Understanding Sand: Different Types Used in Landscaping

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

utility sandSand, which is one of the three types of topsoil that exist (along with loam and clay), is often a bit misunderstood. Although we’re used to wiggling our toes in the sand at the shore, the sand you find along the coast isn’t the only kind that exists. What’s more, commercial sand can be used for countless purposes (other than sunning yourself and listening to the sound of the waves). In today’s post, we’ll take a look at some of the different types of construction sand that may be used in landscaping projects to give you a better idea of what materials your building sand suppliers might recommend.

  • Utility Sand: Also known as fill sand, utility sand is rather coarse in texture and is a mix of white, gray, beige, tan, and brown particles. It’s typically used underneath paving stones (e.g., as a base material for concrete) or even to fill holes and trenches. It compacts especially well, despite the fact that it’s not processed or washed. Although utility sand isn’t the type of soft, pure sand you associate with your favorite beach destination, it does serve many important purposes in landscaping and in construction.
  • Beach Sand: Fine-textured beach sand is essentially what it sounds like — it’s similar in feel and look to what you might see on vacation. It’s often found on playgrounds, on beach volleyball courts, and in sandboxes. It may also be referred to as “play sand,” which indicates that it’s free of silica and safe for children to play in. If you want to have a soft spot to play in your backyard or your business is constructing a large athletic space outside, beach sand might be an excellent option.
  • Masonry Sand: Masonry sand is sometimes called white sand, although it can come in beige and tan varieties in addition to a white-gray color. This fine-grained, clean sand is utilized in the creation of mortar or concrete; the final product is typically used to lay bricks, blocks, or stones. It’s actually a bit easier to work with than utility sand, which is why white masonry sand is so commonly found in patio construction. It can also be used to create a clean, white line between blocks or bricks, a desirable feature for many homeowners.

Whether you’re using sand between your stone pavers to create a garden path or want to design a safe play area for your kids, it helps to understand the main differences between the main types of commercial products you’ll find that are available for outdoor applications. For more information about the sands we carry or their uses, please contact us today.