Paver stones are one of the best materials you can use for your hardscape design. The reason for it is that pavers work in a system that combines sturdiness and adaptability, which makes them perfect for a lot of different scenarios and projects. So what do you put between paver stones to make them work optimally?
This system in which paver stones operate is called an interlocking system. So first we are going to discuss how that system works so we can better talk about what do we put between the pavers.
What do You Put Between Paver Stones?: The Interlocking System
Paver stones can be made of different materials, like brick, natural stone, or clay. The most common form of paver stone, however, is concrete pavers. They are the number one choice on many occasions due to their versatility and resistance. A set of good concrete pavers can last for years and years.
The end result of a paver installation is such a reliable choice because of the interlocking system in which pavers work. The interlocking system allows for pavers to be locked in place but still have enough room to slightly move around.
This creates a setting where the pavers can withstand high pressures and distribute weight rather than facing it head-on. The malleability of this system in combination with the high resistance of the individual pavers forms a virtually indestructible structure.
So what you put between paver stones is extremely important to create this resistance, which is the very thing they are famous for. What goes between the pavers is almost as important as the pavers themselves. So what is exactly that we use in combination with pavers to create that system?
The answer: polymeric sand.
Polymeric Sand: The “Glue” of Paver Stones
We use sand to fill the gaps between paver stones so they can perform optimally. But not just any sand.
While regular sand works in a short-term capacity, it doesn’t actually create the powerful bond that locks the pavers in place. Regular sand can be easily washed away by rain and wind and it doesn’t keep weeds and mildew to grout between your pavers.
Polymeric sand does all that and more. Not only it keeps your pavers airtight locked amongst each other, but it also prevents the development of any biological life between the pavers. That includes mold, insects, weeds, and mildew. So polymeric sand is the sand of choice when working with pavers.
How to Use Polymeric Sand?
Polymeric sand is added between your pavers during a process called sanding.
To sand your pavers you’re going to need a broom, a leaf blower, and a garden hose (preferably one that has a shower setting).
The process couldn’t be simpler. But first, you have to answer one question: are you working on a new installation or an old one?
If you’re working on a new installation, you can simply skip to the next section. But if you’re working on an old one and are planning to replace old sand, you first have to remove that old sand before continuing.
To replace sand you’re going to need only two things: to protect any plant life around your pavers (with a tarp or geotextile fabric) and a pressure washer.
After covering all of your plant life with the tarp, use the pressure washer to remove any old sand and other forms of debris between the pavers, sweeping everything off as you go along.
Once your pavers are free of sand and debris, you will need to wait at least 24 hours to go to the next step. Polymeric sand needs to be added on dry pavers, so make sure they are completely dry before sanding them.
Sanding Your Pavers
Once your pavers are free of any leftover sand and are completely dry, it’s time to add the polymeric sand.
Simply pour the polymeric sand on the joints between the pavers, letting it slightly overflow.
Following, spread the sand around with the broom. Your goal is to fill the joints with sand, leaving them as packed with sand as possible.
After that, you want to use the leaf blower to get rid of any excess sand. This is an important step. If you leave any leftover sand on your pavers it will form a haze that might be difficult to get rid of.
With the excess sand removed, it is time to mist your pavers to activate and lock together the polymeric sand. The best way to do that is to use the shower setting on your garden hose. Never add the water directly to the joints, always spread it as evenly as possible and from a safe enough high to simply wet the pavers.
And that is your final step. Your pavers now are locked together, forming the interlocking system and ready to perform optimally for the foreseeable future.
Polymeric Sand: The Professional Choice
Polymeric sand is the number one choice of product to use between pavers for the vast majority of professionals in the hardscape business. It binds together extremely well with pavers and creates the perfect interlocking system.
Going with professional expertise is always the best choice when installing pavers, and here as S&S Pavers we work with the best professionals in the area. For 10+ years we have been providing the best services in maintenance and installations of pavers for the Sarasota and Manatee Counties.