gravel under deck, Should You Put Gravel Under Your Deck?

Should You Put Gravel Under Your Deck?

Putting gravel under your deck is a great way to add stability and drainage. It’s simple to do and provides many benefits, from preventing soil erosion to helping protect the underside of your decking material from moisture damage, especially for ground-level decks.

With some preparation and planning, you’ll have no problem installing gravel underneath your deck for maximum protection and longevity.

Benefits of Gravel Under Deck

Gravel is an ideal material for use under decks. Gravel’s usefulness in deck construction is not limited to drainage. It can also help stop soil from being washed away and act as a deterrent against weeds. Additionally, it’s easy to install, comes in various sizes and colors, and offers numerous other benefits.


Gravel is one of the most cost-effective materials you can use when constructing or renovating a deck. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other materials like concrete or pavers, so it won’t break the bank if you choose to go with this option.

Easy Installation

Installing gravel beneath your deck is a simple process that doesn’t require any special tools or skill sets—just basic DIY knowledge will do. All you need to do is prepare the area by removing any existing vegetation, level out the ground, and spread your gravel evenly over the surface before adding layers of fabric and topsoil as needed.


Gravel comes in a variety of sizes and colors, so you have plenty of options when deciding what type of material to use under your decking boards. If desired, you can also mix different types together for added texture and visual interest.

Plus, since gravel compacts easily over time, it’s easy to make adjustments if you decide later on that something else would look better, like mulch, for example.

Prevents Erosion

Another significant benefit of installing gravel underneath your deck is that it acts as a natural barrier against weeds while preventing soil erosion due to rainwater runoff. Additionally, because water drains through small spaces between stones quickly rather than pooling on top like grass, this also allows for more efficient irrigation practices.

Preparing the Area

Preparing the area beneath your deck is an essential step in creating a successful gravel foundation. Here are simple steps to lay your gravel foundation:

  1. Clear away any existing vegetation or debris from the space. Once the area is cleared, you can create a solid foundation.
  2. Level out the ground as much as possible with a rake or shovel. You can use sand or soil to fill in any low spots and create an even surface. Consider using concrete leveling compound for better results if there are large dips or bumps.
  3. Lay down landscape fabric over the entire area. Landscape fabric helps prevent weeds from growing up through your gravel layer while also allowing water to drain properly, so moisture doesn’t accumulate under your decking boards. Ensure all seams overlap by at least 6 inches and that no gaps remain uncovered before installing gravel beneath your deck structure.

Prior to any construction, it is essential to have an even surface for a successful gravel installation.

Installing Gravel

Now for the fun part – putting down the gravel! Once everything is ready to go, spread a layer of gravel over the entire area using a rake or shovel. Make sure to spread it evenly and tamp it down with a tamper or other tool to ensure that all areas have been adequately covered and compressed into place. This will help prevent shifting and sinking over time due to weather conditions such as rain or snowfall, which can cause uneven surfaces if not done correctly initially.

Once you are satisfied that your gravel has been laid down properly, you may choose to add edging around its perimeter for extra stability. This can be done with landscape timbers and will help keep your material in place while also giving your project a polished finish.

Finishing Touches

Once the gravel is in its spot, it’s time to give your deck a little beautification with some edging. Using plastic or wooden edging to create a neat perimeter around your deck is a great way to contain the gravel and give it an aesthetically pleasing look.  It’s easy to install, durable, and won’t move when stepped on or when heavy items are placed on it. For a more permanent solution, consider affixing wooden boards to the perimeter of your deck for an attractive finish.

Measure the Area

To add edging correctly, measure the area first so you know exactly how much material you need before purchasing any supplies.

Lay Down Boards

Once you have everything ready to go, start by laying down plastic or wooden boards along each side of your deck frame using galvanized nails or screws for extra security. Make sure all edges are flush against one another for maximum stability and evenness throughout the installation process – nothing ruins an otherwise perfect job like crooked lines.

Fill in the Gaps

Afterward, fill in any gaps between each board with soil or sand until it’s completely level with the surrounding ground surface; this helps ensure no water collects near the foundation which could lead to rot over time if left unchecked.

Top it Off

Finally, top off the entire area with mulch or decorative stones for added protection from erosion while adding visual appeal at the same time.

A simple detail like edging can create beautiful boundaries around your outdoor space without creating worry about maintenance down the line.

Call the Experts For All Your Deck Needs

Contact us today at Decks & Docks for more information on how we can help you put gravel under your deck! We’ll get you started with the best quality materials and guide you through the proper installation process for a functional and gorgeous deck.

Installing gravel is a simple and effective way to protect your deck from water damage, provide stability for your structure, and create a unique aesthetic. To ensure longevity, proper preparation and installation of the gravel should be carefully considered before beginning your deck project. Be sure to consider all necessary materials before beginning so that you have everything on hand when it comes time to lay down the gravel beneath your decking.

For the best in decking and dock construction solutions, trust Decks & Docks to provide quality lumber, piling, seawall, and deck accessories.


Is it reasonable to put gravel under a deck?

Yes. Gravel helps support the weight of the deck and prevents shifting or sinking into the ground. It also allows for drainage, which can help prevent rot in wood decks caused by standing water. Additionally, using gravel as a base will provide an even surface that makes laying down your flooring easier than if you were just working with dirt alone.

What kind of gravel to put under a deck?

The type of gravel you should use under a deck depends on the deck’s purpose. If your goal is to provide drainage, then crushed stone or pea gravel are both excellent options. Crushed stone offers better drainage and can also help with soil erosion control. Pea gravel allows for more water infiltration into the ground and helps reduce runoff from rainwater.

Both materials offer affordability, simplicity in installation, and durability. When choosing between these two types of material, it’s essential to consider factors such as climate, cost, durability, maintenance requirements, and overall aesthetic appeal to make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

What is the best material to put under a deck?

The best material to put under a deck depends on the application and desired outcome. Generally, pressure-treated timber is excellent due to its longevity and resistance to rot, mildew, decomposition, and bugs. If you are looking for additional support or want an extra layer of moisture protection, use a concrete paver base. In addition, if your deck is subject to heavy foot traffic, gravel can also provide stability and drainage in those areas.

Ultimately, whatever material you choose must meet local building codes while providing adequate support for your decking structure.

Do I need gravel under deck footings?

Gravel offers an even and stable surface for the footing posts, which helps prevent shifting or settling over time. Additionally, the gravel allows water to drain away from the bottom of your posts so that they are not constantly exposed to moisture which can lead to rot and decay. For best results, use a minimum of 4 inches of gravel below each post with at least 6 inches around them on all sides.