Paver Sand VS Play Sand: 4 Differences You Should Know

There is a lot of debate over what kind of sand to use for pavers. Some people say you should use paver sand, while others say play sand is the better option. 

So, which is the right choice? We will take a closer look at both options and see which one comes out on top by comparing paver sand and play sand in all the important categories while defining their specific uses.

The main differences between paver sand and play sand are its main uses, structure, and overall safety.

What is paver sand?

Paver sand is a special kind of sand used to make decorative pavers. Many people choose to use paver sands because of the variety of colors and textures available, especially if they are looking for a specific effect in their outdoor space.

Paver sand is an excellent choice for outdoor spaces because it adds beauty while providing durability and stability. 

Unlike regular soils, paver sand will not erode or shift over time, ensuring that your pavers stay secure and stable no matter the weather conditions. 

In addition, since paver sands come in a wide range of colors and textures, you can easily customize your outdoor space to create a beautiful look that matches your personal style and preferences.

If you’re interested in using paver sand for your outdoor space, there are a few essential things to keep in mind

First, it’s essential to choose the right kind of paver sand for your needs; different types of pavers require different types of sand

For example, if you have larger pavers made from concrete or stone, you will typically want to use coarser paver sand that offers more stability and durability

On the other hand, if you plan on using smaller pavers made from materials like bricks or tiles, you may want to opt for finer paver sand that adds more color and texture without compromising stability or durability.

Another thing to consider when choosing paver sand is where it came from. If possible, try to find a supplier that offers locally sourced paver sand, as this will ensure that your sand is sustainably and responsibly sourced. 

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to ask your supplier about the certification of the paver sands they offer; reputable suppliers will always ensure that their paver sands are certified safe for use in outdoor spaces.

Choosing paver sand is worth considering if you’re looking for a durable and beautiful way to enhance your outdoor space. 

With so many options available in color and texture, you can easily find the perfect match for your style and preferences!

What is play sand?

Play sand is a type of sand typically made from silica (SiO2), not to be confused with beach sand. This sand is used in the construction of dry playgrounds, beaches, and other open-air recreational spaces. 

Play sand is similar to beach sand in composition, but it is different in terms of particle size. Beach sand contains a significant amount of smaller particles (such as tiny grains of shell or bits of coral) mixed in with the larger particles found at most beaches. 

In contrast, play sand usually contains no such small particles – it’s pretty much all large grains. 

This makes it safe for children to use during playtime, so long as the sandbox or outdoor playground area has been appropriately constructed and maintained.

The benefits of using play sand primarily include its safety for children, ease of maintenance of the sand, and ability to be kept outside all year (unlike water-based play equipment). 

The safety benefits are significant because it reduces the risk that children will experience irritation or injury from contact with small particles in beach sand. 

The main drawback of using play sand is that it can sometimes become airborne when used outdoors on windy days, which could potentially cause eye irritation for some individuals – though this is a relatively rare occurrence.

Another potential downside of using play sand is that it can get tracked inside by kids who might carry some of the sand into their homes during or after playtime. 

However, this can easily be solved by putting a rug near any entryways where children come in and out of the home. 

In most cases, the benefits of using play sand far outweigh the drawbacks – which is why it continues to be one of the most popular choices for outdoor recreational spaces.

What are the differences between paver sand and play sand?

While these two types of sand may appear quite similar, they have very different uses. There are also a few other essential differences between paver sand and play sand that you should keep in mind.

1. Uses

The first difference between these two kinds of sand in their respective uses. Play sand is most often used in kiddie pools and sandboxes, whereas paver sand is found mainly on sidewalks, walkways, and driveways.

Moreover, play sand cannot be used to fill paver joints. This type of sand is more coarse and dusty than paver sand, which tends to be finer and moisture-resistant. 

On the other hand, paver sand is not the best for playgrounds, as it’s not as smooth and safe as play sand. 

So if you need a sandbox or kiddie pool, play sand is the way to go. But if you’re looking for something to fill paver joints or lay down on your driveway, paver sand is a better choice.

2. Colors and types

Another difference between these two types of sand is their color. Play sand typically has a light gray or beige color, while paver sand tends to have a darker beige or brown hue. 

Both kinds of sand can come in various grain sizes, from fine to coarse. If you are looking for play sand, try to find one labeled “washed.” 

This means that it has been cleaned and sifted to remove debris and dirt, which could irritate the skin of a child who plays with it. 

It is also essential to make sure that you purchase sand from a reputable supplier, as this will help ensure that the sand does not contain harmful chemicals or other substances.

If your project requires paver sand, choose one specifically designed for this purpose

It should be coarse enough to fill in between pavers effectively but not so coarse that it ends up causing damage when used on softer materials such as wood or concrete. 

The right paver sand can help prevent weeds from growing in these gaps, as well as help to keep the pavers from shifting or moving over time.

3. Safety

Play sand is safer than paver sand because it’s clean and free of debris that can hurt you. Play sand has been designed to be safe for kids by removing rocks or sharp edges. 

On the other hand, paver sand is much more dangerous. It usually contains rock and metal fragments that can cut your skin when you fall on it. Not only is this unsafe for kids, but it’s also pretty unpleasant for adults.

Paver sand also contains a lot of moisture and has not been processed to remove dirt. This means it’s much more likely to harbor bacteria and mold, which can be dangerous for your health if you inhale or get them in your eyes, ears, or mouth.

Overall, play sand is the better choice when it comes to safety. It’s clean and free from debris, so there’s no risk of harming yourself. 

And even though paver sand might seem safer just because it looks like regular beach sand, it contains many dangers that play sand does not have.

4. Composition

Finally, the two types of sand also differ in composition. Regular sand, also known as builders’ or masonry sand, is composed of rounded particles that are relatively smooth, while play sand is made up of angular particles. 

With this in mind, it makes sense that regular sand is generally considered more suitable for filling voids when laying bricks, and playing in it may lead to a few scraped knees.

Paver sand vs play sand: Are they the same?

It is safe to say that paver sand and play sand are not the same – especially since they have very different uses. 

Paver sand has a structural role in driveways, pavements, and similar projects, whereas play sand is used mainly for playgrounds and rarely in construction projects.

The composition of the play sand also makes it far more suitable for playgrounds, as it is generally safer and doesn’t contain rock or metal pieces that could hurt a child.

While play sand has been cleaned and sifted for this purpose, the safety of this kind is not a factor when producing paver sand. 

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