Can You Put Gravel Over Concrete?

Can You Put Gravel Over Concrete?

Are you considering adding a gravel surface to your outdoor space but unsure if it can be laid over existing concrete? In this article, we will explore the feasibility of placing gravel over concrete and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. Read on to discover the benefits and potential challenges of this landscaping option.

Benefits of Putting Gravel Over Concrete

Improves Drainage

One of the main benefits of putting gravel over concrete is that it helps improve drainage. Concrete surfaces can often be prone to water pooling, which can lead to damage over time. By adding a layer of gravel on top of the concrete, water is able to drain more effectively, reducing the risk of water damage and prolonging the life of the concrete.

Aesthetically Pleasing

In addition to improving drainage, putting gravel over concrete can also enhance the overall appearance of the area. Gravel comes in a variety of colors and sizes, allowing you to choose a style that complements your existing landscape design. Whether you prefer a more natural look or a more modern aesthetic, gravel can help create a visually appealing outdoor space.

Cost-Effective Option

Another advantage of putting gravel over concrete is that it is a cost-effective option for improving the look and functionality of your outdoor space. Gravel is typically less expensive than other materials like pavers or concrete overlays, making it a budget-friendly choice for homeowners looking to upgrade their outdoor areas. Additionally, gravel is easy to install and requires minimal maintenance, saving you time and money in the long run.

Considerations Before Putting Gravel Over Concrete

When considering putting gravel over concrete, there are a few key factors to keep in mind to ensure a successful outcome.

Existing Condition of Concrete

The existing condition of the concrete surface is crucial to determine whether it is suitable for placing gravel on top. If the concrete is cracked, uneven, or deteriorating, it may not provide a stable base for the gravel. In such cases, it is recommended to repair or resurface the concrete before adding gravel on top.

Depth of Gravel Layer

The depth of the gravel layer is another important consideration when putting gravel over concrete. A layer of gravel that is too thin may not provide adequate coverage and stability, while a layer that is too thick can put excessive weight and pressure on the concrete surface. It is generally recommended to have a gravel layer of at least 4 inches for proper drainage and support.

Maintenance Requirements

Lastly, it is essential to consider the maintenance requirements of having gravel over concrete. While gravel is low maintenance compared to other paving materials, it may still require occasional raking or topping up to keep it looking neat and level. Additionally, weeds may grow through the gravel, so regular weeding may be necessary to prevent them from taking over.

By taking these considerations into account before putting gravel over concrete, you can ensure a durable and aesthetically pleasing outdoor surface.

Steps to Put Gravel Over Concrete

Prepare the Concrete Surface

Before you can start laying gravel over concrete, you need to ensure that the surface is clean and free of any debris. Sweep or pressure wash the concrete to remove dirt, dust, and any loose particles. You can also use a degreaser to remove any oil stains.

Install a Weed Barrier

To prevent weeds from growing through the gravel, it is essential to install a weed barrier. Lay a permeable landscaping fabric over the concrete surface before adding the gravel. This will help keep weeds at bay and ensure that your gravel surface remains tidy.

Spread and Compact the Gravel

Once the weed barrier is in place, you can start spreading the gravel over the concrete surface. Use a shovel or rake to distribute the gravel evenly, ensuring that it covers the entire area. Once the gravel is spread, use a compactor or tamper to compact it firmly. This will help create a stable and level surface for your gravel pathway or driveway.


In conclusion, it is possible to put gravel over concrete, however, there are certain factors to consider before doing so. Proper preparation of the concrete surface, choosing the right type and size of gravel, and ensuring proper drainage are all crucial steps to ensure a successful installation. While gravel can provide a cost-effective and visually appealing alternative to traditional concrete surfaces, it is important to weigh the pros and cons and consult with a professional if needed. Ultimately, with the right preparation and care, gravel can be a great option for enhancing the look and functionality of your outdoor space.