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View Full Version : Polymeric Sand Color on Paver Patios


JimLewis
08-12-2010, 09:50 PM
We almost always use Polymeric sand on all the paver patios we install. I know not everyone uses it. And that's fine. I don't want to start an argument about which is better. But for those of you who do use polymeric a lot, this question is addressed to you guys;

What color do you prefer? We basically have 2 options available in are area; gray and tan. And we've typically used the gray on pavers that had more of a gray color theme and for pavers that were more brown colored we'd usually use the tan polymeric sand. But I am starting to notice that most pavers just look better with the gray colored polymeric sand - regardless of what color the pavers are. The tan just stands out too much a lot of the time. Anyone agree with that? Or what have you seen? Do you have a preference? Or do you just always use what matches the paver most?

nepatsfan
08-12-2010, 09:56 PM
Same here gray or tan available. We try to match...using mostly gray. I usually ask the homeowner and tell them what I think. 8 out of 10 is gray. I think it looks better 90% of the time. Why would you start an argument about polymeric. Its definitely better than using sand or stone dust.

P.L.
08-12-2010, 09:59 PM
I always use gray as well it just seems to look better than tan no matter what color the paver or brick is.

JimLewis
08-12-2010, 10:30 PM
Why would you start an argument about polymeric. Its definitely better than using sand or stone dust.

I've known some here on this forum and on other hardscape forums who still swear by the regular sand. They say the polymeric sand is too messy, too sticky, not permeable, etc. Some say it doesn't turn out as well because the polymeric sticks to places on the patio that you don't want it to. I understand where they're coming from. I've experienced all that. But we've also gotten a lot better at getting around all that too. Just takes some work.

nepatsfan
08-13-2010, 08:06 AM
I've known some here on this forum and on other hardscape forums who still swear by the regular sand. They say the polymeric sand is too messy, too sticky, not permeable, etc. Some say it doesn't turn out as well because the polymeric sticks to places on the patio that you don't want it to. I understand where they're coming from. I've experienced all that. But we've also gotten a lot better at getting around all that too. Just takes some work.

My experience is that as long as the pavers are totally dry and you clean it real well before you wet it down everything works out fine.

DVS Hardscaper
08-13-2010, 11:49 AM
This topic just came up about a month or so ago on this forum.

Naturally, you wanna match the poly sand color to the pavers.

But the fact of the matter is - in about 14 months it wont matter - 1) the color will wash out from the sun. 2) It'll be covered in a layer of dirt.



Also, in terms of regular sand. I'm an old veteran paver guy. When we first started doing pavers - all that was available WAS regular sand. We used Silica sand, as it comes bone dry in bags.

Now, on forums you'll read where people write "you HAVE to use poly sand, what are you crazy". Well the people that usually make such statements are of the younger generation where they believe there are no other options, as they have only known polysand since they 1st time they ever layed a finger on a paver.

Mason sand, silica sand, even concrete sand will work just fine. Although concrete sand is a pain in the tail because it has pebbles in it. Silica sand?? We bought it for $6 / bag. And trust me - there have never been any problems with it.



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JimLewis
08-13-2010, 01:25 PM
My experience is that as long as the pavers are totally dry and you clean it real well before you wet it down everything works out fine.

Yah, well. Three problems with that. First, I live in a climate where it's wet or rainy half of the time when we're laying pavers. So having them "totally dry" just isn't always an option. Hence, messy.... Two, sometimes the pavers themselves come a little wet. They've been sitting on pallets with moisture in between them for a month or more and they are just saturated. They sometimes don't dry out right away. Third problem is pavers that have a texture to them, like Venetian from Pavestone. We can broom and blow lightly with a blower and still not get the polymeric out of every little area on those things. And then when we wet it down, a little of the polymeric in the joints starts to spill out and starts to get all into the textured part on top of the pavers again. So then you have to clean it again after it's wet. The stuff just a beeotch sometimes. Especially in wet climates. But we still use it because I like what it does. Keeps joints full longer, minimizes weeds in joints, etc.

Lugnut
08-14-2010, 02:23 PM
I used mason sand when I first started out 4 years ago, switched over to polymetric and will never go back. It is certainly more expensive and takes a little more effort to work with, but I think the finished product is much much better with it. What I do however to use less polymetric, I use some mason sand, sweep it in, compact and this fills the joints up about halfway. Use polymetric on the top, after all the polymetric stays loose under the surface anyway so why waste it? And I usually use whatever color matches the pavers better, although theres no huge color difference between gray and tan.

DaveyBlue32
09-28-2013, 12:25 AM
This topic just came up about a month or so ago on this forum.

Naturally, you wanna match the poly sand color to the pavers.

But the fact of the matter is - in about 14 months it wont matter - 1) the color will wash out from the sun. 2) It'll be covered in a layer of dirt.



Also, in terms of regular sand. I'm an old veteran paver guy. When we first started doing pavers - all that was available WAS regular sand. We used Silica sand, as it comes bone dry in bags.

