It would be hard to find anyone who does not fall in love with a well-decorated patio. The combination of pavers and sand forms a beautiful palette presented in an intricate design that is bound to draw attention. Every guest stepping into such an area cannot but marvel at the spectacle.
Sounds like the perfect backyard you have always dreamed of? Or does this description match the patio you already own?
Either way, you must know how important it is to find the best polymeric sand for such areas to bring out their finest appearance! Going for regular sand may sound like the more practical choice at the beginning for its affordability. However, it may not be the more financially sound decision in the long run because of its fallibility.
We will tell you how polymeric is the way to go, what edge it has over regular sand, and more! Keep reading to learn more about the top nine choices for polymeric sand at present.
Polymeric Sand Comparison Chart
Max Filling Height (In)
Waiting Time To Be Rainsafe
Black Diamond Coatings - Dominator
1, 13, 45
Titanium, Charcoal, Natural, Taupe, Caramel
Up To 4
Ivory, Beige, Slate Grey, Black Diamond
6 For Lower Layer & 1 For Upper
⅛ To ½
Alliance Gator Supersand
Alliance Gator Maxx G2
Mutual Industries Lock-EM-Up
Alliance Euroston Bond
Beige, Ivory, Slate Grey, Black Diamond
SRW Pavermate Z3
Granite, Ivory, Tan, Black
Benefits Of Using Polymeric Sand
Safety From Rain
It is a very common trouble for patio owners when the sand in their area gets washed away after just one heavy rainfall. Other climatic factors like the strong wind may also contribute to the erosion of sand in between your pavers.
Polymeric sand can put an end to all these issues since they are capable of making the surface rain-safe. It is made with a special binding agent that can combat with rainfall and other such elements well.
Even you put it through a power-wash after the sand is set, it will stand its ground and protect the integrity of that surface.
Another great advantage of going for polymeric sand is its strong resistance against weed growth.
You must have noticed how easily these weeds can sprout from the cracks and ruin the appeal of your thoughtfully designed patio in no time! Additionally, they can also pose a threat to the stability of that entire surface by coming between the sand and your pavers.
A specialized sand like the polymeric one can prevent these situations by nipping the weed in the bud. Its constituent materials don’t allow such undesirable growth to take place between the stones or pavers. Resistance like this can save you a lot of time that you would otherwise be spending on picking the weeds out.
Installing pavers is already a hard enough task. It requires a lot of manual labor, as well as planning and precision. But all of that can go to waste if the pavers keep getting out of place for one reason or the other. Polymeric sand can put an end to this inconvenience by keeping the pavers exactly where they are supposed to be.
The best polymeric sand maintains a proper balance of binding the pavers strongly and keeping them flexible enough for easy movement. If the pavers need to shift, the polymeric sand will do the same in order to protect the uniformity. As a result, you will always get compliments from guests for the even surface.
Along with weeds, polymeric sand is also a threat to ants and similar insects that have the habit of making a home between your pavers.
They don’t get the chance of making their new habitation within the cracks of your patio sand since there is hardly any gap left in it. So using this kind of sand discourages their invasions and reduces the maintenance work for you as well!
You can rely on polymeric sand to last a long time in your patio or other areas with pavers. It is specifically formulated to build a strong bond between the slabs. As a result, their stability is guaranteed to last for a long time.
Since it prevents erosion, weed growth and insect invasion, the longevity of your beautiful exterior increases.
If you are someone who likes to be creative with everything and feels inspired to transform them into artistic pieces, you will surely appreciate the impressive array of colors available for polymeric sand. In addition to the usual gray color, you will also find it in shades of black, ivory, tan and more.
So you can get started with planning a unique design for your patio, driveway or anything that will require polymeric sand. By combining the colors in this beautiful palette with those of the pavers, you can create something truly captivating in your backyard!
Top 9 Best Polymeric Sand Reviews
1. DOMINATOR Polymeric Sand with Revolutionary Solid Flex
The Dominator series of polymeric sand comes from the brand of Black Diamond Coatings. They are well-known for producing high-quality products meant to improve your home and help you in building outdoor spaces. Each of these products maintains industry standards and comes with innovative technologies.
This particular polymeric sand of their Dominator series is no different! The biggest highlight of this product is its special solid flex technology. Because of this unique feature, the paver joints you create by applying it stay stabilized. When a joint like this moves, it doesn’t break the seal.
