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Are You Looking for More Direction or Still Left with Lingering Questions?

We do our best to keep an accurate and running list of some of the most commonly asked questions and answers here so our customers can have the most knowledge and confidence as possible when it comes to their landscaping projects. Of course, if you don’t find an answer to your question, or when you’re ready to begin, call or visit our location in Plymouth, MI.


What does a cubic yard look like?

A yard is about 5 wheelbarrows.  3’ x 3’ x 3’

Coverage of cubic yard?

A “yard” covers approximately 100 square feet at 2-3” thick.

What is a ton of product in volume?

A ton of aggregate in most instances is about ¾ of a cubic yard. About 4 wheelbarrows.

Does Rock Shoppe install products?

No, we can, however, recommend some contractors on file.  This is a free referral and no guarantee or endorsement of job installation is implied.

What is the return policy?

At Rock Shoppe we strive to best accommodate our customers and fully understand at times a return may be necessary. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, you may return it within 30 days to receive store credit. Please note: Returns are based on our discretion and are subject to a minimum 25% restocking fee.

Final sales: All bulk materials such as sand, gravel, mulch, soil, flagstone, boulders, sale items, special orders, natural sawn veneer, specialty cut stones, and water gardening products that have been used or submerged. Please refer to Rock Shoppe’s policies & invoice agreement.


Does Rock Shoppe deliver products?

Rock Shoppe offers full-delivery service on all the products we sell. We have a 1 yard/ton minimum delivery.

Capacity of dump trucks?

Dump trucks:  1 yard of mulch up to 25 yards mulch.

Approximately 6.5 yards gravels/aggregates = 8 tons.  8 yards/tons of topsoil & soils

Tractor/Train Truck:   28 tons to 48 tons

Material capacity of the flatbed?

Tractor Trailer: 32 pallets of materials approximately 40 tons of products

How wide are your trucks?

8’ – 12’ wide trucks.

Can you bring bagged material with flatbed or dump truck delivery?

Yes, if possible, our super sak bags are approximately 1 yard of product which equals 1.25 tons.  Also, available, for a “hand unload” fee, we will bring other things as well. 

Can two bulk products be delivered at same time?

No, they will completely mix together during transport & dumping.  We could, however, deliver larger boulders with soils or mulches.

Can I get materials delivered to my backyard?

Rock Shoppe’s delivery service is considered curbside. Truck weights range from 18,000 to 80,000 pounds plus. Damage to concrete curbs, sidewalks, asphalt, driveways or other objects may occur. Rock Shoppe is not responsible for any damages that occur during delivery. Our disclaimer must be signed authorizing our truck to leave the street. If you sign the disclaimer and instruct our drivers to leave the street and the vehicle becomes stuck, you are responsible for any tow or wrecker service charges that are incurred. Drivers cannot determine whether the truck will cause surface damage to a yard, driveway, sidewalk, curb and other objects. It will be the customer’s responsibility to make the decision. It will be up to the driver to decide if the placement of the material can be done in a safe manner.  Deliveries onto unpaved surfaced areas after a rain are not permitted. Please reschedule when conditions are totally dry. We will not deliver/ dump products in the street.

Delivery Processes & Guidelines

  • Dump Deliveries: Max Load- 8 yards of soil, 8 tons of gravel/sand =6.5 Yards approx. 
  • 25 yards of mulch
  • Local deliveries start at $50.00
  • Extra charges for less than 4 tons/yards for delivery.
  • Forklift Deliveries start at $120.00
  • No dumping or placing of products in street is allowed.  It is a violation of all city ordinances.
  • We want to make sure your delivery is made without any hassles for you or your contractor. Be sure to check out our delivery pricing and the following information about our deliveries:
  • There is a 1 yard/ton minimum for dump deliveries – one ton of palletized stone for flatbed trucks.
  • Bulk materials including soil, mulch, sand, gravel, and bulk river rock can be delivered in our dump trucks.
  • Most other material including palletized stone is delivered on a flatbed delivery truck. This truck can carry up to 32 pallets max and includes a forklift to place material close to the job site. The forklift needs 9’ width for placement.
  • Bulk sand and gravel can be packaged in one of our super sack bulk material bags which holds 1 ¼ yard of product, so it can be delivered on the same truck with your palletized stone without an additional delivery fee. Bag charges apply. 
  • We will attempt to get the material as close to the job site as possible; however, off-driveway deliveries are at the discretion of the delivery driver and a waiver will be required.  It is up to the driver’s discretion.  For any reason, the driver does not want to dump the material where the customer requests, the delivery pricing still pertains. 
  • Delivery times are estimated and subject to change. We’re dedicated to doing our best to get your material delivered in a timely and professional manner. However, we cannot control delays due to weather, traffic and other circumstances that may arise.
  • Due to variations in natural stone, Rock Shoppe requires that orders for natural stone products be placed in person. That’s how we ensure you receive exactly the stone you want – no surprises!


How thick of a base is required for patios? Driveways?

Generally, 4” to 6” of base is required for foot traffic (patios, walkways, etc.) and 10” to 12” is needed for driveways and other applications for vehicle use. Exactly how much a particular project will require will depend on use, as well as site and soil conditions. The sand setting bed should be 1” thick.

How important is base?

It’s just like that song, “It’s all about that base!”

An appropriate base is needed for both retaining wall and paver applications. It provides a sound structural foundation to bear the weight of the project while resisting moisture and the effects of movement from the freeze-thaw cycles.

Can sand be used as a base instead of an aggregate?

We usually recommend decomposed granite instead of sand. For some small decorative walls (planters, garden walls), a thin layer of decomposed granite may be sufficient.

Do I need drain rock, drain tile or fabric behind my retaining wall?

