Understanding River Rock Cost for Landscaping

river rock cost

If you’re considering using river rocks for your landscaping project, it’s important to understand the cost factors involved. River rock is a popular choice among homeowners due to its natural beauty and low maintenance. But how much does it actually cost?

The cost of river rocks for landscaping can vary depending on several factors. These include the size of your project, the type of rock you choose, and whether you opt for professional installation. By understanding these factors, you can make informed decisions and budget accordingly.

The average cost for river rocks is between $60 and $170 per ton, with most homeowners paying between $365 and $1,500 for a river rock landscaping project. The national average cost is $655. However, keep in mind that these prices can vary based on your location and the specific details of your project.

In the next sections, we’ll dive deeper into the average costs of river rocks, the factors that can influence the cost, related services, and additional costs to consider. We’ll also explore the pros and cons of hiring professionals versus DIY installation, regional price differences, and the different types of river rocks available and their respective prices.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of river rock cost and be better equipped to make decisions for your landscaping project.

Average Costs of River Rocks

When planning a river rock landscaping project, it is important to take into account the average cost of river rocks to determine your budget. On average, river rocks can cost between $60 and $170 per ton or between $45 and $140 per cubic yard. The specific cost will depend on the size of your project and the amount of rocks needed.

For example, if you are looking to cover an area of 250 to 800 square feet, you will typically require 3 to 6 cubic yards of river rocks. Based on the average pricing, this can translate to a cost ranging from $145 for a smaller project to $2,375 for a larger area that needs to be covered.

It’s essential to use a cost estimator for river rocks to get a more accurate estimate for your specific project. This will help you plan your budget accordingly and avoid any unexpected expenses. By considering the average cost of river rocks and determining the amount you need, you can make informed decisions and ensure that your landscaping project stays within your desired budget.

Note: The image above illustrates the average cost of river rocks. It serves as a visual representation of the information discussed in this section.

Factors that Affect River Rock Cost

When determining the cost of river rocks for your landscaping project, it’s important to consider several factors that can influence the overall price. These factors include:

  • The type and size of rock chosen: Different types and sizes of river rocks can vary in price. Some varieties may be more expensive due to their rarity or unique features.
  • Labor costs for installation: If you choose to hire professionals for the installation, labor costs will be an additional expense to consider. The complexity of the project and the time required for installation can impact the overall cost.
  • Delivery fees: If you need the river rocks delivered to your location, there may be delivery fees associated with it. These fees can vary depending on the distance and quantity of rocks being delivered.
  • The location of the project: The cost of river rocks can also be influenced by the location of your project. Prices may vary depending on the local market conditions and availability of river rocks in your area.
  • Choice of rock variety: Homeowners looking for a more polished or unique look may opt for more expensive rock varieties, such as Mexican beach pebbles. These specialty rocks can add to the overall cost of your project.

By considering these factors, you can make informed decisions about your river rock landscaping project and budget accordingly.

To better understand how these factors affect river rock cost, refer to the table below:

Factors Influencing River Rock Cost Cost Factors for River Rocks Pricing Variables for River Rock Landscaping
Type and size of rock chosen Labor costs for installation Delivery fees
Location of the project Choice of rock variety

Related Services and Additional Costs

In addition to the cost of river rocks themselves, there are several related services and extras that homeowners should consider when planning their river rock landscaping projects. These additional costs can impact the overall budget and should be taken into account to ensure a successful and well-executed project.

Delivery Costs

When purchasing large decorative rocks for your landscaping project, delivery costs can be a significant factor to consider. The cost of delivery can range from $200 to $600, depending on the size and weight of the rocks and the distance to your location. Additionally, delivery costs per ton can range from $5 to $10, so it’s important to factor in these expenses when budgeting for your project.

Labor Costs

If you’re not planning on installing the river rocks yourself, you may need to hire professionals for the job. Labor costs for installation can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the location. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $40 and $90 per hour of work for professional installation services. These labor costs should be factored into your overall budget to ensure an accurate estimate of the total project cost.

Rock Removal Services

In some cases, homeowners may need to remove existing rocks or debris from their landscaping area before installing river rocks. Rock removal services can be an additional expense, as it may require specialized equipment and labor. The cost of rock removal services will depend on the size and scope of the project, so it’s important to obtain quotes from reputable contractors to determine the associated costs.

