Use this calculator to estimate how much gravel in volume (cubic ft, cubic yards, or cubic meters) or weight (tons & pounds, tonnes and kilograms). It uses a standard pea gravel density.
Calculating how much gravel you need
Many builders and gardeners face the task of calculating or estimating the amount of gravel they would need to fill a given space or cover a given area with a layer of gravel. Our gravel calculator is a great assistance in such cases, keeping in mind that the results will only be as good as the entered measurements and density. The process is as follows:
- Estimate the volume of gravel needed, using geometrical formulas and plans or measurements.
- Estimate or learn the density of your preferred gravel mix.
- Multiply the volume by the density (in the same units) to get the weight
It is often a good idea to consider buying 5-6% more gravel than estimated, to be on the safe side.
Square or rectangular area
The volume formula for a rectangular (or square) box in cubic feet is height(ft) x width(ft) x length(ft), as seen in the figure below:
For example, to fill a box with a width of 3ft and a length of 6ft, to a depth of 1ft, you need to multiply 1ft x 3ft x 6ft = 24ft3 (cubic feet) of gravel.
If the area you want to cover, or the shape you want to fill is round, the calculation is a bit different:
The volume of a figure with a round foundation is its height times the area of its foundation. To calculate the foundation area we need its diameter, since the formula is π x r2, where r is the radius, or diameter/2.
Irregularly shaped area
In case the area you are calculating has an irregular shape, things get a bit more difficult, but in general what you would want to do is divide it in several regularly-shaped sections, calculate their volume and gravel requirements and then sum them up together. In case you end up with a large number of sections to sum, you might appreciate our summation calculator.
Gravel basics and gravel density
Gravel is a naturally occurring material, consisting of water-born pieces of rock and is found in buried or current stream beds. The peas are usually rounded with smooth surfaces, while other properties depend on "parent rock". You may also encounter "crushed gravel", which is simply larger gravel particles crushed to a smaller desired size.
Gravel is usually sold with a guaranteed maximum particle size, e.g. 10mm, 20mm. This means that no side of any particle will be larger than the specified measurement, which is achieved through screening, usually using industrial automated screeners.
Crushed stone is often used as a material for producing concrete. It is also used as a road base, and in some locations it is used for paving roads, for example Russia has over 400,000 km (250,000 mi) of gravel roads. It is a great driveway base material, bike path base fill, paver patio sub base, walkways, and just general fill material. Some types of gravel offer excellent drainage as water is able to percolate through the stones leaving your property or walkway clean and dry.
Typical gravel density (dry) is between 1520 and 1680 kg/m3 (95 to 105 lbs/ft3). If it is mixed with sand the density is around 1920 kg/m3 or 120 lbs/ft3 .
Common gravel and crushed stone sizes
Contrary to what you may think, there is more than one type of gravel, both by composition and size of the stones. Selecting the right size and style is crucial for the success of any construction project, as some are more versatile and have a different application than others. For example, landscaping gravel would last longer than mulch or pine straw, making it great for outdoor spaces requiring a durable material, while construction gravel provides solid footing for construction and landscaping.
Gravel is categorized in two main types under the Udden-Wentworth scale: granular gravel (2 to 4 mm / 0.079 to 0.157 inches) and pebble gravel (5 to 64 mm or 02 to 2.5 inches). It is further categorized in several types, listed in the table below :
|Bank gravel||(bank run, river run) Naturally deposited, usually mixed with sand or clay.|
|Bench gravel||A bed of gravel above the current river bottom. It was deposited there previously, when the river had a higher level.|
|Creek rock / river rock||Rounder, semi-polished stones of different types, dredged or scooped from stream beds. Used as concrete aggregate.|
|Crushed stone||(DGA - dense grade aggregate, QP - quarry process, shoulder stone) Rocks crushed and graded by crusher and screeners. Widely used for roads and driveways.|
|Fine gravel||Gravel with particles between 2 and 4 millimeters.|
|Lag gravel||Surface accumulation of coarse gravel produced by the removal of finer particles.|
|Pay gravel||("pay dirt") Gravel with a high concentration of precious metals like gold. The metals can be recovered through gold panning.|
|Pea gravel||Gravel consisting of small, rounded stones in concrete sizes. Used for walkways, driveways home aquariums, home gardening and landscaping.|
|Piedmont gravel||Coarse gravel that is carried down from high places by streams and deposited on relatively flat ground by slower running waters.|
|Plateu gravel||A gravel layer on a plateau or another region above the height at which stream-terrace gravel is usually found.|
What is the density of gravel?
The density of typical gravel is 105 lb/ft3 (1680 kg/m3). This corresponds to gravel with average sized pebbles and is the number used in the calculator.
How much does a yard3 of gravel weigh?
A cubic yard of typical gravel weighs about 2830 pounds or 1.42 tons. A square yard of gravel with a depth of 2 in (~5 cm) weighs about 157 pounds (~74 kg). The gravel is assumed clean of dirt and other debris.
How much does a cubic meter of gravel weigh?
A cubic meter of typical gravel weighs 1,680 kilograms 1.68 tonnes. A square meter of gravel with a depth of 5 cm weighs about 84 kg or 0.084 tonnes. The numbers are obtained using this gravel calculator.
How much is a ton of gravel?
A ton of gravel with average-sized pebbles is about 0.705 cubic yards, or 19 cubic feet, assuming it has been screened for debris and contains no leftover dirt, sand, etc.
How much is a tonne of gravel?
A tonne of moderately damp gravel typically fills about 0.595 m3 (cubic meters). It can be more or less dense depending the size of the pebbles, the exact type of source rock, as well as purity.
Ton vs tonne, tons vs tonnes
When calculating the gravel weight, make sure you do not confuse the tonne (metric ton) with the ton (short ton). The first one is used by all countries in the world and is defined to be equal to 1000 kg by the international body of standardization. The ton is currently only used in the United States and is equal to 2000 pounds (2000 lbs). The difference between the two is not huge but can quickly add up to a significant number as the quantity increases.
 Nemati K.M. "Aggregates for Concrete" (2015) lecture for the University of Washington [online] Available at http://courses.washington.edu/cm425/aggregate.pdf
 Wikipedia "Gravel" [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravel
Cite this calculator & page
If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Gravel Calculator", [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/gravel-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 19 Jan, 2020].