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What Kind Of Sand To Use For Patio Pavers

Completely Even The Base

How To Lay Sand For A Brick Paver Patio [s2, e8]

As you lay your concrete sand base, aim to make it;less than 1.5 inches thick. Once the sand is laid, youll need to level, or screed, it. There are many types of tools to help level the sand base. You can use a flat, heavy 2×4 with an attached handle to smooth out the sand, or you may consider renting a dedicated screed rail for the project. Whatever you decide, the end goal is to have a completely smooth surface for your pavers.

Gently lay the broad side of a 2×4 onto the sand and set a level on it to ensure your surface is as even as possible.

What Kind Of Sand Do You Use For Pavers

It is important to choose the right kind of sand when creating a base beneath a pavers installation for a patio, walkway, pool deck, driveway, etc.

Playground or masonry sand are poor choices for a concrete paver installation foundation. Heres why:

Playground sand is too fine and washes away which leaves the pavers unsteady and uneven.Masonry sand doesnt compact uniformly and prevents proper lateral drainage.

Concrete sand is the proper sand for laying a foundational base for a concrete paver installation. It is extremely coarse sand so it can be compacted uniformly and allows for adequate water drainage. Concrete sand will lift slightly into the joints of the pavers when they are being leveled, locking them into place. This also helps stop water from seeping under the pavers and lifting them. Polymeric sand is also a great option for laying a base for the installation. In fact, any sand that has angular edges and a particle size of 1/8 inch in diameter is best. Sand allows flexibility of the ground and keeps the pavers from cracking or settling under pressure if the ground shifts.

Do It Right: Brick Paver Installation Methods

Brick, concrete, permeable, interlocking and stone pavers are popular paving options for exterior plazas, walkways, driveways and mass transit applications. These pavers are durable, offer many patterns and design options, are able to withstand vehicular traffic and maintain their integrity in demanding exterior freeze/thaw climates. For the purposes of this comparison, the most common type brick paving will be featured.

Brick pavers should be specified to perform in the intended application according to the following industry standards:

Pedestrian paving brick meeting ASTM C 902

Light traffic paving brick meeting ASTM C902

Heavy vehicular paving brick meeting ASTM C1272

Weather classifications:

  • Type I for areas that expect extensive abrasion sidewalks, driveways in public areas
  • Type II for areas that expect intermediate pedestrian traffic residential sidewalks and driveways
  • Type III for areas that expect low pedestrian traffic residential floors and patios

For more information on brick pavers and various setting methods, consult the Brick Industry Association,

There are three basic types of setting options for these types of pavers in demanding traffic bearing applications:

  • Sand Set Type F
  • Bitumen Set Type R
  • Fixed Mortar Set Type R

I. Sand Set Pavers

Figure 1: High-performance polymeric paving sand used in the joints of this installation; these paving sands come in various colors to compliment any architectural design.

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Properties Of Stone Dust In Hardscaping

Stone dust is the byproduct of an artificial substance called crushed stone. As the name suggests, stones are run through a crushing machine as they are crushed, dust is created. Plenty of types of stone are used to make stone dust, with granite and limestone being two of the most common choices. The resulting dust is similar in appearance to sand, though usually coarser, and it has many uses in construction projects.

What Is Polymeric Sand


Polymeric sand is a material used to fill paver joints, the empty spaces found between each paver, tile or natural stone. It is sometimes called jointing sand, paver sand or hardscape sand.

Jointing sand is made up of fine grains, to which manufacturers add a mixture of specific additive particles. When put in contact with water, this substance acts as an ultra-powerful bonding agent that strongly binds together concrete elements.

Polymeric sand is appreciated by paver installers because joints you get from it are durable and even . This eliminates any risk of weed growth and ant infestation that could affect the overall aesthetics and durability of paver projects.

Noticing the popularity of Techniseals polymeric sand technology among hardscape experts, several manufacturers have tried to imitate our formula with varying degrees of success.

Nevertheless, almost 20 years after first introducing paver jointing sand, Techniseal is proud to continue offering the industry’s most reliable and performant products, the ones that are best suited to the growing expectations of paver installers and their customers.

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Paver Base Best Practices

Choosing a paver base material is only one aspect of creating a quality base. The way you construct the paver base ultimately impacts its effectiveness and longevity. Perhaps the most practical tip for base construction is to take your time.

Laboring over three base layers before you even begin to lay pavers may seem like a wasteful task. But the amount of time and precision you put into making your base layers the correct thickness, compactness and evenness will pay off. A proper base can keep your pavers beautiful and functional;for 20-25 years. If youre looking for stunning results, base building is not something to be rushed.

