Jointing or polymeric sand is used to fill the joints between pavers or stones instead of mortar. The sand contains a component that, when activated, hardens it in place. The hardened sand allows the stones to move along with shifts in soil without cracking or heaving. It also blocks plant from springing up through the joints between the stones. Installing the sand is easier than mortar installation.
Things You'll Need
- Jointing sand
- Vibratory plate compactor
- Garden hose
Lay the paver or stone surface as normal, placing the material on a bed of sand with space between each individual stone to allow for surface movement without drifting. Install edge restraints around the paved surface to help keep the stones in their set locations.
Spread a layer of polymeric sand over the surface of the stones by hand or with a shovel. Spread the sand evenly to allow for easier placement into the joints.
Sweep the sand into the joints stiff-bristled broom. Fill the joints completely, to the level of the stone tops. Also fill the edges between the stones and the edge restraints.
Tamp down the stones with a vibratory plate compactor. Run the compactor over the surface to force the sand deep within the joints. As you tamp down, the sand will compress, leaving open space along the tops of the joints.
Spread an additional layer of sand across the stone surface and sweep it into the joints created with the tamping. Tamp again with the compactor. Repeat until the tamping no longer creates space atop the joints.
Sweep any excess sand from the top of the stones. Any sand left in place will stick to the stone once activated, marring the visual impact of the stones.
Soak the surface of the paved area from a garden hose. Wet the sand within the joints. The water activates the polymeric sand, forcing it to harden in place so that rainfall or wind won't clear the joints. Apply the water from any high points of the surface working downward or away from structures to wash away any sand remaining on the surface. Allow the sand to cure for 15 minutes. Wet the surface again. Wait 24 hours for the sand to harden before using the surface.
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