You just finished putting in your garden walk or your paver patio, and your Fort Lauderdale front yard looks great, and you are happy to be finished. After all the hard work and time you put in, you want to make sure that your project will last for years to come. One of the most important things you can do to finish off your paver project is to use polymeric sand in the joints. What is polymeric sand? Despite the fancy name, polymeric sand is nothing more than a filling material that hardens when exposed to water to help hold your pavers in place.
Polymeric sand is very fine sand that is combined with additives, usually silica, that forms a binding agent when mixed with water and hardens as it dries. When used with brick, concrete or travertine pavers, the polymeric sand fills the joints and keeps the pavers in place. While many people use regular sand to fill the joints between their pavers, polymeric sand has some critical advantages.
- Durable- because of the binding agents, the polymeric sand gives your structure more strength and will ultimately last longer.
- Regular sand washes or blows away over time.
- Weeds cannot grow through polymeric sand, which means no weeds in your walkway or patio.
- A variety of color choices are available to match your paver choice best.
Some important details to keep in mind when using polymeric sand on your paver project:
- Polymeric sand works best when used to fill the full depth of the paver.
- Joints should be between ¼” and 1.5” wide for the best results. Any wider and it will take longer for the sand to harden.
- False joints in pavers can be filled successfully if they are more than ¼” wide and ¼” deep.
How to Apply Polymeric Sand
- Once you have finished your project, spread the polymeric sand over your pavers and sweep with a broom to fill the joints. Tap the pavers to get the sand to settle and continue sweeping until all joints are filled up to 1/8” from the top.
- Gently sweep any remaining sand from the surface. If you have a leaf blower (this works the best), turn it on the lowest setting and hold at a slight angle to make sure that you do not blow sand from the joints. Any remaining sand that is left on the surface of your pavers will harden when you water it, so take your time and make sure the surface is clean.
- Watering the polymeric sand is the most important step. You need to be careful so that you saturate the sand enough for it to bind properly but not to flood it causing the binding agents to float from the mixture. Set your hose to “shower” or a similar setting and water the paver joints until the point they do not absorb any more water. A few seconds of watering and then stopping to observe is the way to go. This is especially important because you will not be able to add more water later.
- Adding a sealer is the final step. Wait a few days for the sand to harden and completely dry then apply the sealer. This will not only help your pavers look new longer, but it will also protect them as well.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Cheaper the price of the polymeric sand, the cheaper the product. Do some research and read reviews to find the best polymeric sand for pavers because you do not want to be refilling the joints the following year.
- Under or over watering is perhaps the biggest mistake that is made. Take your time and water in short bursts. Once you see that the joints are not absorbing any more water, you know they are saturated.
- Check the weather and complete your project during a stretch of days without a chance of rain.
- Not cleaning the surface of your pavers off will result in undesirable results. Take the time to remove any excess sand from the surface properly before you begin to water.
If you have any questions or would rather have professionals handle your paver project, check out Cricket Pavers. With multiple locations in Southwest Florida, they provide superior service backed by years of experience. Contact them today at to begin!