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Driveway tips: How deep should shingles be on a driveway
23rd April 2021

Driveway tips: How deep should shingles be on a driveway

When designing shingle driveways or paths, it is important to know which type of shingle to use, the correct size and how deep a layer to lay down. If the shingle is too small then it can get stuck in car tyre threads, and if it the layer is too deep then the car tyres will create unsightly grooves in the shingle.

 

The ideal size shingle for a driveway will be the 20mm variety, which will have had the smaller shingle filtered out. This shingle should then be laid to a maximum depth of about 5cm. This depth will provide good coverage of the sub-base without being deep enough for the car tyres to create grooves or ruts.

 

Let’s have a look at the full process of creating a driveway decorated with shingles.

 

Initial Driveway Excavation

 

Starting from scratch, many areas to be converted into a driveway will need some level of excavation as the first step. If the area was originally covered in topsoil, then this will need to be removed as it has a poor capacity for load-bearing. The topsoil layer will usually be somewhere between 5cm and 30cm deep, with a much firmer layer of subsoil  underneath.

 

Once the topsoil is removed – and hopefully repurposed elsewhere for landscape gardening projects – further excavation is only required to level out the ground.

 

Laying the Landscape Fabric

 

Laying a sheet of high quality landscape fabric is the next recommended step, as this will prevent weeds from growing up through the sub-base and the shingle itself. It is important to lay the groundsheet or landscape gardening fabric on the subsoil before the load-bearing sub-base is added, as it is will also prevent the sub-base material from mixing with the subsoil.

 

Adding the Load-Bearing Sub-Base

 

The sub-base will be the less attractive material beneath the shingle which will help disperse the weight of the vehicles that alight on the driveway. The sub-base will usually be made of a variety of crushed rock of variable sizes between around 4cm down to dust particles. This size range helps the sub-base compact while retaining its water draining capacity.

 

The sub-base will usually be laid to a depth of around 15cm, though a minimum of 10cm might suffice if the vehicles are not too heavy.

 

Laying the Shingle

 

Once the sub-base is complete, it is time to add the last layer of shingle to give your driveway that beautiful landscaping aesthetic that shingle provides. As stated above, you should use the 20mm shingle so the stones are big enough to not get caught in tyre threads. Smaller shingle can be used for paths that only bear foot traffic.

 

Lay the shingle to a depth of about 5cm or 50mm, so it is not too deep but still provides adequate cover over the sub-base.

 

Shingles Driveway Maintenance

 

A shingle driveway is not difficult to maintain, but there are some tips to keep in mind. The main tip is to give shingles driveways or paths a gentle raking every now and then to even the surface out and remove any debris.

 

Another good landscaping tip is to top-up the shingle every couple of years. If you bought large loose loads or bulk bags of shingle when you first created the driveway, then you may have some shingle leftover for this purpose. If not then shingle can be bought in smaller amounts for the purpose of topping up.

 

If you require bulk bags or loose loads of shingles for a driveway or other garden paths, then contact Springbridge via our website or call today on 0845 370 1921 for more information.