There's lots of information online and videos on YouTube on how to build a gravel patio, but they usually don't have enough specifics. They say "you may want to do this" or "pour base material" without clarify when or what or how. So I'll just ask specific question here for my project.

I making a 200 sq ft gravel patio. I pulled up sod and other vegetation. The soil is mixture of clay and sand.

  1. Do I need to lay down geotextile fabric? If so, what kind? Presumably, I'm more worried about weeds than stability - is that correct?
  2. Do I need to tamp the soil? With a hand tamper or rent a compactor?
  3. For the base layer, should I use clean or modified? What's the appropriate thickness for the base layer? Do I need to compact this layer?
  4. What's the appropriate thickness for the top layer?

1 Answer 1


There can be lots of opinion here so what type of fabric to stop weeds? Just about any landscaping type will work as long as it is permeable (water can drain through). Do you need to tamp the soil? If you like playing in the mud go ahead but clay will move around and sand really doesn’t need it. When you talk about base and top that’s up to what you want. I use crushed quarry rock or shale and a plate compactor the thickness 2-4” will be fine for most locations if you have a lot of mud maybe more. You want the fines in the rock they help things to lock together. Never use crushed river rock it will not pack well it moves. If you want a decorative top rock spread it pack it and keep adding until you have the look you are after. If you want stones put down a inch or more of sand to bed your stones or pavers, fill spaces with sand and that’s it.

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