Paving stones, or 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, due to the fact that sand is used twice during the install.
What the sand does is that it 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. A paver joint is the empty spaces found between each paver. Both of these functions are performed by two completely different types of sand. That can confuse homeowners about which type of sand to use for bedding and which to select to fill the joints.
Stone pavers must be laid on top of a layer of sand and this sand should be coarse and granular. When compacted, the edges will grind together, or locking, the layer of sand in place which helps to prevent erosion or movement. Concrete sand works very well but mason sand is sometimes used instead.
Paver joints need a different kind of sand because a loose-fill sand will wash away over time or when it is exposed to heavy rains. Introduce a problem, invent a solution – polymeric sand for paver joints was developed to hold its form and to keep everything in place. A newer type of sand has been developed which softens upon becoming wet but this allows for more flexibility, which can also cause problems with erosion and may require frequent reapplication of the sand.
Polymeric sand is 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. Water-activated polymer is introduced to the sand and after applying to the paved surface, the sand is sprayed down with water which causes the polymers to harden and secures the sand in place. Polymeric sand is so durable that it can actually be power washed, if done so with proper care. Because of its durability, the material won’t need replacing, even when exposed to extreme weather conditions and also prevents water to seep beneath the paving stones. This greatly reduces the chance of your pavers moving and stops water from washing away the base layer of sand which could cause the paving stones to sink.