Poly sand..why bother

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Hayduke, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Hayduke

    Hayduke LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 233

    Here's why I stopped using it:
    1)It costs more and I've got to fuss around with all these specialty bags that get half used and end up in my shed to go to waste.
    2) It's expensive and finicky, has to be dry and not raining to install-we get rain 100 days a year.
    3) It sheds water and requires additional attention to drainage that isn't needed when dealing with good old fashioned concrete sand.
    4) Ants? If you are doing a traditional sand bedding layer, ants will happily get into that whether there is poly sand in the joints or not. And if you're doing an open grade base with 3/8 chip setting bed, it doesn't matter either if its poly sand in the joints or not.
    5) Weeds? Weeds don't root in regular sand that well and if they do, just pull em out, or torch them if they are small.
    6) I've seen one of my jobs and several other contractors jobs where the poly sand separated from the pavers and it looked like the patio was settling even though it wasn't. Call backs call backs.
    7) If it rains a lot, the polymer leaches out in a year or two, and you are left with "regular sand" except it sticks to the pavers and if you need to re-do the joints its going to be a royal pain whereas with regular sand, no problem.

    So why do you love it? I am all ears....
    hort101 likes this.
  2. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 769

    Because most of the above is untrue or lack of planning or know how.
    I like that it sheds water. Kind of a plus. Meaning less drainage in most cases
    Weed less.
    Its very easy to install and super low maintenance
    Aesthetically superior, color choices
    High traffic tolerance
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,919

    You can seal regular sand base pavers too
    You should be able to see sand on an interlocking pavers patio if it’s correctly installed.

    I only use poly sand on natural rock patios where the joints are large but don’t want them to be mortared (wet vs dry look) and I’m worried about sand erosion
    KUMA01, rlitman and hort101 like this.
  4. OP

    Hayduke LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 233

    The reason I ask is because I've had some client requests/inquiries as to whether I'll be using it on their projects. I have renewed interest in it; seems a lot of contractors still use it. I just dropped it three or four years ago because it seemed unneccessary. So anyone want to convince me otherwise, I'm open.
  5. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 769

    Main reason not to use sand is because it retains moisture
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,771

    I agree with you hayduke 100%.

    You’re thinking on this is right in line with my mentality. Been around hardscape a since 1994.

    Poly sand is not needed.

    And poly sand is absolutely Not a weed inhibitor. Weeds (defined as a plant out of Place) grow anywhere. If the property is in say a rural area, with fields around, the weed seeds blow in the wind, and there a very high probability the patio will have weeds growing in the joints, even with poly sand. If the patio is surrounded by houses with lush lawns - it will probably never have weeds growing in it.

    Never. Ever. When doing a sales speal to a client, tell them the poly sand will prevent weeds. Very deceptive.

    In the 1990’s when we started working with pavers we used silica sand in the joints. Cost like $15 a 50# bag, and is bone dry. No special science to applying it.

    To this day,’I still visit some of the jobs we did and used silica sand in the joints. Completely fully intact.

    People here can post until they’re blue in the face how detrimental it is that polysand be used. And I’ll say it now - THEY’RE WRONG.
    hort101 likes this.
  7. azlandshapes

    azlandshapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    We stopped using it ten years ago. Havent looked back and we maintain all out projects. Some have been in our routes for years. We see no issue w regular sand.
    hort101 likes this.
  8. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    I hate poly sand.
    hort101 likes this.
  9. Andrew H

    Andrew H LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,976

    Are we referring to polymeric sand?
  10. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 769

    I hope so. Oh boy.
    Cam15 and zlandman like this.

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