Popular Types of Sand Used for Construction Projects

How The Type of Sand You Choose Will Affect Your Construction Project

When beginning a construction project, it is important to consider what role sand will play. Sand is used as an aggregate in many construction projects, adding bulk and strength when combined with other materials. It can also affect a surface’s texture upon its completion.

Sand is most commonly used as an aggregate for concrete, but if you look around, you’ll see how important sand is to the construction of the modern world. Sand is used in pavements, patios, highways, flooring, glass, mortar, pipes, and so much more.

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

There are plenty of types of sand available, but not all of them are equipped to serve construction projects. For example, desert sand and beach sand are not durable enough for most projects. Among the types of sand that are appropriate for construction, there are plenty of differences. When selecting a type of sand, it is important to consider these differences and how they are relevant to your project.

Ask yourself the following questions before selecting a type of sand for your construction project:

  • How coarse or fine should my sand be?
  • Should my sand be washed or unwashed?
  • How much sand will I need?
  • What is my budget?

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

Most Commonly Used Types of Sand for Construction

The following types of sand are commonly used by construction professionals. They differ by origin, purpose, particle size, cost, and other factors.

Concrete Sand

This type of sand is primarily used as an aggregate to make concrete. It is ground specifically to work with cement and water effectively to form concrete – it is fine enough to form smooth pavement, but coarse enough to make for a good fill material.

Since concrete sand is washed, it can be used in many projects that require clean sand, like bedding pipes and as a leveling base layer for outdoor projects.

Masonry Sand

Also called white sand due to its light colour, masonry sand shares similarities with concrete sand and is used as an aggregate in similar projects. However, masonry sand is ground finer, resulting in a smoother texture. Due to its uniform, fine texture, masonry sand makes an excellent substitute for beach sand on volleyball courts and in sandboxes.

River Sand

As the name suggests, river sand is drawn from river banks and beds. It is used for construction projects due to its strength, which comes from its round particles and ability to absorb moisture effectively. River sand is most often used for building bricks and mixing plaster, and some believe it produces a stronger base and smoother finish than artificial sand.

River sand should not be confused with beach sand, which is not recommended for use in construction projects.

Crushed Stone

As the name suggests, crushed stone is made from natural minerals that are deliberately broken down. Its end result looks and feels like gravel and is used in similar projects. They are different, however: crushed stone is produced commercially, while gravel contains rocks that are naturally broken down.

Crushed stone is most often used in projects involving brickwork, and it is used for plaster as well.

Utility Sand

This multi-coloured sand is also known as “pipe sand” or “fill sand.” It is typically made from quartz and is used to fill utility pipes and trenches.

M-Sand And P-Sand

You may have heard of some sand varieties that are prefixed with one letter.

M-sand refers to manufacturing sand. It is made by crushing granite, and some builders prefer to use it as a substitute for river sand due to its durability and flexibility.

P-sand refers to plastering sand. It is a smooth product with particularly fine particles. As the name suggests, this sand is used in projects that require plastering, though its fine texture lends itself to many other projects.

How Are Sand and Gravel Different?

Sand and gravel are both important to many construction projects, but they are not interchangeable.

Both of these materials can be considered sediments, meaning they are natural materials that are broken down by weather or other natural forces. However, sand refers to the small particles that are broken down, while gravel refers to larger rock fragments.

Gravel is more commonly used for projects that require materials that are far more coarse than even the largest sand particles. These may include driveways and patios.

Sand, meanwhile, is recommended for builders that want to achieve smoother surfaces, like garage floors and outdoor athletic courts. Some projects may require both sand and gravel.

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

Selecting the right kind of sand can bring fantastic results to your construction project. By choosing a type of sand that fulfills your needs regarding cost, texture, and strength, you will end up with a finished project that is durable and looks great.

Concrete Ready Mix Truck

Over the past 30 years in the Ready Mix Concrete business TRP Ready Mix has completed several commercial and residential projects, both large and small. Some of the more notable projects completed include;

  • Completion of several bridge pours on 417 highway
  • Water Tower in Russell
  • Large Agricultural barns

Contact Information

AL Blair Construction
7 Labrosse, P.O Box 220
Moose Creek, ON K0C 1W0, Canada

Phone: 613-538-2271
E-mail: [javascript protected email address]