Polymeric sand has gradually become an absolute essential when it comes to filling up paver joints. While you definitely can use ordinary sand, the results will be far inferior to that of the polymeric sand.
Because of its improved durability and resistance to weeds and ant-infestations, there really is no alternative to polymeric sand in this regard.
But among so many polymeric sand companies, which one should you buy? How will you know what makes any polymeric sand product good? Those are the questions that we aim to answer with our best polymeric sand reviews.
In this article, we have selected three of our top picks to review and provided a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you get the best results.
Best Polymeric Sand Reviews For Pavers
In this section of the article, we will be going through 3 of the best products available in the market today. All of these products are great and will serve you well, but you have to know which one is the right fit for you. And that is exactly what we want to accomplish with these reviews.
#1. Dominator Polymeric Sand Review
- DOMINATOR Polymeric Sand uses revolutionary SOLID FLEX technology to bring you the most advanced polymeric sand available.
- Delivers professional performance not previously available to the public, with an application guide to ensure proper installation.
- Made with fine sand and a cement free formula to aid in easy installation but is NOT a replacement for grout, mortar, paver edging, NOR fixing improper drainage under pavers.
- Coverage rate: 20 - 80 square feet per 45 LB bucket. Using Google, search "DOMINATOR Polymeric Sand Calculator" to find the resource to help you calculate your project as there are many variables.
- Install on dry surfaces with proper drainage conditions and the proper amount of water (see instructions below and on the application guide). Refer to the diagram in the images. PLEASE NOTE: With cooler weather, it will take longer for the sand to dry and cure. Do NOT apply in cold weather or when significant rain is forecasted.
- Uses the SOLID-FLEX technology for the perfect balance of durability and flexibility
- Has a very good coverage rate of 20-80 square feet for every 45lb bag of polymeric sand
- The sand particles are very small and granular for maximum ease
- Has just the right thickness for providing support to the paver blocks
- Avoids haze efficiently due to its innovative formula
- Resistant to the harshest of weather conditions
- Comes with detailed instructions regarding its usage
- Has multiple color options
- May require clean-up after use as it is susceptible to stains
This polymeric sand is generally suitable for professionals who have experience in this field. While beginners are suggested not to opt for this, that doesn’t mean this product is very hard to use. This polymeric sand provides the perfect balance between flexibility and durability and offers sufficient instructions to help newbies.
One of the most impressive things about this product is its innovative formula. Because of this formula, this polymeric sand can avoid any and all sorts of haze.
We mentioned its impeccable balance of durability and flexibility before. That balance is owed to the SOLID-FLEX technology used in this sand. That means it uses much stronger polymers than usual to give you a much stronger product.
The exceptional durability of this sand is also owed to its resistance to multiple harmful factors. These include ant-infestations, weeds, and harsh weather. Even the harshest weather cannot affect this sand after it has been properly cured.
Whatever lacking the sand may have that may make it harder for beginners, it makes up for with its detailed instructions. The granularity of the sand also makes them very easy to spread and fill joints with.
And the wide array color choices are also a nice touch. The color options include Titanium, Caramel, Charcoal, and Taupe. However, the only massive issue with this polymeric sand is the fact that it may require some clean-up after it has been used.
While this product may bother you a little with the clean-up, there are easy ways to clean them, and this doesn’t take away from what an exceptional product this is. It is very rare to get such an impeccable balance of durability and flexibility. So do not hesitate to check this product out.
#2. Alliance Gator Polymeric Super Sand Review
- Advanced Haze Free Technology Can be used for joints up to a maximum of 1 inch (2.5 cm)
- ASTM C-144 fine gradation allows use in even the tightest joints OSHA silica crystalline compliant (OSHA 29 CFR 1926.115
- Helps prevent weeds and damage caused by burrowing insects Helps prevent erosion due to wind, rain, and freeze thaw cycles
- For Drainage application, rain safe 1 hour after water activation. Works above 32°F (0°C).
