5 Tips for Spreading Decomposed Granite

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What You'll Need
Wooden stakes

Decomposed granite is a popular material for outdoor ground finishes. It consists of gravel that is produced from the decomposition of granite rock. The smaller type has a sandy consistency while the larger type is in gravel form. This may be reddish-brown in color. However, it is also available in charcoal gray. The granite can be applied in loose form or mixed with stabilizers or resin. Areas where this material can be applied with good results include driveways, paths, walkways, patios, play grounds, and flowerbeds. The affordability and ease of installation help to make the material popular for landscaping projects. Below are five tips that’ll help you get the job done.

Step 1 - Site and Ground Preparation

It helps if you mark the area where you want to spread the granite. Stick wooden stakes into the ground at regular intervals along the area. You may want to run some string between the stakes for better visibility. A level ground contributes to the success of the project. Remove rocks, branches, and other obstacles. If you have bumps or roots in the ground of the project area, you’ll have to dig them out.

Step 2 - Use of Gravel

Gravel helps to provide a level surface for the project. It also improves drainage and acts as a stable base for the decomposed granite. Lay three inches of gravel onto the project area. Use a rake to distribute evenly over the site surface. Level the ground with a roller or some other suitable compactor. Be sure to compact uniformly as it contributes to a stable foundation. Once you’ve achieved a fairly level surface, top up with another four inches of gravel. Distribute evenly on the surface with a rake and perform the compaction procedure again.

Step 3 - Lay the Decomposed Granite

raking loose gravel

Top the gravel with about four inches of decomposed granite. Spread it evenly over the project surface with a rake. Use the back part of the rake. It is important that the granite has an even depth all over. This gives you a level surface when done, which enhances aesthetic appeal. A level surface also feels more comfortable when walked upon.

Step 4 - Compaction

You need to compact the surface thoroughly. This will take some time and effort but the rewards are well worth the labor. A firmly compacted surface adds to durability. Ideally, when adequately compacted, footprints shouldn’t remain behind when walked upon. It is best to rent a compactor from a hardware store. This will help you get the job done faster and efficiently.

Step 5 - Use of Edging

grass and rock separated by bricks

It helps if you use some form of edging to contain the granite and gravel. This helps to keep the material firmly in place once you’ve installed it. Without the edging, the installation is likely to begin to disintegrate much faster along the edges. The ruined edges will spoil the overall beauty of the area. The granite could easily spill into the adjacent areas or lawn and create other maintenance problems for you. Repairs will become necessary. A metal edging composed of steel or aluminum can help to complete the look of your newly installed granite surface. You could also opt to use a brick border.