Stone Dust: What It Is, Uses, and Where to Buy It

Stone dust, also known as stone screenings or crushed granite, refers to finely crushed granite particles. It is a byproduct of crushing granite into smaller pieces and has many different practical applications.

What is Stone Dust?

Stone dust is the fine, sand-like particles left over after larger pieces of granite are crushed and broken down. It is typically composed of silica, quartz, mica, and feldspar minerals. The particle size ranges from a fine powder to grainy, coarse sand with particles under 1/8 inch (3 mm) in diameter.

Stone dust is created during quarrying and stone crushing processes. Quarried granite rock is first crushed down to smaller pieces. These pieces are further reduced to create stone dust. The type of crusher used also impacts particle size. The jaw crushers used early in the process produce larger pieces that are then fed into additional crushers and ground down further.

Different applications call for different particle sizes. For example, stone dust used between patio stones is generally coarser than material used for patching cracks in stone or concrete. The fineness of the dust also varies depending on how long it is crushed and ground.

Uses for Stone Dust

Stone dust has many different practical applications, both in construction and landscaping. Some of the main uses include:

As Base Material

  • Acts as a base and filler material for patios and walkways
  • Creates a firm base for setting posts or poles
  • Provides the first base layer for concrete slabs and foundation systems
  • Levels and fills holes, dips, and uneven surfaces prior to paving or building

For Paving

  • Fills joints between pavers, bricks, and stone slabs
  • Helps lock pavers in place to prevent shifting

In Place of Sand

  • Adds drainage and stability beneath above-ground pools
  • Replaces sand in playgrounds for drainage and cushioning
  • Creates walkable, permeable paths in gardens and yards

For Roads and Driveways

  • Layers of stone dust form the base for gravel driveways and roads
  • Binds gravel and provides cushioning for smoother driving surfaces
  • Allows water drainage and retention for rural roads and driveways

As Backfill Material

  • Fills in trenches for plumbing and electrical work
  • Surrounds underground fencing and posts for support
  • Backfills spaces around foundations and other structures

In Concrete and Cement

  • Acts as a fine aggregate when mixed into concrete
  • Extends cement mixtures for setting fence posts and poles
  • Helps concrete cure to a smooth, consistent finish

For Landscaping and Gardens

  • Creates natural, organic pathways through gardens
  • Covers and smothers weeds when used as mulch
  • Retains moisture for plants when mixed into garden beds
  • Allows excellent drainage for succulents and cacti

Where to Buy Stone Dust

There are many options for purchasing stone dust, both from local and online sources. Some of the best places to buy stone dust include:

Landscaping or Gravel Yards

Check local landscaping companies, gravel pits, stone yards, and quarries. Most that sell stone and gravel products will also stock stone dust. Look for landscaping supply stores that cater to both homeowners and contractors.

Hardware Stores

Many home improvement stores sell bags of stone dust alongside other landscaping materials. The selection may be limited compared to a landscape supply yard. However, hardware stores offer convenience for smaller projects.

Online Distributors

For bulk deliveries, consider purchasing stone dust from a national aggregate supplier and having it delivered. Online sellers like Braen Supply offer stone dust by the ton or cubic yard. Delivery minimums, costs, and lead times vary.

Crushed Granite Companies

Companies that produce crushed granite for construction aggregate also sell dust as a byproduct. Check for local crushed stone providers who can deliver stone dust in bulk.

Construction Sites

It’s sometimes possible to pick up stone dust for free from construction, quarrying, or industrial sites that produce granite debris as a byproduct. Call local sites to ask if they have dust available.

When purchasing stone dust, consider factors like:

  • Particle size – fine, medium, or coarse
  • Quantity required – in bags or bulk measure
  • Delivery fees and lead times
  • Availability of specific types like crushed granite or limestone

With many practical uses and outlets for buying, stone dust is readily available for completing residential and commercial projects. Discovering where to obtain it locally is key to leveraging this versatile product.

