview

The landscape of outdoor and indoor design is ever-evolving, with decorative aggregates playing a pivotal role in creating eye-catching and functional spaces. Among these, ice chippings stand out for their unique aesthetic and practical qualities. Black ice chippings, with their striking black and grey hues, offer an eye-catching blend that creates a contemporary and elegant look.

This encyclopedia entry offers a comprehensive understanding of the key specifications, benefits, and many applications of black ice decorative stone. For those seeking design inspiration or DIY project guides, links to relevant resources on design fundamentals and 'how to' instructables are linked below.

Ice Chippings Specifications

material

colour

shape

sizes

fall safety

price

Stone

10-20mm

durability

fish friendly

eco friendly

degradability

ph

diy friendly

Non-degradable

Alkaline

Material

Basalt and marble

Colour

Black and grey

Shape

Angular

Close up of black ice chippings

Size Range

10-20mm (0.4-0.8")

Black ice gravel 20mm

Fall Safety

Unsuitable for play areas

Price

Mid

Durability

High

Fish Friendly

No

Black ice chippings close up

Eco-Friendly

Yes

Degradability

Non-degradable

pH

Alkaline

DIY-Friendly

Yes

Black ice stones garden path

Benefits

Decorative aggregates, like black ice gravel, offer numerous advantages in gardening and landscaping. Their use can enhance aesthetic appeal, provide a low-maintenance solution, aid in weed prevention, and assist in water conservation. These aggregates are excellent for adding texture and contrast to various outdoor areas.

Ice chippings' angular shape adds a modern touch and interlocks well to provide a solid footing, making them suitable for driveways and walkways. The blend of basalt and marble ensures durability, making these chippings a long-lasting addition to any garden, driveway or landscape.

  • 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

Black ice chippings are versatile, ideal for creating modern garden borders, contemporary driveways and as a top layer in pots and planters. Their unique colour combination makes them an excellent choice for ground cover and creating features in garden designs.

In the following section, we list many common ice 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 stones driveway with brick edging

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 ice chippings include:

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

Unsuitable For

The following list represents the kinds of applications that black ice gravel are not suitable for:

  1. 1
    Black ice gravel is unsuitable for french drains because they deteriorate over time. 
  2. 2
    Aquariums and aquascaping
  3. 3
    Play surfaces

Similar Alternatives to Ice Chippings

The following is a list of decorative aggregates which are alternatives to ice 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

10-20mm (0.4-0.8")

rounded

UK, USA

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

grey

Granite

3-20mm (0.1-0.8")

angular

UK, USA, EU

Under £80

£80-£120

£120-£150

£150-£200

£200-£300

£300+

Maintenance

Garden and landscaping tools on a patio

Black ice 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. When used with weed control fabrics, black ice chippings can significantly reduce the time spent on garden upkeep. For more on how to clean stone chippings, read our article: how to clean garden stones.

Purchasing Tips

Ice stone chips mulch around a shrub

When purchasing black ice gravel, 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, black ice gravel 20mm are typically used for driveways, while smaller 10mm ice 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. When buying black ice aggregates, consider purchasing in bulk bags for larger projects, as it can be more cost-effective. Always check the size range and ensure the black ice chippings are fish-friendly if your intended use is for aquatic features.

FAQs

What is black ice stone?

Black ice stone are a blend of basalt and marble, characterised by their angular shape and striking black and grey colours.

Is ice gravel the same as panda gravel?

No, they differ in material composition and colour, with panda being black, white and grey.

What is ice gravel made of?

It's a mix of basalt and marble.

What size is golden gravel?

Golden gravel is typically 10-20mm (0.4-0.79") in size.

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.