What Is the Cheapest Rock for Landscaping?

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From rock gardens to garden borders, there are many ways to improve your outdoor space using popular landscaping rocks. Using landscaping with rocks is a popular way to add a natural touch to any outdoor space. Stones come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a versatile addition to any landscape design. However, choosing the right type of rock for your landscaping project can be daunting, especially if you're on a budget and you're trying to achieve a particular look. Stone Center, a leading supplier of natural stone products, offers a wide variety of affordable landscaping rocks that are perfect for your DIY landscaping project. With locations in Columbus and Cincinnati, Stone Center is a reliable and accessible source for quality rock prices that won't break the bank.

What Are Landscape Rocks?

The term "landscape rock" refers to any type of natural or decorative stone used in outdoor landscaping projects. These rocks can be used for a variety of purposes such as creating pathways, retaining walls, water features, and decorative accents.

Why Is Landscaping Rock Good for So Many Projects?

Landscape rock is a versatile and popular choice among homeowners and landscapers alike.

  • One of the main advantages of using landscaping stones is their durability, as they can withstand harsh weather conditions, foot traffic, and other wear and tear, making them a long-lasting investment for any of your outdoor projects.
  • Additionally, landscape rock is low maintenance, which means it doesn't require watering, mowing, or trimming like traditional landscaping options. This can save time, effort, and money in the long run.
  • Another benefit of using landscape rock is its aesthetic appeal. With a wide variety of colors and textures available, it can create a natural and stylish look that complements any landscape design.
  • Furthermore, landscape rock can also help with drainage and erosion control, making it a practical and functional addition to any outdoor space.
Rock Type Price per Ton Price per Cubic Yard Price per Bag
Boulders $100-$600 N/A N/A
Bull Rock $75-$100 $65-$125 $5-$30
Crushed Granite $65-$185 $35-$65 $6-$15
Crushed Limestone $20-$30 $30-$45 $3-$19
Decomposed Granite $35-$60 $35-$65 $25-$35
Lava Rock $115-$220 $75-$165 $5-$22
Pea Gravel $20-$50 $20-$70 $4-$6
River Rock $80-$150 $40-$80 $5-$17
Mexican Beach Pebbles $500-$950 $500-$1500 $20-$40

7 Cheapest Rocks for Landscaping

With so many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start. Let's try to find the answer to the question on everyone's mind: how much is landscape rock?

#1 River Rock Cost 

landscape rock prices
River Rock

Smooth river rocks are a popular choice for landscaping projects due to their natural appearance and durability. The average rock landscaping cost of river stones ranges from $100 to $800 per ton, and this number depends on the size and type of rock. This translates to an average cost of $30 to $50 per cubic yard, including delivery. It makes river rocks a cost-effective option for landscaping projects, especially for larger areas.

River Rock Pros:

  • Colors remain vibrant and won't fade over time;
  • Resistant to warping and damage from moisture;
  • Highly durable and can last for a lifetime;
  • Will not deteriorate or degrade over time;
  • Minimal maintenance is required after installation.

River Rock Cons:

  • Difficult to remove if necessary;
  • Dirt, debris, and seeds may accumulate between the rocks;
  • Requires a barrier between the rock and soil to prevent weed growth, such as landscape fabric or cardboard;
  • Absorbs heat and may become too hot for plants in areas where mulch is needed.

#2 Crushed Granite Cost

Another option to consider is crushed granite. The cost of crushed granite varies depending on factors such as the location and distance of delivery. The average landscaping rock prices of crushed granite range from $30 to $70 per ton or $0.70 to $1.50 per cubic foot and $20 to $45 per cubic yard.

landscape rock prices
Crushed Granite

Crushed Granite Pros:

  • Ideal for large areas;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Simple to install;
  • Adds a naturally soft appeal to your landscape;
  • Its smooth surface promotes excellent drainage;
  • Versatile material available in various colors;
  • The sound of crunching underfoot adds to its rustic charm.

Crushed Granite Cons:

  • Loose nature makes it prone to erosion over time;
  • Jagged edges can be a hazard to kids or pets and cause injury;
  • Heavy rain can make the rocks unstable and muddy;
  • Rocks may get caught in shoes and be dragged out of the intended area, leading to the need for replacement over time.

#3 Boulders Cost

Another rock type you might consider is boulders. On average, boulders can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 per ton or $30 to $40 per cubic yard. While boulders may be a more significant investment upfront, they are a durable and long-lasting addition to any landscape design, requiring minimal maintenance over time and adding a touch of natural beauty and ruggedness to outdoor spaces.

landscape rock prices

Boulders Pros:

  • Low-maintenance option for landscaping projects;
  • Creates a focal point in landscape design;
  • Versatile use as a fire pit seat, a retaining wall, steps, or a rock cluster;
  • Complements well with surrounding materials such as pea gravel or groundcover plants.

Boulders Cons:

  • Can be difficult and costly to transport and install due to their weight and size;
  • Limited options for customization, as the size, shape, and color are predetermined by nature;
  • May not be suitable for small or confined spaces due to their size;
  • Placement and arrangement of boulders require careful consideration to avoid creating an unbalanced or unnatural look in the landscape design.

#4 Mexican Beach Pebbles Cost

If you have a landscape project, Mexican beach pebbles are a great option. Landscaping pebbles can be of different colors, each offering unique visual and functional properties. They're often used in garden beds, around trees, or in other landscaping designs to create a natural and polished look.

landscape rock prices
Beach Pebbles

On average, beach pebbles cost between $400 and $700 per ton or $40 to $50 per cubic yard.

Mexican Beach Pebbles Pros:

  • Provides a uniform appearance to landscaping designs;
  • Available in a wide range of colors for added versatility;
  • Ideal for modern landscaping projects;
  • Smooth, round edges make them suitable for high-foot-traffic areas.