Uses of Stone Dust In Detail

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore the specific uses and applications of stone dust in more depth. Understanding the benefits and best practices for each application will help ensure optimal results on your next project.

Using Stone Dust for Patio Installation

One of the most popular uses for stone dust is during the installation of patios and walkways made of brick, concrete pavers, natural stone, or other materials. Here are some best practices for using stone dust in patio and walkway bases:

  • Dig out the area to the proper depth – usually 4-6 inches. This allows space for both the stone dust base and the patio surface materials.
  • Fill 2-3 inches of the excavated area with coarse stone dust. Compact the layer using a hand tamper or plate compactor.
  • Add 1-2 inches of finer stone dust on top. Screed the second layer smooth and level.
  • Stone dust provides excellent drainage beneath the patio surface. This prevents pooling of water that can damage the patio over time.
  • The dust seals and hardens when compacted. This creates a firm base that locks pavers in place.
  • Low-moisture stone dust prevents later weed growth up between patio stones or blocks.

Using stone dust beneath patios makes for a smooth, level surface that drains well and resists shifting. This helps create a durable patio area.

Using Stone Dust in Concrete

Another option is to mix stone dust into concrete as an aggregate. This helps reduce cost and improve certain properties. Here are some tips:

  • Use a ratio of 1 part stone dust to 2.5 parts cement. For example, mix 2 shovels of dust with 5 shovels of cement.
  • Add roughly 4 parts aggregate to this. Aggregate can be gravel, sand, or additional stone dust.
  • The stone dust fills voids and helps the concrete cure into a solid, cohesive mixture.
  • Testing shows concrete with added stone dust has increased strength and lower permeability. The dust particles help fill gaps.
  • Stone dust concrete has enhanced workability. The fine aggregate makes wet concrete more malleable and easier to pour or spread.

Using no more than 20-25% stone dust allows taking advantage of these concrete benefits cost-effectively. Too much dust can start reducing the strength. Test mixes first to find ideal proportions.

Using Stone Dust for Garden Pathways

Stone dust also makes an attractive, natural-looking mulch or pathway material. Here is how to incorporate stone dust into gardens:

  • Spread 1-2 inches of medium or coarse stone dust where you want a pathway or mulched area.
  • For gardens, mix stone dust 1 part to 3 parts soil when filling planting beds. This improves drainage.
  • Compact the dust lightly using a plate compactor. Don’t over compact gardens or the soil structure may suffer.
  • The angular shape of stone dust creates excellent drainage and permeability. This is great for succulents and cacti.
  • Unlike bark mulch, stone dust resists breaking down and has a permanent, fresh look. No ongoing mulch maintenance needed!
  • Weed seeds have difficulty penetrating the compressed dust. It effectively hinders weed growth.

With proper use, stone dust adds aesthetic appeal to gardens while controlling weeds and excess moisture. Homeowners may prefer it over standard bark chips.

Using Stone Dust for Pool Installation

Stone dust serves as an ideal substrate for above-ground pools. Here are tips for using it during pool construction and installation:

  • Excavate the pool site 4-6 inches deep. Remove any organic matter or debris.
  • Fill the excavated area with 2-3 inches of coarse stone dust. Compact it thoroughly.
  • Top with a 1-2 inch layer of finer stone dust. Level it off completely.
  • The angular, interlocking properties of the dust provide shear strength and stability beneath the pool.
  • Proper compaction prevents the pool structure or liner from settling or twisting over time.
  • The stone dust base allows water drainage, preventing puddling beneath the pool.
  • The permanent drainage helps prevent pool movement by resisting soil expansion and contraction.

For best results, test stone dust for optimal moisture content and particle size. This creates an ideal base for anchoring above-ground pools securely into the surrounding landscape.

