Last Modified: January 27, 2024

Brown Gravel

Landscaper's Guide to Brown Pea Gravel

Brown gravel close up

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist


Stone landscaping material and construction aggregate

Geological name(s):


Other Name(s):

Gravel brown, brown pea gravel, brown gravel stone, brown gravel rock, brown river gravel, Welsh brown gravel


Welcome to the only encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates and landscaping materials. Brown gravel for landscaping, also known as brown pea gravel, is an economical and hard-wearing decorative aggregate known for its smooth, natural appearance and versatility in outdoor design. It is widely used in resin-bonding for gravelly frontyard paths and driveways, as well as backyard swimming pools.

This comprehensive encyclopaedia listing about brown gravel, 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.






fall safety


River rock



fish friendly

eco friendly



diy friendly




Metamorphic rock


Brown, cream, grey, cream or pink


Rounded gravels

Close up of brown pea. Jpg

Size Range

1mm - 10mm (0.01" - 0.4")
Brown pea gravel 10mm, gravel brown 3mm, brown pea 1-3mm

Fall Safety

1.8m/6' drop at 15cm/6" depth





Fish Friendly


Brown shingle close up. Jpg









Gravel brown pea garden path


Decorative aggregates like pea gravel offer numerous advantages in construction, garden and landscape design. It's very hard-wearing, with the size and shape making it suitable for various applications, from resin-bonded driveways to decorative borders. Pea gravel is a popular choice for landscaping because of its uniform size, smooth texture, and variety of beautiful, earthy colours. In construction, pea gravel is also added to concrete mixtures to improve strength and reduce the amount of cement needed.

Many people don't realize that brown pea gravel is actually a smaller and smoother version of river rock, like little pebbles. It is also widely available, making it one of the most affordable decorative stones. With its warm and natural tones, blends seamlessly into most garden designs and is particularly effective in creating rustic or naturalistic garden themes.

The use of brown gravel for landscaping is popular due to its versatility and functionality, being better known for its smaller size and superior compactability compared to river rocks. It can also deter weed growth and won't be blown away by winds or leaf blowers. Brown gravel requires very little maintenance and is soft and comfortable enough to walk on.

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


Pea gravel has many popular uses, with the 1-3mm used as a surfacing material for bonded gravel driveways and walkways. Brown gravel is also used for garden paths, loose stone driveways and patios. Occasionally, pea gravel is laid as a children’s play surface due to it is shock-absorbent qualities and critical fall height safety rating. Brown gravel can also be used an alternative to sand in sandboxes or traditional organic mulch products.

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

Brown gravel garden with palms

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 brown landscaping gravel include:

  • Base for terrace, patios or outdoor seating areas
  • Sub base layers
  • Cement substrate
Brown pea under garden leaves. Jpg

Unsuitable For

The following list represents the kinds of applications that brown gravel may not be suitable for:

  1. 1
    Pea gravel is not wheelchair-friendly and can be challenging for individuals with mobility issues to navigate.
  2. 2
    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.
  3. 3
    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 slopes.
  4. 4
    Loose-fill pea gravel is not ideal for areas with heavy foot traffic or frequent vehicle use. It can become stuck in tyre treads and also shift over time, leading to gravel being tracked into indoor and outdoor spaces.

Similar Alternatives to Brown Pea Gravel

The following is a list of decorative aggregates which are alternatives to brown gravel. 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.








creamy white

10-20mm (0.4-0.8")



white, buff


3-20mm (0.01-0.8")



pale yellow

5-20mm (0.2-0.8")





6-10mm (0.4")



golden, brown


10-20mm (0.4-0.8")





10-20mm (0.4-0.8")



Under £80







Gardening tools in a shed. Jpg

Brown gravel is generally a low-maintenance option, especially when a heavy duty membrane is installed underneath to suppress weeds, with most work limited to raking and the occasional removal of debris. Occasional power washing of the product 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. Also, checking for patches where bonded gravel has come loose is important. For more on how to clean gravel, read our article: how to clean garden stones.

Purchasing Tips

Natural river rock landscape

When purchasing brown gravel, consider the size options 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 different sizes; for instance, brown gravel 10mm are typically used for loose gravel driveways, while smaller 3-6mm brown gravel is utilised for resin-bonding applications or cement mixing.

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

Pea Gravel Resin Bonding Coverage Guide

Golden quartz pea gravel generally comes in 25kg sizes, and a 25kg bag will usually cover 1.25㎡ at 12mm thickness. The following information applies on a per bag basis.

  • For foot traffic areas, a thickness of 12mm with a coverage of 1.25m² is typically adequate.
  • For light vehicular traffic, such as motorbikes or cars driving on and off, then it's recommended to use a thickness of 15mm with a coverage of 1m².
  • For normal vehicular traffic, a thickness of 18mm with a coverage of 0.75m² is recommended.

You will also require ~800g UV stable resin and ~ 1g of resin activator per 25kg bag.


What colour gravel can you get?

Gravel comes in various colours, including shades of brown, cream, grey and pink.

What is the cheapest gravel you can buy?

Crushed concrete and pea gravel are among the most affordable options, especially if you purchase in a bulk bag.

What's the difference between gravel and chippings?

Gravel is typically smaller and more rounded, while chippings are larger and more angular.

How much is a tonne of gravel?

The cost of gravel varies based on type and location, but brown gravel is generally mid-priced.

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.