Uses and benefits of washed sharp sand (grit) for various projects
What is sharp sand?
Having a larger grain size than other types of sand means sharp sand is slightly heavier.
Typically, sharp sand is used within applications where more strength and less flexibility is required. For example, it is ideal for mixing concrete and is commonly used for floor screeds and laying paving courses. In addition to construction projects, sharp sand can also be used as a top dressing for lawns, in general landscaping and in seed composts, because it enables moisture movement.
Below, we take a look at common uses of washed sharp sand for typical applications, including concreting, screeding and as a base for laying paving.
Our sharp sand is delivered loose or in bulk bags and is suitable for use in commercial and domestic projects. Order sharp sand online today.
Common uses of washed sharp sand
Render and 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.
Using sharp sand in screeds provides more strength compared to using other types of 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 a sand that provides good drainage.
Sharp sand is ideal for paving as it has a low salt and silt content and drains freely.
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 fine 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.
Sharp sand is typically used when a thicker layer of mortar is required, such as for chimney flaunching, bedding roof tiles and in garden projects.
Lawn care and in the garden
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.
Why use ‘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.
Characteristics and benefits of sharp sand
The three main characteristics and benefits of sharp sand are:
- The individual grains are jagged (angular) which creates an interlock between the grains. The interlocking of grains provides ‘strength’ in applications such as when mixing concrete or when using as a base layer under paving.
- The larger grain size of sharp sand reduces the amount of retained water, making it very free draining. Excellent drainage properties make sharp sand ideal for using as a foundation layer for paving and patios or in landscaping.
- Sharp sand has a low silt and clay content, which also makes it a freely draining material. Being free from silt is desirable for paving, as silt and salt erode paving slabs. Being silt and salt free also makes sharp sand suitable for mixing concrete.
Where to Buy Washed Sharp Sand in Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and Hampshire
Avon Material Supplies (AMS) are leading suppliers of washed sharp sand (grit) to businesses, construction sites and members of the public throughout Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and Hampshire.