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Homesthetics

3 Best Polymeric Sands Right Now | Buyer’s Guide

Most people would agree that paved surfaces look and feel better than simple plain concrete or tile surfaces. In the construction of walkways, patios, and backyard lounges, pavers prove to be a better choice in all aspects.

If done right, they don’t just add on to the aesthetical appeal of the given space but they also offer the functionality you are looking for in any durable flooring option. Real estate agents also consider paved flooring as a value addition to any property.

Despite all these benefits, many homeowners still avoid pavers just because they require constant maintenance. One of the major drawbacks of pavers is that they get loose from their seams and joints with time. As a result, the surface loses its evenness and eventually starts chipping and cracking.

Polymeric sand is the additive that helps in holding the pavers together. If you haven’t dealt with paving before, it might seem pretty straightforward. Get the stones, bricks, and pavers of your choice and hold them together with any polymeric sand.

But it is important to clear one thing here. The way you choose the quality of the tiles and pavers for your property, it is equally important to pick polymeric sand in the same manner too. Yes, polymeric sand is not a standard commodity that you can buy without any brand name from any hardware store.

There are a lot of brands claiming to sell the best polymeric sands in the market. One has to choose the right option among them in order to make their paver projects long-lasting.  For that matter, we are going to review three of the best polymeric sands that are available in the market right now. Moreover, we will also extend our discussion to different aspects of polymeric sand i.e. its general guide, the difference from the regular sand and some of the frequently asked questions by the customers.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at three of the best polymeric sends available on the block.

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Best Polymeric Sands Today

Dominator Polymeric Sand- Best Paver Sand Adhesive

If you are quite certain that you don’t want to use regular sand or stone dust to fill the gaps and seams between the pavers, then Dominator Polymeric Sand is the best option out there. Besides Dominator’s own claims, many construction experts have also vouched for the quality and durability of this brand of polymeric sand.  

45 Pound, Natural Joint Stabilizing for Pavers, DOMINATOR...
  • DOMINATOR Polymeric Sand uses revolutionary SOLID FLEX...
  • Delivers professional performance not previously available...
  • Made with fine sand and a cement free formula to aid in easy...
  • Fantastic, modern color selection.
Highlights
  • Features a cutting-edge Solid Flex technology
  • A cement-free formula
  • Available in multiple colors

This combination of features makes Dominator Polymeric sand one of the best options for your paver projects. It’s probably the first polymeric sand that comes with a haze-free formula. This means no heavy air suspensions at the work site during the application of Dominator Polymeric Sand. Moreover, it is produced with Dominator’s patented Solid-Flex technology.  As the name suggests, this feature let the sand flex to stabilize the paver joints for supreme durability. This is the reason why Dominator Polymer Sand doesn’t corrode in the harshest of weather conditions.

Besides strengthening it for its basic function of providing required adhesion to pavers, Dominator has made sure that consumers can get an array of choice in its product from the visual standpoint as well. You can find a whole color palette to choose from while buying Dominator Polymeric Sand.

If you are using quintessential paver bricks in your patio, then choose from caramel and natural-colored Dominator Polymeric Sand. Titanium, taupe, and charcoal shades are also available; these will go well with your unique paver selection and overall décor theme.

While having all those winning points, there are some shortcomings as well. For instance, you are still required to do a little bit of clean-up job after the application of Dominator Polymeric Sand. Moreover, you might find it a bit pricier too given that it’s just ‘sand’.  

Pros
  • Haze-free nature offers hassle-free application 
  • Contains one of the most reliable polymer additives
  • Many color variants are available 
  • A comprehensive step-by-step guide makes the installation a breeze
Cons
  • Some clean-up is required after the application 
  • The price is a bit heftier than the other brands 

Sakrete Paver Set Polymeric Sand- Best Budget Polymeric Sand

Truth to be told, not everyone wants or can afford to use expensive branded polymeric sand for their simple paving projects. If you are one of those homeowners who don’t want the paving budget to get out of hand but also don’t want to compromise on the quality of the installation, then go with Sakrete Paver Set Polymeric Sand; it is a tailor-made option for you.

SAKRETE of North America 65300037 50 lb Polymeric Sand
  • Can Be Used For Wed Or Dry Applications
  • This product is easy to use and easy to install
  • This product is made of high quality
Highlights
  • One of the cheapest yet high-quality options on the block
  • Easy application
  • Ideal for concrete block pavement installation

In just $37 bucks, you get quality polymeric sand that can give the coverage of 56 sq-feet. You can’t get such value of money from any other high-quality polymeric sand option available in the market today.

