How to Install Polymeric Sand

General instructions for installing polymeric sand

Please note that the following are general instructions for installing polymeric sand. Please always read the directions for the specific brand/type of polymeric sand you are using on your project. Please contact our Bucks County Hardscape & Building Supply specialists directly if you have additional questions.

  1. Check the weather. Ideally, it should not rain for 24 hours after application.  6-8 hours is the minimum, depending on temperature – the hotter it is, the shorter the set time will be, and vice versa, the colder it is, the longer the set time will be.   Some products, such as Alliance Gator Maxx G2 and SRW Z3, have been developed with rapid set polymers and can set up within 30 minutes after installation; however, it is still preferable to install polymeric sands when there is no rain in the forecast. When installing poly sand, the outside temperature should never drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Generously cut one of the corners of the bags open.
  3. Pour poly sand out over the pavers. Each bag will cover approximately  85 square feet, although the coverage can vary depending on the size of the paver or joints.
  4. Use a stiff bristle brush to push the sand into the joints.
  5. Repeat until the entire area is done.
  6. Protect the pavers with a thick cloth such as burlap or use a plate compactor with a urethane pad to run over the pavers to tighten the poly sand down between the pavers.  When installing large-sized pavers or natural stone, do not compact with a compactor; instead, push the sand in as well as you can with the brush.
  7. After compacting, look for areas where the poly sand looks deeply sunken or where there is not enough sand in the joints.  Sweep in additional poly sand until you are satisfied that all the joints are filled but not overflowing.
  8. Using a finer but firm push broom, sweep away as much of the excess poly sand. 
  9. Next, take a leaf blower, walk slowly, work from one side to the other, and blow off any leftover residue. This is important since the residue can leave a hazing that will have to be cleaned away later.
  10. Once all the residue is removed, set a hose to a mist setting.
  11. Working in areas no larger than 10’ x10,’ follow a three-step process for wetting and activating the poly sand. There will be about 2-3 minutes between wettings.  
  12. For the first past, walk the area slowly, holding the hose facing down at the pavers at about chest height (approximately 4’ above patio height).
  13. For the second pass, return to the beginning, hold the hose at 2’ above the surface (same mist setting), and hold the hose facing pavers (moving at a slow but steady pace), allowing the water to wet rinse the pavers.
  14. On the third pass, move past areas quickly if the water starts to pool in the joints, holding the hose 2’ above the paver surface. The idea is to wet the poly sand without oversaturating it.
  15. The last step is to go over the area with a leaf blower to remove excess water.  It is best to work in broad sweeps.  If the steps above are followed, hazing should not be an issue.  SRW Paver Clean is usually effective in removing light hazing.  Heavy hazing will require a hot water pressure washer.