- Waterproof Bag Can be laid flat and stored outdoors. (Lay bag flat on its back, so front of the bag is facing you.) Pallets can be stored outside
- Can flex and self-heal at the same time
- Sets faster than almost any polymeric sand
- Resistant to all harmful factors like weeds, ant-infestations, and harsh weather
- Comes with very granular sand particles that can be used in even the tightest joints
- Exceptionally durable because of its stronger binding agent
- Can be used on almost any surface
- Avoids haze at all cost
- Completely waterproof and thus resistant to rainy weather
- Comes with detailed instructions to help beginners use the product
- Comparatively very expensive
- Has very few color options
This polymeric sand would be defined as our premium pick. It is quite expensive compared to other products on the list. But the sand makes up for its higher cost with a fantastic performance that delivers on all fronts.
Firstly, let us talk about its durability. This sand has the ability to both flex and self-heal, and thus, it is very long-lasting. Not only that, but it is also resistant to ant-infestations, weeds, and harsh weather conditions. The use of a comparatively stronger binding agent also contributes to the durability.
Secondly, this product avoids haze at all costs. It requires absolutely no washing before use.
Thirdly, the sand dries up and settles in only an hour. It also cures exceptionally fast, especially in dry weather conditions. Further adding to the convenience, the product also comes with detailed instructions regarding its usage.
Like the last product, this one is also quite versatile. It can be used on almost any surface, including patios, footpaths, pool decks, and pavers.
Lastly, this sand is completely waterproof. Thus even in harsh rainy weather conditions, it will not be affected much. Also, you can easily store this sand outside without fear of rain harming it.
The only other potential flaw with this product besides the price would have to be the limited color options.
In a way, this product offers the best of both of the first products. The only issue is the fact that it is very pricey. But if you can afford this product, you should definitely pursue it.
#3. Buddingco Polymeric Sand Review
- Can be used on false joint pavers
- recommended for a variety of uses including pool decks, patios, footpaths, driveways, parking spaces, pavements etc
- Helps prevent erosion due to wind, rain, and freeze thaw cycles
- Sets at above freezing temperatures (32°F/ 0°C)
- Coverage of 18 Square Feet
- Can cover at least 18 square feet with an 18lb bag of polymeric sand
- Very granular structure
- Uses a fantastic formula that can prevent erosion from rain, freeze, or wind
- Comes at a very affordable price
- Extremely versatile and can be used on joints of multiple surfaces
- Very easy to use owing to its high granularity and fantastic coverage
- It takes very little time to cure
- Doesn’t come with any sort of instructions
- Insufficient color options
This polymeric sand is generally the most popular polymeric sand among the masses. Multiple factors go into making it such, but the low and affordable price is a huge reason for this. Besides that, its versatility, low dry time, and durability also make it a very attractive option.
Speaking of versatility, this sand is one of the very few that can be applied on multiple surfaces. Besides filling up paver joints, you can use this product on parking spots, footpaths, patios, etc.
Another thing that makes it popular among people is how easy it is to use. The factors contributing to making it such are the granularity and coverage. The sand particles are very small, and thus, it is very easy to fill up joints with them. And the sand also has fantastic coverage. An 18-pound bag can cover at least 18 sq. feet.
The drying and curing time in this polymeric sand is also exceptional. It dries and settles properly in only a couple of hours. After that, it doesn’t even take 24 hours for it to cure completely.
But the sand has some flaws that need to be discussed. Firstly, it doesn’t come with any detailed instructions whatsoever. Moreover, they also don’t come with many color options.
While this may not be the best polymeric sand out there, it most certainly is a quality one. In fact, it is quite great in multiple departments. If you are someone who isn’t really experienced in using polymeric sand, this might be the perfect product for you.
Best Sand for Pavers – Buyer’s Guide
By now, you should have a clear idea about the three best products that we have reviewed. But before you buy any product, it is always wise to properly research the common features of said product. The same applies to polymeric sand as well.
In this section, we will be going through the common features of polymeric sand to give you a comprehensive buying guide.
Polymeric Sand vs Ordinary Sand
Understanding the distinction between the two types of sand will go a long way to help you understand the benefits of polymeric sand.
