Last Modified: February 14, 2024

Pea Shingle

the economical construction aggregate

Close up of pea shingle

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist


Stone landscaping material and construction aggregate

Geological name(s):

Varies by region and supplier

Other Name(s):

Gravel pea shingle, pea shingle gravel, small grade shingle


Welcome to the only encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates and our listing for pea shingle, also known specifically as pea shingle 10mm. We will begin by demystifying the definitions of 'shingle' and 'gravel', two terms that are frequently used interchangeably, even though they have significant differences in terms of their suitability for different purposes. This crossover can create confusion and may result in dissatisfied customers or unintended outcomes for DIY projects, and shows why it usually pays to do a bit of research.

When it comes to making a comparison, firstly, pea shingle isn't as uniformly shaped and rounded as pea gravel. Pea gravel is characterised by its smooth, naturally-weathered pebbles of a single type of stone, such as quartz. In contrast, pea shingle can be produced from a variety of materials, including quartz, limestone, granite and even recycled materials, which are then crushed and screened to size, usually between 10mm and 20mm in diameter. It's primarily due to shape and origin, that pea shingle is most commonly used for construction purposes, while pea gravel is more versatile, being also very well suited to decorative applications.

This is a comprehensive encyclopaedia listing about pea shingle, a hardscape and construction aggregate. It details the product's specifications, accompanied by photographs, and outlines its benefits, applications, and incompatibilities as a landscaping material. Additionally, this entry serves as a gateway to a wealth of DIY resources, with a list of comparable alternatives, articles offering design inspiration and fundamental principles, and a collection of straightforward, step-by-step instructions for constructing your own hardscaping features.

Pea Shingle Specifications





fall safety





fish friendly

eco friendly



diy friendly




Usually quartz or flint


Usually brown, buff, beige or grey


Rounded to sub-angular

Crushed pea shingle close up

Size Range

6-10mm (0.2-0.4")

Shingle 10mm, 10mm shingle, 10mm pea shingle, pea shingle 10mm, gravel / pea shingle 10mm, 10mm shingle gravel

Fall Safety

1.8m/6' drop at 15cm/6" depth





Fish Friendly

Depends on material - check with supplier

10mm pea shingle close up. Jpg






Neutral - alkaline



Pea grey shingle close up. Jpg


Pea shingle is an economical and widely available aggregate. It is most commonly used in construction due to its angular shape and larger size, which packs down well and provides excellent drainage properties and load-bearing capacity.

While pea gravel is popular for decorative purposes due to its smooth, rounded and natural appearance, when used as a decorative aggregate, pea shingle also offers numerous benefits for landscaping. It is an economical way to create low-maintenance areas that control weeds, provide drainage and can withstand heavy foot traffic. The natural look of these aggregates can vary by supplier, so it's recommended to get a sample if you're planning to use it decoratively.

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


Generally, pea shingle is most often used as a construction aggregate, from forming a solid base layer for roads and driveways to providing an excellent drainage substrate for soakaways and pipe bedding or as a component in concreting.

For the DIY landscaper, it can be used in residential gardens as a decorative top layer in flower beds and planters or for pathways and driveways. However, it can be less comfortable to walk on than pea gravel due to its more angular and large pieces. Its drainage properties make it ideal for use in French drains and as a base layer for laying slabs and decking.

In the following section, we list common pea shingle uses for landscaping. Wherever there is a hyperlink beside an item, an article from Outdoor Aggregates about the topic is available.

Crushed gravel driveway. Jpg

Inspiration and Informational 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 pea shingle include:

  • Base for terrace, patios or outdoor seating areas
  • Sub base layers
Pea gravel mulch

Unsuitable For

The following list represents the kinds of applications that pea shingle may not be suitable for:

  1. 1
    Areas with fine plantings: If you have creepers or low-growing plants in your garden gravel can make it harder for these plants to thrive, as it may interfere with their root systems as they try to grow.
  2. 2
    Erosion control: On steep slopes or areas with significant inclines, the loose nature of the gravel can make it prone to movement which can be problematic on exterior slopes. A gravel grid should be in place as a minimum.
  3. 3
    Sites requiring a stable, non-shifting surface

Similar Alternatives to Pea Shingle

The following is a list of decorative aggregates which are alternatives to pea shingle. They may offer you a more suitable variation on the primary colour, a more economical option, or a close substitute for cases where the base material may be unsuitable for the project you are creating, e.g. limestone is not fish-friendly, where slate is.








buff, white

10mm (0.4")



white, buff

3-20mm (0.12-0.8")



pale yellow

5-20mm (0.2-0.8")



black, white, grey, red

6-20mm (0.25-0.8")



golden, brown


10-20mm (0.4-0.8")



brown, buff


10mm (0.4")



Under £80







Washing 10mm pea with a garden hose

When used as a decorative ground cover, maintaining pea shingle is straightforward. It generally requires periodic raking to keep the surface even and remove debris. Over time, some stones may become displaced, so adding a top-up layer might be necessary. Weeds can be minimised by laying a weed membrane underneath the shingle.

For more on how to clean gravel, read our article: how to clean garden stones.

Purchasing Tips

Mulching with garden gravel

When considering purchasing pea shingle for decorative purposes, it's vital to identify the suitability of the shape, size and appearance. Wherever available, it is cost-effective to request a sample to assess the stone's colour and quality against your design requirements. Also, consider the different sizes; for instance, 20mm shingle gravel is typically used for driveways and many drainage tasks, while smaller, 10mm shingle is better suited to footpaths and many concreting applications.

Our gravel calculator will give you a quick and unbiased estimate for your project needs just by taking a few measurements of the space. It is one of the best and easiest ways to order the right amount and helps avoid shortfalls or over-spending. Purchasing a pea shingle bulk bag or ordering in loose loads can offer better value than purchasing in smaller shingle bags. Therefore, calculating accurately can save both time and money. It is also important to consider the delivery aspects, including vehicle access to the site. Additionally, you can use our site to check stock availability and factor in VAT and transportation costs if applicable.


What is pea shingle and what are the colours?

Pea shingle is a small, rounded gravel typically used in landscaping and drainage solutions. The colours usually range from light greys and browns to beige, reflecting its natural stone origin.

How do you use pea shingle for drainage?

Lay it as a base layer in areas requiring water dispersion, such as French drains or garden beds.

What are the pros and cons of a pea shingle driveway?

Pros: Aesthetically pleasing, good drainage, and eco-friendly. Cons: Can shift underfoot and may require regular maintenance.

What is best 10mm or 20mm shingle?

10mm is better for pathways and decorative purposes, while 20mm is ideal for drainage and more extensive landscaping projects.

What is the pea shingle size?

Standard sizes range from 6mm to 14mm (0.24" to 0.55"), with variations depending on the source.

There are many wonderful types of gravel and aggregates available for your project needs. Check 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.