When you look around the outside of most homes, you’ll find smartly placed pavers somewhere or another.
Either your driveway is covered in them completely or they make up a quaint walkway to the back garden, and although they look delightful, they’re not necessarily the most durable option.
Polymeric sand is a mixture of many types of sands that also feature additives, called polymers, that help them to stick together when mixed with water, and they’re a must-have when you’ve got pavers around.
The sand particles and polymer work together to bond pavers and make them into a cohesive surface free of cracks, improving its durability.
What are the best polymeric sand options on the market and how do I know what to look for?
The quality of polymer sand will depend entirely on its contents, with higher-grade sands and bonding agents getting better results. Choose one that has other capabilities like a weed-killing chemical, so you only have to do one application to treat the entire area, rather than using separate products.
If you want the best rated polymeric sand for your next home project, this buying guide can help you out. We’ve found the best of the best in terms of ease of application, price, and quality of ingredients, so you’ll get a top performer to add years of durability to your existing pavers.
The quickest fix to a problematic driveway or path made of pavers is to treat them with the best polymeric jointing sand, but how can you tell the good from the bad?
We’ve hand-selected our two favorites from countless reviews so you can feel good about using these for your next DIY paver job.
Best Polymeric Sand – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Best Polymeric Sand: Dominator Polymeric Sand
Type: Polymeric sand
Coverage: 32 square feet
Setting Temperature: 32 F
The best brand of polymeric sand has to be Dominator, with its extra-fine feel made of the highest quality sands and bonding agents, perfect for even the smallest cracks.
The Dominator Polymeric sand is made with Solid Flex Technology that uses the latest advancements in bonding and is the preferred choice for professionals, with a formula that promises no cheap fillers or concrete.
This 13lb container will cover up to 32 square feet of pavers in one go, and there are options for larger sizes if needed.
The best thing about this sand is how hard it sets when applied correctly, and does so without using any concrete in the formula. People were amazed at the setting power it had just 45 minutes after application, with a full two days needed to see the true results.
Compared to other sands, it set hard and fast, and made a soft, smooth finish on top of the pavers, and there’s no need to wait for a summer’s day for it to work.
According to reviews, you’ll want to put some extra time aside before applying the Dominator product, as it takes longer than other sands they’ve used. This is due to the finer nature of the polymeric sand which enables it to get into finer cracks, so all the extra work will be worth it in the end.
A specialized fine broom can help with application and reading the instructions twice over is essential, so don’t rush the job when you’re using Dominator.
Other noteworthy features of the Dominator Polymeric Sand are five different color choices including taupe, natural, and charcoal, and a pour spout that makes application easy. The sand works best on dry conditions with good drainage, so avoid the application when rain is forecast that day.
This is by far the best polymeric sand for wide joints and small, so it doesn’t matter the size of pavers or area you’re treating, you’ll get good results.
To purchase the Dominator Polymeric Sand to seal your pavers and create a beautifully finished look, head to Amazon for a price of around $40 for the 13lb bucket.
Runner Up: Buddingco Polymeric Sand
Type: Polymeric sand
Coverage: 18 sq. ft.
Setting Temperature: 32 F
Buddingco Polymeric Sand is another top performer in this category, and our top pick for people who need a black fill. With a minimum setting temperature of just 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you can use it virtually any time of year without worrying about waiting days just to get results.
The Buddingco Sand was made for every type of surface including parking spaces, driveways, and pool decks, so it’s versatile enough to treat the entire home.
This product worked well on wider gaps especially, so if you’re after the best polymeric sand for flagstone and other types of pavers, this is our favorite.
Others seem to struggle with the wider gaps and you end up having to use so much just to try and fill the spaces, but not with Buddingco. Because the sand isn’t as fine, it fits perfectly in wide gaps, and with minimal effort.
On the negative side of things, it’s expensive for polymeric sand, and you can expect one pound of the product to cover just one square foot of space.
When you consider you might also be filling in wider gaps and flagstone pavers, the total price can be quite a bit, but for many reviewers, they found the results more than worth it.
Buddingco Polymeric Sand was made to be durable so it’ll help prevent erosion, freeze-thaw cycles, rain, and wind from damaging your pavers, and it works just as well in all climates.
Once wet and set, the sand will lock the pavers together but still have the flexibility that polymer is known for, so you get the best of both worlds. With a smooth black finish, it’ll add some contrast to lighter pavers or blend in seamlessly with darker stone, so it depends on what you’re working with.
To get your hands on the best polymeric sand for wide joints, head to Amazon for the lowest price of around $60 for the 18lbs container. Although there are no warranties offered, Amazon will ship it for free and they offer free returns, so if it’s not exactly what you wanted you can return it without stress.
The FAQs of Polymeric Sand FAQ
Polymeric sand is an easy way to add durability to your pavers, and a quick DIY job that can harvest huge results. If you’re new to this process, we’ve answered some of the questions people have about polymeric sand and how it works, to give you a helping hand.
What Is Polymeric Sand?
Polymeric sand is a combination of bonding agents called polymers and fine sand particles, that mix together to make a strengthening compound.
When combined with water, it hardens, and it can be placed in the spaces and cracks between your pavers to make them smooth and uniform.
How To Use Polymeric Sand?
All polymer sand products come with specific instructions on how to use them, but in general, you pour the product out and then sweep it to cover the pavers and spaces between them.
Once complete, water is added and it’s left to set, with the polymer turning into a hardened concrete-like material after a day or two.
How Much Polymeric Sand Do I Need?
The volume of polymeric sand you’ll need to treat an area depends on how wide the gaps are in between pavers.
For a small gapped area, 50lbs of polymeric sand will cover 100 square feet. However, medium-sized gaps between ¼” to 3/8″ will only cover half this amount, and even less for larger gaps.
How Long Does Polymeric Sand Take To Harden?
Depending on the type of sand you use and the manufacturer’s recommendations, it can take between 24 to 48 hours for polymeric sand to harden. The amount of traffic that the area receives can determine how long it takes, with heavy foot traffic areas sometimes needing longer to set.
The Finished Look Your Pavers Need
Pavers are an attractive way to add some range to your garden or a great design choice for driveways, but when they’re not finished properly they can cause a lot of issues. Whether it’s overgrown weeds or wobbly surfaces, it can all be fixed polymeric sand and a little bit of effort.
With our picks from the best polymeric sand reviews, you’ll have everything you need to do finish this short but effective DIY job, and bring your pavers back to life. A sprinkling of this magic sand and some handy work with the broom is all you need to transform them, with either of our favorite picks being worth the money.