Firstly, polymeric sand is usually much more durable than ordinary sand. Polymeric sand is made by integrating fine sand particles with other polymers. When this sand is wetted with water, then a binding agent activates that holds the sand together. Thus, it can last much longer than any ordinary sand.
Secondly, polymeric sand is composed of about 85% Quartz and Crystalline Silica. These materials are generally very resistant to rain. Thus, even in harsh conditions, the polymeric sand will not be affected.
Lastly, polymeric sand can resist weeds and ant infestations much more efficiently than ordinary sand. If you use ordinary sand, you are bound to see weeds grow, and ants breed in it after a certain period. But you will not have this issue if you use polymeric sand.
When you buy any product, you should always make sure they are easy to use. There is no point in buying something that will only increase your hassles. When it comes to polymeric sand, you can check whether it is easy to use or not by checking its granularity.
Granularity refers to how small the sand particles are. To get the best results, the sand particles should as small as possible. The more granular the particles are, the easier it will be to sweep them into the paver joints.
The thing that separates polymeric sand from ordinary sand is the polymer used in it. This polymer is what acts as the binding agent that holds the sand particle together for a longer period of time. So you should pay close attention to the quality of the polymers used in the sand you are buying.
Reading reviews online (like this one) and customer reviews are a good way of knowing whether the polymeric sand you are buying has good quality polymers or not.
What Is Polymeric Sand?
As we have mentioned, polymeric sand is a special type of sand. It is made by integrating fine sand particles with polymers. When water is added to it, a strong binding agent activates. This binding agent is responsible for making the sand particles stick together for long periods of time.
Polymeric sand is best used to fill the joints of pavers. By sweeping them in between pavers, the pavers can be solidified, and thus, they can stay intact for a long period of time.
In terms of composition, about 85% of the polymeric sand is made of quartz silica and crystalline silica. They provide much-needed weather resistance to the sand. The remaining part contains various types of polymers that ultimately act as binding agents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best polymeric sands:
Question#1. How to remove polymeric sand from Pavers?
Answer: During any work, mistakes are bound to happen. That is truer when you are working with something as delicate as polymeric sand. Using more than what’s required or spilling some on the surface of pavers are very common mistakes that even professionals often make.
If you spilled your polymeric sand on the surface of your paver and are having a tough time cleaning it, this answer will help you greatly. The best way to clean said sand off of the paver is to use a water pressure washer. At 180 degrees Fahrenheit, use the washer on the surface to remove the polymeric sand.
Question#2. Why is my polymeric sand not hardening?
Answer: Generally, polymeric sand takes 2-3 hours to settle properly. It cures completely after 24 hours. After this period, it can support foot traffic. Generally, it can handle vehicular traffic after about 48 hours. But we often hear complaints of polymeric sand not hardening even after 24 hours.
If your polymeric sand doesn’t harden after a long period of time, then it is definitely being exposed to moisture in some way. Polymeric sand cannot harden when it is wet. That should be simple enough.
To avoid this issue, you should keep a close eye on the weather forecast. If the surface in which you will apply the sand is wet due to rain, it will be wiser to use the sand after some days. You should also make sure to get rid of any unnecessary moisture before applying the polymeric sand.
Excessive moisture can be a result of the accumulation of stone dust, water from sprinklers, bad weather, or lack of proper compaction.
Question#3. Where to buy polymeric sand?
Answer: The store from which you bought your pavers should have many varieties of polymeric sand available. You only need to look for the right one.
In this case, you should actively look for the polymeric sand that you want to buy. If you cannot find your desired brand of polymeric sand, you can check your local home depot. They are a great source for almost any product, and it is quite likely that you will find your desired type of polymeric sand there.
Lastly, there are always multiple online stores from which you can buy the polymeric sand you want.
Question #4. How much polymeric sand do I need?
Answer: The amount of polymeric sand you need depends on the nature of your work; the size of the paver is what matters here. Depending on the dimensions of your paver, your requirements will vary.
Suppose you are making a paver patio. Generally, the dimensions of a patio are 16 by 18 feet. In this case, you will need about 3-4 50lb bags of polymeric sand for the tight joints. For the wider joints, you will need a little more. For that, at least 5-10 50lb bags are needed.
