SOLVED! - Paver Sand Vs. Play Sand: Breakdowns

All sorts of sand exist but once it comes to home improvements projects, people tend to come across two types: paver sand and play sand. These types of sand pack unique characteristics which is why it’s ill-advised to use them in just any application without thinking it through. Still, for those that know little about sand, it’s kind of difficult to differentiate paver sand from play sand. Thus, during the preparation of materials for projects that involve sand, one topic piques the curiosity of many modern homeowners: paver sand vs. play sand.

A Summary Of Paver Sand And Play Sand 

Sand Products In Eastern Canada | Shaw Resources

Seek information about paver sand and play sand so you could make the right call when the time comes? If that is the case then you have to check out this article. Down below is everything that you must know regarding both types of sand from what they are to how to apply them.


What Is Paver Sand

Also known as polymeric sand, paver sand consists of fine grains and special additives that would become a powerful binding agent once mixed with water. While constructing paver patios, people use paver sand for the joints to stop the pavers from separating over time. Able to inhibit weed growth, keep out ants and prevent rain from washing sand particles away, paver sand plays a key role in maintaining the structural integrity of the pavers. By holding the pavers together, paver sand helps preserve the aesthetic of paver patios as well.

What Is Play Sand 

As the name suggests, play sand is a type of sand made from the ground up for children to play. Unlike its contemporaries, play sand incorporates sub-rounded grains that take little time to remove if they get into the eyes of children. In addition to that, thanks to its non-staining nature, play sand won’t leave behind marks on children’s clothes. Last but not least, being non-toxic, play sand poses no threat to the health of children even after extensive exposure.


For Paver Sand

  • Step 1: Process the ground in the patio. Use whatever means necessary to level the surface before application. Moreover, you have to get rid of the weeds so they don’t cause pavers to shift as time passes by. One way to do so is to use a non-selective herbicide but remember to read the instructions.
  • Step 2: Apply the paver sand. It’s worth pointing out that paver sand is prone to staining so you need to apply it when the area is dry. Take some time to sweep the surface to fill gaps in joints with paver sand.
  • Step 3: Pour water onto the pavers. Keep the amount moderate since too much water may wash away the sand. Proceed with the watering until you manage to cover every nook and cranny of the paver patio.
  • Step 4: Close off traffic to the paver patio. On average, paver needs between one (for foot traffic) and three days (for vehicular traffic) to work. To be thorough, you should consider hanging a tarp on top of the paver patio
  • Step 5: Seal the paver patio. While the use of sealer is optional, it could address a couple of issues: staining, fading, etc. Hence, if you want to stay on the safe side, you have to seal your paver patio.

For Play Sand 

  • Step 1: Look for a good spot. Prioritize locations that have a balance between sunlight and shade. That being said, it’s best to avoid areas that witness high volumes of fallen leaves, flying debris and so on.
  • Step 2: Construct a sandbox. Calculate the measurements of the sandbox based on the amount of play sand, the number of children, … About the frame of the sandbox, you can use various materials but you should stick to wood as a precaution.
  • Step 3: Place a piece of cloth at the bottom of the sandbox. Don’t use tarps because there is a good chance that they would cause drainage issues.
  • Step 4: Pour play sand into the sandbox. For instance, to fill a six-by-seven sandbox, it’s necessary to use around twenty five bags of play sand.
  • Step 5: Even out the sand. Use a shovel to spread the sand across the sandbox until you have a level surface. The moment the top sand layer becomes even, your sandbox is ready to use.

Determining The Sand To Use: Hints 

Play Sand vs Builders Sand | Online Sand

All in all, different projects require different types of sand so the winner in paver sand vs. play sand changes from case to case. To make a wise decision, you need to ensure that you have a firm grasp of your project.

If you want to set up patio pavers, you won’t regret using paver sand for your project. On the other hand, if you have a plan to build a sandbox for your children, go for play sand. To minimize the odds of ending up with the wrong sand, you must take a close look at the label before committing to a purchase. Feel free to get in touch with the manufacturer of sand for information about their product.


Sand | Fine Sand | Paver Sand | Play Sand | Keleny Top Soil

Is it wise to use paver sand instead of play sand for sandbox?

Once it comes to choosing sand for paver patios, paver sand is the one that comes out on top in paver sand vs. play sand. However, regarding sandboxes, it’s strongly recommended that you use play sand to protect the well-being of your children. Unlike play sand, paver sand never needs to pass tests that clear them for use by children. As a result, if you select paver sand as a substitute for play sand in the sandbox, you would expose your children to a series of risks.

How long do paver sand and play sand last?

Quite a few factors affect the longevity of paver sand but the average lifespan of products on the market is one year. For play sand, most products don’t have a shelf life but to maintain sanitation, you should replace play sand in the sandbox annually.

Could I make play sand on my own?

Like to keep your children happy but don’t want to spend big bucks on play sand? Then you always have the option of making play sand with ingredients around the house. All you need to do is to mix cups of wheat flour and vegetable oil at a 4:1 ratio. The result is something that resembles damp beach sand but it’s not too wet. Also, being moldable, the mixture of wheat flour and vegetable oil allows your children to mold it as they see fit.

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