Its quite essential to go for the best polymeric sand for the pavers.
Undoubtedly, choosing the cheap ones will result in a mess soon after you install it.
The sand must provide some of the following features –
- A strong bond between the joints.
- Prevents weed growth, crack, etc.
- Doesn?t take too long for curing.
- Withstand heavy rainfall.
Nonetheless, its quite a daunting task to pick the best one out of so many options available on the market.
To make your life easier, I?ve prepared this polymeric sand review write-up mentioning some upsides and downsides of three units of polymeric sands.
I?m sure this will help you to separate the wheat from the chaff effortlessly.
Let?s dive right in.
Best Polymeric Sand For Pavers: [The Review]
#1. Alliance Gator 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 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
- Filling up the narrow joints is a hassle-free job using this unit of sand.
- It comes with a well-written direction guide that makes it even easier to install.
- It?s formulated with relatively more polymer to ensure a stronger bond.
- Advanced haze-free technology is implemented to help reduce the chance of white haze after installation.
- Works effectively in preventing weed growth between the pavers.
- It can withstand heavy rainfall without making it a mess.
- It?s easy to store the sandbag outside because of its waterproof nature.
- The price is a bargain.
- Not too many color options are available.
- The price could have been better.
Alliance Gator is one of the most popular brands in producing polymeric sand. It has been on the market since 2003 and makes several versions of high-quality polymeric sand.
This ?Super Sand? is pretty flexible, easy to use poly sand that makes quite a strong and durable bond.
A combination of polymer and calibrated sand is present in this mixture of sand that lets it perform better.
Setting fast and lasting long are two of the finest benefits of this sand. Thanks to the self-healing feature that this version of the Alliance Gator sand offers.
Considering the value, it provides, I must say, the price is quite reasonable.
#2. 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.
- This polymeric sand is made of strong, cohesive polymer to provide ample strength.
- It?s available in five most effective colors.
- 1 lb, 13 lbs, and 45 lbs bags of sand are readily available to buy.
- It?s a breeze to install this sand and also fill the small spaces.
- You will get substantial coverage for any of the buckets regardless of the weight (45 lbs, 13 lbs, 1lb).
- Filling the small gaps is not an uphill task with this sand.
- The customer service of this vendor is top-notch.
- It comes with an easy to understand step by step guide.
- Not following the instruction to the ?T? will make a mess.
- The price could have been better.
- Its ability to withstand heavy rainfall after a few weeks of installation is questionable. Light rain or a heavy rain after a month won?t cause any trouble, by the way.
Dominator polymeric sand boasts the Solid-Flex technology that ensures both strength and flexibility.
The 45 lbs bucket gives 20-80 square feet coverage, and the 13 lbs bucket covers 8-32 square feet.
Installing this sand is a straightforward process. Kudos to the installation guide. On top of that, its cement-free formula makes it even more comfortable and hassle-free installation task.
Matching the sand color with the paving stone is essential to increase the overall aesthetics.
Fortunately, this polymeric sand is available five different colors – Titanium, Charcoal, Natural, Taupe, and Carmel.
As a whole, this one is quite a handy polymeric sand that you can install with ease, and it makes a strong bond between the joints as intended.
However, like any other polymeric sand, it requires at least two sunny days to fully cure. It takes longer than usual for the surface under the tree shade or stuff.
Although it comes with a haze-free formula, I suggest you use a leaf blower to remove the residue before applying water to activate the polymer. This will ensure a haze-free installation for sure.
#3. Budding Co Joint Stabilizing 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
- It takes less time to harden compared to its competitors.
- This sand is equally useful for regular pavers and false joint pavers.
- It prevents weed growth quite efficiently.
- Installing this sand is a straightforward process.
- It provides excellent value for the money.
- No instruction comes with it. With that said, it doesn?t require any separate step other than the usual polymeric sand installation processes.
- It doesn?t offer multiple colors.
Budding Co is a reputed company that has been manufacturing construction material for years now. It was established in 1861.
This very polymeric sand covers 30-40 square feet for every 18 lbs of sands. It?s quite a satisfactory amount of coverage, I should say.
When it?s about making a strong bond between the pavers, this sand shines in quality. It also takes less drying time to cure than many of its competitors.
Don?t forget; this sand requires above freezing temperature to set correctly.
Moreover, it?s quite efficient in preventing weed growth than other sands. Filling up the gaps between broken flagstones is easy-peasy too with this sand.
Overall, this polymeric sand does what it?s supposed to do pretty well.
Top-rated Polymeric Sand – Buying Guide
Coverage That a Bag of Sand Gives
The first thing you have to consider is the coverage you will be getting from a bag of sand.
It depends on the total square feet of the area and how big you want the joints between the pavers.
Well, I don?t think you have to end up with the most accurate calculation here.
