Creating a paving project that combines durability and aesthetic appeal starts with choosing the right paving sand. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure long success for your paved areas. Let’s unlock the secrets to executing an effective and enduring paving project, beginning with the essential step of selecting the best type of sand. For expert advice on paving supplies in Tauranga, contact Gardenscape, the top paving supplier Tauranga has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right paving sand ensures stability, visual appeal, and effectiveness.
  • Prepare the ground with debris removal, leveling, and compacting a base layer before laying pavers.
  • Maintain paved surfaces with regular cleaning and timely repair of damaged pavers for long-lasting results.
Polymeric Paving Sand On Stone Paver Bricks

Choosing the Right Paving Sand for Your Paving Project

Selecting the proper sand is crucial when paving a surface. Various types of sand, including concrete sand, polymeric sand, coarse sand for paver joints, and general-purpose paver sand, each serve specific functions. Pavers offer greater robustness and superior aesthetics compared to traditional crushed stone or asphalt surfaces, while also requiring simpler maintenance. Installing a layer of weed matting underneath the soil can prevent weed development between pavers. Understanding the benefits each type of sand brings to your project will help you make wise decisions, ensuring stability, visibility, and durability.

Concrete Paving Sand

Concrete sand is often used as a paver base due to its angular particles, which provide stability and prevent shifting over time. The angular sides of concrete sand grains, typically measuring 1/8 inches in diameter, ensure they fit together snugly, creating a solid foundation. Thoroughly washed and graded for size and shape uniformity, concrete sand offers superior water drainage, preventing erosion and thereby extending the lifespan of your paved area. This makes concrete sand, also known as paving sand, an excellent choice for durable pavement construction.

Polymeric Paving Sand

Polymeric sand consists of fine grains combined with polymer additives, making it an ideal solution for filling gaps between pavers. This blend enhances durability, reduces weed growth, and prevents insects from infesting the joints. When exposed to moisture, polymeric sand hardens around each joint, creating a protective layer that prevents washouts. Its ease of application and maintenance, combined with its superior resilience, makes polymeric sand a valuable investment for any paving project.

Coarse Paving Sand

For a more stable and long-lasting paving foundation, coarse sand, sized between 2 millimeters and 4.75 millimeters, is highly recommended. Commonly referred to as bedding or playground sand, coarse sand provides a reliable base, facilitating easy sliding and adjustment during paver placement. It also protects against displacement due to wear over time, ensuring your paved surface remains durable and well-performing throughout its lifetime.

Laying Pavers: Step-by-Step Guide

Laying pavers can be a rewarding DIY activity if done correctly. Follow these steps with the necessary equipment to achieve the best results. From preparing the base to laying the sand and the final placement of pavers, this guide provides detailed instructions for optimal outcomes.

Preparing the Ground

Preparing the ground surface is the foundation for your project so before installing pavers, it’s essential to prepare a proper base by completing the following tasks:

  1. Make sure to remove any debris, wearing protective gear such as eyewear, gloves, and steel-capped boots.
  2. Level the area thoroughly.
  3. Lay down a 10-15 cm thick layer of road base or crusher dust.
  4. Use a tandem drum roller to compact the layer evenly.

This preparation ensures a solid foundation, extending the longevity and appearance of your pavers.

Setting the Paving Sand Base

Once the groundwork is set, lay a sand base, which can include coarse sand, road base, or polymeric sand. Moreover, rake and compact this layer before placing your pavers. A minimum layer thickness of 30mm in loose form is generally sufficient. Use a spirit level to ensure an even surface and wet it with water to settle the ground further. If needed, use a plate compactor to ensure everything is flat and suitable for paving, maintaining the aesthetics and ensuring secure underlying foundations.

Paver Laying Paving Stones To Create A Walkway

Installing the Pavers

Spread the sand evenly and begin laying the pavers, ensuring a 2-5 mm gap between each. Use a rubber mallet and a leveller or timber plank to ensure even placement. Gently tap the pavers to secure them without compromising their interlock capabilities. After laying all the pavers, use a plate compactor to settle the substrate and ensure the pavers are level. This step finalises your paving surface, making it durable and visually appealing.

