Pea Gravel vs Decomposed Granite

By John Brown •  Updated: 01/13/24 •  4 min read

Choosing materials for your patio or pathway can significantly impact aesthetics and functionality when creating an inviting outdoor space. Two popular options often in the spotlight are pea gravel vs decomposed granite.

My house and the surrounding area have different hardscaping materials such as pea gravel, concrete pavers on the pathways and driveways, decomposed granite, and crushed granite. They all feel different when I walk on them, but I like the soft, cozy feel of pea gravel under my feet. It also looks quite lovely in its way.

It’s funny how I always prefer pea gravel over crushed granite’s rougher feel and rugged look. The decomposed granite feels acceptable beneath my feet, but I still like the pea gravel overall look and feel aesthetically.

Below is a short video showing how these hardscaping materials have been used around my home.

BuildandRevamp Youtube Channel

Now, let us delve into the pros and cons so that you can decide based on your space and functionality.

Why not use Pea Gravel?

While pea gravel may initially seem attractive for your patio or pathway, it’s essential to consider some drawbacks. One significant concern is its tendency to shift and migrate over time.

Pea gravel can result in an uneven surface, making it less comfortable for walking or placing furniture. Additionally, it can be challenging to clean, and its smaller size may lead to displacement, especially in high-traffic areas. Explore a comprehensive article I crafted on the pros and cons of pea gravel patios for crucial considerations before installation.

Also, Check out:

Pea Gravel and Concrete Pavers ~ Photo by John Brown

What is better than Decomposed Granite?

Decomposed granite offers several advantages, making it a better fit for your outdoor project. One notable benefit is its stability, which tends to compact over time, creating a more solid surface.

This characteristic makes it a suitable pathway option, ensuring a secure and level footing. Decomposed granite is less prone to shifting, providing a low-maintenance solution for outdoor spaces.

Let’s look at the critical differences between the two materials.

Decomposed Granite

What are the Differences between Crushed Granite and Pea Gravel Patio?

Crushed granite is mechanically compacted, offering a more stable surface than pea gravel’s natural movement. The varying sizes of crushed granite particles result in a tighter interlock, reducing the likelihood of displacement and enhancing overall durability.

Below is a simple table outlining the key differences between a Crushed Granite Patio and a Pea Gravel Patio:

FeatureCrushed Granite PatioPea Gravel Patio
CompositionMechanically compacted graniteSmooth, rounded pea-sized stones
Surface StabilityMore stable, less prone to shiftingTends to shift and migrate
Interlocking PropertiesTight interlock for durabilityLoose particles, less stability
Foot ComfortFirmer surface underfootIt may require periodic adjustments
DurabilityGenerally more durable over timeMaybe less ideal, potential for displacement
AestheticsNatural, textured appearanceCharming, rustic appearance
MaintenanceLow maintenance due to compactionRegular adjustments may be needed
Suitability for High-Traffic AreasWell-suited, provides a solid footingMay be less ideal, potential for displacement
CostSlightly higher initial costLower initial cost
Table overview of the main differences between crushed granite and pea gravel patios.

Pea Gravel vs. Decomposed Granite for Path to House

When deciding between pea gravel and decomposed granite for a path leading to your house, consider the foot traffic and the desired aesthetic. Pea gravel may provide a softer feel underfoot. Still, if stability and longevity are top priorities, decomposed granite should be your preferred choice.

Cost Pea Gravel vs. Decomposed Granite

Cost considerations are often a crucial factor in decision-making. While pea gravel may have a lower initial cost, it’s essential to weigh that against the long-term benefits offered by decomposed granite. DG’s durability and minimal maintenance requirements may justify the slightly higher upfront investment.

Pea Gravel vs. Decomposed Granite for Pets

If you have furry friends sharing your outdoor space, their comfort and safety should be a top priority. Pea gravel, with its smaller and rounder particles, may be gentler on paws. However, decomposed granite can provide a stable and pet-friendly surface when adequately compacted.


The choice between Pea Gravel and Decomposed Granite depends on your preferences and needs. While Pea Gravel offers a charming, softer feel, Decomposed Granite stands out with stability and durability.

Consider factors like foot traffic, maintenance, and budget to make the perfect decision for your outdoor space. Whether it’s the cozy appeal of Pea Gravel or the enduring strength of Decomposed Granite, your patio or pathway is sure to be a delightful addition to your home.

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.

Keep Reading