How to Determine Depth of Material?

How do you determine the depth of Material you need for a landscape project?

Check out our latest video where Derrick and Jared explain how to determine depth of material needed for the perfect coverage of your area.

When planning a project the space will determine the square footage, but do you know how to determine the depth? In most cases, the size of the material you are using will determine the depth you want in order to lay it and also cover your area effectively.
In order to show the depths of different landscape material, you have to take a look at material placed in a specific area that can be marked correctly to determine depth.
For example, let's take an empty fish tank that is marked to show depth in inches.

The first example is to add a 1 inch layer of Cyclone Sand to the tank. Sand can have perfect coverage of the area even at this shallow depth. 


Because each grain of sand is smaller than 1/8 inch. The grains stack up and fill in all of the gaps. 

What about Decorative Rock?

Let's say you want 2 inch Rainbow River Rock for your landscape project. The rock itself is generally 2" in size, so you know the depth can't be less than 2". However, if you take a look at the picture, you notice that at a depth of 2" the rocks are laid right next to each other and there are a lot of gaps. It isn't until 5" of depth that you have good coverage without large gaps in between.
Let's go BIGGER and look at Adobe 2-4" Cobble. As you may have already guessed, the depth can't be smaller than 4." So for this cobble you need a full 8 inches of depth to cover all of the gaps. 

Other Depth Recommendations:

  • Decorative Rock should be a depth of at least 2 times the size of the largest rock. 
  • Wood Mulch should be at least a depth of 3 inches.
  • Topsoil & Compost should have a minimum of 2 inches of depth.

***  When it comes to construction projects that will use material such as road base or structural fill, other factors should be considered including the make up of the existing location or engineering of the project.***

Remember that once you know how deep you need your material you can calculate how many total yards of material you will need. Check out how on our website!


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