Whether you're making a patio or a walkway, installing pavers can be a great alternative. In order to create a smooth, stable structure with pavers, though, you'll need gravel for the foundation. The gravel used in construction applications like this is usually created from crushed limestone that is ground up to make it small and reasonably uniform in size. Here's a look at what you should know about the different textures and how they can help you with your paver installation.

Fine-Textured Gravel

Fine-textured gravel material is best in areas where you need a lot of stability in the base but you don't have any concerns about ensuring drainage. The fine gravel will compact tightly, much like sand. This makes the foundation strong and stable, but it doesn't typically allow for much in the way of drainage. The limited drainage can actually cause water to pool under the pavers. If that water freezes, it can cause the pavers to buckle or heave.

Medium-Textured Gravel

A medium-textured gravel product is the most common choice for paver bases because it compacts tightly enough to make the foundation stable without becoming so solid that it inhibits drainage. In fact, it creates a stable enough foundation that your pavers should be able to sustain vehicle parking and regular traffic. The small spaces between the stones allow water to filter through to the dirt underneath, which prevents standing water under the pavers.

Coarse-Textured Gravel

If your pavers will be installed in a heavy demand area where they'll have to sustain a lot of heavy weight, you should consider coarse-textured gravel. For example, if the pavers are being installed in an area where you have heavy construction or service trucks, you'll want coarse gravel that can stand up to it. It may not compact as tightly, but the larger size of the stones offers more support for heavy weight. You may also find that coarse gravel is a better option if you're concerned about needing a lot of drainage.

Recycled Gravel

Another great option for many paver installations is recycled gravel. Unlike the limestone product discussed above, recycled gravel is typically made from old concrete material that's been crushed to a similar texture. It's often more affordable than limestone gravel, and it's equally effective in most any application. If you want to preserve natural limestone, this is a great option.

As you can see, you have several choices for the gravel layer beneath your new pavers. Talk with a construction company, like McNabb Construction Ltd, to see which one will be best for your environment.