Although it doesn’t feature the state-of-the-art properties of Dominator, you still get a paver adhesive that can withstand rain, snow, wind, and ice. And in regular weather conditions, Sakrete Polymeric Sand proves to be the best adhesive for your pavers.

Sakrete Pavers Set polymeric sand is only available in gray color but you couldn’t ask for more at such nominal price. Also, gray is the most popular color among paver adhesives and the majority of professionals use it only. So, it’s not that much of a constraint. Experts consider Sakrete Polymeric Sand the best fit for concrete block pavements.

Even though the user manual makes it quite easy to apply Sakrete Polymeric Sand in between pavers, but it needs extreme care in the following day of installation. It contains relatively low-quality polymers that are not treated enough. This is the reason why the curing of Sakrete polymer can take a while. You might need a spell of 3-4 clear and dry days to ensure the optimal application of Sakrete Polymeric Sand.

Pros
  • Offers wide coverage in the least price 
  • Affordable price in comparison to most of the branded polymeric sands available in the market 
  • Easy-to-handle application 
Cons
  • Curing takes time 
  • No variety of colors
  • Susceptible to washout in the subsequent days of installation

Alliance Gator Polymeric Super Sand- Best All-Around Polymeric Sand

Claiming to be ‘super sand’ means you have to live up to some standards. And kudos to Alliance Gator for developing polymeric sand that is rightly labeled as “super”.  Featuring flex and self-healing properties, Alliance Gator is quick to set in unlike many other branded polymeric sand options available in the market.

Alliance Gator G2 Intelligent Polymeric Super Sand - (Slate...
  • Can be used for joints up to a maximum of 2 inches and its...
  • Helps prevent weeds and damage caused by burrowing insects.
  • Helps prevent erosion due to wind, rain and freeze/thaw...
  • For Drainage application, Rapid Set rain safe 15 minutes...
Highlights
  • Sets in fast
  • Well-suited for all types of paving projects
  • Comes with a 15-year limited warranty
  • Easy to apply

While regular polymeric sands take days to set in and cure, Alliance Gator’s advanced polymer binders and calibrated sand allow it to cure and properly solidify within a couple of hours. Like Dominator, Alliance Gator Polymeric Sand is also a haze-free formula to make your paver projects appear as clean and finished as possible.

Many experienced construction contractors use it for all sorts of pavement projects. Alliance Gator’s quality polymeric sand can be used as a durable adhesive for paver construction regardless of the foot traffic it is going to bear. Footpaths, pool decks, driveways, or terraces—it’s suitable for them all.

The application of this super polymeric sand is also rather simple. At the time of application, just consider it any other regular joint sand. Spray it with some water and leave to set in. Alliance Gator Polymeric Sand is available in gray color only. However, all its super features make up for that shortcoming. Some homeowners might find it a bit pricier but again, given its durability and longevity, the expense is worth it.

Pros
  • Easy to use—just like any regular joint sand 
  • Versatile enough to be used in all types of pavement projects 
  • Sets noticeably faster than other branded polymeric sands 
  • Durable due to flex and self-healing properties
Cons
  • A bit expensive kids
  • Available in gray color only 

Short Buyer’s Guide for Best Sand Pavers

Polymeric sand is not like every other household and hardware project item. However, it proves to be quite useful in many contractor-led and DIY construction projects. Due to the extensive use of regular sand as paver joint material, many homeowners don’t know much about the polymeric alternative.

If you are still not sure regarding the utility of polymeric sand and the features that set it apart from the regular sand joiners, read on the rest of the piece because we are going to dissect this reliable paver adhesive in detail.

What Actually Is Polymeric Sand?

Polymeric sand is nothing but your regular sand with polymer additives and fine silica and quartz. The non-sand particles of the products act as binding agents when they are exposed to water. In fact, moisture activates them and they, in turn, strongly bind the sand particles together when applied in between the pavers.

By the end of the polymeric sand application, you get tightly packed paver blocks. They remain impregnable and keep their collective structure intact for many years amidst all the rough and tough weather conditions.

