It goes without saying that gravel provides one of the best aesthetics for a driveway. It looks chic and is timeless. However, when parking on gravel, it is fraught with problems. The gravel can move around and smaller pieces can get lodged in your tyre’s tread. But there are solutions for these problems and one is the gravel parking grid; but what is this?
A gravel parking grid is a type of reinforcement for gravel driveways that makes them more stable and reliable. The good news is that they can be installed by the homeowner without much previous experience.
If you have been looking for a viable way to create a stable driveway without having to compromise on that beautiful gravel effect, then this may be the solution you have been looking for.
What’s The Point In A Gravel Grid?
A gravel grid is a plastic mesh piece that is designed to reinforce your driveway. They can be used under grass but for the purposes of this guide, we will be talking about them being installed underneath gravel.
They come in smaller parts and can be joined together to cover the entire area of the driveway. The gravel parking grid is ideal for keeping the driveway stable in all weather conditions and there are some products that are capable of holding up 500 tonnes per square metre! Usually, the gravel grids are made from recycled plastic so not only are they great for giving you a stronger driveway, they’re also eco-friendly, which is something that we can all get on board with in the current climate.
How Do You Install A Gravel Grid?
The beauty of the gravel parking grid is that it is much simpler to install than other types of driveway. Where you might need a professional to lay an imprinted concrete driveway or block paving, a gravel grid can be a relatively simple DIY project.
To begin with, you will need to level out the ground and in most cases, this also requires you digging down a little. This is important as it will allow you to accommodate the gravel grid without it moving out of position.
Next, you will want to lay down a geotextile membrane. This serves two purposes, Primarily, it will help to prevent flooding; there are drainage requirements for UK driveways, and we have detailed these in some of our previous guides. Moreover, the membrane will ensure that little bit of additional stability so that the driveway doesn’t shift over time.
The next step is to lay down the gravel parking grid. You will need to make sure that it is pinned down and properly secure.
Now, you are ready to add the gravel. Each gravel grid will come with different sized cells so it is crucial to choose aggregates that correspond with this size and can be easily packed inside. You should also be mindful of the fact that using cobble or shingle gravel should be reserved for top level decoration rather than in between the cells. Here, it is best to use angular or crushed gravel.
When adding the gravel to the grid, make sure that the grid remains in constant contact with the ground. This is most easily achieved by using timber boards to hold it in place. It is also important to be mindful that dropping the aggregates into the grid from too high a height could cause individual pieces to become lodged underneath, which will affect the structural integrity. Always drop from no higher than one metre.
It is best to place the gravel in piles at either end of the driveway and then, using a rake or a shovel, spread them out across the entire area, ensuring that all cells are equally filled. Once you are finished, you can add a top layer of decorative gravel to improve the aesthetic and protect the layers beneath.
It is recommended that you ensure the cells are packed to capacity before adding the top layer. Furthermore, it is a good idea to use a roller to compress the surface offering better durability and stability.
Is A Gravel Grid Worth It?
Gravel grids are not a cheap investment. For the most part, you will be looking to pay around £550 per 600m², and then, of course, you must factor in the cost of the gravel. However, this is cheap when compared to some other types of driveway. In any case, we would certainly recommend this type of driveway for people who are looking to create a stable and long lasting surface.
What’s also great is that the gravel grid is designed in such a way that you won’t need to lay as much gravel across any given area, saving you money when compared to installing a ‘regular’ gravel driveway.
Many gravel grid companies, such as IBRAN offer a 25 year guarantee, meaning that you won’t need to worry about replacing your driveway any time soon. But one of the most worthwhile benefits of installing gravel parking grids is that you won’t lose as much gravel over time…
…if you have ever had a gravel driveway, you will know the pain of losing stones to the road, and your garden. You can spend hours raking things back together, only for the gravel to shift again. When you use a gravel parking grid, this problem is almost completely taken care of.
Where long term use is concerned, the gravel parking grid offers a usable driveway all year round. When winter comes along and ice and snow become a problem, typical gravel driveways can become difficult, sometimes impossible to use. But with gravel parking grids providing you with much needed reinforcement, your wheels won’t stick or spin as the frosts set in.
A gravel parking grid is a recycled plastic grid that features several cells which can be filled, and overlaid with gravel. Rather than placing aggregates directly onto the driveway, these products act as a reinforcement and deliver a much stronger and more durable driveway that can be used all year round.