Gravel and Stone Products For Sale and Delivery in the Cleveland, Ohio

Last updated: July 25th, 2022

River Rock Landscaping Stone Complete Guide

River rock is a beautiful, natural occurring stone that has applications and uses across several landscaping and decorative outdoor projects.

Installing river rock is an easy and aesthetically boosting way of adding value and curb appeal to either your home or place of business! Whether you are thinking of removing your existing mulching landscape or weighing options regarding your new build, we highly suggest you consider installing river rock.

Using river rock and investing in your landscaping can increase the property value for your home or business. The benefits of river rock doesn't stop at its curb appeal or property value booster either. River rock is also easily maintained, and requires very little upkeep once installed aside from replacing stray stones every now and then.

Now, let's jump into the benefits, usage, and overview of river rock!

River rock rockscaping

What is River Rock?

River rock is a naturally occurring product of Earth! It is typically found in and around bodies of running water, including rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and ponds.

Unlike other types of gravel and rocks you may have held, such as pea gravel, river rock is smooth to the touch, relatively dust free, and has rounded edges. River rock gets its smoothness and roundedness due to being tossed and turned by bodies of running water over long periods of time.

Additionally, its location in nature also affects the rock color! While coloration varies based upon where the material is harvested from, river rock typically comes in earth tones ranging brown and beige, to shades of gray, tan, and even red. Because of this range of neutral and beautiful color palette, river rock can accommodate and compliment any type of property and landscaping project

Not only does river rock come in a variety of colors, it also comes in several sizes ranging from 3/8" to 5" in length. Each size of river rock is uniquely suited for specific use cases. Generally, smaller stones are best suited for pathways and drainage, whereas larger sized rocks tend to be best for decoration, rockscaping, and foundation projects.

River rock landscaping in Ohio

Landscape River Rock Uses

Because of its versatility, affordability, neutral color palette, and wide-range of sizing, river rock has several use cases in landscaping. River rock might be a great choice for any of the following projects:

Walkways and paths - River rocks make an excellent stone for walkways, paths, sidewalks, and garden paths. Smaller sized version of the rocks are quite comfortable to walk upon due to their size and smooth edges. Additionally, the color palette of the stones will offer a level of curb appeal, uniqueness, and beauty to the walk way. We suggest installing 3" to 4" of river rock for walkways and paths.

Playgrounds and play areas - Instead of using mulch, soil, grass, or sand for your playground, we strongly suggest considering installing river rock instead. The roundedness and smooth edges of the stone makes for safe play, while the lack of dust will ensure that the product doesn't track into the house and cause a mess. Additionally, river rock does not attract bugs and insects, unlike grass or soil will often do.

Flowerbeds and Gardens - Love plants, flowers, and gardening? Then you'll love having river rock in your garden or flowerbeds. River rocks do not attract bugs or other insects that could potentially harm your flowers. Also, river rock promotes healthy drainage which means your plants will receive adequate watering without running the risk of too much moisture.

Streams, ponds, and other water features - Do you live near a pond or a stream? Or do you have some other water feature? Regardless, installing river rock will add a pop of color and ensure proper drainage to the banks of a pond or stream. Manmade waterfalls are also great use cases for river rock of all shapes and sizes.

River Rock Sizes

The versatility of river rock doesn't stop with its color palette. River rock sizes have a lot of variability! River rock comes in 5 primary categories of sizes, ranging from 3/8" all the way up to 5".

Each size category is best suited for certain use cases and situations.

  • 3/8" river rock - This rock is the smallest standard size available for purpose. Because of its small size, smooth touch, and rounded edges, this size category is best suited for playgrounds and play areas. The lack of dust combined with its deterrancy to insects and bugs make it a solid choice to fill around playsets, slides, and jungle gyms. This size has also been used in walkways if you prefer a smaller sized material. You'll love this product, and so will the children!

  • 3/4" river rock - The 2nd smallest sized rock available, these sized stones are most commonly used in pathways, walkways, and garden paths. Walking upon these stones is quite comfortable due to their small size and smooth edges and texture.

  • 1" river rock - One inch river rock is the most versatile of all the stone sizes. Because it is not too big, and also not too small, this rock is commonly used in walkways, patio areas, backfilling behind retaining walls, and water features. The only limits in usage in this size category is your imagination.

  • 1-3" river rock - In this size range, river rock is mostly used and suited for decorative property features and landscaping enhancements. For example, many customers have used this sized rock for water feature projects, such as waterfalls, calming manmade creeks and streams, and foundations around water fountains. Separately, if mulch is not appealing to you, we strongly consider using this size as a replacement to mulch.

  • 3-5" river rock - At this size, most property owners use this to accentuate existing landscaping features and attract attention to them. It is also quite common to use this is manmade waterfalls, water features, and as accent stones around other points of interest such as a statue, tree, or shrubery.

As you can see, river rock is a beautiful, versatile, and extremely accomodating type of gravel that has many use cases and applications. We encourage you to bookmark this guide as an ongoing reference for your river rock needs! If you do choose river rock for your project, be sure to contact us and we will assist you in acquiring river rock. Also, be sure to send us pictures of your finalized project!