Landscaping Extras

In addition to river rocks, there are other landscaping materials that you may need to consider when planning your project. For example, weed-blocking fabric can help prevent weed growth and maintain the cleanliness of your landscaping area. Rubber edging can also be used to create defined borders and ensure the longevity of your river rock installation. The cost of these landscaping extras will vary depending on the size of your project and the specific materials chosen.

By factoring in these related services and additional costs, homeowners can ensure that their river rock landscaping project stays within budget and is completed to their satisfaction. Proper planning and budgeting will help you create a beautiful outdoor space that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your property.

Cost Comparison: Professional vs. DIY

When it comes to installing river rocks for landscaping, homeowners have two options to consider: hiring professionals or taking the DIY route. Each approach has its own pros and cons, and it’s essential to weigh them carefully to make an informed decision based on your needs and budget.

The Cost of Professional Installation

If you choose to hire professionals for the installation, you can expect to pay between $290 and $455 for a 100-square-foot area. This cost typically includes the necessary equipment and materials to complete the project effectively and efficiently. Professional installation ensures that the rocks are properly placed, adhering to the desired design and avoiding any potential issues that may arise during the process.

The DIY Approach

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, DIY installation can be a cost-effective alternative. On average, homeowners can expect to spend between $170 and $455 for a 100-square-foot area when handling the project themselves. By taking on the installation, you have the flexibility to work at your own pace and tailor the design to your liking.

However, it’s important to recognize that larger projects or those involving heavy materials may be better suited for professional installation. Safety is paramount, and professionals have the expertise and equipment to handle challenging tasks with ease, minimizing the risk of accidents or damage.

Before deciding on the approach, carefully consider the complexity of the project and your level of experience. If you’re confident in your abilities and have the necessary tools, tackling the installation yourself can result in cost savings. But if you’re unsure or dealing with a more extensive project, investing in professional installation could provide peace of mind and ensure a successful outcome.

By comparing the cost of professional installation to DIY, you can make an educated decision that aligns with your budget and preferences. Ultimately, the choice between hiring professionals or embracing a DIY approach depends on the scale of the project, your experience, and your comfort level in taking on the task.

Cost by Location

The cost of river rocks can vary depending on the location. Factors such as availability, transportation costs, and local market conditions can influence pricing. For example, areas with a higher demand for river rocks may have higher prices. It is recommended that homeowners consult with local suppliers and contractors to get more accurate pricing information for their specific location.

Types of River Rocks and their Prices

When it comes to landscaping with river rocks, there is a wide variety of options to choose from. Each type of river rock has its own unique characteristics and price range, allowing homeowners to find the perfect fit for their project. Here are some common types of river rocks and their corresponding prices:

Arizona River Rock: $70 – $150 per ton

Cherokee River Rock: $80 – $160 per ton

Colorado River Rock: $90 – $180 per ton

Delaware River Rock: $100 – $200 per ton

Flat River Rock: $80 – $170 per ton

Rainbow River Rock: $90 – $190 per ton

Salt and Pepper River Rock: $100 – $200 per ton

Tennessee River Rock: $110 – $220 per ton

White River Rock: $120 – $250 per ton

As you can see, prices can vary depending on the type of river rock chosen, with costs ranging from $70 to $250 per ton. It’s important to consider your preferences and budget when selecting the right type of river rock for your landscaping project.

river rock landscaping

How Much Does River Rock Cost for Pond Construction?

River rock for pond construction costs digging pond. The price varies based on the quantity needed and the size of the rocks. Generally, it can range from $100 to $800 per ton. It’s essential to consider the rock’s size and color when calculating the total cost for pond construction.


When it comes to landscaping projects, river rocks are a fantastic choice that offers both beauty and low maintenance. However, the cost of river rocks can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your project, the type of rocks you choose, and your location. By understanding these factors and making informed decisions, you can create stunning outdoor spaces without breaking the bank.

One way to save money is by opting for DIY installation. With average costs ranging from $170 to $455 for a 100-square-foot area, doing it yourself can be a cost-effective option. However, for larger projects or those involving heavy materials, it may be best to hire professionals for safety and proper installation.

When choosing river rocks, consider less expensive varieties to help keep costs down. There are numerous types available, such as Arizona, Rainbow, and Salt and Pepper. Each offers its own unique beauty and price range, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your budget and aesthetic preferences.

Overall, river rock landscaping provides a stunning and low-maintenance solution for any outdoor space. By considering the size of your project, the type of rock that best suits your vision, and the location, you can create a beautiful landscape that complements your home. With the right choices and careful planning, river rock landscaping can transform your outdoor area into a breathtaking oasis.

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