Its manufacturers made this convenience possible by relying on a unique formula. Unlike most other polymeric sand products, this one does not involve cement. As a result, the joints don’t become too hard for movement. For the same reason, its installation process also becomes much easier.
Additionally, cement’s presence also contributes to forming haze on paver surfaces after coming in contact with water. Being completely devoid of cement, the Dominator polymeric sand manages to avoid the haze as well. So your patio will look flawless in every way!
You will find this polymeric sand in three convenient sizes and five shades. If you are thinking of just trying it out for the first time, you can pick the size of just a pound. The biggest size weighs 45 lbs. and the medium one comes at 13 lbs. One of the 45 lbs. buckets will be enough to cover an area of 20 to 80 square feet.
For the colors, you will have the options of titanium, charcoal, natural, taupe and caramel. They bring in different aesthetics for your outdoor decoration.
2. Buddingco Joint Stabilizing Sand for Pavers
Few brands have succeeded in surpassing a century while maintaining their good name. Buddingco is one such company that focuses on making construction tasks more efficient and interesting. Since 1861, they have been manufacturing products and providing services related to this industry.
That is why it comes as no surprise when their polymeric sand excels in multiple aspects. The strong bond they are able to create in the joints and between pavers is their biggest attraction. This bond becomes permanent and maintains the strength diligently.
Along with the usual pavers, this polymeric sand also works if you need to stabilize false joint pavers. Additionally, if there is any concrete around your flagstones which has been displaced, you can use this sand to fill that space up. Just remember to spread carefully and get rid of the loose particles beforehand.
Its rapid set technology makes it the best polymeric sand for pavers. This feature makes it safe from the rain after only 15 minutes of application. So if you have been worried about redoing your patio in the rainy season, now you can put it to rest!
However, remember that the atmosphere cannot be warm or humid after applying the sand. This product requires above freezing temperatures to properly set among the pavers. To speed up the process, you can use the fan setting of your garden hose nozzle to use a misty spray on the freshly applied sand.
It is available in the size of 18 lbs. which can cover an area of 30 to 40 square feet. You will be able to choose from a beautiful palette of four distinct shades - ivory, beige, slate grey and black diamond. Each of them is very appealing and instills a sophisticated mood into the patio.
3. SAKRETE 50 lb Polymeric Sand
Sakrete is another veteran in the construction business industry who paved the way like many of its counterparts. It began its journey in 1936 at the hands of a mining engineer with one bright idea. Since then, Sakrete has been one of the more desirable brands for professionals and others interested in construction.
Their polymeric sand shines in its own light by offering some useful features to its users. You can use it to fill up the joints between bricks or pavers. In addition to patios, this sand can work great on other paver areas like driveways and walkways. It helps to keep each unit in place so that the whole structure stays stable.
Of course, like any other polymeric sand of standard quality, the Sakrete one also helps in reducing weed growth among your lovely patio pavers. So every guest coming into this space marvels at your exquisite sense of outdoor designs and aesthetics.
You don’t have to worry about insects penetrating into the pavers or rain washing out the joint sand either. Sakrete takes care of this situation as well by preventing both of those from happening.
Preparing this sand and applying it in the required areas is quite simple. Just use the broom to get rid of the excess amount once you are done. You can walk on it after 24 hours have passed and can even allow light vehicular traffic two more days after that. It is available in one size of 50 lbs.
4. Alliance Gator Polymeric "Super" Sand
Alligators may not be that helpful in construction but this gator sure is! Alliance Gator is a brand dedicated to providing hardscape products. Since its inception in 2003, its offerings in this sector have been appreciated all around the world. Their polymeric “super” sand is one of these highly well-received products.
They named this series of polymeric sand “Supersand Bond” because it is unique like a superhero who establishes unbreakable bonds among pavers. With the help of some water, it locks in the adjacent pavers firmly. But this never becomes so hard that the units become impossible to move later.
This polymeric sand will enable you to keep the pavers flexible without compromising its durability.
The finest gradation of ASTM C-144 standard makes it possible for you to apply it even to the tightest of joints. Besides, it is made in compliance with the OSHA standard of respirable crystalline silica. Alliance Gator prides itself on making this polymeric sand with 20% more polymers than its competitors!
No need to worry about haze and similar buildups after using it. The sand comes with advanced haze-free technology which prevents such situations from happening. You can also rely on it to fight against weed growth and any possible damage resulting from insects trying to invade the joints.