You only have to make sure the amount of weight of the bag you are going to buy will cover the space adequately (calculating the total square feet of the area). Similarly, you can save your money too by not buying a big size of sandbag unnecessarily.
For instance, the 45 lbs Dominator polymeric sand bucket covers 20-80 square feet, whereas the 13 lbs one covers 8-32 square feet.
Polymeric sand manufacturers offer various colors of sands so that you can buy similar to the color of your paver.
The most common colors are tan and gray. These two colors match with most of the paver?s color. Nonetheless, most of the top-manufacturers offer some other useful colors like black, red, brown, charcoal, etc.
So, you should go for the one that matches the paver most.
The sand you are going to buy should feature weather resistance. It?s vital that the sand withstands heavy rainfall. It should be protected from UV and snow damage.
?Like any other item, buying the most cost-effective polymeric sand is essential.
Generally, the price remains below $100 in most of the cases for anything about 45 lbs to 50 lbs of the bag.
You can always compare between brands to see what fits your budget most.
Brand Value and User Acceptance
Buying from the reputed brand is vital here. As the sand needs to be top-notch and durable, you must consider buying from a well-known brand rather than going for the cheap ones.
What is Polymeric Sand?
Polymeric sand is a kind of fine sand, except it has some polymer additives that help to make stronger bonds than regular fine sands.
Silica is the most commonly used additive in polymeric sand that makes a strong bond between the joints when it comes to water contact. Besides Silica, it can be made of some other polymers as well.
That?s why polymeric sand is used to join the paver stones instead of bedding. Apart from keeping the joint tight, this type of sand also prevents the growth of weeds. Polymeric sand makes it impossible for the ants too to make a space between the paver joints.
As this type of sand doesn?t wash away due to rainfall, it beats the natural sands in terms of longevity.
Remember, polymeric sands get activated when it comes to water contact. It requires some points to consider and follow some steps to apply this sort of sand. Once you apply it properly, it will make the joints strong for years to come.
Polymeric Sand Alternatives
While polymeric sand provides quite a strong bonding between the joints, you can use some other alternatives to make those joints strong almost similar.
Some of the alternatives to the polymeric sands are –
- Builder?s sand.
- Stone dust.
Builder?s sand is the most popular alternative to the polymeric sand because of its availability and low price.
However, it is not as good as its polymeric sand counterpart in preventing weed growth.
Cement is another excellent alternative as it can make quite a strong bond between the joints too.
Regarding availability, cement is more available than polymeric sand, as so many companies make high-quality cement.
Stone dust is something that?s being produced when the stones are crushed by the crushers.
It?s mostly used for bedding. However, you can use it for paver joints as well to get substantially strong bonding.
It can prevent weed from growing and prevent the rainwater from going into the base of the paving efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question #1. How to remove polymeric sand from Pavers?
Answer: As the polymeric sand makes quite a hard bond, it?s a bit difficult to remove the polymeric sand once it?s activated.
It?s not entirely impossible, though. You can follow some steps to remove polymeric sand from pavers.
One of the most effective ways is to use a plate contactor to crack up the sands.
Alternatively, using a hot water pressure to reactivate the polymer and letting the sand ripped away is another effective way to remove polymeric sand. For a small area, you can use boiling water instead of a hot water pressure washer.
You can use a sharp scraper to remove the sands.
If all these don?t seem a useful solution to you, toss the brick and remove the sand effortlessly.
Question #2. Why is my polymeric sand not hardening?
Answer: The core job of polymeric sand is to make a strong bond between the joints.
However, you may find it soft when you press on it.
Don?t blame the quality of the sand alone. There could be some other reasons involved in feeling the sand soft.
Let me point out some of those.
Mostly if you do anything wrong while installing the sand, it would create this issue.
The sand needs the sun to dry up properly. So, if you don?t let it dry for a couple of days under direct sunlight, it will feel soft even after a couple of weeks after installation. Checking the weather before installing polymeric sand is vital for this reason.
Apart from the weather, the lack of compaction is another reason behind this trouble because it causes the sand to hold a lot of water.
Reasons like stone dust, improper concrete overlay, improper patio pitch are also responsible for this matter.
Question #3. Where to buy the Gator dust polymeric sand?
Answer: Gator Dust polymeric sand is manufactured by Alliance Designer Products that sells its products in the USA, Canada, and Europe.
Gator dust works best with natural stone; hence it?s quite a handy-dandy option for residential pavers.
It makes the stone joint quite strong once it gets activated. It?s a mixture of calibrated stone and polymer.
You can buy it from the Alliancegator website or from Amazon. Check this link for buying from Amazon.
Question #4. Where to buy polymeric sand?
