How to Compact Gravel

Written by philip powe
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Gravel is used in several applications when building or landscaping outside. It is effective as an underlay because it makes it easier for water to run off, and is often used under patio blocks in this role. It is also used under concrete to provide a bed for the concrete to rest on. It can be mixed with sand to improve its compaction.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gravel
  • Rake
  • Level
  • Tamper

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  1. 1

    Pour out the gravel into the area where you are going to either pour concrete or build your patio with bricks or landscape pavers.

  2. 2

    Level the gravel with the back of a rake as you spread it around your work area. It does not have to be perfect, but it does need to be close to level. You can check this with a level.

  3. 3

    Tamp the gravel with the tamper. The tamper is a tool with a flat metal piece that is 12 inches square. It has a handle coming from the centre that is approximately 5 feet high. It is weighted on the bottom. To use it to compact the gravel, start at one end, lift the tamper and strike the gravel. Continue this process, moving to the right or left a couple of inches each time. Work moving backward so you do not step on the freshly levelled surface.

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