Gabion mattresses are ideal additions to gardens of any size for erosion control and stabilizing embankments. These structures can combine the best in natural beauty and advanced engineering to transform and protect a space in any area while promoting vegetation growth and proper drainage.
Read on for our guide on what gabion mattresses can do, the materials used, and where you can get the necessary supplies.
What is a Gabion Mattress?
A gabion mattress is a rectangular compartment traditionally filled with rocks, gravel, or other material that drains well. These structures feature compartmental baskets featuring a heavy gauge of galvanized wire with several coatings for unparalleled durability.
These coatings include a primer and fused PVC coating that allow this wire to last for many years despite the harsh conditions. The exact shape of each compartment and the overall structure will vary from one space to another, and these products are considered environmentally friendly.
A gabion mattress is also a useful addition in specific environments where you want to promote drainage without washing away valuable organic material. The materials used for a gabion mattress are flexible and maintain their structural integrity for a long-lasting effect.
Installing a gabion mattress is cost-effective as it does not require skilled labor, and the general structure is straightforward from a construction perspective. The installation includes standard equipment, which cuts down on costs, and there is a variety of prefilled options and filling materials to choose from in different price ranges.
Pricing can vary based on your location, but the mesh typically ranges from $0.50 to $2.00 per square meter for just the fencing. Pre-made compartments tend to range from $20-$200 depending on the square feet required.
These prices don’t traditionally include any filling materials, and for more precise quotes, you’ll want to determine your specific needs and request quotes from reputable suppliers.
A standard gabion mattress uses a hexagonal shaped mesh that uses a galvanized steel wire or zinc-aluminum alloy wire completed with specific coatings to prevent corrosion, rust, and wear from the filling material used.
Depending on what you want to fill your gabion mattress with, you can select from different wire gauges and lacing sizes to hold filling of different diameters better.
Filling Gabion Mattresses
Filling your gabion mattress doesn’t have to be boring, and you can choose from a variety of different colored rocks or stones in any size or shape that fits your needs and pair them with the gabion mesh you intend to use.
Decorative gravel and other stones fit nicely in the gabion mesh, and their natural look is considered an asset to any space. If you have budget concerns, it’s worth looking at different types of rock and mesh combinations to find a look that fits your aesthetic.
While most gabion mattresses use rocks as their primary filling, it’s not uncommon to see installations containing wood, wine bottles, pavers, bricks, and shells. These fillings may not endure as long as stone or rock, but they offer a different look that’s appealing in areas where the gabion mattresses are mostly for decoration.
It’s possible to buy gabion mattress supplies from online stores like Alibaba, where you can work directly with suppliers, but there are also other retailers to consider:
These options are just a few of the other companies specializing in gabion mattress supplies and additional erosion related materials.
Gabion mattresses are excellent options for erosion control and sustainable drainage. They can still have aesthetic appeal when the mesh and filling get coordinated to match the decor in your space.
While these structures are easy to install and don’t require skilled labor, their price can vary widely based on the material costs, the size of your project, and location.