Sand is a versatile material and has been used to build up civilisation for centuries. Today, we have perfected our ratios to embrace the strength and sustainability of building sand as the king of building materials. But how do you choose the right one?

Chances are you will end up with a combination of the sands available to be used in different applications. This article serves to help you make an informed decision to take advantage of all sand’s abilities by understanding different types of sand and their uses.

Coarse Sand/ Pit Sand

This sand is sharp, coarse and free from salt so it is perfect for mixing concrete and mortar. The sand is excavated from pits that are usually about two metres below ground. Because it is harvested from the earth it often needs to be treated to ensure it is free from clay and organic materials if it is to be used in mortar.

River Sand

This is the most common sand use in construction due to it being clean and readily available. River sand is a fine and naturally occurring sand that is collected from the banks of rivers. It is made up of smooth, rounded particles of rock that have broken off over time.

It is also referred to as plaster sand because that is its most common use in construction. There are different types of river sand but generally the fine quality is what excavators are after for use in plaster.

Crushed Stone/ Artificial Sand

This is used as a substitute when river sand is unavailable and is an effective way of recycling building materials so that they may be repurposed. Successful site clearance should include stone crushing to ensure that materials which can be reused are put back into the industry to reduce waste.

Sea Sand

This is often the least popular choice as a building material as it tends to contain high levels of salt. This leaves a sticky building result and the high levels of chloride ions mean that it is likely to corrode metals which is not ideal for construction purposes. It can, however, be treated by being washed with fresh water and can then be used in the same applications as river sand.

Now that you know what you need all that there is left to do is contact your local building sand suppliers and build your project from the ground up.