Answer: Polymeric sand is not like regular sand. It contains polymers as additives that get activated by the water and make a strong bond between the paver joints.
You can buy polymeric sand from several offline and online stores. Any reputed online stores like Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowes, etc. carry polymeric sand.
Question #5. How much polymeric sand do I need?
Answer: You can find the required amount of polymeric sand with ease, considering the area it needs to be covered.
The required amount can vary based on the width of the joint. You will need less sand for tight joints than wide joints.
Here is a cool online calculator for calculating the approximate amount of polymeric sand someone requires for an area.
Remember, you have to use a plate compactor for the proper compaction of the sand. After the first compaction, the sand will drop about 35%-40%, and then you need to put more sand to fill up the joints appropriately.
You must ensure the right amount of sand during the installation based on the area. Both overfilling and underfilling are not suitable to get the best results.
Question #6. Where to buy Alliance polymeric sand?
Answer: Alliance Designers Product is a famous brand when it?s about making polymeric sand.
You can buy it from several online stores like Amazon, Alliancegator, Siteone, Royaltonsupply, etc.
Question #7. How to remove polymeric sand haze from pavers?
Answer: During the polymeric sand installation process, one of the vital steps is to spray water to activate the polymer inside the sand.
However, if you don?t remove the poly dust leftover before applying water, it will create a white sand haze later on the paver surface.
Things will get worse if you apply paver sealer, keeping this sand haze unnoticed.
To remove polymeric sand haze, you can use vinegar if the haze is not that severe.
Nonetheless, an acid-based cleaner is better than vinegar for removing severe sand haze.
The good thing is, you can buy off the shelf solutions to get the job done correctly. Check this Artisan poly haze remover.
Question #8. How to put polymeric sand between pavers?
Answer: Applying polymeric sand between pavers requires some crucial steps to follow. Choosing the high-quality sand and checking the weather are two of them.
You must choose a sunny day to apply polymeric sand, and there should be no rain for two days after applying the sand.
To put the sand, you need a push broom, plate compactor, leaf blower, and sprayer.
Before pouring the sand, dry clean the surface to remove any dust and debris.
Then pour the sand on the surface.
Use the push broom to glide the sand throughout the paver to fill up the joints appropriately.
Next, use the plate compactor to fill the air pockets between the joints. Lack of compaction is one of the core reasons behind soft feeling after installing the paver.
Before you activate the polymeric sand by spraying water on it, use the leaf blower to remove the residue. Otherwise, you will have some white haze after installation.
Once you are done with spraying the surface to activate the polymer, let the surface dry for at least two days.
Question #9. Where to buy Techniseal polymeric sand?
.Answer: Techniseal is one of the most significant companies in making high-quality polymeric sand that has been dominating the market for 30 years now.
It sells throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
If you are residing in the US, use this link to find your nearby store location.
Alternatively, you can order online from different sites like Renodepot, Eco-Logic, etc.
Question #10. How much is polymeric sand?
Answer: The price of polymeric sand varies depending on the brand, weight, location, etc.
Typically, the price is around $85 per bag of 45-50 lbs in most of the cases.
Question #11. How long does polymeric sand take to harden?
Answer: You must check the weather before installing the pavers using polymeric sand. It should be a sunny day when you install the pavers.
Moreover, there shouldn?t be any rain two days after the installation. It?s because you should give at least 48 hours to dry the surface to let the sand set correctly.
Before you allow foot traffic, let it dry for at least 24 hours, and at least 48 hours drying time before letting the vehicle go over the surface.
Question #12. Is polymeric sand safe?
Answer: In general, it?s safe for the surroundings.
However, check the datasheet provided by the manufacturers to see if it?s safe for your concern.
Question #13. When is the best time to install polymeric sand?
Answer: You should install polymeric sand on a sunny day. On top of that, there shouldn?t be any rain two days after the installation, as it requires at least 48 hours of drying time.
So, skip the rainy days and choose the sunny days.
With that said, if rain shows up all of a sudden, make sure to cover the surface. Uncover it immediately once the rain stops.
Question #14. Is polymeric sand better than regular sand?
Answer: When it?s about making a strong bond between the paver joints, polymeric sand is way better than regular sand without any doubt.
Nevertheless, for sand bedding purposes, regular sand is good enough.
Read the key differences here.
Question #15. How to use Polymeric Sand?
Answer: Click to read the detailed guide.
In this best polymeric sand review guide, I?ve shortlisted three quality options mentioning all the highs and lows of each of the units.
Despite having a few hiccups, I still believe all these three units have all the abilities to steal the show.
I?m sure you haven?t missed out on the FAQ section to get a better understanding of using polymeric sands.
If you want me to vote only one, I will go for the Dominator polymeric sand as it offers several colors and weight options. On top of that, it features everything your paver requires to get a strong bond.