Finding the right aggregate for your project

Finding the right aggregate for your project

The term ‘aggregates’ covers a wide range of coarse to medium-grained particulate material that includes things like sand, gravel, recycled concrete and crushed stone. Aggregates have many uses in the construction and landscaping industries, and it can take a while to understand which is best suited for each application.

This month, we’re going to take a look at five common projects and explain which aggregate would be the best to use in each case.

aggregates used for projects

What is the best type of aggregate for different projects?

Aggregates for concrete

Concrete is a mix of cement, water, sand and gravel. If you’re making it all from scratch, then the best sand to use is sharp sand, which is coarser than other sand aggregates, while your best bet for the gravel will probably be 20mm gravel, depending on the application. You can use 10mm gravel if you’re after a finer concrete mix. The best choice of all, however, is 20mm ballast, a mix of gravel and sand that is perfect for a concrete mix.

Aggregates for garden paths and driveways

Gravel is a tough and attractive aggregate that makes for durable paths and driveways. Use 20mm gravel for your driveway as the larger pieces are less likely to get caught in the treads of your car tyres. Going smaller and using 10mm gravel for a garden path is a good idea as the pieces bed down better to make it more comfortable to walk on, while it’s also less likely to get accidentally kicked around your garden.

Aggregates for sub-bases for slabs

When you’re laying paving slabs, you want a sub-base that is going to be able to comfortably take any load the slabs will need to bear. Probably the best choice for this would be 20mm ballast on top of a thick layer of recycled concrete or MOT Type 1 hardcore, although you’d also be okay using sharp sand instead of ballast for the job.

Aggregates for bricklaying, rendering and pointing

We mentioned earlier how sharp sand is best when mixing concrete. When mixing mortar for bricklaying, on the other hand, you’ll be wanting to use the much finer builders sand. Builders sand is also okay for pointing applications, but when it comes to rendering, you’ll be better off using plastering sand instead.

Aggregates for improving the drainage in your bedding

With climate change, we’re having to get used to periods of heavier rain and the risk of flooding more than usual. Adding 20mm gravel to your bedding can help with drainage so that water doesn’t pool around your plants. If you were to use smaller gravel, you would run the risk of it becoming compacted and potentially blocked by fallen leaves and other debris. 

Aggregates for Shed bases

Even more than with paving slabs, you need a secure base when you’re constructing a garden shed. After all, there’s probably going to be a great deal more concentrated weight that it’s going to have to bear. However, the main ingredient in your sub-base is still likely to be MOT Type 1 or recycled concrete.

Discover more about the range of aggregates available from Stewart Brothers Concrete by getting in touch with our helpful team today. We’re here for customers living in and around Ashford in Kent.

Call us today on 0123 321 5753 for more information or assistance

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Fantastic company. Called on the off chance having never using this company before and was greeted on the phone by Perry who managed to fit me in and deliver me the concrete...

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10 months ago

Great company the guys who did my imprinted concrete driveway used these they was very polite and helpful...

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3 months ago

Have used Stewart brothers 4 times for concrete, traditional strip footings and reinforced concrete pad bases. Very good service, prompt delivery and exceptional quality concrete which was particularly good...

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7 months ago