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Gravel is commonly used for outdoor landscaping projects such as yards, driveways and paths. It can also be used in the composition of concrete.
Whatever your project, use our gravel calculator to assess the amount of gravel or aggregate you might need for your project.
How much gravel do I need?
To calculate how much gravel you might need for your project, measure the length and width of your area and multiply it by the depth of gravel required. This assumes that all measurements are in the same unit.
If you have an odd-shaped area, break it down into rough rectangular or square shapes and calculate each area one at a time. You may wish to draw the shapes out on a sheet of paper to help you.
Let's go through each step.
- Measure the length and width of the area in feet and multiply the figures together.
- Multiply your area figure by the depth of gravel that you wish to use, ensuring your measurement is also in feet. If your depth is in inches, divide it by 12 first.
- You now have a cubic feet volume figure. To convert to cubic yards, divide by 27.
- To work out the weight in tons, multiply your volume figure by the density of the gravel in tons/yd³.
- If we assume a density of 1.41 tons/yd³ for our dry gravel (of 1/4" to 2" size), we multiply our yd³ volume by 1.41 to get a weight figure in tons.
If we want to find out how much gravel we need for an area 15ft long by 20ft wide, with a gravel depth of 3 inches. Our calculation might look something like this:
Converting cubic yards to weight can be tricky, which is why we've put together an article about how much a cubic yard weighs.
How to calculate gravel volume
You can calculate gravel volume in cubic yards using the following formula:
This assumes that you have already calculated your square footage area.
Due to the fact that quantities of gravel are commonly expressed in weight, we need to do a further conversion in order to get a weight in tons.
How to calculate the weight of gravel required
To define the necessary weight of gravel, you will need to take into account the density of the gravel, which commonly ranges from 1.4 to 1.7 tons / cubic yard, depending on the nature of the rock that composes it.
To calculate the weight of gravel required, we can use the following formula:
If you're planning for a construction project, it's worth considering the idea of adding an extra percentage of materials to allow for any changes of plan or any losses during the construction phase.
Why is it important to use the right amount of gravel?
The answer is simple, and it's a question of hold and durability!
If too little gravel is used, the passage of pedestrians and vehicles can create ruts. The surface will be quickly stripped, and it will look unsightly with bare patches. Of course, using too much gravel can have its drawbacks too. It adds further expense to the project and can make the ground feel uncomfortable when walked on.
When making concrete, it is crucial as successful concrete is correctly dosed in cement, sand and gravel. If any of the constituents are in deficit or excess, the concrete will be weakened.
The right amount of gravel is essential for a beautiful driveway or a lovely gravel terrace, but don't worry; you can use our gravel calculator to help you work out how much gravel you need.Calculator created by Alastair Hazell
Density figures for gravel, rock and sand are referenced from simetric.co.uk.
If you have any problems using our gravel calculator, please contact us.
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