Poly-sand, i thought i was crazy...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DeereHauler, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. DeereHauler

    DeereHauler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 604

    i was just reading another post and a question was asked if poly sand was used. I know i'm a smaller company, and hardscapes are a smaller portion of our work, but i always use poly sand on my patios and walkways. I guess i thought i was losing my mind because none of my competitors are using it, none..... i was talking with the block dealer, and she couldn't believe this. For the price of it, and how great it works, i can't believe its not standard practice. i guess to cut costs they skip it, i would rather price it in, and have a higher quality job. My customers today we arguing about what i put on their patio because i never really explained to them what poly sand was, and she thought it was special sand, and he thought we sprayed a glue on it. Once i explained it they were thrilled.

    i would imagine most of you who install patios almost full time use it consistantly, i just couldn't see not using it. Are there any benefits of not using it, maybe in areas that require more drainage?
  2. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    There are NO benefits of NOT using it. None.Nada. Zip.

    Stuff is like 15 bucks per 100 square feet,chump change in the overall scheme of things.

    Definitely not professionals if they are sweeping regular sand in the joints....its pointless.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    We DO use poly sand, but I'm gonna tell you guys something.

    1st if all - Poly sand is still new to the industry (in my opinion).

    2nd - to qualify myself, please know that we've been a paver installer for 13 years now. Thats over a decade!

    Ok, we have jobs that we did 10 to 13 years ago and the people have called us back to do more work in the recent past.

    So while we're on the property, naturally we'll check out the work we done and see how it's holding up.

    Our first jobs we used bedding sand as joint sand. Latter, we used Silica sand for joint sand. We used it simply because it comes bone dry.

    On our OLD jobs, jobs that were done LONG before poly sand was on the market - I have found the sand we used to be nearly as hard as mortar. NO EXAGERATING.

    Again, yes we do use poly sand on all the jobs we do. so I'm not downing poly sand.

    Before we go saying that using anything else is unprofessional, a low baller scum, incompetent, etc - please be aware that other sands DO in fact hold up VERY well.

  4. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    Are we talking just pavers here? cause I wouldn't normally use it for flagstone... just for looks.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    We use it on every job we do. Just standard practice. But that's the way I am. If I know of a better product, I'm going to use it.

    I have noticed, though, that very few of my competition use it and don't usually include it in their bids. I don't really care too much about those guys too much. They are just trying to get their bid price to be lower. I don't want customers who are just looking for the lowest price. I'm happy to let those low-ballers have those kind of customers.

    I'm looking for customers who aren't afraid to pay for quality. Our prices are typically a little higher than most other companies - whether it be hardscapes or irrigation or lawn care or whatever. And yet we're still always growing. So I don't think most customers are looking JUST at the lowest price - like a lot of contractors think they are. There are a fair percentage of customers who are basing their decision on a lot of things, price being just one of those items. I'm after those people....
  6. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    every job? What do you do on flagstone jobs were people want to grow thing's in the gap's (grass, moss, etc.).
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Well, first of all, I assumed we were talking about pavers here. That's pretty much the only thing you'd ever use polymeric sand for. Poly sand is not appropriate for flagstone.

    There are products like Gator Dust that are similar. They are polymer glue mixed with crushed gravel. I guess maybe you could call that poly-gravel. Whatever... Anyway. That's not quite the same thing as poly sand. Sort of a different topic.

    But anyway, we do install the Gator Dust on the majority of our flagstone patios and pathways too. But I always ask the customer if they want to plant something in the joints of the flagstone or if they were looking to have a hardened joint. Most people (80-90%) don't want things growing between their flagstone. So then we do the Gator Dust. But for those who do, we are happy to oblige. It's whatever the customer wants, you know?

    It's kind of a moot point though. We don't do a lot of flagstone anymore. Typically when someone asks for a bid on a flagstone patio these days, I direct them toward the Arbel Pavers instead. They have the look of flagstone with a lot more advantages. So I'll usually talk them into using this product over flagstone these days. But we still do a few. We did a few flagstone jobs this year. Just not near as many as we used to. Pavers are my hardscape of choice these days. And these Arbel pavers are the best of both worlds.

Share This Page