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What’s the Difference Between Gravel & Shingle?

Aggregates come in all shapes, sizes and forms, but it’s not always easy to know the difference between one sort or another. And once you do, it’s not necessarily obvious why some are good for some applications but others aren’t, when to all extents and purposes they look and feel so similar.

Gravel and shingle are both aggregates and the terms are often used interchangeably. This article will examine the difference between gravel and shingle and examine a few of the best uses they can be put to.


  • What is gravel?

Basically, gravel is made up of small fragments of rock and occurs either naturally as a result of sedimentation or erosion, or is more commonly created commercially by crushing stone. Where it is created commercially, it is often sourced from quarries made up of limestone, sandstone, granite or basalt.

  • What is gravel used for?

Gravel has a variety of practical applications in both construction and landscaping. It is commonly used as an aggregate in concrete, as a base layer for roads or as ballast. In landscaping, it can be used for driveways and paths, as well as decoratively on borders and in pots and raised beds.

  • What types of gravel are available at Neil Sullivan & Sons?

Our 20mm Cotswold Gravel is an attractive and stylish aggregate that has a range of commercial uses as well as being an economic choice for use in domestic gardening and landscaping projects. Meanwhile, our 2/6mm granite is great as a bedding layer for block paving.


  • What is shingle?

Shingle is made up of rounded stones that have acquired their shape through weathering, and will typically be shaped such that one end is thicker than the other. They’re the sort of stones you might find on a beach and are usually available commercially in 10mm (also known as pea shingle) or 20mm pieces.

  • What is shingle used for?

Shingle is generally a far more attractive aggregate than gravel, so has more uses in the garden and for landscaping where it can be used on driveways and pathways, on borders to protect the ground from frost and prevent weeds. It does have a number of more practical applications, however, as it is particularly good for drainage, soakaways and pipe laying. 

  • What types of shingle are available at Neil Sullivan & Sons?

We sell 10mm shingle and 20mm shingle, so that you’ll be able to find something in our range to suit pretty much all the applications for shingle that we’ve described. We supply it either in 850kg bulk bags or you get even better value on large quantities delivered loose.

Here at Neil Sullivan & Sons, all our gravel and shingle is available for rapid delivery to your home or site, or you can collect from our Wickford yard if your need is more pressing. Order now from our eCommerce site, where you can also buy other aggregates, such as sand and planings, ready-mix concrete for all your construction and major landscaping projects, and gardening essentials like topsoil, play bark and railway sleepers.