A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Aggregates and Their Uses in Construction

  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: October 11, 2023
  • Updated On: October 11, 2023

Aggregates are an important component of a construction project. They’ve been used for centuries in the construction industry.

Aggregates have been and are still essential components of asphalt and concrete and are common in heavy-duty projects, including foundations for commercial and residential buildings and layers for roads. Also, they are widely used for DIY and domestic projects.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re after a decorative finish or feature in your driveway or garden; loose or bulk bagged aggregates are an inexpensive option that is really easy to work with.

Aggregates help reduce the time you spend on the upkeep of your property. You’ll be able to achieve that if you use an accurate gravel calculator to get the right amount during construction. Also, the equipment and expertise you use are important. They ensure you create strong, durable, and easy-to-maintain structures.

Aggregates are available in various textures and grindings, with different moisture content and varying other characteristics that determine where construction experts use them. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular aggregate types and their uses so that you can make an informed choice for your next project.

Table of Contents


Gravel is a coarse aggregate. It consists of angular or rounded fragments of rocks or stones. Gravel is commonly used in drainage systems, the construction of roads, the production of concrete, and as part of strong foundations. Gravel is available in various sizes, based on the particle size, including:

  • 20mm
  • 10mm
  • 5mm and more.


Sand is the most widely used aggregate type. It’s a versatile resource mined and used in a range of applications. Sand has numerous uses, including:

  • Filling excavations and trenches
  • A base for roads
  • Aggregate in cement
  • To make glass

It’s also used for filtration and abrasive needs. In building and construction, sand is used in concrete, plaster, stucco, and mortar production. It’s also an important part of most outdoor projects, ranging from septic systems to landscaping.

In its basic form, sand consists of equal measures of oxygen and silicon as well as smaller amounts of other components like:

  • Zinc
  • Nickel
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Magnesium
  • Chromium

Crushed Stone

The crushed stone consists of stone and stone dust particles. To obtain this aggregate, stones or rocks are crushed using machines. Crushed stone is usually graded and used in different constructions, including building foundations and road surfacing. The most common types are:

  • Slate
  • Basalt
  • Granite
  • Limestone
  • Sandstone

Crushed stone is also used for railway and drainage ballast and as aggregates in mortar, concrete, and plaster. Additional aggregates are tailings, processed stone, rock, and fluidized sand.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.