Popular Types of Sand Used for Construction Projects

How Different Types of Sand Can Affect A Construction Project Many concrete projects use about 46% of construction sand and gravel as aggregates. This shows how important these construction materials are in the construction industry. Different types of sand are used as construction project materials to create a better end result. This is very important, […]

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How Different Types of Sand Can Affect A Construction Project

Many concrete projects use about 46% of construction sand and gravel as aggregates. This shows how important these construction materials are in the construction industry.

Different types of sand are used as construction project materials to create a better end result. This is very important, as sand can add bulk as well as strength to these kinds of projects.

Sand is a high-quality aggregate in concrete, but it also shows up in many other construction projects. Because of this, picking the right type of sand is important no matter what you are making.

Keep reading to find out what types of construction sand there are and how they are often used.

How Different Types of Sand Can Affect a Construction Project

All these different types of construction materials are going to affect your project differently. This is because construction project materials like sand come in many different options.

These types of sand have different qualities and are best for different kinds of projects. This often depends on what the sand is made of, how fine or coarse it is, and how durable it is.

All of these factors affect the end results of the project, which is why they are more suitable for specific uses. Some sands yield a softer or harder result or may create a smooth finish or a rough finish.

Can I Use Any Kind of Sand For a Construction Project?

There are some types of all-purpose sand that can be used for a wide variety of projects. Masonry sand and concrete sand are two examples that are frequently used for a wide variety of projects.

Though it is generally best to pick the type of sand you use by the project. This is because certain sands are better for certain things. It is always better to use the best materials for the specific project that you are taking on.

How Are Sand and Gravel Different?

Sand and gravel are two different construction materials that cannot usually be used in each other’s place. This is because sand is rock fragments or mineral particles that are usually fine.

Gravel is chipped or crushed rock fragments that are very coarse and tend to be much larger than sand. Because of these differences, gravel and sand are two completely different types of materials.

Most Commonly Used Types of Sand for Construction

Picking the right kind of construction materials for your projects is necessary for a good final result. There are many options when it comes to the type of sand that you can choose, which is why you should choose the best option.

Every type of construction sand has its own benefits, making it an ideal aggregate for specific projects.

Masonry Sand

Masonry sand is fine white sand that results in a very smooth end result due to how finely ground it is. This type of sand is an all-purpose sand that can be used for filling in joints and pavers. This is ideal for projects that require soft and fine aggregate.

For home projects, people often need to order 1.25 to 1.5 yards of this sand to fit their needs. For concrete projects, masonry sand is usually added in a ratio of 3 parts sand to 2.25 parts cement.

Concrete Sand

Concrete sand is common sand used in construction as it is a good aggregate for concrete. It is the right texture to create a smooth finish, while still adding bulk to the project. This is an important ingredient in cement and hot asphalt projects specifically.

It can be added to driveways, patios, and other projects that require cement. The typical ratio that people use is 2 parts concrete sand to 2 parts cement for a good end result.

How much concrete sand you will need for a home project will depend purely on the size of the project. It is safe to buy equal parts of concrete sand for the concrete ready mix.

Utility Sand

Utility sand is a type of sand used in the construction industry that is usually made out of quartz. This type of sand is used for utility pipes and trenches as the name suggests.

This is an ideal fill sand because of its rough texture, so it can be used in trenches, paver bricks, and as a filler for underneath concrete.

For these kinds of projects, 2 parts utility sand is usually used for 1 part cement. For basic home projects, not much utility sand is usually required unless the project is extensive.

READ MORE: Choose the Right Sand or Gravel for Your Home Project

River Sand

River sand is a recycled aggregate that comes from river banks and beds. This sand can absorb moisture and creates a very sturdy aggregate that is ideal for many types of projects.

This high-quality aggregate is typically used in making plaster and bricks as it creates a smooth finish that is very strong. Many people use this sand in arenas, sport field construction, and in landscaping due to its texture.

There is no specific ratio required for this sand as most people use a basic ratio of equal portions or 2 parts sand to 3 parts concrete mixes.

Crushed Stone

Crushed stone is different from other types of sand construction materials as it is rough like gravel. Like river sand, crushed stone is often used in plaster and bricks, as it is a great filler.

Crushed stone is often used underneath concrete as well as as an aggregate for underground projects because of its rough texture. When using crushed stone, the most common ratio is 1 part cement, 2 parts construction sand, and 3 parts crushed stone.

Industrial Sand

Industrial sand is sand for construction that is carefully sized and made from silica. This is a type of sand used mostly in glass making, but it is also found in other types of industrial projects due to how fine and strong it is.

Industrial sand is typically bought by the pound, depending on how much you need for your project. If using industrial sand in a concrete project, you can mix 2 parts sand to 1 part cement ready mix.


The sand you choose for your construction project is going to have a big impact. Sand is a very common construction material, which is why there are many options to choose from so that your project turns out exactly how you want it to go.

Do you need sand for a project you are working on? Contact us today at A.L. Blair Construction for all kinds of aggregate options.

READ MORE: The Importance of Sand and Gravel in Our Lives


Jon Blair
Jon Blair is an integral part of the A.L. Blair Construction team, a company that has been setting high standards in the aggregate industry since 1932. With a heritage deeply rooted in Eastern Ontario, Jon is committed to delivering quality and reliability in every project.

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