Gravel can be a surprisingly good patio material. It's easy to put into place. When it becomes compacted, you can add some more to the area. And in comparison to other patio materials, gravel tends to be quite affordable. However, gravel is not a monolith. There are many types of gravel on the market, but a few of them are better-suited to patio-making than others.
Granite is a common material used to make stone pavers and counters. As these items are made, a lot of chunks and pieces of granite are produced. You can buy these pieces and chunks as granite gravel. Most granite gravel comes with stones in an assortment of colors. Some may have a pink hue, while others may look blue or blue-gray. There will be lots of grains and swirls running through the rocks, as this is typical of granite. While granite gravel tends to cost more than other types of gravel, it is still quite affordable in comparison to non-gravel tile materials. It looks flashy and really makes a sharp statement.
If you want more of a rustic look, you may want to consider using lava rock for your patio. Lava rock gravel tends to contain a lot of smaller pieces, since the larger chunks are typically set aside for use in landscaping. Lava rock can be either rust-colored or blackish in color, so you can choose based on your preferences. Since these rocks are pretty smooth, you can comfortably walk over them barefoot. Lava rock is also pretty lightweight in comparison to other rocks, so you can more easily move it and create the patio are yourself, if desired.
Quartzite is an aggregate rock that has a variegated look with lots of veins running through it. This gravel also has lots of sparkly sheen. Most quartzite is pretty round and smooth, which really sets it apart from granite, which tends to be sharp and angular. Quartzite can be purchased in an array of colors, from pink to brownish. The pieces tend to be small, so they compact over time, leading to a firmer patio surface. This makes quartzite a good choice if you plan on setting up a lot of furniture on your patio.
Creating a patio out of rock is pretty simple! Consider the gravel options above, and reach out to a stone company if you need more advice regarding patio rock material.