In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of construction sand, as well as provide tips on how to use and buy it for your next DIY project. Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or a DIY enthusiast, this guide will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right sand for your next project.

Construction sand is a versatile and essential component of many construction projects. From laying the foundation for new building construction to creating a smooth surface for a patio or walkway, sand plays a crucial role in many different construction applications.

However, not all sand is created equal, and choosing the right type of sand for your project is important to ensure that it is completed successfully. Each type of construction sand has characteristics and granulometry that direct its use to a specific activity. Therefore, knowing the peculiarities of each type of sand for construction is fundamental for the progress and quality of the project to be preserved.

Construction Sand Specification And Granulometry

Construction sand is one of the most essential and basic materials to start a project on the construction site. For use in construction, there are basically 3 types of sand for construction, namely: fine, medium, and coarse. However, they can also be found in other classifications, such as washed, machined, and recycled.

When it comes to the classification of fine, medium, and coarse sand, what determines this type of segmentation is the granulometry of the sand, i.e, the size of its grains. From the grain size, this construction sand is recommended for one type of line and use.

Types Of Construction Sand

cost of construction sand

Sand For Fine Construction

It has an average granulometry between 0.05 to 0.42mm. Widely used for internal finishing and plastering, as it gives a better appearance to finish the environment with putty or paint.

Sand For Medium Construction

It has an average granulometry between 0.42 and 2mm. It is mainly used in the preparation of mortar that will be used in laying types of bricks, and blocks. In addition, medium-construction sand is also used for mixing concrete, and for backfilling pillars and beams.

Sand For Coarse Construction

Its granulometry varies from 2 to 4mm. In construction, coarse sand is used exclusively for concrete and screed.

Washed Sand

Washed sand, also known as natural sand, is the sand most used in civil construction, especially in the early stages of work. It is possible to use this type of sand to prepare the concrete and mortar that will support the bricks of the project. This type of construction sand is extracted from riverbeds by means of suction dredgers and its granulometry can vary from fine to medium, and coarse.

According to its granulometry, the washed sand can be used for internal coatings, such as fine and smooth plastering, and for the production of concrete and mortars for laying blocks.

Machined Sand

Machined sand, also called industrialized or gravel sand is an aggregate generated from the crushing of rocks, i.e, formed through the mechanical fragmentation of rocks.

In civil construction, machine sand can replace masterfully washed sand, meeting all the necessary technical and operational rigors. In addition, this type of construction sand is more sustainable since its production has less impact on the environment.

Recycled Sand

Recycled sand is the aggregate generated from debris, demolition materials, and other types of class A construction waste. One of the great advantages of recycled sand for construction in relation to other types is certainly its more accessible cost and the environmental impacts arising from its production.

However, it is worth mentioning that, based on the characteristics of this type of sand, its use is more directed at sealing masonry, sidewalks, subfloors, and coatings.

What Is Sand Used For In Construction?

construction sand specification

Sand for construction is a basic aggregate in construction work and it has multiple uses. This is because the different types of sand for construction can be used in various stages of the work, including from the foundation phases to the roofing, passing through the structure, fences, and finishes.

Can You Use Sand From The Beach For Construction?

This is a recurring question and the answer is no. Beach sand and dunes are not used in civil construction, as they have irregular granulations and amounts of salt in their composition. Salt, for example, affects the manufacturing of mortars and different types of cement, since it makes it impossible for the curing (drying) to occur correctly.

How To Buy Sand For Construction?

The construction sand price varies according to the type and quantity needed. In small works, the purchase of construction sand can be done by volume, in cubic meters (m³), or by the kilo (kg).

Now, when it comes to larger projects, sand is usually purchased with a dump truck. Generally, the construction sand truck has a capacity between 5 and 13 m³ (check out the sand volume calculator).

Before buying sand for construction, it is essential that you check its origin and the company’s documentation. Also, pay attention to the quality of the sand for construction; an inspection must be carried out before purchase or before unloading it on site.

Do not accept soiled construction sand with oil marks, leaves, twigs, or dirt, as this may impair the quality, strength, and durability of the concrete and mortar.

You may also be interested in checking out the construction company name generator.

By Robin M

Robin remains an active participant in the skilled trades community. His hands-on involvement in projects, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for helping others succeed in their home improvement pursuits, reflects his commitment to empowering readers with the knowledge they need to tackle projects confidently.

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