Gravel Calculator: How Much Do You Need?

Whether you require pea gravel or aggregate, our calculator, based on the length, width, and depth of the area, helps you estimate the right amount of gravel necessary.

Gravel Calculator and Formula

If you know the area’s length, width, and depth, enter the information below. Or, enter the desired depth and square footage.

To manually calculate how much gravel you need, measure the length, width, and desired depth of the area in feet, then multiply those numbers to determine cubic feet. Next, divide your cubic feet value by 27 to determine cubic yards. Finally, to convert cubic yards to tons, multiply by 1.4.

Cubic feet = length x width x depth in feet

Cubic yards = cubic feet ÷ 27

Tons = cubic yards x 1.4

Pea Gravel Calculations for Driveway Coverage

Pea Gravel Calculator

You want to cover a driveway with pea gravel. The driveway measures 20 feet in length and 10 feet in width. You’d like the pea gravel to be 2 inches thick, which is equivalent to 0.167 feet. To calculate the cubic feet of the area, multiply the length, width, and depth:

20 ft × 10 ft × 0.167 ft = 33.4 cubic feet.

To convert cubic feet to cubic yards, divide by 27:

33.4 ft3 ÷ 27= 1.237 cubic yards.

To determine the tons needed, multiply by 1.4:

1.237 cubic yards × 1.4=1.732 tons.

So, you would need approximately 1.732 tons of pea gravel for your driveway.

Driveway Dimensions (ft)Gravel Thickness (ft)Cubic FeetCubic YardsTons
20 x 100.16733.41.2371.732
40 x 60.3379.22.9334.107
30 x 80.51204.4446.221
15 x 50.2518.750.6940.971

You can also use our pea gravel calculator above for much easier calculations.

How Much Gravel Do I Need: Determining Depth

The amount of gravel you need depends on the square footage of the area and the desired gravel depth.

For example, laying a pea gravel pathway requires 3-6 inches of depth, depending on the base soil. For softer base soil, you’ll need 4-6 inches, but if the ground is firm and stable, you may need only 3-4 inches. If you’re using pea gravel instead of mulch to landscape, it should be about 2 – 2.5 inches thick.

Driveways typically require crushed stone, which is different from gravel.

Types of Gravel

Gravel is a naturally occurring material. It’s common for landscaping, while contractors use crushed stone for driveways and construction. Gravel is classified by name or size. When organized by size, it will have a # sign and a corresponding number attached to it. The smaller the number, the larger the gravel.

Here are some of the most common types of gravel:

Gravel TypeWeight per Cubic Yard (Pounds)Weight per Cubic Yard (Tons)
Pea Gravel2,800 - 3,400 lbs1.4 - 1.7 tons
Crushed Stone2,200 - 2,700 lbs1.1 - 1.35 tons
River Rock2,700 - 3,000 lbs1.35 - 1.5 tons
Decomposed Granite2,000 - 2,600 lbs1 - 1.3 tons
Crushed Limestone2,300 - 2,800 lbs1.15 - 1.4 tons
  • Pea gravel – Pea gravel gets its name from its small size, similar to a pea. It’s inexpensive, with variation in color and shape, making it a go-to for landscaping projects and as an aggregate in construction.
  • River rock – River rock, sometimes called river stone, comes from rivers and creeks. It has a smooth, rounded appearance and comes in many colors, including white, light brown, and black. It comes in many sizes, ranging from small to medium.
  • Lava Rock– Also known as volcanic rock, lava rock comes from cooled lava. Most lava rock is red, black, or gray and is suitable for landscaping projects.
  • Bank gravel – Bank gravel comes from the banks of rivers and creeks. It is a mixture of large rocks, small rocks, and sand, ideal for landscaping projects because of its drainage properties.
  • Marble chips – As the name implies, marble chips come from marble. They are white and standard for landscaping projects, including flower beds and walkways.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Is gravel the same as crushed stone?

Gravel and crushed stone are different. Aggregate companies produce crushed stone by mining for large rocks and crushing them into smaller, angular pieces. Crush is ideal for driveways and construction products, while gravel is better for landscaping.

How many square feet will ten cubic yards of gravel cover?

The area a cubic yard of gravel will cover depends on the depth. A cubic yard of gravel covers about 108 square feet at three inches thick. At 2.5 inches deep, a cubic yard of gravel covers 129.6 square feet.

How many square feet does one ton of gravel cover?

The area that one ton of gravel covers depends on how thick you lay it. One ton of gravel will cover about 76 square feet at three inches thick or 91 square feet at 2.5 inches deep.

How much is a cubic yard of gravel?

The cubic yard is a volume measurement of 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet. It’s equivalent to 1.4 tons and covers 108 square feet at three inches thick.