decomposed granite for a patio

zssouri(z8 OR)October 19, 2003

I was just watching HGTV, and two landscaping episodes used crushed brick and decomposed granite to make patio areas.

We are conteplating putting in a patio out back. However, right under this area is where our septic tank sits. My husband is concerned about weight on top of the tank.

Two questions: 1) Weight

2) How hard does the crushed brick or decomposed granite set up? We have rain (Oregon) 8 months out of the year. By using this area for BBQ'ing, relaxing, moving patio furniture around on the surface-- how will it hold up?

Thank you in advance!

I am new to this form-- found it in a web search!!

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It doesn't set up much at all. And in a wet climate, it would probably smush into the mud. And it's just gravel unless you use one of the hardeners, so it's not a stable surface.

Weight - no more than regular dirt.

In a rainy area, where removable is important in case the tank needs servicing, you might do beter to have a deck with joists that span the tank area. In case you need access, unscrew the decking.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 1:13PM
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txplanter(Z9/ TX)

Decomposed granite is a mess. It washes out into the yard and is uncomfortable to walk on. It is not stable at all. My dad used everything he could, and it still washes out. It is aesthetically beautiful and very complimentary to a garden but high maintenance.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2003 at 12:31PM
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If you mix it with cement, does that stableize it?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2004 at 3:45PM
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    Bookmark   January 7, 2004 at 8:37PM
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Peter_Houghton(z10 LA)

I just finished renovating the front courtyard of a Spanish Colonial house using decomposed granite. The bottom line is that, if installed correctly, DG works well in climates with less rainfall. When it rains, even DG with stabilizer will get mushy. However, when DG with stabilizer is installed correctly, it can become almost as hard as concrete. I should know - I had to chip through some with a trowel this weekend to install some drip lines.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2004 at 12:26PM
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jisphoto(N. CA)

Could somebody tell me about the tracking on your shoes of loose Decomposed granite. We are thinking of putting DG on our driveway and walkways in the front of our home. However, we've become a little discouraged by others that say it will be like sand paper on our wood floors. I say get a great heavy duty door mat and that should take care of the problem. I love the look of the DG but now I'm concerned. Some advice would be helpful. Thanks,

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 5:28PM
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We have DG paths and hardwood floors. You do have to check your shoes for granite bits in the soles, but, the doormat catches almost everything.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2004 at 4:11PM
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What is the best method for stabilizing DG? I'm considering using it for pathways and possibly a patio. Here in Kansas, it's usually hot and dry but we do get some serious rainfall when it does rain. I have visions of my wheelchair's tires carving ruts into the DG when going from bed to bed when its wet out. Boy HGTV sure pumped it up over the weekend but I could see it was not as set up as they described. I was hoping with time it could set up like AB3. I may use it but it sure can be ugly. It sets up like concrete though after time and rain. I would imagine by adding tint it could be tolerable. I'm a little concerned about all that lime leaching into the garden messing with PH levels.
Does anyone know if DG has a similar effect? Or soil and tap water is very alkaline. My tap water ph can be as high as 8.5. I have to ammend it when I can for some plants.
Thanks for the info folks.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 2:56PM
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garden_fever_girl(5 CO)

We are considering using it for walkways here in colorado-with some peices of flagstone. The lady at the lot where they sell it said to put concrete sand down and tamp it good-with a rented machine then lay the squeege (what they call it here) and tamp it, then she said to lay the stones and fill around them with the DG and tamp that. She also said to use edging but said rock would work too-- Peter is this the method you used? Sounds like you had success- I am worried about it mushing and washing out into the yard though as per posts..would like to know what they did - or hat conditions were present that caused that. ick.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 9:00AM
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jugglerguy(z4-5 MI)

How are you going to get the cover off the septic tank to pump it out if there's a patio on top?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 6:00PM
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I'm new to this forum. We just removed our concrete patio and want to put down decomposed granite. We have 4 dogs and it would be much easier. But I'm confused with stabilizer. So my question is: Do we need to get a stablizer? The place that I'm looking at getting the granite tells me they will sell us for $20.00 a skip decomposed granite and for $50.00 a skip decomposed granite with a stablizer in it. Is there another way to add stablizer without the high cost? Also, do you recommend a liner under? Any info regarding installation would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 11:49AM
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I live in Northern Utah and have seen it used here in public parks. I think they ship it in from out of state with Stabilzer already mixed in. Does anyone know of a source where I can purchase some for my home pathways.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 7:56PM
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We are considering laying a flagstone patio of about 600 sq ft under the canopy of a very old oak tree. 55 years ago when this house was built, the roots of the tree were pruned to allow for a garage and we want to be careful to not kill the tree do to lack of water. Does DG allow for good drainage? Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 1:32PM
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I have the same problem as you except I have 2 oak trees.
I just put down a terracota patio and I am not happy with it. I want a decomposed granite patio and pathway instead. I have drainage issues when it rains and the water puddles around the trees right beside the patio. We are digging french drains in the patio and placing 3 across the backyard to allow water to seep through and not puddle. It may be a possibility for you to allow water to reach the roots. I will place the gravel with stabilizer over the entire area exept where I place the drains, covering them with plywood. After setting removing the plywood and filling the drains with rocks. Hope this helps. K

