Understanding the different types of sand

24th April 2024
Understanding the different types of sand

Understanding the diverse types of sand and their varied uses can be confusing for someone approaching it for the first time. However, understanding the differences between each sand type and their properties can be the difference between a successful project or one that doesn’t quite work out.

MB Wilkes is the South's leading aggregate supplier, having been in the industry for 60 years. We know everything there is to know about sand, so we have written this guide to help you understand the differences between our sand products and their common uses so you can make an informed decision.

Building Sand

Building Sand is one of the most popular sands used in construction projects. This sand is made up of decomposed rock and has grains between 1.5mm and 2mm in size.

The combination of its even grittiness and the size of the grain make it an essential ingredient for mixing mortar.

Most commonly, Building Sand is used for bricklaying. When mixed with water and cement it creates bricklaying mortar, which allows you to fuse the bricks together. However, it is also suitable for pointing, rendering, and, in some cases, as an ingredient in concrete.

We supply a range of Building Sand products, including Building Sand Corfe 1 and Building Sand Corfe 4. If you would like to know more about our Building Sand, don't hesitate to get in touch with our experts, who can help you decide on the one right for your project.

Washed Sand

The 'washed' refers to the process by which clay, silt and dust are removed from the sand before it is left to drain. This type of sand can come in a range of grittiness and has a variety of uses.

General-Washed Sand is great for rendering and external plastering. This sand is likely to create a mortar that is a different colour to Building Sand, therefore, you should consider this when choosing which sand to use.

Meanwhile, Double-Washed Sand, which has been through the cleaning process twice and has had all contaminants removed, is ideal for use in children's playpits, long jump pits and gold bunkers.

Contact our friendly team today if you are unsure which Washed Sand is right for your requirements.

Washed Grit

Washed Grit, often referred to as Sharp Sand, is a coarse aggregate characterised by its larger, jagged particles. These pieces of aggregate are typically washed to remove impurities and ensure uniformity in size and shape. Sharp Sand is highly versatile and finds application in various construction tasks due to its unique properties.

One notable application of Washed Grit is in the mixture of concrete and floor screed. Its coarse texture enhances the strength and durability of the concrete mix, making it suitable for structural elements such as foundations, footings, and floors.

Additionally, Washed Grit is commonly used to produce mortar, although its rough texture renders it less workable compared to finer sands. However, this characteristic makes it particularly well-suited for applications such as block paving and laying flagstones, where a sturdy, robust mortar is needed to support heavy loads and withstand external forces.

Learn more about the uses of Washed Grit by calling our team on 01258 857465.

Filling Sand

Fill Sand, commonly known as Fill Sand or Cable Sand, is an unscreened and unwashed sand. It has a granular texture and relatively uniform particle size, which allows it to compact easily and provide stability when used as a base material.

This type of sand is known for encouraging good percolation and drainage, so is excellent for use in areas that frequently flood because it will not retain moisture. Often, this sand is used in gardens that are constantly flooding as it helps the soil to absorb the water, stopping it from sitting on the top layer of grass.

Within construction, this sand is used as a base or foundation material. Other common uses also include filling trenches, excavations, and low-lying areas to create a level surface for the construction of roads, driveways, and building foundations. Filling Sand is also used as a backfill material around pipes, utility lines, and retaining walls to provide support and stability.

Speak to our team to discover more about Filling Sand and whether this is the right sand for your project.

Blended Sand

Blended Sand is, as the name suggests, a blend of various sands.

Different retailers will combine different sands. These various mixtures will have differing features. Therefore, they will be useful in different situations. Applications can include concrete production, masonry work, backfilling, paving, and soil improvement. Its versatility and customisable nature make it a valuable material for achieving desired performance characteristics and meeting project specifications.

MB Wilkes Blended Sand is comprised of 50% Washed Sand and 50% Ginger Building Sand, which makes it perfect for trowelling without being sticky and is ideal to be used as an internal plastering sand.

Leading Suppliers of Sand

We are the leading supplier of sand in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset.

With a range of quality sands and other aggregates available, you can rely on us for all your project needs. We can be your go-to shop, reducing the hassle and stress of collecting materials from a number of providers.

Purchasing our aggregates is easy too. Simply order your aggregates online or give us a call. You can arrange for us to deliver your order directly to your site, either loose or bagged or collect them from our facility in Wimborne.

If you aren't sure which sand would be best for your project, don't hesitate to speak to one of our experts. They will get an understanding of your project and what you are looking to use the sand for before running through your options in an easy-to-understand way.

Call us on 01258 857465 or complete our online contact form, and we will get in touch with you.

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