Most Commonly Used Types of Sand for Construction

The following types of sand are commonly used by construction professionals. They differ by origin, purpose, particle size, cost, and other factors.

Concrete Sand

This type of sand is primarily used as an aggregate to make concrete. It is ground specifically to work with cement and water effectively to form concrete – it is fine enough to form smooth pavement, but coarse enough to make for a good fill material.

Since concrete sand is washed, it can be used in many projects that require clean sand, like bedding pipes and as a leveling base layer for outdoor projects.

Masonry Sand

Also called white sand due to its light colour, masonry sand shares similarities with concrete sand and is used as an aggregate in similar projects. However, masonry sand is ground finer, resulting in a smoother texture. Due to its uniform, fine texture, masonry sand makes an excellent substitute for beach sand on volleyball courts and in sandboxes.

River Sand

As the name suggests, river sand is drawn from river banks and beds. It is used for construction projects due to its strength, which comes from its round particles and ability to absorb moisture effectively. River sand is most often used for building bricks and mixing plaster, and some believe it produces a stronger base and smoother finish than artificial sand.

River sand should not be confused with beach sand, which is not recommended for use in construction projects.

Crushed Stone

As the name suggests, crushed stone is made from natural minerals that are deliberately broken down. Its end result looks and feels like gravel and is used in similar projects. They are different, however: crushed stone is produced commercially, while gravel contains rocks that are naturally broken down.

Crushed stone is most often used in projects involving brickwork, and it is used for plaster as well.

Utility Sand

This multi-coloured sand is also known as “pipe sand” or “fill sand.” It is typically made from quartz and is used to fill utility pipes and trenches.

M-Sand And P-Sand

You may have heard of some sand varieties that are prefixed with one letter.

M-sand refers to manufacturing sand. It is made by crushing granite, and some builders prefer to use it as a substitute for river sand due to its durability and flexibility.

P-sand refers to plastering sand. It is a smooth product with particularly fine particles. As the name suggests, this sand is used in projects that require plastering, though its fine texture lends itself to many other projects.

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