If you don't border your gravel driveway, all the time, effort, and money you spent building it will be in vain once the gravel starts spreading out past the edges of your driveway, reducing its stability and filling neighboring areas with loose gravel. Fortunately, there are many different edging options available to help keep your gravel in its place for years to come while also increasing your home's curb appeal.
Wooden Driveway Edging
One of the most classic options for gravel driveway edging is wood. The standard choices are pressure-treated lumber or landscape timbers. Lumber is available in square-sided pieces (also called timbers), such as 4x4s, 4x6s, and 6x6s. Landscape timbers are smaller and have a flat top and bottom and rounded side edges; they're roughly 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. Any wood materials should be pressure-treated and rated for ground contact to provide the best protection against decay.
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Wood timbers are inexpensive and will not be structurally damaged by vehicle traffic. They also install very quickly. You simply pin them to the ground with galvanized landscape spikes (essentially giant nails) or cut pieces of rebar driven through predrilled holes. It's best to install them on a bed of compacted gravel rather than soil or organic matter. Gravel will help keep the timbers level over time and minimize the effects of soil expansion and contraction through the changing seasons.
Concrete Edging Stones
For an inexpensive option that looks as good as many higher-cost products, consider concrete edging stones that can mimic the look of stone or brick. You can also find it in a wide array of colors in a number of fun shapes. These pavers can easily be laid in a variety of patterns, offering quite a bit of versatility when it comes to the final appearance of your driveway. Concrete edging is also advantageous and tends to be stronger than many wood edging options. If they do crack, they should be easy to replace.
Clay Brick Edging
Bricks made from natural clay are a little more expensive than pavers made from concrete, but many people find their appearance to be more warm and luxurious. They also maintain their color better than concrete, even under harsh sunlight; however, it is worth noting that brick cracks more easily than concrete. If your bricks ever do crack, it should be simple enough to find bricks with a similar appearance to replace the damaged pieces. Like concrete edging, brick edging is also easy to install and can be laid out in a variety of designs.
Natural Stone Edging
For a truly luxurious look, you might want to think about natural stone edging in the form of uncut rocks or cobblestone pavers, sometimes known as Belgian blocks, which have a rougher, more historical appearance than traditional concrete pavers. Though stone is more expensive than most other options, it is a durable material that should be able to hold up against the weight of tires driving over it, and it is certain to withstand the most extreme sun and rain.
Cobblestone pavers are a particularly popular option when it comes to driveway edging because they are reasonably affordable, widely available, long lasting, low maintenance, and easy enough to work with that most people can install the edging themselves. It's a good idea to purchase plenty of cobblestone pavers in advance, though, in case yours ever become damaged since it may be difficult to find stones that have the same appearance.