You can fill up the joints to up to an inch or 2.5 cm using the Alliance Gator polymeric sand. Once you are done applying and have activated the sand with water, it will become safe for rain after an hour. You need to maintain a temperature of 32°F or higher for all these to work properly.
5. Alliance Gator Maxx G2 Intelligent Polymeric Sand
If you like the properties of our previous option but want some upgrades on it, Alliance Gator has the perfect product for you! The Maxx G2 polymeric sand from this brand comes with similar but even better characteristics. It also comes with the finest gradation of ASTM C144 standard.
It is one of the most intelligent polymeric sands produced by the Alliance Gator. The polymers involved here belong to a brand new generation. Its manufacturing process maintains a state of the art standard by specifically calibrating the sand with these sophisticated polymers.
Such a combination takes its quality to a much higher standard than its peers. However, the price point still stays the same to let you keep things within your budget.
The sand also has anti-haze and anti-dust properties with which it neutralizes both of these undesirable particles. Applying it becomes easier since you don’t need a blower to do that and just have to water it once. As a result, it becomes one of the easiest polymeric sands to install.
While the Supersand has limited its application up to only an inch, you can use this one to fill up as much as 4 inches among the joints. So if you have a patio with deeper distances between the joints, you can rely on the Maxx G2 sand instead.
You will need to wait for an hour after applying it in drainage areas for it to be rain-safe. For non-drainage applications, the depth cannot be further than 2 inches and the waiting period will increase to up to 24 hours.
6. ConSANDtrate Polymeric Sand Concentrate
Unlike all the options we have discussed so far to find the best polymeric jointing sand, this one comes with a unique approach.
Instead of being the readymade polymeric sand, this one is actually a concentrate. It means that you will need to blend the packaged material with another kind of sand in order to apply.
Each bag can have 25 or 50 lbs. of the polymeric sand concentrate. By mixing it with local sand, you should have about 250 to 500 lbs. of usable product. Blend the concentrate and dry sand in the ratio of 1:10 to achieve this amount. You can customize the ratio for your particular task if you deem necessary.
Along with paver joints, you can use this product to complete other jobs too which involve hardscape or flat rock. Fill up any area you observe there which have cracks or lifted up materials. Any exposed slab can be covered with this sand as well.
Compared to other options explored on this list, it may seem quite expensive for the amount in its package. But since that amount can be converted into something 10 times bigger by blending, you may actually save some money investing in this sand!
However, it also comes with its own share of problems. This sand is not rain-safe which means it will pose the risk of getting washed away after you apply it. So you may have to seek help from a few tricks to keep the sand in place if the rainy season is coming soon in your locality.
7. Mutual Industries Lock-EM-Up Paver Sand
Mutual Industries has been providing excellent products related to construction for over a century. Established in 1910, the brand has developed a number of high-quality items ensuring durability and safety for its customers.
Among its diverse collection focusing on geotextile, erosion control and more, the Lock-Em-Up paver sand has become one of the favorites. In terms of appearance, the product seems very simple and basic. However, just one of these bags can actually help you cover a large area measured at about 300 square feet!
It is made with the base materials of polymer bonding agent and silica sand. Also known as quartz sand, the silica sand is one of the more popular choices for garden soil. It helps to bring balance to the dense soil of an area and blend well into the soil’s structure.
With the additional perks of a polymeric agent blended into it, the resulting sand becomes capable of making a strong bond between the joints. Once applied properly, it will keep your beautiful patio free of weed growth and insect invasion. Additionally, it will not let any stain persist on the pavers.
You will find this sand very easy to work with. All adult age groups can handle and install it with ease. In order to stabilize the pavers with it, you will need to spray the fresh new application multiple times with water. Refrain from using the sand if the weather forecast suggests rain within the next 48 hours.
8. Alliance Euroston Bond Polymeric Sand
Alliance Gator has produced this particular polymeric sand in order to work with natural stone paver joints. The Eurostone Bond will make your pavers even, stable and beautiful again with their special formula. It is in fact the first polymeric sand made specifically for natural stones. You can also use it for cobble pavers.
This sand complements the stone pavers with its own range of naturally soothing colors. You will find this item in four cool shades like beige, ivory, slate grey and black diamond. As you can see, their palette range explores all the possible colors your patio may need.
However, you don’t have to restrict its use only for that area! You can use it in any other place made with natural stone pavers. This may include stone roads, driveways, pathways and more.
