How to Figure the Coverage Area of Cubic Yards

Gravel, Sand, Crushed Rock, Mulch etc.



Coverage Area Calculator
Cubic Yards of Material  
Depth of Fill (Inches)  

Bulk materials such as sand, gravel, mulch, and crushed limestone are sold by volume in cubic yards rather than by area in square feet or square yards. Square footage is a more useful way to quantify materials spread over an area, however, one cubic yard of gravel can cover different sized areas depending on how thickly you lay it.

If you know the cubic yardage of your material and the fill depth, then you can calculate the coverage with simple arithmetic. You can also use the calculator on the left.

The Formula:

If you have C cubic yards of sand, crushed rock, or soil and you are filling an area to a depth of D inches, then the square feet of coverage is 324C/D. This formula is derived from the conversions between inches and yards and between inches and feet.


Example: You plan to fill a driveway with 4.5 cubic yards of gravel. How much area can you cover if you spread the gravel 2 inches deep? 3 inches deep?

If you spread the gravel 2 inches deep, you can cover 324(4.5)/2 = 729 square feet. If you spread the material 3 inches deep, the coverage is only 324(4.5)/3 = 486 square feet.

Knowing the just area of coverage won't tell you the dimensions of the space since several shapes can have the same area. Consider a 24 x 24 square, a 32 x 18 rectangle, and a circle with a diameter of 27.081. Each of these shapes has an area of 576.

© Had2Know 2010

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