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What is Polymeric Sand? Understanding the Benefits for Patio Paver Projects

Polymeric sand, a hidden gem in the world of outdoor landscaping, holds remarkable potential that often goes unnoticed by the general public. Trusted by landscaping professionals and contractors, it plays a crucial role in securing patio pavers in place, and creating seamless results in landscapes across North America.


What is polymeric sand?

Polymeric sand is a finely textured sand infused with special additives that form a binding agent when exposed to water. Silica is a common additive used to effectively bond the fine sand particles together. As these particles fuse, the joints between patio pavers become impenetrable, firmly locking the pavers in place.


What is the difference between polymeric sand and regular sand?

The choice between regular jointing sand and polymeric sand comes down to personal preference, as well as the nature of the project. When it comes to filling in paver gaps, polymeric sand emerges as the exceptional choice. As well as being reliable and highly durable, polymeric sand securely interlocks paver joints to create a sturdy and stable surface. Moreover, it enhances the overall aesthetic with its pristine appearance and an array of captivating colors.

On the other hand, homeowners seeking convenience and adjustability may opt for regular sand, which offers ease of use and facilitates adjustments effortlessly. Natural sand serves as a fitting alternative for bedding, and it presents an ideal solution for those seeking a more budget-friendly option.


What are the benefits of using polymeric sand?

Choosing polymeric sand over regular jointing sand offers a range of advantages, making it a superior option for your project. Finished projects utilizing polymeric sand are renowned for their enhanced strength and durability, surpassing those achieved with regular jointing sand. The binding agent within polymeric sand ensures long-lasting stability, guaranteeing that your pavers remain steadfast for years to come. With strong and immovable joints, you can enjoy a reliable and resilient outdoor surface.

Unlike regular jointing sand that can erode under heavy rainfall, polymeric sand forms a tight seal that withstands even the harshest weather conditions. Polymeric sand comes in a variety of different colors, allowing you to select the variety that best complements your patio pavers. Aesthetic appeal does not need to be comprised to achieve superior durability.


Does polymeric sand stop weeds from growing?

Polymeric sand possesses an added advantage during installation by having the remarkable ability to tackle the problem of weeds between pavers. Its airtight consistency acts as a deterrent to weeds and significantly reduces their ability to grow between your pavers. Additionally, pests like ants will find it more challenging to invade the spaces within your patio.


How do you apply this sand?

The application of polymeric sand marks the final stage of any paving project. It involves sweeping the sand into the gaps between the pavers and compacting them to ensure thorough distribution. This process may be repeated to ensure complete coverage.

A final layer is gently swept into the gaps, without the aid of any compaction. Prior to the addition of water, meticulous care is taken to remove any excess sand from the paver surfaces. If left untouched, the polymeric sand will harden upon contact with water, resulting in unsightly blemishes. Excess sand can be cleared away through sweeping or with the use of a leaf blower. It is crucial to avoid setting pavers during rainy weather, as polymeric sand readily binds to moist surfaces.


Should I water polymeric sand?

Once excess sand has been removed, a light mist of water is sprayed over the surface to activate the binding agent. Most polymeric sand varieties require only one activation and become waterproof afterward, however, there are options available that can be softened by water, facilitating minor adjustments or corrections. Once applied, it typically takes around 24 hours for the pavers to lock into position.


How many years does it last?

Generally, the lifespan ranges around 10 years; however, by opting for high-quality polymeric sand, you can extend its durability to approximately 15 years.


When should you not use polymeric sand?

Polymeric sand may not be suitable for all types of paving stones, particularly those with defined textures like Unilock Il Campo® or Series™. The intricate grooves in these stones can potentially trap polymer particles, and when the surface becomes wet, these particles can adhere to the stone, creating a hazy appearance that can be challenging to remove. In such cases, we recommend an alternative approach using regular jointing sand in conjunction with a joint sand stabilizing sealer. This sealer serves as a convenient one-step solution, providing both sealing and joint sand stabilization benefits.

It is advisable to wait at least three months after installation before applying the sealer, allowing sufficient time for natural efflorescence to dissipate. It is crucial to thoroughly clean the surface and ensure it is completely dry before proceeding with the sealing process.


Polymeric sand is a game-changer in the world of outdoor landscaping. By utilizing its remarkable properties, you can elevate the longevity, resilience, and visual appeal of your patio pavers. If you require advice or expert support, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted Unilock contractor today. Their knowledge and experience will pave the way to a successful polymeric sand application.




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