It can work with any system, regardless of their drainage or non-drainage status. The only aspect that will differ in this case is how long you have to wait for it to be rain safe.
Once the water activation is done, you only have to wait for an hour before it becomes safe for rainfall. In the case of overlay applications, the waiting period will need to extend up to 24 hours for ensuring the same safety.
When you are applying the polymeric sand, make sure to maintain a temperature of 32°F or above for setting it properly. Also, remember to not extend the filling beyond 1.5 inches or 3.8 cm between the pavers.
9. SRW Pavermate Z3 Polymeric Sand
Although the company of SRW Products has not passed over a century in this industry, they have been running this business for three decades which is not a small achievement either. They specialize in products based on concrete and made for hardscape purposes.
Among their two main products of polymeric sand, the Pavermate has become the more popular one. It promises to not let any dust or haze be a part of your beautiful patio. The blend is engineered exclusively by the experts so that you can reach a better activation within a shorter time period.
Because of its integrity, the sand does not become the victim of cracks, flaking or peeling. The combination of all these excellent factors makes it capable of ensuring high durability. It is also exceptionally fast since you only have to wait about 10 minutes for the freshly applied sand to become rain-safe!
You can find it in four attractive shades of granite, ivory, tan and black. Such a versatile range of colors allows you to design your patio in any aesthetic you want! Other structures compatible with this polymeric sand include concrete overlays, concrete paver joints, driveways, walkways and false joints.
Compared to most of its competitors, the Pavermate actually comes at a much more affordable price point, which makes it a strong contender in the race of the best sand for paver joints. Each bag brings in 50 lbs. of this special sand. That means you will be receiving a product rich in both quality and amount.
Things To Consider Before Buying Polymeric Sand
While regular sand doesn’t have special additives in them for higher effectiveness, manufacturers of polymeric sand go the extra length to do so. Including those chemicals in its blend makes the product even more sturdy and durable against potential dangers.
The majority of polymeric sands available in the market comprises of three principal ingredients - crystalline silica, quartz silica and proprietary polymers. In terms of volume, about 95% of these products are made of those two kinds of silica.
Proprietary polymers are the organic or artificially made binder that works like a glue to keep the sand particles together. Because of this ingredient, you can rest assured that the joints between your pavers are not falling apart.
However, these polymers differ from brand to brand. Depending on their strength or lack thereof, you will be able to achieve the perfect patio you wanted. Usually, the higher the cost is of a polymeric sand, the better is its binding strength and materials.
Other factors include its granularity and presence of portland cement. Finer particles suggest a higher ability to get inside the cracks, while portland cement makes the surface harder and impenetrable.
Usually, this kind of sand mentions how large of an area it can cover on their package. For instance, a bag carrying 50 pounds of polymeric sand should be able to provide coverage of about 100 square feet.
This measurement ratio can increase or decrease depending on the brand you are choosing and the activation process of its sand. So before setting your mind on a product, figure out how much coverage it can provide and if that will be sufficient for your project.
Another information that you will find easily on the product manufacturer’s website or its packaging is how deep can you fill the joints with that sand. Typically, this height ranges from ⅛ to 2 inches. Depending on how much of depth you need, you can find the ideal sand for your area.
Almost every polymeric sand is equipped to stay put even under heavy rainfall. However, reaching this kind of stability takes time. Each sand has a different timetable the user needs to follow.
For instance, you may need to wait for just an hour after applying the sand for it to be rain-safe within a drainage system. The same situation may require you to wait for 24 hours if the system is a non-drainage one. So you will need to factor in which waiting period you are okay with before purchasing the sand.
One of the major reasons behind the popularity of this sand is its impressive color range. As you may have observed in our polymeric sand reviews, the colors can be dark, light and anything in between!
Such a versatile palette opens up many doors of creativity for your designers. They can play with shades of tan, black, grey, white and more to bring a unique appearance in your patio. Consult with them beforehand to pick the right colors of polymeric sand for your project and impress every guest that steps in there!
Tips On Applying Polymeric Sand
Check The Forecast
We all know how one rainfall can negatively affect our freshly applied patio sand which usually requires at least an hour to set in properly. That is why you need to take some precautions regarding the atmosphere of that day. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and see if it shows any anticipation for rain.
Refrain from starting your work in the rainy season since nature can easily choose to not follow the forecast then. It can start raining anytime in the monsoon season and thus the weather becomes quite unpredictable.
