Gravel boards are an essential component of garden landscaping, offering both functional benefits and aesthetic appeal. They are primarily used in conjunction with fencing to provide an extra layer of protection against dampness and rot, ensuring that your wooden fence panels last longer. Furthermore, gravel boards can also help to prevent soil erosion and keep pests at bay. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about gravel boards, including their types, benefits, installation tips, and maintenance, to help you make an informed decision for your garden.

What are Gravel Boards?

Gravel boards are horizontal boards placed beneath fence panels or alongside garden walls. They act as a protective barrier, preventing direct contact between the damp or wet ground and the fence panel. Traditionally made from concrete or wood, gravel boards today are available in a variety of materials, each offering different benefits.

Types of Gravel Boards

Concrete Gravel Boards

Concrete gravel boards are renowned for their longevity and robustness. They are highly resistant to damp and rot, making them an ideal choice for wet climates. Their weight and sturdiness also provide additional stability to fence panels.

Wooden Gravel Boards

Wooden gravel boards offer a natural look, blending seamlessly with wooden fence panels. They are typically treated with preservatives to resist moisture and decay. However, they may not be as durable as concrete gravel boards and might require more frequent replacement.

Composite Gravel Boards

Composite gravel boards are made from a mixture of wood and plastic, combining the natural appearance of wood with the durability of synthetic materials. They are resistant to rot, damp, and pests, requiring minimal maintenance.

Benefits of Gravel Boards

  • Protection: The primary function of gravel boards is to protect wooden fence panels from ground moisture, significantly extending their lifespan.
  • Appearance: Gravel boards can enhance the overall look of your garden by providing a clean and tidy finish to fence lines.
  • Prevention: By acting as a barrier, gravel boards can help prevent soil erosion and deter pests from burrowing into your garden.

How to Install Gravel Boards

Installation of gravel boards can vary depending on their material and the type of fencing system you have. Here is a general overview:

  1. Measure: Determine the length of the area where you plan to install the gravel boards to know how many boards you need.
  2. Prepare: Dig a trench approximately 150mm deep along the fence line where the gravel boards will be installed.
  3. Position: For concrete posts, gravel boards are slotted into the grooves at the base. If using wooden posts, gravel boards may need to be screwed or nailed into place.
  4. Secure: Ensure that the gravel boards are level and securely positioned. For concrete gravel boards, you may need to backfill the trench with concrete for added stability.


  • Concrete Gravel Boards: Require little maintenance, though occasional cleaning may be necessary to remove dirt and algae.
  • Wooden Gravel Boards: Should be checked periodically for signs of rot or damage and may need to be treated with wood preservative annually.
  • Composite Gravel Boards: Require minimal maintenance, similar to concrete, but without the risk of cracking.


Gravel boards are a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to improve the longevity and appearance of their garden fencing. Whether you opt for concrete, wooden, or composite gravel boards, the key is to choose a material that best suits your climate, budget, and aesthetic preferences. With the right gravel boards, you can protect your fence panels from dampness and decay, enhance the look of your garden, and enjoy a secure and beautiful boundary for years to come.