How to: Compacted Gravel

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A compacted gravel base will prevent weeds from growing through.
A compacted gravel base will prevent weeds from growing through. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Compacted gravel is used to provide a level base for walking on or for laying brick pavers. Compacting gravel can be a labor-intensive process and can be costly if you hire a professional to do. However, with the right tools and directions, you can lay the compacted gravel yourself, saving hundreds of dollars. Once you properly compact the gravel, you can use it as a secure base to lay the pavers or even to use as a pathway.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Tamper
  • Garden hose

Mark the boundaries of the area you will be laying the gravel with the spray paint.

Dig the area you previously marked with spray paint with the shovel. You want to dig the path so it is as even as possible. The depth will vary based on your taste or the needs of the project. If you want the path to be even with the area around the path, dig the depth so it takes into account the thickness of the gravel and any flooring on top of the gravel.

Pour the gravel on the path so it is at least 1-inch thick.

Compact the gravel down with the tamper. The tamper is a tool with a heavy square metal end that will compact the gravel. Force the gravel down with pressure until the gravel becomes even and compact.

Add more gravel over the compacted gravel until you reach your desired height. Compact the newly added gravel with the tamper.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the gravel is hard to compact, spray it lightly with a garden hose and then use the tamper.

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