Now, on forums you'll read where people write "you HAVE to use poly sand, what are you crazy". Well the people that usually make such statements are of the younger generation where they believe there are no other options, as they have only known polysand since they 1st time they ever layed a finger on a paver.

Mason sand, silica sand, even concrete sand will work just fine. Although concrete sand is a pain in the tail because it has pebbles in it. Silica sand?? We bought it for $6 / bag. And trust me - there have never been any problems with it.



,



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Keep goin' it's a book! "It's all about permeability!...man. I'm a fan of cheap and permeable. Although, I have a patio project where I was just googling dark brown poly sand and wanna find a supply for dark brown...?

JimLewis
09-28-2013, 04:32 AM
Old thread......

DaveyBlue32
09-28-2013, 12:16 PM
Old thread......

Who do you order dark brown from? Or, can you buy local? Ty, David
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DVS Hardscaper
09-28-2013, 01:15 PM
Old thread......

Yeah, but the "use by" expiration date hasn't passed.
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JimLewis
09-28-2013, 03:03 PM
Who do you order dark brown from? Or, can you buy local? Ty, David
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We never use anything but grey poly sand. But pretty much every brand comes in all sorts of colors. Wherever you buy poly sand locally, just ask them if they can get it in brown. It may be a special order item, as it isn't very popular.

scagrider22
09-28-2013, 06:42 PM
We almost always use beige, it's a good contrast color that matches most pavers and when it starts to weather it's not as drastic of a change as grey. Most of the time I use poly but not always, some times I use joint sand and a satin sealer.
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DaveyBlue32
09-28-2013, 07:04 PM
I usually want to maintain permeability... but on this little patio i'm wrapping up I really need all water to run off where I want it to ... ie ... the poly ... but I really want to do it in dark brown or really dark gray ... I'm afraid if it looks like crap I'll be out of luck ... think I'll get a 2'x2' piece of plywood and make some sample boards ... nothing in the real looks like the pictures ... know what i mean!

JimLewis
09-28-2013, 07:52 PM
Are you installing a variety of pavers that are permeable? Or just hoping to get some permeability from regular pavers with regular sand???

scagrider22
09-28-2013, 08:06 PM
Are you installing a variety of pavers that are permeable? Or just hoping to get some permeability from regular pavers with regular sand???

I always try to run the water off the patio, I don't use poly when I'm installing a paver that has very rough texture such as UNILOCK iL Campo because its very hard to get the poly off.
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JimLewis
09-28-2013, 08:21 PM
I hear ya there! We have major struggles with that. But we still always use the poly anyway.

scagrider22
09-28-2013, 08:25 PM
Have you ever used poly sand with umbriano? I have not simply just because UNILOCK says not to but I was not sure why. When I do patios with iL Campo as an accent I use a shop vac to clean off the top of each paver after I blow off, it makes a big difference in the final product. But it is way to time consuming to do this on a patio with iL Campo as the field paver!
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DaveyBlue32
09-28-2013, 09:12 PM
Are you installing a variety of pavers that are permeable? Or just hoping to get some permeability from regular pavers with regular sand???

I use both ... and I just did a pea gravel float over ... that instead of grinding/polish I want to do dark poly to kinda grout the marble gravel ... if I ever figure out how to upload pics into the quote I'll be able to show you the finished surface ... The good news is that they have said "go on with it!" and if it's not good I'll surface stain it or something to make it look good. They're a cool customer that are willing to take the chance... :usflag:

justinla45
10-02-2013, 06:22 PM
I'm in total disagreement why would you have to match the sand and pavers. Grey sand with brown pavers absolutely stands and looks fantastic.
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JimLewis
10-03-2013, 12:35 AM
I'm in total disagreement why would you have to match the sand and pavers. Grey sand with brown pavers absolutely stands and looks fantastic.
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I agree 100%. This is kind of an old thread. But even back in 2010 when I posted it, we were mostly using gray for all our installs anyway. Since then, we've installed over 100 paver patios all sorts of colors and gray always works great.

neighborguy
10-22-2013, 11:44 PM
SCAGRIDER22: I was just on Unilocks website and noticed the same thing about the Umbriano, but I noticed that they also note the following:

Jointing Material and Joint Stabilization

∑ Good: Ordinary dry joint sand

∑ Better: Most polymeric sands can be used (proper cleaning is essential prior to and during activation)

∑ Best: ordinary dry joint sand stabilized by a water-based or solvent based joint sand stabilizer sealer.

I have laid 3 patios recently with Umbriano and used poly in the joints with good results.

DaveyBlue32
10-22-2013, 11:59 PM
SCAGRIDER22: I was just on Unilocks website and noticed the same thing about the Umbriano, but I noticed that they also note the following:

Jointing Material and Joint Sta

∑ Good: Ordinary dry joint sand

∑ Better: Most polymeric sands can be used (proper cleaning is essential prior to and during activation)

∑ Best: ordinary dry joint sand stabilized by a water-based or solvent based joint sand stabilizer sealer.

I have laid 3 patios recently with Umbriano and used poly in the joints with good results.



Can ya post pics for me to get a look-see? Ty, David
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