Decorative Stone Buying Guide

Add elegance to your landscape with a variety of landscaping stones

Decorative stone, rock and gravel have multiple uses in and around your home. They can be used for mulch, ground cover, driveways and filler around pools and patios.

This guide will explain the different purposes decorative stone can have in your yard.

Application and Calculating Amount Needed

Begin by measuring the area you intend to cover with decorative stone, then determine the type of rock you’d like to use.

Tip: Large amounts of rock to be used in driveways or walkways are generally sold by the cubic foot or half foot. Smaller bags for mulch or indoor use are sold in bags ranging from 5 to 50 pounds.  

Stone Coverage Calculation

For 1 cubic yard of stone (27 cubic feet):

Suggested Coverage

Stone Depth

Suggested Stone Depth

Size of Stone  

Stone Depth  

A few tips:

  • Smaller stones may shift more in heavy rain.
  • All rocks used as mulch tend to retain heat, which can reflect back onto the plants, causing them to dry out.
  • The region you live in may determine the kinds of stone available for purchase in your area.

Types of Decorative Stone

Choose from brick chips, crushed gravel, lava rock, river rock and marble to create pathways, mulch for garden beds, driveways and more.  

Brick chips

Brick chips

  • Made from crushed, angular fragments of brick
  • Terra cotta color with deep reds and browns
  • Sizes range from to 3/4 to 1-1/4 inches
  • Used as mulch or as driveway stone
Crushed gravel

Crushed gravel

Lava rock

  • Porous, light, irregularly shaped; available in red or black hues
  • Generally offers good drainage and packs down well
  • Usually ranges in size from 3/4 to 1-1/4 inches
  • Used in driveways, gardens and along paths and walkways

River rock

  • Round and smooth; available in shades of gray or brown
  • Provides good drainage and erosion control
  • Sizes range from 3/8 to 2-1/2 inches
  • Used in flower and garden beds, and on walkways for erosion control

    Tip: Pea gravel is a smaller size of river rock used in decorative concrete and other applications


  • Made from fragments of marble
  • Used to cover soil in houseplants, container gardens, fountains
  • Do not use marble around plants that require high levels of acid as it will change the pH of the soil
  • Sizes range from 1/4 to ½ inches and is typically sold in 5 lb. bags