An Overview on Aggregates: When to Use What

Kurtz Bros. is proud to offer a variety of landscape aggregates, specifically various types of limestone, gravel, and sand. But what exactly is the difference between these types, and how will you know when to use each variety? Let us give you a breakdown of each of these aggregates to make your decision a little easier when it is time for a new project in your yard! 

What are aggregates? What are the different kinds? 

Aggregates are small materials that are used to enhance landscaping. These products can add unique textures and colors to your landscape as well as volume and stability, which can really enhance the overall aesthetics of your yard. 

KB offers a selection of limestone, gravel, and sand. Let’s first take a look at each type of aggregate we offer. 

Note: aggregate color can vary based on the vein of stone they are mining from.


When determining which type of limestone to purchase, consider sizing and color. Our limestone collection features a variety of sizes and colors, which gives you great options to choose from. Check out the chart below to compare our selection. 

57 Limestone411 Limestone
(also know as 46D)
8 Limestone9 Limestone310 Limestone
Angular in shape

½” to 1” size stone


Recommended for:
– Driveways
– Backfill
– Base to build on or pour concrete over
Angular in shape

1” stone down to fines/dust

Recommended for:
– Compactable fill
– Primary base for
pavers (paver patio stone)
– Base for wall construction

Angular in shape

¼” to ½” size stone


Recommended for:
– Walkways
– Driveways
1/16″ Crushed Limestone

Recommended for: 

– Base underneath pavers instead of sand

Used on top of 411 Limestone as a base.
Good for creating a level surface.
Limestone fines/dust

Recommended for:
– Base under pavers (paver patio stone)


We sell three different types of gravel that all vary in size. They are all sold by the ton. Check out what we offer in the chart below.

57 Gravel8 Gravel
(also known as pea gravel)
9 Gravel
Round in shape

½” to 1” sized stone 

Unwashed gravel may appear
brown in color when delivered. 
If using for decorative purposes,
we recommend spraying with a
hose after it has been installed.

Recommended for:
– Backfill
– Drainage needs
Round in shape

¼” to ½” size stone

Recommended for:
– Walking paths
– Basement window wells
– Decorative purposes
Round in shape
⅛” size stone
(Smaller than #8 gravel)

Recommended for:
– Under pavers (paver patio stone)


We offer two types of sand, differing in both texture and color.

Concrete SandMason Sand
Coarse sand

Recommended for:
– Walkways
– Final base under pavers (paver patio stone)
Fine texture

Recommended for:
– Between pavers (paver patio stone)
– Under pond liners
– Under swimming pool liners

What is the best way to use each kind of aggregate? 

While the aggregates of limestone, gravel, and sand have some similarities, there are also very important differences to distinguish. If you have specific projects in mind, you’ll need to know exactly which type of aggregate is best for your landscape projects. We are here to help make those distinctions! 

Limestone vs. Gravel

First, what is the difference between limestone and gravel? Limestone and gravel are both versatile materials used for a variety of purposes.  

Primarily, they are both used for “hardscaping,” which means the materials used in the structure of a landscape. They are similar in that they are both implemented as components for cement, both porous for drainage improvement, and both used as fillers of uneven areas. However, they are mainly different in their appearances.  Limestone tends to only be available in shades of gray and white. Gravel, on the other hand, contains a greater variation of stones, pebbles, and rocks, which can provide a more complex color scheme. 

Limestone is generally used more in “construction” based projects such as patio installations, base for poured concrete and driveways.  Gravel is generally used in drainage or decorative applications.   Sand is generally used as a final base for pavers or pool liners since it can be easily moved to create a level surface.

Additionally, limestone is just one specific type of rock. It is a sedimentary rock, which has a bulkier, more asperous look. In contrast, gravel contains a variety of rocks and stones. The appearance of gravel is much smoother and often smaller as a result of being worn down by water. Limestone is typically one of the rock types that can be included in gravel. 

With many similarities, these landscape aggregates can be used in so many ways. Depending on the specific needs of your project, you’ll want to focus on cost, availability, and appearance when determining which material to use! 

Limestone & Gravel vs. Sand

The biggest similarity between limestone, gravel, and sand is that they make up the major components of concrete. Otherwise, they are very different. While limestone and gravel contains varying shapes and sizes of rocks, sand is very different with a loose granular material.

Sand is best utilized in landscape projects that require fillers, leveling, and aiding in construction. It can fill spaces between pavers and other building materials that will prevent shifts and cracks. Since sand primarily varies in color and texture, depending on your specific project, you’ll simply need to determine if you want sand with a more fine or coarse texture. Keep in mind that the coarse concrete sand is better for walkways and edging, while the fine-textured mason sand is excellent as a filler for laying bricks and stones and in the creation of mortar. 

How can I learn more? 

For more information on landscaping aggregates and how to use them, check out our previous blog entitled Rethinking Aggregates In Your Landscape Plans. And as always, our skilled and knowledgeable representatives are happy to help answer any further questions you may have or offer some advice for your unique landscaping needs. 

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