3 Types of Decorative Rock

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Using decorative rock when landscaping your home can add depth and dimension that can not be achieved with many other mediums. Decorative rock comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and can be a cost effective way to landscape the property without breaking the bank. Decorative rock is also xeriscape friendly; it needs little or no maintenance and there is no watering involved.

It can be used to enhance shrubbery, flower beds and trees, set off the tones of of the exterior of the home, create walkways, and provide important drainage to waterlogged areas. The uses of landscape rock are just about limitless. The most important factors when installing decorative rock are to get the right rock for the area, and to make sure that a good quality underlay, or weed barrier, is used to make it essentially maintenance free. Here you will find information on several different types of rock that might be considered for your landscape designs.

River Rock

River rocks have been tumbled in waterways and stream beds to make them round or oval and smooth. This is a good rock to use in an area where people may be walking barefoot, as this is probably the smoothest type of rock. River rock comes in a variety of sizes and colors, from white to pinks and blue greys, and one inch in diameter to small boulders. Once they settle in, they tend to lay flat and provide a relatively even, consistent surface area.

Volcanic or Lava Rock

Volcanic rock is rock that has been formed after lava from a volcano or other eruption has occurred. Lava rock is typically either red or black, and can be used to offset shrubbery or other yard fixtures and provides dramatic contrast to the objects around it.

It is typically fairly sharp, and uncomfortable to walk on barefoot, so it is not recommended for pathways or around pools. Lava rock tends to be more expensive than other types of rock, and so should likely be considered as a contrasting or enhancing material as opposed to the staple.

Crushed Rock

Crushed rock comes in a variety of sizes and colors, similar to river rock, but instead of tumbled to make it smooth, it is crushed which creates jagged, asymmetrical edges to the rock. It generally doesn't settle to a flat surface, but creates a surface that is irregular and complex.

From a design standpoint, it is best used in small doses, and it too is uncomfortable to walk on barefoot. Crushed rock is commonly used for gravel or rock driveways. The smallest size, which ranges from dust particles to less than half and inch creates fill for larger rocks. The effect of covering larger rocks with the smaller type creates a surface that is almost completely level and even.