Filling Paver Joints: Best Practices

Achieving a functional and aesthetically pleasing paved surface involves using the right fill sand and proper application techniques for filling paver joints.

Choosing the Right Fill Paving Sand

The type of fill sand you choose depends on your specific project needs:

  • Play or Masonry Sand: Fine-textured and stabilising, ideal for aesthetic and functional purposes.
  • Kiln-Dried Sand: Provides optimal drainage and is compatible with various paving materials.
  • Polymeric Sand: Contains additives that harden upon moisture exposure, offering enhanced durability and stability.

Consider consulting professionals to determine the best type of fill sand for your paving project.

Application Techniques

To ensure a strong and visually appealing paved surface, apply fill sand correctly:

  1. Scatter the sand into all paver joints.
  2. Use a broom or brush to press the sand firmly into place.
  3. Spritz some water on top to activate the binding properties of the sand.
  4. Allow the sand to dry completely to secure the pavers firmly.

Careful application of fill sand with proper techniques will contribute to a successful paving project.

Maintaining Your Paved Surface

To keep your paved area looking its best and enduring longer, regular maintenance is crucial. Here, we discuss the importance of cleaning and repairing your paved surface.

Regular Cleaning

Routine cleaning is essential for maintaining your pavers’ appearance and longevity:

  • Sweep away dirt, debris, and stains with a brush or quality cleaning product.
  • Rinse the surface with a hose or pressure washer.
  • Use eco-friendly alternatives like white vinegar to control weed growth between pavers.
  • Introduce stabilising sand for extra support.

Making sure that you maintain your pavers not only improves the aesthetics of your outdoor area but also boosts overall property value.

Repairing Damaged Pavers

When it comes to damage, frequent inspection and maintenance are necessary for preserving the durability and beauty of your paved surface so that issues such as sunken, cracked, or stained pavers can be addressed promptly:

  1. Lift the displaced pavers.
  2. Clean the edges and level the ground beneath.
  3. Add sand or gravel to create a strong base.
  4. Lay the updated pavers and compact them with gentle tapping for stability.

Proactive maintenance enhances the value of your outdoor space while keeping it looking its best over time.

Tips for a Successful Project

For a successful paving project, consider these vital tips:

Planning Your Paving Project

Proper planning includes evaluating the purpose, design, budget, and existing conditions:

  • Choose suitable layout patterns like straight lay, herringbone, or random for stability and attractiveness.
  • Evaluate water drainage to prevent erosion or damage.

Correct planning ensures an attractive, long-lasting paved surface.

Working with Professionals

Working with experienced contractors can ensure a high-quality and durable result. Generally, you should look for experienced professionals, check their availability, and seek referrals since investing in professional expertise guarantees that your paving project will be both durable and visually pleasing.


To ensure your paving project is successful, select the right sand and meticulously follow a detailed guide for laying pavers. By working with experts and regularly maintaining your paved area, you can create an attractive outdoor space that remains durable over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sand is best for paving?
Concrete sand is ideal for paving due to its coarse nature and ability to prevent moisture entrapment and provide a sturdy base. Polymeric sand also offers excellent results by keeping everything in place for an extended period.
What sand to use between paving?
Polymeric sand is the best choice for filling joints between paving blocks due to its strong and durable bond when exposed to water.
How do I ensure a stable and level surface with concrete sand?
Achieve a stable and even base using concrete sand by utilising angular edges with an eighth of an inch in diameter.
What are the benefits of using polymeric sand in paver joints?
Polymeric sand provides great durability, prevents shifting, and inhibits weed or moss growth, requiring minimal maintenance.
What are some tips for maintaining my paved surface?
Maintain your paved surface by sweeping away debris regularly, removing stains, preventing weed growth, and repairing any paver damage promptly to keep it looking good for longer.

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