The Edge(s) of Polymeric Sand Over Regular Paver Sand

If you have used polymeric sand before, then you would definitely aware of how it is superior to regular paver sand. And for all those who can’t decide between the two for their next paving project. Here is the list of some of the characteristics that make polymeric sand a far better paver adhesive than regular sand.

Offer Better Durability | The interlocking mechanism of polymeric sand ensures improved durability with pavement construction. Pavers joined by polymeric sand don’t get patchy and lose their place for a long time.

No Washouts | A heavy snowfall or torrential rain is detrimental for a paver project held together by regular sand because it gets washed out in a great amount. Polymeric sand can withstand such harsh weather conditions.

No Weed Growth | Weed is inevitable where there is a scrap of sand. Pavement seams lined with regular sand eventually experience weed growth that doesn’t just tarnish the overall look, but their roots also jeopardize the foundation of pavement. It’s less likely for weed to grow in the sand with the overwhelming impurity of the polymer.

No Critter Problem | When sand particles are tightly interlocked in the polymeric base, ants and other tiny critters don’t find a place to dig and crawl beneath pavers to make their habitats.

Variety | With polymeric sand, you can get to choose from different colors to complement and contrast your pavers and the rest of the décor.

How to Apply Polymeric Sand for Optimal Adhesion

Polymeric sand is applied like any other paver stabilizing material or regular sand. These are three simple steps to makes sure you are doing your paving job for the best results.

Choose a Sunny Day

The recent weather conditions of your area play an integral role in the application of polymeric sand. Always try to choose a sunny day or at least a completely dry day for the job. Also, make sure weather forecast is not showing overcast conditions for a couple of following days.

Spread the Sand

Spread and swipe the sand all over the pavers so that it can amply get in between the pavers and right into the joints. Experts recommend doing this spread and swiping twice and then a final touch up to ensure all the paver seams and joints are completely filled and no space is left void.

When you see pavers are tightly bound together, remove all the spillover sand through a blower or broom. If you think that the use of blower can wash out the dry sand from the joints, only use a broom to clear the paver surface.

Mist the Sand

This is the last and most important part of the polymeric sand application where you activate its binding power through water. Gently spray water on entire pavement surface including the sand-filled joints and wait for the sand to soak the moisture. Be light with the spray as the idea is just to give a little mist to the particles and not to drench them.

The most of polymeric sands cure and fix into place after 20-30 minutes of mist application. Another round of gentle mist can be applied if needed.

If you are lucky and the sun is shining in all its glory, your newly paved surface will be ready to walk on even within an hour. However, the best practice is to leave the newly installed pavers for one to two days for full curing and hardening.

FAQs on Polymeric Sand

Many reservations and queries come from customers regarding the practical applications of polymeric sand. We have covered them in the following question headings.

Is Polymeric Sand Safe for Human Health?

Polymeric sand contains silica, which can cause respiratory issue silicosis due to constant exposure. However, polymeric sand doesn’t emanate silica particles to an extent where they could become detrimental for human health. Nevertheless, it is better to use a breathing mask while applying polymeric sand.

Using Polymeric Sand on the Top of Already Filled Joints?

As per experts, polymeric sand doesn’t work best when it is used to top up already filled and half-filled paver joints. You can’t get the right binding and impregnability characteristics when polymeric sand is added on the top of already settled in pavers. It works best when the entire vertical joint and seam columns are filled from the sand from top to bottom.

Using Polymeric Sand Around Pools and Other Water Bodies?

Polymeric Sand can be used as an adhesive for pavement surfaces around pools and other water bodies. But keep in mind that the constant exposure to water might result in gradual washout of the sand. If a pool remains under extensive use, then polymer sand might not be the best paver adhesive option.

Are There Any Temperature Requirements for Polymeric Sand Application?

No, there are no specific temperature requirements for using polymer sand. Any reading above freezing point is deemed ideal for polymer sand application. However, a little bit warmer environment helps with quicker settling of the sand in between the joints.

Final Words

Up till this point, you may have well understood the importance and utility of polymeric sand for any paving project.  And it is also very likely that you are convinced on the superiority of polymeric sand over regular paver sand.

The above-reviewed products are some of the best polymeric sands that you can get in the market for a range of your pavement projects. If Dominator provides you a premium look and supreme durability then Sakrete offers great bang for the buck. In short, you can pick the brand that serves your utility and can come in your paving budget.

 

 

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