This calculator should help you determine the exact amount of polymeric sand you will need depending on the dimensions of the patio, walkway, or driveway you want to build.
Question #5. How to make polymeric sand?
Answer: As we have mentioned, 80-90% of the polymeric sand is made of silica, like any other ordinary sand. There are two types of silica that are used in polymeric sand. These are quartz silica and crystalline silica.
The ratio of quartz silica to crystalline silica depends on the brand of polymeric sand. Since quartz is one of the hardest materials, a higher ratio of quarts silica makes the sand stronger and more durable. But if it is too high, then there is a risk of the binding agent not activating properly.
Speaking of the binding agent, the chemical binder is what makes the polymeric sand special. This binder activates when it is in contact with water. Because of this, the flexibility and durability of the sand are enhanced.
This binder can be an artificially made polymer or a man-made organic binder. Generally, the artificial binder provides better performance.
Some types of polymeric sand also use Portland cement. This generally acts as either filler or a binder. But if the amount of Portland cement is too much, the sand may become toxic, and its efficiency may reduce greatly.
Question #6. How much is polymeric sand?
Answer: Generally, polymeric sand is quite inexpensive. But they are definitely pricier than ordinary sand. The general price of any polymeric sand depends on multiple factors.
Firstly, the price may vary depending on the brand of the polymeric sand. For example, the Alliance Gator Dust costs much more than the Buddingco polymeric sand. You can check the prices of different brands online to make a more informed decision.
Secondly, different stores have different price tags on their product. Some stores may even offer the goods at a discount price.
Question #7. How long does polymeric sand take to harden?
Answer: The drying time of polymeric sand depends on the type of brand you are using. Additionally, external factors like moisture or harsh weather may also influence the drying time of the sand.
Generally, if all conditions are ideal, then the sand should settle in about 2-4 hours. But it is still loose and not ready for foot traffic at this point. After about 24 hours, it dries enough to be able to endure foot traffic.
If you want to drive your vehicle over it, you will need to wait a bit longer as it takes at least 48 hours to be ready for that.
Question #8. Is polymeric sand safe?
Answer: While polymeric sand can be very effective in the joints of pavers, they can be quite toxic and dangerous as well. So it is very important to take proper safety measures while using this. It is also better to contact a professional if possible as they understand the safety measure better.
Polymeric sand contains some harmful polymers that can severely damage the eyes, skin and the respiratory tract of the human body. This can lead to corrosion in all of the mentioned organs. Furthermore, it can cause burns in the mouth, throat stomach in case of accidental ingestion. You can use a few of its alternatives.
Question #9. When is the best time to install polymeric sand?
Answer: The right time for installing polymeric sand depends on the weather primarily. Firstly, it is always wise to start work early in the morning. That way, the sand can be exposed to sufficient sunlight and thus will harden easily. Thus, it can dry and endure foot traffic as early as possible.
But aside from that, it is also important to keep close attention to the weather forecast. You should be very aware of when it’s going to rain and when it’s going to be sunny. And you should also avoid using polymeric sand the day after it rains for reasons we have already discussed.
Question #10. Is polymeric sand better than regular sand?
Answer: We already covered this topic in our buying guide section. In short, polymeric sand offers much higher durability, flexibility, and resistance to weeds and ant-infestations compared to ordinary sand. In most cases, polymeric sand far outclasses ordinary sand.
But polymeric sand can leave some stains that are very difficult to clean. In inexperienced hands, your hassle may just increase. Furthermore, there is quite a safety risk associated with polymeric sand, and it may be harmful if you aren’t careful enough.
While polymeric sand may have some harmful aspects, it can be a huge asset if you are careful. It works much better than any ordinary sand and greatly enhances the strength of the paver blocks. Thus your patios, walkways, or driveways will have much stronger construction just because of this one special ingredient.
So don’t waste time and get the polymeric sand you need today. We hope we could guide you through everything you need to know with our best polymeric sand reviews. Refer to these reviews whenever you need and get the polymeric sand that can fulfill all your needs.
#1. How to Use Polymeric Sand: 10 Easy Steps Explained By Expert.