Why Should I sand my Paver joints?

By Kyle February 6, 2017

Should you re-sand your Brick Paver Joints? YES

The Importance of Brick Paver Sand & Properly Maintaining Your Hardscapes

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Brick pavers absolutely, 100% should be re-sanded before sealing. The correct Sand level in the brick paver joints serves MANY essential purposes. It helps keep joints stable, paver’s level, insects out, and plant life from growing between the joints and helps prevent mold. Please read and educate yourself in this small write-up before letting another brick paver sealing contractor talk you out of re-sanding or over-sanding your brick pavers… During *initial installation, Proper Joints between pavers should be between [1/16 in. and 3/16 in. (2 and 5 mm)] wide

Joint stabilization – If you don’t have Sand in the joints, rainwater or pool water may run between the brick paver joints and wash out the base aggregate sand material your brick pavers float on (usually a 1″ – 2″ sand base), making your brick pavers lose, shaky, uneven, sunken in or even raised in some areas. Commonly called “sub-surface erosion” or “Degradation, “it is also widely found with improper installation, dripping water, and/or drainage areas.

Don’t walk or Drive on the sealed surface till it has cured; doing so can loosen up the Sand and cause the pavers to shift. Minimum of 72 hours for good measure; doing so prior will cause issues prematurely & void your warranty. Seventy-two hours also includes Bicycles and Golf Carts.

Once the joint Sand has been activated with the brick paver sealant, the Sand will become extremely hard, comparable to the consistency of concrete. Once it’s hard like this, as you can imagine, water can no longer wash out that aggregate material the brick pavers float on, but that solid joint Sand acts as an impenetrable barrier that weeds won’t easily break through. Within 72 hours the pests wont be able to easily break through. Water won’t be able to stand between and below those paver joints, warmed by the Florida sun, creating the perfect environment for mold growth. In other words, reduce that unsightly mold or weeds in your brick pavers!! As it acts as a barrier for mold and weeds, insects like ants can no longer quickly make their homes under your driveways or pool decks, leaving small ant piles throughout your brick paver installation.

Many companies advise against sanding your brick paver joints after cleaning and sealing. Why? Getting the joint Sand within the ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) standard is a skill obtained only from a lot of experience doing that task.

The ICPI calls for joint Sand between 1/8th and 1/4th +/- inches below the brick paver’s chamfered edge (the beveled edge around the individual brick), no joint will have the same level throughout, and depending on the type of paver, levelness, drainage, and puddling, we may adjust levels… As opposed to a high level in the grout between tiles in your home for three reasons:

Reason # 1 The small 1/8th inch canal below the surface of the pavers allows for a channel that rain/pool water can find its way to the deco drain that you would find on a pool deck, for a path to safely trickle between the brick pavers in your front walkway down your brick paver driveway to the street gutters, or run off the side of the driveway.

Reason # 2 Why you don’t want the joint sand flush with the tops of the pavers is so when the sealer does start to wear off, that Sand that the customer wished to flush or the contractor who didn’t follow the ICPI joint sand standards will stick to the bottom of your feet, or wash into the pool, clogging up your pool filter with Sand, find its way on your car tires when you pull your car into the garage, or shoe bottoms when walking into the entryway of your home. Doing so may cause Sand to blow or be tracked onto the surface before the sealer curing out, causing Sand to stick in places where it doesn’t belong, such as the surface of your pavers, meaning this Sand will have to be mechanically removed at a cost.

Proper joint sand height is essential when using a joint stabilizing sealer with joint Sand. When it’s too high, there could be an issue when applying a joint stabilizing sealer. If there is no reservoir for the water or sealer to accumulate in the joint, it may not get adequately saturated, which helps create a solid full-depth joint, causing premature sand loss. Some customers love the look of grouting; this is incorrect and will fail.

Reason # 3: The sand/sealer will also wear unevenly and much faster as you walk on, move furniture, drive on, or rub off the sealer, and the Sand will find its way all over the surface area, making your sweeping job never-ending! Again, this results in the loss of joint Sand, which can cause wobbly, uneven pavers and water not to channel or drain properly, adding a potentially unsafe environment and allowing that premature wear to let bugs & weeds break through more efficiently.

Sealed joint Sand is not meant to have any impact or contact; it is meant to stay below the bevel of the pavers and do its intended job.

The Initial Installation being completed correctly plays a Huge Role in maintaining your hardscape for the life of your pavers. Treating the inspects and grass before our arrival will help keep them at bay longer.

When you want the job done correctly, contact the pros at:


We don’t skate around the project by leaving out the most critical steps to protect and preserve your brick paver investment. Unfortunately, many companies will try to encourage you against re-sanding the joints or charge extra if you want them to re-sand the paver joints. Those are the companies that you want to stay away from. Usually, the ones that encourage against it are the ones that have failed many times in attempting to sand the joints correctly.

What is Silica Sand?

Silica sand is a high-tech mix of properly graded, cleaned & washed Sand and a binder compound (silica) formulated to fill the joints of pavers and slabs. Silica sand has revolutionized the installation of interlocking concrete pavers. Sand hardens once activated with our sealer and has dried, yet remains fl ible.  Our Sand contains crystalline silica, which helps keep the weeds and pests at bay.

Benefits of Silica Sand

  • Silica sand stays in the paver joints and resists erosion.
  • Silica sand’s coarse nature contributes to its strength.
  • It retards weeds from growing in the joints.
  • It retards ants from coming up through it as well.
  • The most significant benefit is that it is flexible when wet and can move with the pavers.
  • It works in all paver applications and can be used in natural stone applications with a joint width of up to 1/4″ wide.
  • Silica sand meets the industry standards, including certification.
  • Meets Spec
  • We only use Cleaned, washed, dry Sand with crystalline silica; the sand we use states on the manufacturer’s website to be used between the joints for pavers & bricks.
  • For wider Joints, such as Segmental Pavers, Slate, Natural, and Cast Stone, we have Superior Sand for up to 1 1/4″ wide Joints.
  • We have Optional Colors @ an additional Cost.
  • Customers that want the joint Sand above ICPI standards & our recommendations understand the above. Plus, there will be an additional cost for Sand and extra sealer to get the deepest penetration possible & the issues that may arise; as explained in all our information, doing so also voids your wa ranty. Correcting these issues is a labor-intensive process; make sure to have PRFL take care of your pavers to save you the headaches and additional costs.
  • We do offer Sand Stripping at an additional cost, as well as Paver Sealer Removal.
  • Many contractors will use Play sand, which usually comes in a clear bag out in the garden center, primarily deep in tan/brown color, with fine particles of Sand; you know what else comes in that bag: mildew, mold, dirt, weeds, twigs, anything, and ever thing. Another cheap alternative is pool filter sand; again, it has no properties & no angular sand or crystalline silica sand.
  • Pavers that have been correctly installed using suitable materials will not shake, wobble, or become loose. Pavers installed over drains, if not secured, will eventually become un table. Do your due diligence when selecting a Paver installation company.


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