Using Stone Dust for Road Construction

Due to its strength, permeability, and abrasion resistance, stone dust serves as an key component of gravel road surfaces. Here are some best practices for using dust in gravel road construction:

  • Use angular crushed stone mixed with low amounts of fines and dust. Too much dust reduces road strength.
  • Ideal dust content ranges from 5-20%. Test samples to find the optimal percentage.
  • Maintain proper moisture during road construction. Both too dry and too wet reduces compaction.
  • Compact layers in 6-8 inch lifts. Use heavy vibratory rollers for maximum densification.
  • The stone dust fills voids between larger gravel pieces, binding the road surface together.
  • Some dust helps prevent loose gravel and potholes. Too much causes roads to rut and wash out.
  • Dust content improves cohesion. Roads resist deforming better under loading.
  • Consider adding fresh stone dust after years of use. This renews binding and fills ruts.

Proper stone dust content creates stable, weather-resistant gravel road surfaces suitable for vehicle traffic loading.

Using Stone Dust for Livestock Areas

In agricultural settings, stone dust offers benefits for constructing livestock holding and handling facilities:

  • Spread 4-6 inches of stone dust in pens, paddocks, and stalls. This creates a natural surface.
  • The angular dust provides hoof traction for livestock, reducing falls and injuries.
  • Stone dust pens resist erosion from animal traffic. Mud is minimized.
  • The loose dust absorbs livestock urine, reducing excess moisture and odors.
  • Drainage is improved, creating drier and healthier conditions.
  • Stone dust resists compaction compared to bare dirt in high animal traffic areas.
  • Layers of dust need occasional refreshing as the material settles.

Stone dust improves footing and drainage in livestock facilities. The reduced mud and dust benefits animal health. Proper maintenance retains these advantages over time.

Using Stone Dust for Fill

Need an all-purpose fill material? Stone dust is a candidate:

  • Its angular particles efficiently lock together when compacted, resisting erosion compared to sand or soil fill.
  • Stone dust is non-organic. It won’t decompose or shrink like other fill materials.
  • The fine gradation allows using dust as backfill in trenches for utilities, pipelines, fencing, and other applications.
  • Compacted stone dust provides excellent structural support as general landscape fill and for around foundations or retaining walls.
  • Drainage and permeability are enhanced compared to finer clay or silt soils used as fill.
  • Availability of local stone dust keeps transport costs down versus other imported fill options.
  • Contractors often have stone dust on hand or readily available, making construction projects faster and simpler.

The right characteristics and wide availability make stone dust a versatile, cost-effective bulk fill option.

Using Stone Dust for Horse Areas

Stone dust can also be used to enhance horse stall, aisle, and arena footing:

  • Spread 2-4 inches of dust over the entire area and till it in if possible.
  • Angular particles provide cushioning and resist compaction from hoof impacts. Maintenance may be needed 1-2 times per year.
  • The dust layer improves drainage compared to packed dirt surfaces. These dry out faster after rain.
  • Proper moisture helps control dust while maintaining shear strength for ample hoof traction.
  • Avoid over-watering arenas and stalls as excess moisture weakens the stone dust composition.
  • Refreshing worn areas with additional dust helps restore safe, consistent footing properties.

With proper installation and maintenance, stone dust provides the ideal natural footing for equine facilities.

Where to Buy Stone Dust

After learning about the varied benefits, you may be wondering where you can get stone dust for your own projects. Here are some options to consider when sourcing and purchasing stone dust.


  • Quarries are an obvious primary source, since stone dust is produced as a direct byproduct of their crushing operations.
  • Many quarries sell dust in bulk quantities or by the ton. You may be able to fill trucks on-site, have it delivered in a dump truck, or fill your own containers.
  • Pricing is typically very affordable since dust is a leftover material for them to handle anyway. Delivery fees will be highest for small purchases.
  • Quarry materials like screenings tend to be more angular and freshly crushed. You may also find non-granite options like limestone.