With your commitment to detail in mind, the following are some specific base best practices to consider before you;install your pavers.

It Prevents Weeds And Ants

How much time do you spend each summer plucking weeds from between your pavers? Weed prevention is yet another reason to use polymeric sand vs. regular sand for pavers.

Weeds feel right at home growing up out of traditional sand, but polymeric sand will help prevent but not completely stop weed growth.

The same thing goes for ants, which have no trouble burrowing through standard sand, but will have a lot more trouble trying to colonize the space between your pavers when you use polymeric sand.

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How To Choose The Right Material For Your Patio Upgrade

When you look at the pattern of bricks, rocks, or concrete shapes on a patios surface, you are actually looking at pavers. This term refers to the series of objects placed over a patio or another hardscaping project.

While pavers elevate the patios appearance, they are also important for the structure of the patio, as they must remain durable while withstanding weather conditions and the weight of objects or people. Though some may prefer to use poured concrete, pavers are more beneficial in a few ways: they face fewer cracks, are designed to allow water to spread throughout for its benefit, and are more comfortable to walk on. Plus, they usually form a visually appealing pattern, which most yard owners prefer over a blank slab.

But how do you choose the right material for your patio pavers? Read below to learn about two of the most common choices: sand and stone dust.

The Anatomy Of A Patio Base

How to Use Polymeric Sand When Installing Patio Pavers

Weve spoken about layers under your pavers, but what exactly are they, and what does each layer bring to the construction? From the dirt up, heres the anatomy of your new driveway or garden dining area.

Excavate to your chosen depth, then on top of the soil, the first thing to introduce is the layer of landscape fabric. This can be a plastic membrane or a woven textile, and it has the job of protecting your construction from plants growing upwards. This layer has to be permeable to allow for drainage, and choose a heavier duty material than you would use for light gardening duties.

Then, we have the thickest section, the gravel layer. Gravel really is the ideal material for your paver base, as it is strong and durable, compresses to form a tough layer, and as weve already discussed, ideal for drainage. Choose your typeof gravel based on soil type and your application.

On top of the gravel, we add a layer of coarse sand. This forms a smooth, level layer on top of the gravel, which is used as a bed for your pavers. Most builders recommend that this layer should be an inch thick. Moisten it and tamp it down to form a solid layer, ready for laying the final pavers. And finally, we come to the best bit: your choice of pavers, which come in a great range of colors and textures.

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Buying Sand For Paver Joints

In order to make sure that youre purchasing a high-quality polymeric sand, its a smart idea to visit a local sand supplier like Braen Supply. Weve been the largest supplier of paver sand for more than a decade and weve worked with thousands of homeowners and contractors on their projects.

With a team of knowledgeable and passionate staff, youll have the ability to have all of your questions answered before you tackle your paving stone project.

Youll also be able to purchase everything that you need including cement or mason sand, polymeric sand, a wide range of paving stones, and tools and equipment all in one convenient location. Depending on the size of your order can deliver your materials to NJ, NY, PA and CT.

Types Of Sand Used For Pavers

Most people are familiar with the idea that stone pavers must be laid on top of a layer of sand. Ideally, this sand should be coarse and granular. When compacted, the edges will grind together, locking the layer of sand in place which helps to prevent erosion or movement. Concrete sand works very well, however, mason sand is sometimes used instead.

Neither of these types of sand, however, is the best fit for filling in paver joints. A loose-fill sand will wash away over time or when it is exposed to heavy rains. Because of this, polymeric sand for paver joints was developed to hold its form and to keep everything in place.

In recent years, a newer type of sand for paver joints has been developed which softens upon becoming wet. Although its said that this allows for more flexibility, this can also cause problems with erosion and may require frequent reapplication of the sand.

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What Are Patio Pavers

Patio pavers are the small objects placed in a pattern on top of a patio. They essentially act as a protective layer for the base underneath so that you can walk and place furniture on your patio. A well-designed set of pavers will keep your patio sturdy and safe, while poorly-developed pavers will shift around and fall apart.

What Kind Of Joint Sand Is Best For My Pavers

The 12

What is Polymeric Sand?

Polymeric sand is a mixture of premium sand and polymeric powder and when activated with water, it hardens and binds to the pavers, strengthening and creating optimal stability throughout your entire paver system.

What is joint sand?

Joint sand is installed in between each paver stone and is a vital part of the interlocking paver system. Paver joint sand provides stability to keep the stones from shifting under pressure, prevents water from seeping underneath your pavers, helps to prevent weed growth and blocks out pests and insects. It is crucial to ensure that joint sand is filled as needed to keep your pavers in place and looking their best.

What is stabilizing sealer?

