What Is Crusher Dust, and What Is It Used For?
Whether you’re a builder, a landscaper, or an avid DIYer, crusher dust has a slew of handy uses. The compact, fine rock particle aggregate serves as a topsoil to improve water retention, a foundation for pavers and driveways, and a filler for fence posts and trenches, among numerous other things.
This post covers the essential crusher dust info to get you up to speed with this versatile material. We’ll also throw in some actionable tips on how to use it effectively at home.
What is Crusher Dust?
Crusher dust is a compact, fine rock particle aggregate that’s been excavated and refined in a quarry. While crusher dust boasts similar properties to gravel, they’re not one and the same. Crusher dust has been put through an artificial refinement process to crush—or break down—the larger chunks of rock. The result is a grey, finely ground powder or dust-like aggregate (hence the name).
Crusher dust goes by several other names, such as cracker dust, quarry sand, stone dust, stone screenings, or rock dust.
How is Crusher Dust Made?
Crusher dust doesn’t exist in the natural world.
Stone miners will extract suitable rocks from a quarry and then send them to a facility for refinement. The refinement process involves crushing the stones to create a fine powder-like material.
Some refiners may add limestone, clay, or cement to increase weight and facilitate compaction. Water may also be added to aid transportation and packaging.
Crusher dust is a byproduct of other extractive industries, which helps keep the price down.
What Is Crusher Dust Used For?
Crusher dust has a broad range of uses in the landscaping, road works, and construction industries. The material is suitable as a top dressing for any project that requires additional weight or enhanced water retention properties to prevent run-off during rainfall.
In the construction industry, a builder may use crusher dust as a base and sub-base. Due to its porous properties, the aggregate can improve drainage beneath patios and pavements. Some builders use crusher dust as a filler for fence posts, retaining walls, trenches, and underslabs.
Astroturf on sporting facilities like tennis courts and soccer fields may have crusher dust as a base layer to improve drainage. The same benefit applies to artificial turf in the backyard; crusher dust also adds extra weight to keep the strips in place.
Although not particularly common, crusher dust can be used as a drainage material for road works and backfilling trenches.
Landscapers use crusher dust under concrete pavers and around driveways. Farmers and gardeners sprinkle a thin layer to aerate the topsoil and facilitate rapid growth (much like a natural fertiliser). Crusher dust can be safely applied to grassy lawns and garden beds in small doses to enhance drainage and reduce water run-off.
If you’re planning on mixing concrete, it’s also possible to use crusher dust instead of sand.
How to Lay Crusher Dust?
Laying down crusher dust is a fairly straightforward task:
- Use a rake or push broom to spread the aggregate over the desired area evenly
- Ensure you fill the low-lying areas and don’t leave any section exposed
- Rake in the same direction as the topsoil (if present).
- Lightly wet the crusher dust to allow it to compact and prevent it from blowing away
- Avoid applying crusher dust on a windy day if possible
- Use a vibrating plate or smooth drum roller to compact the aggregate
Crusher Dust for Pavers
Installing paving stones directly on the ground leads to an uneven finish and ongoing heaving issues.
Crusher dust is a suitable material for levelling out an area before laying down paving slabs or stones. This process strengthens the pavers, allowing them to withstand heavy foot traffic over an extended period. Crusher dust also provides insulation against thermal contraction and expansion.
However, before laying crusher dust, ensure the area has been excavated and is free of any blue metal.
Crusher Dust for Driveways
Crusher dust makes an excellent foundation for driveways and car parks. In fact, the material is suitable for any area where you want minimal surface water without inhibiting vehicle access.
The affordable, easy-to-work-with aggregate creates a sturdy base for laying down concrete slabs or installing driveways.
Some driveway installers use crusher dust as a concrete aggregate to enhance the durability of their cement.
Crusher Dust for Drainage
Crusher dust is an ideal drainage solution due to its light, porous nature. Builders commonly use the material beneath patios and pavers to enhance water retention and reduce run-off.
In the construction industry, crusher dust comes in handy for backfilling trenches, allowing rainwater to run freely through the drainage system. It also works in landscaping projects as a filling medium for low-lying areas to prevent root rot and soggy soil.
Superior drainage properties also make crusher dust ideal for artificial lawns to stop rainwater pooling on the surface.
Crusher Dust vs Sand
Crusher dust is cheaper than sand, both in small packages and when purchased in bulk. As the material works well as a base for pavers, it’s an affordable and effective alternative to sand.
However, crusher dust can vary between batches, with some being far finer than others. A paver base that’s too fine might not remain compact during the paving process and could cause severe drainage issues.
Always check the label before purchasing to ensure your specific crusher dust is fit for purpose. Staff at your local hardware store may be able to provide additional advice.
Shop for Crusher Dust at Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscape Supplies
Conveniently located in the South Brisbane suburb of Tarragindi, Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscape Supplies is the go-to business for all your crusher dust needs.
We retain a large stockpile of high-quality crusher dust suitable for numerous purposes. Bulk buying power allows us to offer the material at an affordable price.
Thanks to our drive-through landscaping yard, you’ll be in and out in minutes with a big bag of crusher dust in your hands. Or, if you prefer, we can deliver the product anywhere in Brisbane from our off-site holding yard.
Not sure if crusher dust is the right solution?
Our friendly local team can advise on the ideal materials for your upcoming project. Boasting 50 years of industry experience, we’ve got the expertise to help you crush all your home and garden endeavours.