Landscape Yards

  • Check local landscape supply companies that sell bulk orders of gravel, mulch, soils, etc. Many will stock stone dust as well.
  • Packaged products in 1/2 cubic foot bags up to 1 ton bulk sacks are common. Prices per pound are higher than quarry direct.
  • Staff can assist with product selection since they cater to landscapers and contractors daily. You can see and feel samples before purchasing.
  • Landscape yards screen and sort their aggregates carefully. You avoid contaminants sometimes found at quarries and industrial sites.

Hardware Stores

  • Hardware stores sell stone dust in small quantities, typically in bags under 1 cubic foot.
  • The selection is limited but provides small project amounts. No bulk deliveries or purchasing by the ton.
  • Prices per pound are inflated compared to quarries or landscape yards. However, stores offer convenience if you just need a little.
  • Look for stone dust alongside masonry supplies and landscaping products. Sometimes labeled as stonescreenings or crushed granite.

Gravel Suppliers

  • Companies selling aggregate for concrete, asphalt, construction, etc also have stone dust on hand as a byproduct.
  • Like quarries, gravel operations can fill large orders for bulk delivery or on-site loading at their facility.
  • Quality and particle size varies. Some gravel supplier screenings are more crushed and consistent than quarry dust.
  • You can often find recycled or leftover stone dust for an affordable price, saving it from the landfill.

Online Distributors

  • Websites offer stone dust ordering and delivery with national reach beyond just local quarries and companies.
  • Online purchases often start around 1-2 tons delivered. Prices are driven by transport distance to your location.
  • Material quality and characteristics can be researched before purchasing. However, you need to trust descriptions and photos.
  • Delivery times can be slow – up to several weeks. Plan around lead times for your project schedule.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Stone Dust

To choose the optimal stone dust source and products, keep these key factors in mind:

Particle size – Do you need a coarse 1/4″ road base material or a finely screened 1/32″ dust? Suppliers generally offer a range of grades. Consider how the stone dust will be used.

Quantity – Purchase bulk truckloads direct from the source for large projects. Bagged volumes under 1-2 tons are pricier per pound but sufficient for small jobs. Factor in any delivery or rental fees.

Composition – Most stone dust is granite-based, but other crushed rock types are sometimes available like limestone or trap rock. They have varying performance properties.

Angularity – Look at the particle shape under a magnifying glass. Stone dust with highly angular particles provides better interlocking and drainage than rounded particles.

Moisture content – Avoid dust that is too dry and dusty or too damp and clumped. Look for the right moisture level for good handling and compaction.

Contaminants – Screened stone dust should be relatively pure crushed stone. Inspect samples for organic matter, trash, silty fines, etc. that impact performance.

Availability – Is stone dust readily available in your region or will getting it involve shipping over long distances? This greatly impacts the pricing. Local quarries are ideal.

Considering these factors will help you dial in the optimal stone dust product for your particular needs. Test small samples when possible before purchasing bulk volumes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stone Dust

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about stone dust to expand your knowledge:

Is stone dust the same as rock dust or granite dust?

Yes, these terms refer to the same material. Stone dust, rock dust, and granite dust all mean finely crushed rock particles. Most often, this is granite since it is a common type used in construction and quarrying. However, stone dust can also refer to limestone, dolomite, or other crushed rock material.

Is stone dust good for drainage?

Yes, stone dust provides excellent drainage properties due to its angular crushed shape, hardness, and absence of organic materials. It maintains its strong and stable structure when compacted. Drainage prevents build up of excess moisture that could damage or erode the surface above the stone dust.

Is stone dust good for weed control?

Yes, stone dust inhibits weed growth in several ways. Its compacted, dense structure leaves no room for weeds to take root. The angular particles don’t break down over time like bark mulch. Stone dust also drains very well, depriving potential weeds of needed moisture. Heavy compaction is important to maximize these anti-weed benefits.

Can you compact stone dust?

Yes, stone dust should always be compacted to achieve its best structural strength and interlocking properties. Use a hand tamper, plate compactor or roller. Optimal moisture content during compaction ranges from 5-15% depending on the stone dust particle size. Compaction also minimizes