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 4:58PM
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Can anyone tell me where to find decomposed granite in central Pennsylvania?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 10:43AM
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I watched Yard crashers this weekend on DIY, I understood them to say that when the DG was compacted it was as hard as concrete but it wa still porous. If this is the case then if installed correctly with proper compaction Can someone tell me if there will still be a possiblity of:
1. DG turning soft or mushy?
2. DG turning cumbly and tracking into the house?

I was under the impression that after compaction with a plate compactor the product became a solid. thanks Cathy

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY DG Patio Link Yard Crashers

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 1:52PM
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I want to create a DG patio near my pool but I want to lay in flagstone with the DG. Is this possible or will it only create a mess for me? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:25PM
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Have used DG for walkways under my oak tree for years. Although it does set up somwhat, after rain and traffiic, water still filters through and the tree does just fine. Have also set flagstone in it, works good for me so long as you either set the stone firmly while the DG is first dumped then fill in the cracks with fresh DG or breaking up the DG so that the stone can be firmly bedded. I am in central Texas with about 30" rain so don't know about other areas.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 5:58PM
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I was thinking about using this for my patio. Mainly because I wanted somthing water would drain thiough since I have 6 trees bordering the area and I don't want to deprived them of water. I have the patio area bordered by rock. Does anyone have a better solution, suggestions or ideas?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Wanting to use this for a patio in the Houston area of Texas..would it work? I like the way it looks, somewhat rustic, we have a 2 acre property, rustic is our passion. :). Any ideas where to purchase it would be great too.

Thanks in advance, Petra

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:10PM
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There is no such thing as decomposed granite. Think about it, folks. Someone started this moniker and it somehow spread. Its CRUSHED STONE!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:01AM
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I have a very large area of decomposed granite which I put in with two day workers about 20 years ago and a series of wide walkways. I love it. I built it about four inches deep. I did not use a stabilizer. I am in Los Angeles so it can pour but we are better known for drought. I don't think of this as a product for very wet areas. I also have never, ever experienced it as mushy because we don't get constant rain. I would not use it for a driveway. For that I like road base which is a chunky shale. The important thing for both is to use water and compact the materials totally. We did it the old fashioned way, with a flat base tamper, foot by foot but a gasoline compactor was used on the shale driveway. When dg is properly compacted in a climate like ours, it is not a big problem with tracking on your feet or maintenance. Blow off or sweep the leaves and enjoy. After about 7 years, add more dg and compact and you are good as new.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:19AM
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I have a stamped concrete patio that is badly cracked. I've been thinking of putting border pavers arount the perimeter of the patio and filling in with DG and was wondering if this would work. I wouldn't be using a very thick layer of DG (maybe 2in. or so). I'm concerned that the DG will wash away with rainfall or snow melt if I don't use stabilizer. I'm also concerned that the thin layer of DG with stabilizer may crack. Any ideas? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:54PM
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cybersal(8 Heart of Tx)

For the question of the septic lid, I rehabed a cottage for resale and over the tank top I had my men build a little raised (rail-less) deck about 8x8. Not very big but worked well and is light enough to remove for septic servicing. Had I lived there, I would have built a couple more decks abutting the one over the tank.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I live on a rocky hill (1.4 acres), and it's a treacherous descent because other than rocks and weeds, it's entirely decomposed granite! You can almost watch the rocks decompose!

I'd be happy to have you come and take some for free! It's always coming down the hill onto our concrete driveway.

Would love to stabilize parts of it to use as steps. Hmmmmmm

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:17PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I live in Central Texas and the area just to the west of us is nothing BUT decomposed granite . It is not crushed granite. Decomposed granite is different depending upon the source. Here it decomposes and has a fair amount of clay in the mix. I hear that is not the case in other areas.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:25PM
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I recommend you visit my website and the page specifically devoted to decomposed granite patios. Just simply search for DG patios on the blog and you will find it. I have installed many DG patios and learned a lot. I am in the process of putting together a 'how to' booklet on DG patios specifically. Thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Human Footprint

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 9:06PM
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Here is a link for a comprehensive guide to installing DG

Here is a link that might be useful: Decomposed Granite patios

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:17PM
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