There are many different types of rocks and gravel that you can buy. Pea gravel is one of the most popular and standard types of gravel, but it isn’t the only one. Landscaping rocks can be found in many different shapes and sizes.
Limestone gravel is one of the most common and cheapest types of gravel. But that isn’t all limestone is used for nor is limestone gravel the only type of gravel found in nature. Limestone is much more plentiful and versatile than that.
What Is Gravel?
Gravel is a type of aggregated rock that is primarily gathered from riverbeds. It is used to cover pathways, patios, and more. Gravel is often purchased for a lower price than crushed stone or other types of rocks.
For this reason, it is quite popular. Though the price does vary depending on the type of gravel that you buy. Gravel can be anywhere from 2mm to almost 3-inches and can be made from almost any type of stone.
What Is Limestone?
Limestone itself is a hard sedimentary rock made of calcium carbonate or dolomite. It is often ground up to make cement, adhesives, and other mixtures that need aggregates to work. Limestone is a cheap, readily available option.
Limestone is primarily used because of its price and availability but it is also widely loved because of its unique look. This type of rock is lightweight and porous. This makes it great for draining purposes but not so good against stains.
What Is Limestone Gravel?
Yes, the two can be combined to create what is known as limestone gravel. Since gravel is defined by the size and source, and limestone is defined by the type of rock, there is such a thing as limestone gravel.
Limestone gravel is simply gravel made from limestone. It occurs naturally in shallow ocean beds whereas most other gravel occurs naturally in freshwater beds such as creeks, rivers, and lakes. But they are both considered gravel when broken up.
Standard Gravel Vs. Limestone
Standard gravel is often made from hard rocks that are not porous, though both sandstone and limestone are still common types of gravel. The differences aren’t as noticeable as you may think because gravel is gravel.
What is different than gravel though is river rock. Because river rock, which is often confused for gravel, is smooth. River rocks are smoothed down from decades of the water rushing over them, but gravel is not smooth.
Though there are types of gravel that are more smooth, most gravel will not be rounded like river rocks. Instead, they will have a natural look. Gravel is most often found in the shallowest parts of the water or near the shore.
Types Of Limestone
Despite the belief that limestone is a specific stone, there are many different types of limestone. Though there may be dozens of types of limestone in existence, here are the most common types that you can find yourself.
Yes, that piece of rock you use to draw on concrete is a variety of limestone. Or at least, it used to be. Today, most chalk is man-made. Real chalk has a very fine texture and is powdery in substance, even when found in nature in gray or white color.
Coquina is a cemented limestone made of tiny fragments of shell or coral debris. Now isn’t that a cool occurrence? The tiny pieces of shells from sea creatures and coral coming together to form a hard piece of naturally cemented stone.
This is actually known as marble in our world. Real marble. This is because any crystalline carbonate rock that has the ability to accept a polish is called “marble.” So the definition is quite broad, and this fits into it.
This type of limestone is made of calcite that has been transformed into dolomite. It is one of the more common types of limestone. The process happens when the calcite is exposed to too much magnesium.
Fossiliferous limestone is fairly self-explanatory. It is a limestone that has a noticeable fossil in it, usually more than one fossil. Because limestone has always been found in wet areas, the fossils are almost always sea creatures.
Lithographic limestone is a dense type of limestone that has a very smooth surface. It was named after the process of creating copies by pressing ink onto surfaces was created. This limestone was used for lithography in the 1700s.
Oolites are tiny specks of calcium carbonate with a spherical shape. The oolitic limestone is formed when these oolites grab onto a particle from a shell or other undersea material. The oolites continue to build until a rock is formed.
You may know this one if you’ve ever looked at alternatives to marble floors. Travertine is a gorgeous limestone used for floors in high-end estates. It is originally white but is often stained to come in a variety of colors.
Tufa is a porous limestone rock that forms from the precipitation of calcium carbonate, which is usually at a hot spring or other similar location. It is an expensive stone that needs to be mined and harvested with special equipment.
Limestone can be so fun to work with and it’s not just limestone gravel that you can use for your outdoor projects. You can use pavers, large stones, and even solid blocks of carved limestone. Doesn’t that sound exciting?
Although you may not have the next Michelangelo in your yard, you can sure try! And if you can’t afford to use limestone in that way, there are still plenty of other projects you can take care of in one afternoon.
Enrich Your Soil
Forget aesthetics, if you want to start off with something practical then try adding limestone to your soil. Limestone is rich in minerals and can be exactly what your soil needs to thrive, grow plants, and look amazing.
The ability of limestone to neutralize soil acidity is amazing. It can correct a nutrient deficiency and balance pH. It is often added to fertilizer for this reason but you can add it directly into your soil on your own.
Built A Pathway
Building a pathway is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a big impact in your yard. There are multiple ways you can do it with limestone too, which opens up so many possibilities in your yard.
The easiest way is to build a limestone gravel pathway. But other options include using limestone stepping stones or a simple limestone sidewalk with pavers. The gravel is the cheapest but the other options are high-end.
Create A Patio
Patios are just what most yards need to look and feel inviting. You can create a concrete patio, a wooden patio, or a stone patio. But the easiest way to create a patio is to use a little bit of gravel, perhaps limestone gravel.
Create a barrier, dig down a few inches, and pour the gravel. It really is that easy! If you want, you can even use retaining walls, preferably a railroad tie retaining wall, to create a masterpiece that fits any landscaping style.
Install A French Drain
You can use limestone to cover the top of and fill your french drain. Installing a French drain can be just what you need to make your yard look nice and free it of andy puddles that have piled up. It isn’t difficult to build one either.
All you need is to dig a ditch, add a weed barrier, pipe, and cover it with gravel. For full instructions, visit this French drain guide that will show you how to DIY your way to a professional French drain.
Lay Out A Driveway
You can create an entire driveway with nothing but limestone. While you should probably add a simple frame for safety reasons and a weed barrier for looks, your main ingredient will be limestone gravel.
This is way cheaper than adding asphalt and will have less maintenance than using pea gravel. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than adding pea gravel as pea gravel is one of the more expensive types of gravel.
Solid Limestone Creations
Columns, fountains, statues! These Greek creations can make your house look like a million bucks. But they don’t have to be made of marble. You can create limestone projects that look like they are made from an expensive stone.
While this isn’t nearly as affordable as limestone gravel, it is an option if you have a few bucks to spare. Hire a professional to carve it out or pick up a new hobby and create something wonderful on your own.
Should I Use Limestone Gravel?
In general, you should probably use the gravel that is readily available in your area as it will be the lowest price and the most naturally derived. Buying online is very expensive, so buying locally is your best bet.
Find out what is naturally produced in your area and seek out companies or individuals selling gravel. Those with creeks running through their property often sell gravel and rocks on the side, so don’t forget to ask around.