Are you confused about what type of sand to use for your paver project?
So were we! But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll tackle all of the questions you may have about sand for paver joints.
Making the right decision when it comes to sand can seem daunting, but it’s important in order to keep your paver project looking great for years to come. We want to make sure you have all the information you need so that you can choose the best sand for your needs.
Let take a look…
- 1 The Importance of Joint Sand in Paver Construction Projects
- 2 The Many Kinds of Sand for Paver Joints
- 3 Is It Really Worth Using Polymeric Sand?
- 4 Is It Possible To Refill Normal Sand With Polymeric Sand?
- 5 FAQs
- 5.1 Can I Use Regular Sand Between Pavers?
- 5.2 How Do I Remove Polymeric Sand From Pavers?
- 5.3 Is Kiln-Dried Sand Better Than Regular Sand?
- 5.4 Is screed sand the same as kiln-dried sand?
- 5.5 How often should I refill my paver joints?
- 5.6 What is the best way to compact sand?
- 5.7 Can I use polymeric sand on gravel?
The Importance of Joint Sand in Paver Construction Projects
A lot of people get confused when they start looking into what sand to use for the paving projects because there are two applications: Bedding and Joining.
Bedding sand is used to create a bed for the pavers to sit in and joining sand is used to fill the joints between the pavers once they’re laid.
The sand is collected, cleaned, and refined until it is often trucked or sold in bags. It has very little organic matter, no big rocks or extra trash, and is intended to be a dry landscaping material.
A level surface is important for any type of landscaping. It provides stability for the plants and other features you might be adding. It also helps with drainage and keeps water from pooling in one area.
That’s where bedding sand comes in.
Bedding sand is used as a base for pavers. It’s also used to level out an area before you add mulch or stone. The sand provides a stable surface for the pavers and helps with drainage.
For most domestic projects, such as patios and driveways, you’ll usually only need jointing sand. This is because the weight of the pavers will keep them in place and the joints help to stop any movement.
However, for commercial projects or areas that are subject to a lot of traffic, such as public parks or car parks, you will need to use both jointing and bedding sand. This is because the pavers will need extra support to stay in place and the joints will help to prevent any movement or shifting.
The most important thing to remember is that the sand you use needs to be hardwearing and durable so that it can withstand the weight of the pavers and the traffic that will be going over it. It also needs to be able to bind together so that it doesn’t wash away easily.
The Many Kinds of Sand for Paver Joints
- Washed Concrete Sand.
- Mason’s Sand.
- Polymeric Sand.
Washed Concrete Sand
Concrete sand is an aggregate sand that is usually made of gneiss, trap rock, limestone, or granite and is often known as Washed Concrete Sand, Manufactured Sand, Pipe Sand, or Utility Sand.
This type of sand is typically used in concrete, as it is a good binding agent. It has a course texture and is usually tinted white or gray.
Masonry sand is sometimes mistaken for finer concrete sand (both are built with the same method, mason sand is more pulverized).
It’s very popular in projects that need a more appealing look, such as swimming pool construction, due to its smaller grains.
It is also used as a playground sand because it is clean and safe for children. Since the grains are small, it can easily become airborne if not properly contained, so wearing a dust mask is always advised.
Polymeric sand is a type of filling that’s used to fill paver gaps, which are the empty spaces between individual pavers, tiles, or natural stones.
It’s also known as paver sand, hardscape sand, and jointing sand due to its tiny granules. Manufacturers combine a variety of additive particles with fine grains to make this specialized sand.
The primary purpose of polymeric sand is to resist weeds and ants while holding pavers in place.
This type of jointing sand is different from regular sand because it contains binders that help to hold everything together. Once the sand is wetted, the binders activate and harden, creating a solid surface.
Is It Really Worth Using Polymeric Sand?
To be fair, not all contractors are fond of polymeric sand. In fact, some flat-out refuse to use it because they believe that it can cause more harm than good.
The main concern with polymeric sand is that it’s made with man-made chemicals. When it gets wet, the binders in the sand harden and create a solid surface.
This can be great for keeping pavers in place, but it can also be bad if the chemicals leach into the ground and contaminate the soil.
There is also the issue of polymeric sand getting hard and crusty when it dries out. This can make it difficult to remove and can damage the pavers if you’re not careful.
If you are going to use polymeric sand, try and opt for a high quality brand that is made with natural ingredients. This will help to reduce the risk of contamination and will also be more eco-friendly.
Last but not least, it’s essential to mention that some refilling is still necessary, especially after harsh winters.
It’s no big deal to check your pavers every day and notice when the sand begins to wear down a little and then refill it.
This is a lot easier than having to rip out the entire patio and start from scratch because the pavers have come loose.
Is It Possible To Refill Normal Sand With Polymeric Sand?
No, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The whole point of using polymeric sand is to create a solid surface that will resist weeds, ants, and erosion. If you simply add more regular sand to the joints, you’ll defeat the purpose.
Plus, the two types of sand have completely different textures. Regular sand is coarse while polymeric sand is fine.
This means that they will never really mix together well, no matter how much you try to compact them.
It’s best to just start with a fresh layer of polymeric sand if you need to refill the joints.
Can I Use Regular Sand Between Pavers?
No, I wouldn’t recommend it. Regular sand is too coarse and can wash away easily. It can also cause the pavers to shift and become loose over time. Polymeric sand is a better option because it contains binders that help to keep the pavers in place. Plus, it’s finer so it will stay in place better.
How Do I Remove Polymeric Sand From Pavers?
Use a putty knife or trowel to remove any excess polymeric sand from the surface of the pavers. You can also use a power washer to blast away any residual sand. Be careful not to damage the pavers while you’re doing this.
Is Kiln-Dried Sand Better Than Regular Sand?
Yes, kiln-dried sand is a better option for filling paver joints because it doesn’t contain any moisture. This means that it won’t harden and crust over time like regular sand can. Kiln-dried sand is also more resistant to weeds and ants.
Is screed sand the same as kiln-dried sand?
Yes, screed sand and kiln-dried sand are the same thing. They’re both dried in a kiln to remove any moisture. This makes them ideal for filling paver joints because they won’t harden and crust over time. Screed sand is also more resistant to weeds and ants.
How often should I refill my paver joints?
It’s a good idea to check your pavers every day and refill the joints as needed. This is especially important after it rains or during the winter when the pavers are more likely to shift.
What is the best way to compact sand?
There are a few different ways to compact sand. You can use a hand tamper, a plate compactor, or a roller compactor. If you’re using sand to fill paver joints, it’s important to compact it so that the pavers stay in place.
Can I use polymeric sand on gravel?
No, I wouldn’t recommend it. Polymeric sand is specifically for filling joints between pavers. It won’t work well on gravel because the pieces are too small and the sand will just wash away.