Stabilizing sealer is a special protective spray that contains the same stabilizing features as polymeric sand, but in a liquid form. When stabilizing paver sealer comes in contact with sand, it hardens and strengthens the pavers joint, just like polymeric sand.

Brand New Pavers Installation: Recommend Polymeric Sand

Polymeric sand is such a great tool and vital resource when it comes to installing new pavers due to its ability to harden and create strong joints.Once the pavers have been carefully arranged, about 1 1/2 layer of polymeric sand is added in between each stone and activated with water to further solidify and stabilize your paver system. It is crucial that the polymeric sand is installed up to 1/8 below the pavers chamfer .

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Common Mistakes When Using Polymeric Sand

Polymeric sand will give your patio an amazing new lookassuming you install it correctly. Here are some common mistakes to avoid during installation.

  • Weather related errors If your patio is completely in the shade, the area might be too cool and moist for the sand to set. And if you know that it might rain soon after the installation, its time to hold off. Wait for a stretch of warm, dry days for your installation.
  • Improper patio pitch If water collects in low points on your patio, it can make conditions too damp for the sand to be effective.
  • Wrong sand for the job Some sand wont work on stones with larger joints or a concrete overlay. Make sure you consult with an expert to find the right sand for the job.

Do you have questions about polymeric sand vs. regular sand for pavers? Visit Woodward Landscape Supply, where we carry a wide array of different sands, from concrete sand to mason sand for sand for play areas and for pavers.

Our experts look forward to working with you to make sure your pavers and your patio look their best.

How To Lay Pavers On Dirt

It really depends on the type of soil in your area, but laying pavers on dirt is simple as long as you ensure they wont move or sink over time.

You should already have a detailed plan of the area you want to pave as well as the layout and design you want, so insert garden stakes around the border and tie string between them. Use a spade to remove the top layer of grass or other material within the staked area and use a hand or mechanical compacter to tamp down the soil and even it out.

If the soil is very dry, wet it down to make compacting easier and use a spirit level to ensure the area is flat and even. A layer of weed mat or landscaping fabric over the soil will keep weeds from growing between the pavers and make the base more stable.

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Applying Polymeric Sand To An Existing Patio Or Walkway

For those of you who follow my blog you know I try to keep things fairly short. You can only read so much about concrete products before glazing over. This blog is going to be an exception to that rule. The recent popularity in using polymeric sand has given many DIYers the courage to tackle this type of project. It can be done with great success but you need to do your homework.

When your patio was installed a dozen plus years ago it looked great. The pavers were all new and straight and everyone oohed and aahed. The years since however have taken their toll. The pavers are not as straight, they look a little faded, and whats worse, half the sand is missing, and the weeds have taken over. So now what do you do?

You have some options. The easiest and cheapest is to buy sand, dump it into the spots where the sand is missing, and call it a day. Of course, the weeds will pop through before you pull the tab on your favorite beverage and most of what you put in will wash out after a few heavy rains.

Polymeric Sand vs. Regular Sand for Pavers

Can You Do It Yourself

How to Build a Round Paver Patio

The information provided here should give you more than enough guidance so that you can do it yourself. Still, if you have a hard time or are unsure of how to do the job, remember that you can always rely on us to guide you through it.;

Also, the complete process usually involves equipment and material that are often expensive. If fact, including your labor, DIY can become more costly than if you hire a company to do it for you.

S&S Pavers has been proudly serving the counties of Manatee and Sarasota for the past 10+ years. From paver patio designs to installation and maintenance, if you live in Florida, dont hesitate to give us a call.

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How Do You Lay Brick Pavers On Sand

Spread a thin layer of sand over the entire patio and use a push broom to work it into the gaps between pavers. Soak the patio with a gentle spray of water to help settle the sand into the gaps. Repeat the process until the sand fills all the gaps. Run a tamper over the patio to set the bricks.

Make The Subbase Accurate And Even

Your subbase thickness will depend on the type of subgrade soil youre covering and the way your pavers will be used. Because its weaker, clay soil requires a thicker subbase than granular soil. It is standard to use;a four-inch crushed stone subbase;over granular soil and a six-inch subbase over clay soil. These thicknesses work well for everyday pedestrian traffic.

If your pavers are located around a pool or will receive vehicle traffic, your subbase should be;six to eight inches thick. Extra thickness beyond six to eight inches may help reinforce pavers that will support extremely heavy vehicles like semi-trailers or campers.

To protect your pavers from unevenness, double your subbase thickness in areas that might freeze during the winter. The extra distance between the subgrade soil and the actual pavers will help mitigate any movement due to the ground freezing and thawing.

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