Soak, Not Drench
If this is your first time working with some kind of garden sand or patio sand, remember that it doesn’t need to be drenched in water for activation. You only need to spray the water onto the new dry sand and make it a little soaked. Making the sand too wet may result in very disappointing and destructive results.
Repeat As Necessary
The main process of applying the polymeric sand includes sweeping it into the joints and compacting the entire space. For the amateurs, it may seem like doing this once should be enough. However, the experts suggest doing this twice or thrice so that all chances of any weed growth are demolished.
Another helpful tip for your activation step is to use the mist setting on your spray nozzle. This may seem an insignificant factor at the moment but it actually helps in activating the polymers faster and better. If you implement this step carefully, the sand will start to harden in the right way!
Start With The Highest
If you don’t know where to begin your polymeric sand application, just pick the highest point available on the paver surface. Keep the spray gentle and slowly cover the area up to the lowest part.
In the end, make sure that every point within this area has got its due share of mist spray for the successful activation of polymers.
Also check: Our top 10 paver cleaner for the money.
Polymeric Sand Vs Regular Sand
The biggest problem with regular sand that made people go for polymeric sand is its tendency to get washed out too easily. Just one rainfall can completely wash away the topmost layer of regular sand on your patio. This obviously becomes a huge problem since you now have to clean it up and maybe reapply a new layer.
Polymeric sand provides you with a big upper hand in this regard since it stays put no matter what. Be it a day of heavy rains or strong winds, the sand will still continue to prevent erosion and maintain a strong bond between the pavers. Its ability to lock them in, comes from the additional chemicals blended with it.
Weeds and Insects
Using regular sand in your backyard or patio will surely come with the extra hassle of dealing with weeds and insects. The normal sand has no chemical or element within it to fight off these undesirable elements.
Polymeric sand comes armored with these missing ingredients which make it a lot more powerful against such issues. It leaves no room for an ant to build a home within the sand and significantly reduces the possibility of weed growth as well.
It is hard to find regular sand in versatile shades. More often than not, it only comes in gray color. On the other hand, you can get polymeric sand in multiple shades including black, ivory and tan. As a result, it widens your options of designs for the patio and brings in more aesthetic value for the area.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Polymeric Sand Last?
Answer: Once you apply the sand and take care of it on a regular basis, it can last you for at least a decade. Paver sand would in fact become a permanent part of your patio unless the landscape needs to change. That is why investing in the best paver sand actually saves money in the long run.
How Many Bags Of Polymeric Sand Do I Need?
Answer: The amount of polymeric sand you will need depends on the size of your patio and the width of its gaps. The pavers could be set maintaining a distance of ¼ inch, ⅜ inch or narrower.
For the first two kinds of width, you may need a 50 lbs. bag to cover 30-60 square feet of the area. In the case of smaller gaps, that same bag will be able to provide coverage of 75 to 100 square feet.
Can You Pressure Wash Polymeric Sand?
Answer: Yes, you can use a pressure washer to get rid of excess polymeric sand laying on the patio surface. However, remember to not do pressure washing on the same day you applied the sand there. Doing both of these on the same day may cause stains on the pavers due to water absorption.
What Happens If Polymeric Sand Gets Rained On?
Answer: The result of a situation like this will depend on how dry or wet the surface was before installing the polymeric sand on it. If the surface was wet or damp and the freshly applied sand has not settled yet, one heavy rainfall will be enough to spread it all over the pavers. That will create a huge mess.
Remember to make sure that the original surface is absolutely dry before starting the installation process.
Can You Put Polymeric Sand Over Regular Sand?
Answer: You can put polymeric sand over regular sand if that is your preference. However, going all the way with polymeric sand will be a better idea.
Having it from the bottom to topmost layer should provide your paver joints the maximum security. Thus, you can consider washing all the regular sand away before installing the specialized one.
As you can see, polymeric sand performs a lot better at protecting your carefully designed patio from weed growth, insect invasion and adverse natural forces. It also succeeds in making the bond between pavers stronger and therefore saves you some bucks by retaining the same application for years!
But which one of them is the best polymeric sand for your area? We will leave that decision to you since the answer varies widely based on the specifications of that area. Besides, you must also have certain personal preferences when it comes to the color combinations.
All we can tell you is that installing the right polymeric sand can bring your entire patio a brand new captivating look. Even your visitors and neighbors will fall in love with it!