Using a Gravel Calculator to Estimate Materials

Using a Gravel Calculator to Estimate Materials

So you just decided to lay some gravel in your driveway, but the thought of figuring out how much gravel you will need is giving you a headache? While you could just keep buying gravel until your driveway is full at the depth you want, all the trips to the store would probably grow tiresome and they would be very time consuming.

There are many ways out there to estimate the amount of materials you need. You could probably look up a formula right now to find out how to manually estimate the amount of gravel you would need. An even easier method than that and less error prone is a gravel calculator. A gravel calculator is basically a form you fill in online and when you finish filling all the information in you will get an estimate. There is a large selection of these calculators online and while they don’t give perfect results you can get a general idea of what you will need from them.

What You’ll Need:


  • A Computer
  • Measuring tape (100 foot is preferable for larger areas)
  • An Internet Connection

Steps to Using a Gravel Calculator:

Step 1:
The first thing you have to do is measure the area the gravel is going. Find the width and the length of the area and make sure to mark them down. It doesn’t matter which side you mark as the width or the length just as long as you have both sides. If the section is round you will have to get the diameter or the measurement from one edge to the other straight through the middle.

If you have a triangle section where your gravel is going cut one of your measurements in half to get the proper results. You should be able to make any irregular shape out of a combination of squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles. If you are putting gravel in an area that is a combination of these break it apart in to sections. An irregular shape will make getting the measurements more difficult but it is still very manageable once you break everything down in to sections.

Step 2:
After you have determined the size of where the gravel is going it is time to find a calculator. There are a bunch of different calculators out there and some are more accurate than others. When looking for a calculator it is important to note whether they calculate amounts for many different materials or just gravel. If they calculate for more than one material but only do it with one setting you won’t get an accurate result.

You want a gravel specific calculator or a calculator with a gravel setting on it. Some will ask for density in which case you should know that loose gravel is around 1500, and gravel with sand is around 1900. The more specific calculator you get the better the results you should expect.

Make sure to bookmark the calculator you pick out for any future projects that you might have. A good calculator can go a long way in simplifying most projects.

Step 3:
After you pick out your calculator and have your measurements nearby you can easily calculate the amount of gravel you will need for your project. The calculator will ask how deep the gravel is going to be. For most uses a few inches is more than enough, but you should check in to what you are planning on using the gravel for.

After you input all the information you will get a result in tons normally. Then it is just a matter of figuring out how much every ton is going to cost to estimate the cost of your project.

Calculating the amount of gravel you need can seem like a daunting task but after you learn to use one of the calculators you can find online it quickly becomes much more manageable. After you find the calculator you like you will be able to quickly assess the amount of stone you need for any job within a few minutes or less.

Hopefully you understand the value of a gravel calculator a little better now and when the time comes you will know how to calculate the gravel you need with confidence.