Best Polymeric Sand for Pavers | Polymeric Sand Reviews

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With polymeric sand being one of the most prominent choices for a jointing compound in an interlocking concrete pavement system, many manufacturers have entered the market with their own concoction claiming to be better than the next since its inception in the early 2000s. In my experience since entering the industry in 2007, the development of polymeric sands has been incredible with new sands claiming to be haze-free not leaving a cloudy haze after activation, dust-free, and even new sands not requiring compaction. In this article, we discuss the best polymeric sands on the market and their different applications. This is an ongoing list that will be updated as more polymeric sands enter the market and new generations of sands are developed.

Polymeric Sand Brands

Polymeric sand is a jointing compound for interlocking concrete pavement systems that is swept into the joints, consolidated, and activated with water allowing it to harden but remain flexible with the movement of the pavers. Manufacturers have developed their lines of sands over the years to now accomplish some incredible results and long warranties to back their claims.

This is an ongoing list of polymeric sand manufacturers and their various polymeric sand lines that they offer, their applications, and specifications. If a sand manufacturer is on this list, it has received good reviews both from us and hardscape professionals in the industry.

If you want to learn step-by-step installation practices, visit our polymeric sand installation article. If you want more information on polymeric sands and other jointing compounds, you can visit our jointing compounds page where you will find all of our articles related to this subject.

In no particular order, here are the recommended polymeric sand manufacturers and their lineups of sands, applications, and specifications. It is important to note that each of these manufacturers and their varying sands have different installation instructions that need to be followed in order to obtain the intended results, especially in the activation steps. Be sure to read the instructions on the container of the sands, website, or consult with the manufacturer prior to installation.

 

  1. Techniseal Polymeric Sand Reviews
  2. Techniseal seems to have been the industry leader when it comes to the first-ever polymeric sand for paver joints when it was first introduced in 1999. Nowadays, their sands perform and install much better and easier than they did when it was first introduced with technologies like Nextgel which is a manufacturing process that improves the properties of the base materials included in polymeric sand. This technology has made it easier to sweep and cleaner to install, not allowing for haze when installed correctly. This technology is now available in their base SmartSand and HP version of their polymeric sands.

    Since entering the industry, I have personally used Techniseal sands and can vouch for the Nextgel technology in their sands and the improvement that this has created in the sweeping and activation of the sand. We have seen a major improvement in the haze-free technology that this has created, though it is important to take your time with the cleaning and blowing of the surface of the pavement in order to achieve these results.

    • Techniseal SmartSand Polymeric Sand
    • SmartSand is their base line of polymeric sands and replaced the RG line of polymeric sands as Nextgel technology was introduced to it. It is a mix of ASTM C144 graded sand and polymers and is specified for smaller duty projects including residential projects with joints no greater than 1″. Traffic is rated for pedestrian and light vehicular traffic. This sand includes a 15 year warranty.

      Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours after installation
      Rain: Resists unforeseen rain 60 minutes after installation, requires 24 hours no rain
      Pavement Type: Dry and Wet Cast Pavers, Low Slope
      Joint Width: 1/16″ to 1″ at intersections
      Joint Depth: More than 1.5″
      Traffic: Residential Pedestrian and Light Vehicular (Pedestrian traffic allowed immediately after installation, no vehicular traffic 48-72 hours after installation)
      Warranty: 15 Years

       

    • Techniseal HP NextGel Polymeric Sand
    • HP is Techniseal’s high-duty polymeric sand allowing for installation in the joints of more materials, with wider joint widths, a longer warranty, and rated for heavier traffic volumes and loads. It is also the polymeric sand rated for false joints. It is backed by a 20 year warranty, 5 years greater than SmartSand and is rated for high-humidity environments, steeper projects, and heavy vehicular traffic. It is the recommended polymeric sand and one that we opt for on any project when installing Techniseal polymeric sand.

      Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours after installation
      Rain: Resists unforeseen rain 60 minutes after installation, requires 24-48 hours no rain
      Pavement Type: Dry and Wet Cast Pavers, Natural Stone, Porcelain Tile, False Joints, Concrete Overlay, High Slope
      Joint Width: 1/16″ to 1″ or 2″ at intersections, up to 4″ depending on installation
      Joint Depth:
      Traffic: Up to Heavy Vehicular Traffic (Pedestrian traffic allowed immediately after installation, no vehicular traffic 48-72 hours after installation)
      Warranty: 20 Years

       

    • Techniseal NOCO Polymeric Sand
    • Techniseal has recently launched NOCO polymeric sand. It is a no compaction required, high compressive strength polymeric sand for products where mechanical compaction of the paving material may not be possible or not usually used. This includes thinner products like flagstone or other natural stone installed on patios, pool decks, walkways, and terraces for both residential and commercial projects.

