Decomposed Granite vs Crushed Granite: Uses and differences

By John Brown β€’  Updated: 01/13/24 β€’  5 min read

Are you considering landscaping your outdoor space? If so, it’s important to understand the differences between three common landscape materials: crushed granite, decomposed granite (DG), and crushed stone. While these terms might seem interchangeable, it’s crucial to recognize the distinct differences that set them apart.

Is Crushed Granite the same as Decomposed Granite?

Crushed granite, as the name suggests, has been crushed mechanically into smaller particles. In contrast, decomposed granite (DG) undergoes a natural weathering process that results in a finer texture. Their different textures and compositions make them versatile for various landscaping endeavors and specific applications.


Decomposed Granite vs. Crushed Granite Comparison Table

CriteriaDecomposed GraniteCrushed Granite
TextureFiner texture, smootherCoarser texture, rougher
Color RangeDiverse range of colorsLimited, typically grays
StabilityStable but may require periodic redressing and recompactingStable and compacts well, creating a harder surface
ApplicationsVersatile, suitable for various landscaping projectsVersatile, used in pathways, driveways, patios, and more
Foot ComfortGenerally more foot-friendly due to finer textureMay be harder on the feet due to rough edges
CostAffordably pricedGenerally cost-effective
MaintenanceRequires periodic maintenance for optimal performanceIt may be harder on the feet due to rough edges
Best Suited ForLandscaping, pathways, and areas prioritizing a natural appearanceOutdoor projects requiring stability and durability
VariantsIt may need occasional redressing and recompactingNatural or loose DG stabilized DG, resin-coated DG
This table provides a quick overview of the key differences between decomposed and crushed granite

Crushed Stone vs. Crushed Granite

The primary distinction lies in the composition of crushed stone and crushed granite. Crushed stone potentially includes other rocks and is predominantly made of limestone. In contrast, crushed granite is mainly composed of granite itself.

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Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is commonly associated with “fines” due to its elevated content of fine sand. Fines offer a softer underfoot texture, making DG an ideal choice for pathways, driveways, and patios. This feature sets it apart within the spectrum of crushed stone products.

DG is also available in different colors, including buff, brown, gold tones, rose, pink variations, steel blue, and more.

Decomposed Granite Colors

There are three main types of decomposed granites.

  1. Natural or Loose DG: Ideal for projects where flexibility and a more natural appearance are prioritized. It works well in casual landscapes for mulching, patios, and pathways.
  2. Stabilized DG: Well-suited for areas that demand enhanced stability and durability. It’s an excellent choice for high-traffic surfaces like driveways and walkways.
  3. Resin-Coated DG: Good for projects where both durability and aesthetics are paramount. It’s an excellent option for upscale landscaping, patio surfaces, and sports surfaces.

Pros of Decomposed Granite:

Cons of Decomposed Granite

Crushed Granite

Crushed granite differs from decomposed granite (DG) in texture, offering a rougher surface. Its color range is typically confined to grays, spanning from light gray to black, presenting fewer color options than decomposed granite. When aiming for a durable path, crushed granite proves effective as it compacts well, creating a robust and stable surface.

In contrast to decomposed granite and materials like pea gravel, crushed granite can be less foot-friendly due to its rough edges. While it provides enhanced stability, the coarser texture may make it slightly harder on the feet.

Pros of Crushed Granite:

Cons of Crushed Granite:


Choosing between DG and crushed granite for your landscaping project involves various factors. Both options are comparable in terms of price per cubic foot. However, finer materials might require more cubic feet to fill a designated area. Your decision should hinge on the desired texture, the importance of color, and the anticipated traffic in the area.

We have walked through the differences between these two types of hardscaping materials, I hope this makes it easier for you to make an informed decision on which material best suits your desired project.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comment section.

John Brown

John Brown brings a wealth of experience and passion for DIY, Home and Garden, and Woodworking. With a dedication to empowering enthusiasts, he shares insights, tips, and comprehensive guides to help you transform spaces and master woodworking skills.

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