How Much Do Landscaping Rocks Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

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Landscaping rocks are going to add the needed beauty to make your yard look complete.  There are many landscaping rocks available, from artificial ones to the larger rocks that are brought in by a crane.  The cost of these landscaping rocks is going to depend on the size, the type, the quantity, and the service selling them.

2015-69 by Stenbolaget, on Flickr
2015-69” (CC BY 2.0) by Stenbolaget

How much do landscaping rocks cost?

On average, most landscaping supply companies are going to charge either by the ton or by square footage.  Other factors may include the size of the rocks, type, the amount needed and company selling/installing them. Since there are so many rock types out there, the costs can vary anywhere from $30 to $100 per ton or $30 to $65 per cubic foot, depending on the rock type.

Larger landscaping rocks, such as boulders, can cost upwards of $800 per ton.  For example, a volcanic rock can cost $600 per ton, and an Artic white boulder can cost $150 per ton.

Natural stone edging, ideal for gardens and walkways, can cost $200 to $600 per ton.

A single boulder that measures 36″ x 26″ x 16″ can cost $150 to $300 each, while a boulder that is 44″ x 36″ x 28″ can cost upwards of $285 to $450 each.

Natural rock steps can cost $80 to $200 each.

Faux landscaping rocks can cost $45 to $100 or more for a single rock that stands one to two feet high.

A small bag of rocks, such as lava rocks or pea gravel, will cost $2 to $5 for a bag that covers 0.5 cubic feet.  These bags can be found at retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.  In bulk, it can cost $30 to $50 per cubic foot.

Decorative landscaping rocks, such as river rock and Bryan red rock, can cost $4 to $8 per bag that covers .5 cubic feet.  Larger loads can cost $50 to $60 per cubic foot or $200 to $600 per ton, depending on the variety.

Decomposed granite can cost $30 to $55 per cubic foot, while crushed granite can cost $60 to $75 per yard.

Mexican beach pebbles can cost $20 to $45 per pound or up to $700 per ton.

AZ Rock Depot, located in Mesa, Arizona, lists prices on their official website.

Landscaping rocks overview

Landscape rocks can be broken down into the following categories:  landscape rock, boulders, river rock, sand and rip rap.

Popular sizes of smaller landscaping rocks include 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″ and one inch.

For smaller rocks, many local nurseries and landscaping companies may deliver right to your doorstep if a certain price is met.

Type of landscape rock

Boulders will be your “anchor points” in the yard and can stand on its own or be surrounded by ornamental grass.

Crushed granite will be similar to decomposed granite but it will be chunkier and larger in size.  This granite can come in red and beige colors and will make a nice pathway rock because of its texture and look.  However, as a disadvantage, it can be hard to locate a source for this work and because of this, can be costlier to truck in.

Decomposed granite will be either tan or red in color and look more like dirt from a distance since it has been weathered to the point of breaking down.  This rock will be small in size and is designed to replace areas that may use asphalt or concrete, like a driveway.  It’s readily available and can be very inexpensive.  The only downfall, however, is it can track on the bottom of your shoes, causing damage to hardwood floors.

Flagstone will be a flat piece of stone commonly used as a walkway.  This decorative stone will lay directly on the ground and will often use a base material such as paving sand or crushed granite.

Lava rock will be mined from volcanic lava domes and will be completely red in color but can also be black.  This rock can come in many sizes and can be very versatile.  It can be used as ground cover, a walkway or as an accent piece.

Mexican beach pebbles are smooth, polished and will give a yard a tropical look, often coming in a grayish-black color.  This rock can commonly be found on a pathway or near a pool and offer an elegant appeal, but if you do live in certain parts of the United States, it can be hard to find.

Pea gravel, as the name implies, is a landscape rock the size of a pea, and can come in many colors and sizes.  Common sizes include 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 5/8 inches.  This rock will be found either as a simple walkway surface or used as a filler.

River rocks is a stone used in connection with water-based areas, hence the name river.  This rock will be used when the water needs to be drained and ran off to a certain point on the property and will be slightly larger than pea gravel.  These rocks are readily available at most big-name hardware store.

What are the extra costs?

Landscaping rocks will either be screened or non-screened.  If screened, the costs can be 40 percent more on average.

A tough, fibrous black fabric is highly recommended before you install the rocks.  This thick fabric screen will allow water to flow through it, but it will prevent weeds from popping through the rocks.

Most landscaping rock companies will charge a delivery fee unless a minimum is met.  Most delivery charges can start at $50 and go up from here.

Some supply companies will charge extra if you want to have the rocks or boulder wrapped in plastic during transportation.  Plastic wrap can vary from $7 to $35 per rock.  Wired baskets can also be added to protect the smaller rocks from moving around in the truck while being transported.

Tips to know

Avoid laying pea gravel in areas where you may push a lawnmower or anything else with wheels.

If using rocks for a walkway, consider shoveling snow in the winter as it can be hard to shovel some snow off certain rock types.

How much rock do you need?  First, measure the length and width of the area that needs to be covered in feet.  Next, determine the depth needed in feet; if it’s less than a foot, divide the number by 12.  With these numbers, multiply the length by the width by the desired depth.  This will give you the cubic feet you will need for your project.  With this number, divide by 27 to determine the cubic yards. goes more in depth with the calculation.

How can I save money?

Compare prices with at least three nurseries.  Be sure to ask about delivery, as well as get a good look at what the rock is going to look like.  Many nurseries will allow you to take the samples home to match it up with your yard.

Consider checking out local landscaping dumps.  There are landfills that can have various items such as larger rocks as well as other rubbish.  With permission, consider checking these areas out to see what’s available.

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