Mexican Beach Pebbles Cons:

  • Larger rock sizes can result in quicker accumulation of dirt and debris, leading to early weed growth;
  • Removal of larger rocks can be more challenging due to their size.

#5 Crushed Stone Cost

Crushed stone is a type of landscaping rock that's made by crushing various types of natural stone into smaller pieces. The stones are typically sourced from quarries or gravel pits and are available in a range of sizes and colors, depending on the type of stone used.

rock landscaping cost
Crushed Stone

Crushed Stone Pros:

  • An affordable option for landscaping projects;
  • Widely available;
  • Provides a better color mixture compared to standard gravel.

Crushed Stone Cons:

  • Sharp edges of the rocks can cause discomfort compared with smooth stones;
  • Offers a more simplistic look when compared to other types of landscape rocks.

#6 Lava Rock Cost

Lava rock is a type of landscaping rock that is formed from cooled molten lava. They are typically black or reddish-brown in color and can range in size from small pebbles to large boulders. They are particularly well-suited for arid or desert climates because they retain heat and can help to reduce water loss from the soil.

landscape rock prices
Lava Rock

Lava rocks are an affordable landscape rock option that can add a unique texture and color to outdoor spaces. They usually cost between $50 to $100 per ton or $30 to $35 per cubic yard.

Lava Rock Pros:

  • Highly porous rock that promotes excellent drainage;
  • An affordable option.

Lava Rock Cons:

  • Lightweight nature can make it challenging to keep in place;
  • Rock surface is extremely rough and uncomfortable to walk on;
  • Has become less popular in recent years.

#7 Pea Gravel Cost

Pea gravel is a type of landscaping rock that consists of small, smooth, and rounded stones that are approximately the size of a pea. It's typically made from natural materials that have been weathered and worn down over time. Pea gravel is one of the cheapest landscaping rocks available. The average landscape rock prices of pea gravel are between $30 to $55 per ton or $3 to $8 per bag, $2 to $5 per cubic foot, or $35 to $120 per cubic yard.

what is the cheapest rock for landscaping
Pea Gravel

Pea Gravel Pros:

  • Can help retain soil moisture and prevent erosion;
  • Smooth, round edges make it suitable for high-foot-traffic areas.

Pea Gravel Cons:

  • In order to stay in place, pea gravel requires some type of edging or barrier;
  • Can be easily disturbed, resulting in unsightly dips in the rock surface
  • Needs to be replenished more frequently than larger landscaping rocks

Additional Costs Associated with Landscaping Rock

We know that you're looking for the cheapest landscaping rock that still checks all of your boxes. However, when considering landscaping rock for your outdoor space, it's important to factor in additional costs beyond the cost of the rock itself.

For example, delivery fees and installation costs are two common expenses associated with landscaping rock. Delivery fees vary depending on the supplier's location and the amount of rock being delivered. Similarly, installation costs can also vary depending on the complexity of the project and the amount of labor required.

Additionally, landscape fabric is often necessary to place under the rock to prevent weeds from growing. This fabric can be an additional expense but don't shy away from making this investment as it can save time and money in the long run by reducing the need for weed removal.

Finally, mulch may be needed to cover the rock and provide additional benefits such as moisture retention and weed suppression. Depending on the type of mulch used, this can also add to the overall cost.

So if you're wondering how much it costs to have landscape rock installed, it varies depending on the complexity of the project, the type of rock being used, and the labor involved.

What Is the Cost of Removing Landscape Rock?

On average, the cost of removing landscape rock ranges from $50 to $200 per hour for professional removal services. However, if you plan to remove the rock yourself to cut down on costs, you'll only need to pay for the rental of equipment such as a skid-steer loader, which can cost anywhere from $150 to $300 per day. Additional costs to consider include disposal fees, which vary depending on the location and the amount of rock being removed. If the rock is recyclable, some disposal facilities may offer a reduced fee.

How to Choose the Best Landscaping Rocks

When buying landscape rock, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you select the best option for your unique outdoor space.

One important factor is price, as different types of rocks can vary widely in cost. It's important to determine your budget before making a purchase and to compare landscape stone prices from different suppliers to find the best deal.

Another consideration is the size and shape of the rocks. Different sizes and shapes can have different visual impacts on the landscape and can be more or less suitable depending on the intended use.

Color is also a key factor to consider when choosing landscape rocks, as color can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of the space.

The texture of the rocks is also an important consideration, as some rocks have a smooth and polished appearance while others are rougher and natural-looking.

What Is the Required Amount of Landscaping Rock?

Now that we've explored the prices of some of the most popular landscaping rocks, let's talk about volume. The first helpful tip is to measure the dimensions of the area where the rock will be placed to calculate the square footage. This will give you a rough idea of how much rock is needed, which can then be converted into cubic yards or tons to make purchasing and delivery easier.

It's also important to consider the desired depth of the rock layer, as this will affect the amount needed. Different types of rocks have different densities, so it's important to research and understand the weight and volume of the cheapest stones for the garden that you're considering.

Additionally, it's a good idea to order slightly more rock than necessary to account for any spillage, settling, or future additions to the landscaping design.

In Conclusion: The Cheapest Rock for Landscaping

There are many types of inexpensive landscaping rocks, each offering its own unique advantages and disadvantages. While we would love to make one singular recommendation, we know that each project is unique and many factors are involved.

Regardless of your specifications or your project vision, our team is here to help. If you're in Ohio and looking for a reliable stone supplier, Stone Center provides a wide selection of landscaping rocks at competitive prices. With the right type of rock and careful planning, you can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and functional landscape design. Contact us today to learn more about all landscaping rock options and get started on your project.


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Jon Smiley

Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.

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