Polymeric Sand Color on Paver Patios

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    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?
  2. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    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.
  3. P.L.

    P.L. LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 70

    I always use gray as well it just seems to look better than tan no matter what color the paver or brick is.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    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.
  5. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    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.
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    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.


    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    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.
  8. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    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.
  9. DaveyBlue32

    DaveyBlue32 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    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...?
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

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