Laying Instructions

The approximately coverage is 8m2 per tonne. It is recommended that Breedon Golden Amber Gravel (Breedon Gravel) is laid at a finished compacted thickness of 50mm.

Please note that Breedon self binding gravel is not free draining and requires a cross fall or camber to shed water from its surface into adequate drainage.

Breedon Gravel is a natural material quarried from selected limestone and graded approximately 12mm (1/2”) to fines; the fines content being naturally occurring marl which acts as the self setting agent when the material is watered and rolled to fullest compaction in the manner described below.

Breedon Gravel must be laid onto a compacted quarried MOT Type 1 sub base to clause 803. The depth of which should be of sufficient strength and stability to carry the proposed traffic (we suggest a minimum of 150mm if the ground is good) and also the area concerned should be porous enough to ensure that water is not held directly in or immediately below the Breedon Gravel. If a weed suppressant membrane is required, this must be installed underneath the Type 1 sub base and not in between the sub base and Breedon Gravel.

The Type 1 sub base should be laid and rolled using a roller of suitable weight, i.e. minimum 1.5 tonnes for footways and similar works, and minimum 2.5 tonnes for car parks etc.  By using a heavier roller, this helps achieve maximum compaction with fewer passes, however on smaller areas a pedestrian roller may be used although it is vital that the surface is rolled sufficiently to achieve fullest compaction prior to water rolling, this may take a few more passes over the area.  The sub base should be laid with cross falls or cambers prior to the application of the Breedon Golden Amber surface course.

The Breedon Golden Amber gravel should be spread onto the prepared foundation using a flat board or the back of a rake.  Do not use the prongs of a rake as this may pull the coarse components of the gravel up to the surface. Spread the material out to a depth of approximately 75mm in order to achieve a finished compacted thickness of 50mm.

The surface must then be rolled using a roller of similar type to that used for compacting the foundation with the vibratory action of the roller switched on and the area should be continually rolled until fullest compaction is achieved. It is imperative that Breedon Gravel is laid to a cross fall or camber in order to shed surface water - it must NOT be laid flat.  To give some indication, an adequate fall would be 1 in 55 to 1 in 60 for a pathway and a minimum of 1 in 40 for larger areas such as car parks, courtyards etc.  The same gradient should apply when installing the Type 1 sub base. Please ensure that adequate drainage is installed in proportion to the surface area being laid. If rainfall is not dispelled rapidly this can lead to an ingress of surface water which will prevent the hardening and binding process of the Breedon Golden Amber Gravel.  After this initial laying to cambers and falls it is probable that occasional coarse areas will be evident where segregation of the Breedon gravel may have occurred.  At this point, fines can be sieved from the main heap of material and scattered onto these coarse areas before being re-rolled.

Once a uniform appearance has been achieved the second stage can be undertaken.  This is the water rolling of Breedon gravel for which the vibratory action of the roller must be switched off.

By using a water roller, water is automatically sprayed onto the drum of the roller.  The fundamental aim is to have a film of water covering the whole Breedon Gravel surface but in most instances the water tank on the roller may be insufficient for dispelling enough water onto the drum and additional water will be required, particularly in dry warm weather.  If any Breedon gravel is sticking to the drum of the roller, this indicates that there is insufficient water being applied and to rectify this, it is advisable that a hose is directed onto the drum of the roller as the material is rolled so that the drum is saturated and there is a flood of water where the drum meets the surface.  Never direct a hose directly onto the Breedon Golden Amber gravel itself as this will wash out the necessary fines which are required for the material to bind. The object of water rolling this material is to float sufficient fines to the top surface of the gravel to obtain a well-bonded finish.

If there are any lines or grooves in the gravel left by the weight of the roller, a soft wide broom can be used to gently pass over the surface whilst still wet – this will remove any lines and leave a perfect surface finish.

It is important that the area should then be allowed to dry out before being opened up to general use, the length of time to allow is dependant on weather conditions, but this can take up to 2 weeks or more. Please note that materials should never be laid in frozen conditions. 

Because Breedon gravel depends entirely on its own binding properties for its stability, it is not practical to lay Breedon gravel on steep slopes where the angle of fall is steeper than a 1 in 15 gradient.  Long continuous fall over sloping ground can be minimised by the formation of deep steps to reduce the risk of ruts occurring through the action of flowing storm water.

On completion, the appearance of Breedon Golden Amber gravel is a very smooth and uniform finish but over time with weathering and trafficking the surface will scarify, giving a light dressing of chippings on the surface whilst maintaining a solid base.  Should a lasting smooth appearance be required, the loose chippings can be swept from the surface using a soft broom. However, the surface will naturally scarify with use, therefore the sweeping process would need to be repeated when necessary.

Please visit our section on Maintenance for more information.

Individual requirements can be discussed in detail with our sales team.


When ordering your self-binding limestone please specifically ask for "Breedon Golden Amber Gravel" as some of our market competitors use the term "Golden Amber Gravel" to promote their alternative products which are not produced by Breedon Southern Ltd.


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