Pavers are a great way to update the look of your property while also providing a sturdy surface to entertain. The installation of pavers requires specific tools and materials, most important of which is the sand used to join the pavers together. In fact, sand is utilized twice during the installation process
Sand acts as a cushion for the pavers, which is referred to as “bedding” and is also used for the paver joints to bind the stones together and prevent the growth of weeds. These two functions are carried out by two completely different types of sand.
As a result, many homeowners become confused about which type of sand to use for bedding and which to select to fill the joints
We’ve decided to break down the different types of sand you can choose, the benefits of each type of sand and where you can purchase each type in NJ.
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 it’s said that this allows for more flexibility, this can also cause problems with erosion and may require frequent reapplication of the sand.
Polymeric Sand Properties & Benefits
Polymeric sand is simply a granular sand material that is placed within the cracks and joints between stone pavers as a means of interlocking the units and preserving the beauty and integrity of the pavers.
A water-activated polymer is introduced to the sand. After applying the material to the paved surface, the sand is sprayed down with water which causes the polymers to harden. This then secures the sand in place. Polymeric sand is so durable that it can actually be power washed, with care.
As a result, the material won’t need replacing, even when exposed to extreme weather conditions. In addition to preventing the need for you to replace your joint filler after a rainstorm, the durability of polymeric sand ensures that water will be unable to seep beneath the paving stones.
This significantly reduces the chance of your pavers migrating, and stops water from washing away the base layer of sand which could cause the paving stones to sink. Polymeric sand will keep your pavers looking great for years to come.
Buying Sand for Paver Joints
In order to make sure that you’re purchasing a high-quality polymeric sand, it’s a smart idea to visit a local sand supplier like Braen Supply. We’ve been the largest supplier of paver sand for more than a decade and we’ve worked with thousands of homeowners and contractors on their projects.
With a team of knowledgeable and passionate staff, you’ll have the ability to have all of your questions answered before you tackle your paving stone project.
You’ll 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.