Using Sand In Paver Installation

Laying Pavers? MJS Materials Has You Covered

Using pavers around your home or business’s architecture can be the sort of feature that really makes your property pop! Before you jump into pouring concrete or settling for a dirt walkway, take a minute to consider pavers for your next project. MJS Materials has been providing the necessary materials for these home improvement projects for over 30 years in Florida. When you need paver sand for your paver installation, you have some options to consider. Regardless of what kind of sand you decide on for your project, the materials experts at MJS Materials are ready to help you accomplish your task.

If you’ve never laid pavers using sand before, or you just need a quick refresher, we’ve provided this quick-start guide to the process. If you have any questions afterwards regarding what sand is right for your paver project and what materials we have available currently, please contact us, and we will provide you with a prompt, knowledgeable answer!

The Process

That sand that you see between pavers in those beautiful walkways is actually just half of the sand that makes this process work. When you’re using sand to lay pavers, you actually use the material in two crucial steps. The type of sand that you use for your project can affect the end-result quality, so it’s important to make the right decision. Failure to do so could result in pavers shifting, sinking, or being uneven.

Step 1: Digging & Laying Foundation

Before you even get to sand, there is a start to the paver process. You’ll start by digging out a bed for your walkway. Rather than jumping right into pouring sand, you’ll need to lay the foundation. We recommend a layer of gravel or crushed rock. This layer is extremely important, because it will help to reduce the risk of water pooling in your walkway by allowing moisture to pass through and into the ground. This base layer is especially important for those of us in Florida, because when it rains, it pours! Standing water can wreak havoc on an improperly installed paver walkway.

Step 2: Laying Base Sand

After you’ve dug your pathway and laid down a bed of gravel or crushed rock, you’ll cover the whole path with a layer of sand. This is called the “bedding layer.” Once this sand is in place, use a tamping tool to compact the sand into an even layer. If you have access to a compacting machine, that will make this process much easier, especially if you’re doing this to a large area, such as a patio. We recommend having a base layer of sand that is several inches thick, which may require that you pour, smooth, and compact more than once to achieve the right depth.


The best sand for this bedding layer is a sand with sharp, coarse grains that are uniform in size. This will allow the sand to compact well, and because of its angular nature, it will be less likely to shift. Rounded edges, like smooth pebbles, have a harder time holding their structure. Coarser sand will adhere to each other better through the natural friction of their texture. If you do this, the likelihood of pavers shifting or sinking is greatly reduced. When you have a nicely compacted layer of sand, cover it with a thin, one-inch layer of un-compacted base sand, which will be used for laying your pavers.

Step 3: Lay Your Pavers

At this point, you can lay your pavers, placing them securely and levelly into the un-compacted base layer of sand. Utilizing that un-compacted layer reduces the risk of moisture getting between the pavers and compacted sand and causing shifting. Once you have your pavers laid and level, you can move on to the next and final step.

Step 4: Filling In The Gaps

After laying all of your pavers, you’re going to cover all of that beautiful work you’ve done with a layer of filler sand. You won’t be compacting this layer of sand, however. Instead, you’ll sweep this sand over your pavers, filling the gaps between pavers with a broom. You will need to repeat this process several times, until you have a level, paved pathway or patio, with uniform sand filling between each paver. It is recommended that you use the same type of sand for this application that you did for your bedding layer. The uniformity aids in sand naturally adhering together. Additionally, a coarser sand will naturally adhere better to your pavers, holding them in place. There is an option to use what is called “polymeric sand,” which is sand that has been treated with a water-activated coating that causes it to harden. Contact us to check the availability of polymeric sand!

Step 5: Enjoy!

Now that you’ve filled all of the gaps between pavers, swept away excess filler sand, and made sure everything is nice and level, you have a finished paved walkway or patio! This is a relatively inexpensive and uncomplicated way to add a nice design touch to your home or business. Pavers give you lots of opportunities to accentuate traditional architecture, or you can get creative and bold and add a modern flair to a new home or business. Get creative!

Let MJS Materials Be Your Sand Provider!

We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality sand and rock materials to our customers in Florida. If you’d like to get started on your own paver project, please contact us right away, and we’ll help you get started! We have a large fleet of hauler trucks and loaders, so we can bring the materials you need directly to you! If you need to buy a large quantity of sand in bulk, or just need enough for one project, let us know and we’ll be on our way! Speak with one of our materials experts if you have any questions regarding what sand is right for your paving project. We can’t wait to hear from you and help you get started!