All about pavers and hardscaping

How Much Sand For Pavers Do I Need?

If you’re planning to add pavers as an improvement to your home outdoors this is probably a question you’re giving some thought to. How much sand for pavers do you need to buy?

Luckily this is easy to answer! A 1-inch layer of sand on top of a 4-inch layer of gravel is the standard approach. This combination makes up for a strong, leveled, and flexible foundation, able to accommodate heavy loads without being disturbed.

how much sand do i need?
Our Crew Compacting Sand Before Laying Pavers

Find Out How Much Sand For Pavers You Need

In order to find out exactly how much sand you will need, you just need to find out the total area of your paver project and multiply by the depth (1-inch). We will teach you how to do that!

Find the total area of your project

To calculate the area of your paving project you will be resorting to simple arithmetics. If we’re talking about a rectangle, then it’s easy. You just need to measure the width, the length, and multiply.

Now if your project is shaped in a not so regular way, the easiest way to do it is by dividing area in simpler geometrical shapes to make an estimation.

Break your project area into rectangles, circles, and triangles, calculate their individual areas, and then add everything up.

In case you don’t remember how to calculate areas of circles and triangles anymore, here is a cheat sheet.

Find the total volume of sand you will need

Once you fave the area in square feet, all you have to do to find out what’s the volume of sand in cubic feet you need is to multiply it by the depth. 

The depth being 1-inch, which is equivalent to 1/12 foot, all you really need to do is to divide the total area in square foot by 12. That’s how much sand you need. 

Find out the total area in square feet, divide by 12, and voila, that’s how much sand you need for a 1-inch layer.

Call your supplier and let him know what you need. Now, it’s wise to order 5% extra to account for any wrong calculation.

Which Kind Of Sand Should I Buy?

Course Sand like concrete washed sand is a great option for base layers. However, you should use finer sand for the paver joints, so that’s something else you need to think about. 

The best sand for paver joints is polymeric sand, synthetic sand especially developed for paver joints that hardens preventing weed growth, and that will not wash away easily. While you just need enough to fill in your paver joints, this sand is way more expensive.

If you’re looking for cheaper paver joint sand, you should get fine mason’s sand instead.

Does Sand Impact Weed Growth?

Totally, it’s on the sand that those nasty weeds grow.

The best way to prevent weed growth is to seal your pavers with a joint stabilizing sealer, or to use polymeric sand.

Beautiful patio and fire pit
The End Result Of Our Job

The Impact of Proper Installation

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when preparing for paver installation. Getting them all right is especially important if you expect your paver patio to be always leveled and last for a long time. Which we think you do since you’re making such a big investment.

With that in mind, we really recommend you get a professional contractor to install pavers for you. 

The process of creating a perfectly leveled and solid foundation is extremely important and more complicated than one may think. It requires skill, at least 2 people, special tools, and especially experience.

We dare say, getting a pro will be cheaper than doing it yourself. So we strongly suggest you get a free estimate.

If you live in Sarasota or Manatee Counties we will be happy to drive to your place and have a proper conversation. Call us!


Can you lay pavers on just sand?
No. That is not recommended. The ideal paver installation requires digging, with proper depth and slope. The establishment of a good base of gravel and coarse sand in pivotal for the success of any paver installation. Cutting corners here is not recommended. Refer to this article for more information.

How much area does a bag of sand cover?
That will depend on the size of the bag you’re working with. Bags of sand are most commonly found in their 40lb, 50lb and 60lb variations. Taking into consideration that the layer of sand to be established in merely 1″ deep, the areas covered are usually:
40lb = 5 square feet
50lb = 6 square feet
60lb = 7.2 square feet

Does the sand base needs to be compacted?
No. In fact, never. The 1″ layer of sand beneath the paver should only be screeded, with the help of a 2×4 or a strike board.

Can you lay pavers on wet sand?
No. That’s why it is so important to make sure the weather will be dry around the days of the installation.