Posted on

To many of us, sand is simply sand, however, sand within construction has different uses within different circumstances. The most common types of sand used within construction is washed sand and silica sand. Now you may be wondering what the difference is, which is why we have outlined them below.

Washed Sand

‘Washed’ refers to the process of removing clay, silt, dust and other unwanted particles from the sand. Once the excess materials have been removed, the sand is left to drain. Washed sand is ideal for rendering, mixing concrete and for making a less malleable mortar that is often used for and flagstones.

Uses Of Washed Sand

Render & Floor Screeds – Screed is a thin layer of concrete, which is poured over the base concrete, to provide a flat and smooth surface that the final floor or wall covering can be applied to. Most screeds are made with cement and sharp sand.

Laying Paving Courses – Sharp sand is commonly used when laying paving courses, such as driveways, paths and patios. When paving, the sand needs to be salt-free to avoid the paving slabs that lie on top of it being eroded and damaged. It’s also desirable to use sand that provides good drainage.

Concrete – Sharp sand is mixed with concrete for a wide range of construction projects. Using sharp sand in concrete provides more strength and less flexibility compared to other types of sand.

Projects Requiring Tough Mortar – Mortar is a mix of sand particles, cement and water, which can also include lime. Mortar is typically used for bricklaying and pointing. Sharp sand is ideal for mixing with other sands to increase the strength of the mortar and for when it needs to be less workable. A key benefit of adding sharp sand to the mortar mix is that it can prevent cracking during the drying process.

Lawn care & Landscaping – Sharp sand drains freely, making it an ideal aggregate for using on lawns and in landscaping. The large grain size, low silt and clay content make sharp sand a free-draining material.

What is Silica Sand

Unlike washed sand, silica Sand is quartz that over time, through the work of water and wind, has been broken down into tiny granules. … Industrial sand is a term normally applied to high purity silica sand products with closely controlled sizing.

Uses Of Silica Sand

Glass – Silica sand is a primary component in the manufacturing of glass. It is a very important raw material for standard and special glasses. The chemical purity of silica sand is the principal determinant of strength, colour and clarity.

Sports Fields & Golf Courses – On synthetic sports fields and golf courses, silica sand is used for bunkers and greens. Because of its ability to support natural plant growth, it is also used to maintain greens and fairways.

Water Filtration – Silica sand is an effective filtration bed in the removal of contaminants in both processing of wastewater and in the filtration of the drinking water. Silica sand neutralizes the acidic elements to maintain optimal pH balance in water filters. As it is chemically inert, it will not react when exposed to acids, contaminants, volatile organics or solvents.

Construction – It is the primary component in a variety of building and construction products. For improved durability and structural integrity, whole grain silica is used in flooring, mortars, speciality cement, roofing shingles, asphalt mixtures, skid-resistant surfaces and in other industrial materials. It performs as a functional extender to add durability, anti-corrosion and weathering properties in sealants, caulks, epoxy-based compounds.

Paints & Coatings – Silica sand consists of high-performance properties such as brightness, reflectance, oil absorption and colour-consistency. These properties help to improve the overall appearance and durability of industrial and architectural paints and coatings.