      We have heard good things about this product, but my take on this is any time you can compact to consolidate polymeric sand to the bottom of the joint, you should. Even with this no compaction sand. Even with thinner products, you can rent or purchase a paver roller compactor which will protect them and prevent cracking or chipping in the product while also consolidating the jointing material. That being said, no compaction technology is exciting to see entering the market as many polymeric sand failures are caused by not compacting the pavers after the sand is swept into the joints.

      Temperature: 10 degrees Celsius / 50 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours after installation
      Rain: Requires 24 hours no rain, 48 hours for wider joints and / or cooler temperature installs
      Pavement Type: Natural Stone Patios, Pool Decks, Walkways, Low Slope
      Joint Width: 1/4″ to 2″, up to 4″ at intersections
      Joint Depth: More than 1.5″
      Traffic: Pedestrian Traffic
      Warranty: 20 Years

     

  3. Alliance Gator Polymeric Sand Reviews
  4. Alliance Gator is the manufacturer of a large variety of hardscape installation products including polymeric sands since 2003. Their sands have developed with G2 technology referring to the second generation of sands. They claim no dust, haze free, no blower needed, and one watering making it more efficient to install. The G2 manufacturing process mixes specifically calibrated ASTM C144 sand with polymers neutralizing haze and dust allowing you to not need a mask to install and no blower.

    We have been using Alliance Gator polymeric sands for five years in our business with great results. The lack of dust when dumping a bag of sand out and sweeping it around is a major plus for myself and the crews. However, as with most polymeric sand manufacturer claims, the no blower is not something we abide by. We always use a leaf blower to clean off the surface of the pavers prior to activating the sand with water and recommend that everyone does the same to prevent any possible hazing or particles hardening to the surface. Additionally, there has been a learning gap between the first generation sands and the G2 sands as the activation stage of the process has changed causing failures of sand installations. I noticed this while working for a supplier when G2 was first introduced to the market, though the number of claims from what we have seen has tapered off perhaps due to the learning gap narrowing. G2 also claims that the sand is rain safe after 15 minutes. Though this seems to be true with light rainfalls that are not predicted, I would not be pushing that. Ensure that you have a window of time for the sand to dry of 24 hours prior to any rainfall.

    • G2 Supersand Polymeric Sand / G2 Flexlock Polymeric Sand
    • G2 is the second generation of sands from Alliance Gator which reduces the amount of dust allowing you to not require a mask when installing, reduces haze, does not require a blower, and only requires one watering, and is rain safe in 15 minutes. The Supersand is their base model of sand recommended for

      Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit
      Rain: Resists unforeseen rain 15 minutes after installation
      Pavement Type: Pool Decks, Patios, Footpaths, Driveways, Parking Spaces, etc.
      Joint Width: 1/8″ to 2″
      Joint Depth: More than 1.5″
      Warranty: 15 Year Limited Residential, 1 Year Limited Commercial
       

    • G2 Gator Maxx Polymeric Sand / G2 Flexlock Ultra Polymeric Sand
    • This polymeric sand improves on Supersand by allowing it to be installed in overlay applications and the joint widths that it can be installed at. It can also be used with product that have false joints and is recommended for commercial applications. In most of our applications we opt for this sand over the Supersand.

      Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit
      Rain: Resists unforeseen rain 15 minutes after installation, 24 hours for overlay applications
      Pavement Type: Pool Decks, Patios, Footpaths, Driveways, Parking Spaces, False Joints, Traditional and Overlay, Residential, and Commercial
      Joint Width: 1/8″ to 4″ or 2″ in Overlays
      Joint Depth: More than 1.5″
      Warranty: 15 Year Limited Residential, 1 Year Limited Commercial

      In addition to these sands by Alliance Gator, there are three other sands for specific purposes including Gator Tile Sand polymeric sand which is rated for their Gator Tile system installations, Gator Dust Bond polymeric sand which is rated for pedestrian traffic flagstone installations that have larger joints, and Eurostone Bond polymeric sand which is rated for natural stone paver joints.

       

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