Last Updated on May 3, 2021 by Heenan
While Polymeric sand is precisely for filling in the joints and keeping the pavers adhered for good, they’re permanent and won’t leave you room for additional adjustment. This is why some still prefer regular sand as they remain screed but not fixed.
Whether you want your sand to be fixed or loose is the ultimate decision before deciding on the type of sand. But if you’re unsure of the benefits of the two kinds, we are here to let you know all you need to know about this.
Therefore, in this polymeric sand vs regular sand for pavers review, we will not only walk you through the benefits and properties of the two sands but also tell you which will be the better choice for your patio pavers.
Polymeric Sand VS Regular Sand For Pavers
What Is Paver Sand?
When you need an even screeding for your patio paver or walkway, you use paver sand. They can be used both for leveling and filling in the joints but are more popular for the prior task.
Sand for paver is known by many names, including all-purpose sand and leveling sand. When someone mentions regular sand, most likely, this is what they’re referring to.
Their rougher texture makes them perfect for the even bedding needed in your paver because anything finer would compress them over time and make the surface uneven.
This is why you shouldn’t mix sand for paver with play sand or joint sand, as these constitute a finer texture, making the shift over time. If your bedding is constructed out of play sand, it’s likely to get uneven over time and result in extra unnecessary work.
Polymeric Sand Uses for Paver
Polymeric sand makes up for excellent paver sand, as its sole purpose is joining the gaps within the pavers. But they’re not for screeding. When it comes to adhering to the pavers, no other sand can do a good enough job as a polymer.
#1. Keeps the paver gaps tightly filled
Unlike regular sand, polymeric sand stays together and almost binds itself into a substantial chunk. Therefore, rain or storm, polymeric sand won’t wash out like other sand and remain in place, doing what it’s supposed to.
Polymeric sand also has a firmer constitution making it much coarser, but the grains are finer. They stay together once water is applied.
#2. Stays Clean from weed or insect infestation
While weeds may grow or ants may infest through other kinds of sand, with polymer sand, you will have no such concern. Polymeric sand keeps the sand locked together, to allow weed or anything else to infiltrate the barrier and grow past it. So, if you prefer the clean look of your paver, you will love polymeric sand.
#3. Used for matching with specific designs
Got a unique color for your paver stones? Then use the colorful options of your sand to match it and impress all your visitors.
#4. Lasts longer while keeping the paver bound
As the polymeric sand sticks together unless you flick it out from the gaps, it will remain in place for a long time.
Regular Sand Uses for Paver
Regular sand has its own sets of advantages and uses, and hence, this debate exists. Many people still prefer using standard sands for only their ease and convenience.
#1. Creating an even level
Their best use is for creating the even base of your paver. These are more for screeding the bed of the paver than for filling the gaps within. However, you can still use them for evenly leveling the cracks of the paver.
#2. For the base foundation of the Paver
Whether it is your paver or walkway, you can use leveling sand for the job as they are perfect for even distribution. You can use concrete sand to make the even bedding and use that as the foundation of your paver.
#3. When an adjustment is needed
When it’s for filling in the gaps, this makes for a better-substituting design. These aren’t permanent and can be removed easily. So, if you’re fancying a different kind of sand, these are easy to apply.
Also, as you don’t have to maintain it, this is simpler to put on. This doesn’t require a watering or any such tedious process.
Polymeric Sand Vs Regular Sand for Pavers: Which One Is Better for you?
When it comes to filling in the gaps, polymeric sand is the safer option. However, it will still depend on your choice.
You mostly need sand between pavers to keep the rock steady and the path stable. For that, you need a firm and strong binding sand that won’t scatter away at the first hint of wind or pressure.
And for precisely this reason, polymer sand does a better job. On top of that, rain or storm could also wash away regular sand but not polymeric sand.
Polymeric sand being firmly joint and water-resistant, will last longer than regular sand. And traditional sand can become home to ants or weeds, which won’t be the case for the other.
However, some still prefer regular sand as it is easier to work with and can be readjusted. They’re not permanently attached, so when one spot needs an adjustment, you can fill the gap easily.
In the case of a polymer, the design sticks together, so if a flake or part comes off, the whole design will look off-balance. Such issues are a lot easier to solve with regular sand.
Can I use regular sand for paver joints?
As a DIY enthusiast, you’re always looking for ways to save money and do things yourself. One of the most common questions I get is how can you use regular sand for paver joints?
Well, let’s take a look at what it takes to make your own sand mix.
I’m sure most of you have seen paving stones in front of homes and businesses. They’re a great way to make your place stand out from the rest, but sometimes they can be difficult to install.
Regular sand is often used for joints between pavers, which can lead to problems because it’s not as cohesive as some other materials like dirt or concrete.
Do you want to know if you can use regular sand for paver joints? Well, the answer is yes.
You can use regular sand for paver joints as long as it is blown into place with a blower. However, there are other things that need to be considered when using this type of material such as how to level your ground is and whether or not the surface needs to be textured.
What can I use instead of polymeric sand?
Polymeric sand is a type of sand that has been treated with polymers to give it the ability to resist water and atmospheric conditions.
This makes it an excellent product for your home, especially in places where you want to create some sort of outdoor living space such as a patio or garden.
Polymeric sand can be used on driveways, walkways, patios, and even around pools!
If you’re looking for an alternative to polymeric sand, there are a few different materials available on the market. For example, you can use cement, Builder’s Sand, stone dust, Envirosand, Permasand, silica sand, or vermiculite as an option.
Silica sand is a popular choice because it is not made up of any chemicals and has a low risk of causing allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to them.
Silica Sand also doesn’t have any fire-resisting capabilities like Polymeric Sand does so be careful with that if this is something you need from your flooring material.
Vermiculite on the other hand has some great fire-resisting properties but can be more expensive than using silica sand or Polymeric Sand which might make it less desirable.
The use of polymeric sand has been a popular choice in the construction industry for many years. This material is often used in place of traditional sand and gravel to provide a smoother finish, especially when it comes to concrete slabs.
However, there are other ways you can achieve this same effect without using polymeric sand.
There isn’t much else to know about paving sand. But one word of caution is, sometimes, after the polymeric sand joins together, parts or flakes of it can flop out of the holes. To prevent it, you need to fill it down and not just the surface. If you manage to do it right, this will last a long while.
If you don’t want to go through it, regular sand will have to do the job.
So, the ultimate decision between polymeric sand vs. regular sand for pavers comes down to your convenience and whether you want firm sand or loose ones.