Homeowners wanting to refresh their outdoor space can easily accomplish that using decomposed granite for paths and patios. Decomposed granite is popular among homeowners because it is less expensive than other options and is fairly easy to install.

It comes in shades of gray, brown and tan and is small pebble-like pieces no more than 1/4 inch in size. It works well in areas that see little rain, but could erode in regions that have heavy rainfall. Since some decomposed granite products don’t drain well they aren’t recommended in rain saturated areas.

The first thing to understand about using decomposed granite is that there are three types, with each accommodating different needs and having different price points. The three types are:

  • Loose decomposed granite
  • Stabilized decomposed granite
  • Resin filled decomposed granite

Loose Decomposed Granite

Loose decomposed granite is the cheapest route for outdoor landscaping because it is laid out like pebbles. Typical uses for loose decomposed granite include pathways, sports courts, playgrounds and patios. This type of material adds a rustic look and offers excellent drainage. However, this type of material is vulnerable to erosion.

Stabilized Decomposed Granite

This material has an additive that makes it less vulnerable to the elements like erosion. The top layer still looks loose, but the bottom layers are more compacted. This material can be used anywhere loose decomposed granite is used, but is more popular for outdoor seating areas and high traffic areas. It costs more than the loose version, but could save you money later in replacing it due to erosion and weather.

Resin Filled Decomposed Granite

Resin is the primary component used in plastic. Adding it to decomposed granite makes for a more paved surface. There are two points to remember with this product. It provides for a highly durable surface that works incredibly well in high-traffic areas. It also is more expensive than other options. A disadvantage of this option is that it doesn’t allow for drainage.

Installing Decomposed Granite

While this is a project that can be done by handy homeowners, there are some elements than could prove to be time consuming for non-professionals. The first thing a landscaper will do is excavate the area where the product will be laid. All weeds must be removed and a fabric laid down that will prevent future weed growth.

Next, landscape edging will be required around the perimeter to hold the decomposed granite in place. Some options include redwood bender board, bricks or pavers. Once those are installed, landscape contractors will lay the decomposed granite. They likely will wet each layer and run over it with a plate compactor to settle the material in the space. If you have loose decomposed granite and want a more natural look, you can run over the top of the area with a broom or leaf rake to gently lift some material. Your area will be available for immediate use once the product is laid.

Decomposed granite will create a natural, rustic look for your outdoor space. It is environmentally friendly and a great way to use recycled product. Installation doesn’t take long and provides immediate results, which leaves homeowners well satisfied with their investment.

If you’d like to know more about Decomposed Granite Paths and Patios in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley areas, please call K&D Landscaping at (831) 728-4018