In this article, I’ll give you a variety of pea gravel patio ideas with some design tips and images as well. I’ll also go over the costs, pros and cons you should consider before you start drawing up your patio design. Let’s start with the ideas.
Pea gravel is extremely versatile and there are tons of ways you can incorporate it into your dream patio design. Whether you keep it simple with a few chairs and a grill or go all out with a fire pit and outdoor kitchen, pea gravel makes an excellent patio foundation.
1. Pea Gravel Flooring For Patio Area
This is the most basic and affordable way to create a pea gravel patio in your backyard. It will allow you to incorporate color and texture into your patio without breaking the bank. You can use natural gravel which has rounded edges and is comfortable to walk on without shoes. If you want to be able to tamp down the rocks to make them more stable, go with crushed pea gravel. Crushed pea gravel has more angular edges which lock together easier allowing it to be tamped down.
2. Pea Gravel Epoxy Patio
By using a binding agent, such as epoxy or resin, you eliminate many of the cons associated with having a pea gravel patio. The epoxy will hold the pebbles in place and make them easier to clean. You’ll spend a little more upfront for the epoxy, but it will save you a lot of time in the long run by reducing the overall maintenance.
3. Pea Gravel Patio With Pavers
Combining pea gravel with pavers can take the look of your patio to the next level. There are all sorts of unique designs you can create when using these materials together. You can keep it simple with large square pavers creating a checkered pattern as shown above. If you want to get fancy, consider creating a herringbone pattern or combining large and small pavers to make a more interesting pattern.
Using pea gravel between pavers can also help reduce the overall cost. Gravel is much cheaper than pavers and you won’t need as many pavers when you use pebbles between them.
4. Pea Gravel and Flagstone Patio
If you want to create a more natural-looking patio, consider making a flagstone patio with pea gravel. Unlike other pavers, flagstone pavers have a natural, irregularly shaped edge to them that softens the overall look. Since you can’t fit flagstones together like you can with pavers, adding pebbles to fill in the gaps works amazingly well.
You can cut down on the overall cost if you’re working with a large area by leaving a pea gravel border around the main patio area as shown above. Periodically, you’ll have to rake or sweep stray gravel off the flagstone to keep the area looking tidy.
5. Pea Gravel With Binder Between Flagstone
If you’re not interested in having to maintain your flagstone and pea gravel patio, consider using a binder on the gravel areas. The binder will essentially turn your pebbles into a mortar which will hold everything in place once it sets. This will make your patio low maintenance and won’t increase the overall cost by much.
6. Pea Gravel Between Poured Concrete
Combining concrete with pea gravel is another way to create a stunning patio design! I love how incorporating the gravel gives this design more texture and color than a typical concrete slab. This is also a much lower maintenance option than a patio made completely out of pea pebbles. You could also easily switch out the gravel to a different color down the road if you decide you want to change it up!
7. Modern Pea Gravel Patio
You can easily design a modern patio with either pavers or concrete mixed with pea gravel. Here, the large concrete blocks provide the geometric shapes that a modern design requires. Another important characteristic of modern designs is the use of neutral contrasting colors like black and white. The mixture of the white gravel with the dark gray concrete is ideal for creating a modern color pallet.
In the photo above, they’ve added a few pieces of modern furniture that have unique textures and geometric shapes. The addition of some metal pieces turns this into an industrial modern design. To finish off the look you can even incorporate a rug with geometric shapes and you’ll have yourself a stunning modern outdoor living space!
8. Pea Gravel Patio With Fire Pit
A fire pit makes a wonderful addition to your gravel patio. You can cozy up by the fire when it’s cold outside or use it to add another layer of entertainment for a late-night get-together with friends. Fire pits are also great for the family and kids will love roasting marshmallows over the fire to make smores!
You can either place your fire pit directly on the gravel patio or create a designated area with pavers as shown above. Use a premade fire pit or build your own using pavers which is more affordable.
9. Pea Gravel Patio With Outdoor Bar
If you enjoy hosting parties in your backyard, consider adding a bar to your pea gravel patio. A bar isn’t just great for adult parties, but the kiddos will also enjoy using it during a weekend barbeque. I love the way they’ve incorporated the grill into the bar area in the photo above. This allows everyone to hang out with the cook and gives you plenty of prep space next to the grill for making delicious meals.
