Some products are not exactly household names with the general public but are nonetheless of great utility in projects such as building paver patios. Polymeric sand is just such a product. Don't be put off by the scientific-sounding name: what it is and what it does are pretty straightforward:
What is Polymeric Sand?
Polymeric sand is used to fill the joints between pavers, including concrete pavers, brick pavers, and stone pavers. This product is a fine sand combined with additives, usually silica, that, when mixed with water, form a binding agent. These binders lock the sand particles together, which helps lock all the pavers together.
Why Use It?
Plain old sand can be used to fill the joints between pavers, but polymeric sand offers many advantages:
- Improves durability. The binding agents in this product help lock the pavers together. This will give your installation more strength over the long haul. Polymeric sand also reduces the amount of water that will wash between the pavers and down into the base materials. This will help keep the foundation of your project sturdy as well.
- Prevents washouts. A heavy rain won't wash all of the sand out of the joints between pavers if you use polymeric sand. With plain old sand, this is a common problem.
- Deters weeds. Weeds are amazingly resilient and can grow almost anywhere. Using this product won't guarantee that weeds won't grow in your new walkway or patio, but it will help considerably. Plain sand is a much more inviting home for weeds than polymeric sand.
- Resistance to ants. Ants will have a much more difficult time getting into and making homes in the spaces between your pavers if you use polymeric sand.
- Colors. Polymeric sand comes in a variety of colors, usually in different shades of gray and beige. Choose the color that goes best with your pavers.
Where Can I Buy It?
When you purchase your pavers, you will most likely be able to purchase polymeric sand at the same time. If not, check your local home improvement store. This product usually comes in 20 or 40 pound bags, so it is relatively easy to handle.