In some small garden or planter walls, drain rock will not be needed. Otherwise, a drainfield of ¾” aggregate will be needed. The size and location of the drainfield,as well as the location of geotextile fabric, if used, will vary from project to project. Generally, you’ll want to avoid using fabric behind the wall. Consult a Rock Shoppe representative with regard to the particulars of a specific project site.

How tall can I build a wall?

There appears to be no limit on the height of walls that can be built using segmental retaining wall systems provided that the wall is properly designed and constructed with appropriate soil reinforcement materials. Requirements and construction technique will vary with height and site soil conditions.  Rock Shoppe representatives are available to review the specifics of a given project.

Do I need to seal pavers?

Sealing pavers is not required, but sealed pavers do offer some advantages. Sealing helps resist stains and enhances the color of the paver. Sealers however are topical products and must be reapplied regularly – generally every 3 – 5 years.

Can pavers be glued over concrete?

Pavers may be glued over existing concrete using a special adhesive known as paver bond. Avoid gluing pavers in ground level applications such as driveways, walks or patios as the existing concrete may not be sufficient quality. Also, gluing in these situations nullifies the ability of the paver surface to adjust with movement during the freeze-thaw cycle. Pavers are most successfully glued in applications using retaining wall units such as stairways and elevated patios. Genuine paver bond should be used as an ordinary construction adhesive will not provide a strong, yet flexible bond.

At what temperature can concrete adhesive be used?

Concrete adhesive should be used above freezing temperature. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before the application.

Is it required to use landscape fabric before installing a dry creek bed?

Yes. Landscape fabric helps control erosion. It is also encouraged for patios, mulched areas and walkways.

What is the difference between manufactured stone veneer and natural stone?

Manufactured stone is made from a lightweight concrete material, whereas natural stone comes from Mother Nature. Manufactured stone is easier to match to an existing area of your home as well as help with any weight concerns.  Also, due to the fact that it comes out of the ground, we cannot control color and sometimes size or shape However, the beauty and character that you will find in a natural stone is unlike any other.  

What does "veneer" mean?

Veneer is simply a style of laying rock onto a flat surface. You do not “veneer” a patio, you “veneer” a wall.

What is the difference between stacking and veneering stone?

The difference between stacked stone and veneered stone is simply the way it is applied. A stacked stone, will be stacked on top of each other to create a wall or to be adhered to a wall with mortar to give a “stacked” look. With a veneer stone, plate size pieces are adhered to a surface with the face of the stone showing rather than the side. Therefore, you will get a larger coverage area with a veneer stone when compared to a stack stone. 

What thickness flagstone should I use for my flagstone patio or walkway?

The thickness will vary based on the application of your flagstone area. A dry-set patio on occasion will require a thick flagstone or standard thickness. To help you determine the best thickness for the job, contact a Rock Shoppe sales associate.

Can I install a mortared patio without a concrete base?

Yes, it is possible but not encouraged due to the cracking that will occur.

How do I calculate how much base material I need for my flagstone patio?

Base materials are one of the steps in installing a flagstone patio that you do not want to overlook or skimp. It is highly recommended that you install 3-4″ of Crushed Stone Base and 1″ of Decomposed Granite per square foot before laying down any flagstone. Make sure that when installing the crushed stone base, you tamp/compact after every 2″.

How long do I need to wait before I seal my stone or pavers?

After installing concrete pavers or stone, you should wait 6-9 months before sealing them. The reason is to allow the concrete to fully cure. Over that period of time the efflorescence (salts) found in the concrete will rise to the surface creating a white haze on top of the paver. Waiting the 6-9 months will ensure that all of the efflorescence rises so that you are not sealing it into the paver.

Before sealing your paver patio or stone patio, be sure to thoroughly clean it. For pavers, you will need to use an efflorescence cleaner and for natural stone a good hardscape cleaner will do. For more information on sealing your hardscape, or to purchase a sealing or cleaning product, contact us.

What is the difference between a pre-mixed mortar and a standard mortar?

A pre-mixed mortar comes with sand already mixed in and you simply add water. A standard mortar requires sand to be added. Typically, with a standard mortar, you will need to add about 300 lbs. per bag.

How do I calculate how much mulch I need?

The best way to calculate the amount of mulch you will need to cover a specific area is to multiply the length by the width and divide that number by the coverage of that material. For example, one yard of mulch covers 100 sq. ft. at 3″ thick. Therefore, if you have a 450 sq. ft. area, you will need 4.5 yards to cover it at a depth of 3″ thick.  We sell mulch by one-yard increments only.

Will rain wash the dye off of my mulch?

Yes.  You should place a tarp on the driveway the day of delivery just in case it rains so not to stain your drive.

What is the best mulch for a playground? What does "Playsafe Certified" mean?

Playsafe Certified mulch is the best choice for a playground. It is put through a special process that allows for absorption of weight when a child falls on it and will not splinter. By far, the best choice of mulch you can make for your children when it comes to their safety.  Rock Shoppe does not carry this product. Another idea for playgrounds could be pea gravel 1 – 2 ft thickness.

My pond has algae. What is the best and safest way to get rid of it?

There are many fish safe products that will remove and prevent algae growth. Since every pond is different, there may be one particular algae removal product that is better than another for your pond.  Sometimes the simplest thing to do is to stop feeding your fish. For more information and assistance in selecting the best product contact a Rock Shoppe associate.

How do I choose the right pump for my pond or water feature?

In order to find the best pump, you will need to have your TDH calculation. 
What is TDH (Total Dynamic Head) and how do I calculate it?
TDH is the total height that water will need to be elevated along with the loss of pressure due to water flowing through pipes and fittings. We recommend using this TDH calculator.