10. Pea Gravel Base For Outdoor Kitchen
Another fantastic addition to your pea gravel patio is an outdoor kitchen. If you find yourself spending most weekends grilling with family and friends, an outdoor kitchen is a game changer! You won’t be stuck running in and out of the house while preparing food, ensuring you don’t miss getting to socialize with everyone. While an outdoor kitchen doesn’t come cheap, you can get them at an affordable price if you’re willing to sacrifice some of the bells and whistles.
Pea Gravel Patio Cost
The cost to create a pea gravel patio varies depending on the materials you use, its size, and how it’s installed. On average, pea gravel will cost you anywhere from $0.50 to $0.65 per square foot. Premium products like marble pea gravel will cost even more. If you have a professional install it for you, you’ll spend an additional $1.62 to $2.75 per square foot.
For a 10′ by 10′ patio, you’ll be covering 100 square feet. This size patio will cost $50.00 to $65.00 if you install it yourself. You’ll spend a total of $212.00 to $340.00 if you hire a professional to install it. If you decide to go with a professional install, try to get a minimum of three quotes from different companies to ensure you get the best price.
There are a few other things to consider when it comes to creating gravel patio ideas on a budget. For instance, the price will go up if you want a larger patio. It will also increase if you decide to incorporate other materials such as flagstone, concrete, or pavers. You can also spend a little more and add binders to the gravel to make it easier to clean and maintain.
Pea Gravel Patio Pros and Cons
There are several pros and cons when it comes to pea gravel patios. However, many of the cons can be avoided if you install your patio a certain way.
Here’s a full list of things to consider if you’re thinking about installing this type of patio. I’ll also point out how you can eliminate some of the cons by using various installation techniques.
A patio of pebbles is very affordable and can be done for as little as $0.50 a square foot. For comparison, a poured concrete patio costs about $10.00 per square foot. The average cost of a wood patio is about $7.00 per square foot. A paver patio will cost around $8.00 per square foot. As you can see, a pea gravel patio is the cheapest option by far and can easily be done on a budget that works for you.
Installing a pea gravel patio is extremely easy if you don’t mind putting in a little sweat equity. You don’t need any fancy tools and can usually get it done in a weekend depending on the size of your patio.
If you’re not interested in moving a couple of hundred pounds of rocks yourself, hire a professional to install it for as little as $160.00. Make sure you shop around to get the best installation price.
Pea gravel tends to move around when you walk on it and heavy furniture will sink into it. This is often considered one of the cons of a pebble patio. However, you can easily rake the gravel to even it back out as needed.
Another more permanent solution to keep pea gravel from moving around as much is to install a gravel grid. The grid cells are filled with gravel, making them more stable. You can also bind the gravel together using a resin or epoxy product to literally glue the rocks in place ensuring they won’t move.
Unlike pavers or flagstones, pea gravel doesn’t have any predefined edges you have to work around when installing it. You can create any shape you want when it comes to a pea gravel patio.
You can also find pea gravel in just about any color and in sizes from 1/4″ to 1/2″. This gives you a nearly limitless number of design options to choose from. You’ll certainly be able to create a patio that fits perfectly with your overall landscape design. Check out our guide to Pea Gravel Colors and Sizes to get your creative juices flowing!
Unlike concrete, wood, or pavers, a pea pebble patio allows water to drain right through the rocks instead of sitting on top. Water won’t puddle up on it and the surface dries out faster since most of the water filters quickly down into the rocks.
Cleaning pea gravel is probably the biggest con when it comes to using it for a patio. You’ll have to remove lawn debris and leaves off of it regularly to keep them from getting stuck down in the gravel. However, a leaf blower makes quick work of this task.
You’ll also likely need to clean the rocks themselves periodically to prevent dirt buildup and algal growth. There are several cleaning products you can use to make this task easier.
If you bind your pebble patio together using resin or epoxy, cleaning it is just as easy as cleaning a concrete patio. If keeping your gravel clean is something you don’t want to worry about, bind the rocks together to eliminate this con completely.
Weeds can grow through gravel which will need to be removed to keep your patio looking well-kept. You can avoid this maintenance issue by installing weed cloth beneath the rocks.