Where Does Sharp Sand Come From?

In the construction industry, sharp sand is a necessary term.

What is Sharp Sand?

Sharp Sand, or grit sand or river sand, and as builders’ Sand is gritty Sand used in concrete and potting soil mixes or to loosen clay soil and building projects. Sharp Sand is Sand that has a coarse and grainy texture, and it is helpful for drainage.

This type of Sand is generally used for mixing in concrete for construction purposes. Sharp Sand can also be added to clay soil to loosen it. Usually, this type of Sand comes from ground quartz rocks. 

Now let us see where we can find sharp Sand:

Where Does Sharp Sand Come From?                                                       

Sharp Sand or river sand is made by mixing clay and iron with quartz rocks and in rivers. The landscapers and construction workers may use these big fragments as a base for resting pavement, mixing mortar, and smoothing them. As sharp Sand is coarse by nature, it is also used to fill most hourglasses.

However, being rough by nature, it is also beautiful enough to fit through the joining portion of an hourglass.


Sharp is also considered as best and fit for most garden spaces. Sharp Sand lets the garden soil drain quickly, which is not possible through fine Sand. Most professional gardeners often prefer sharp Sand as it doesn’t waste much water and prevents passing through it. 

Is horticultural Sand the same as sharp Sand?

Yes, horticultural Sand is the same as sharp Sand and similar to horticultural grit and builders’ Sand. You can use horticultural Sand as same as sharp Sand to improve drainage, top dressing for lawns. Sharp Sand is a cost-effective addition to any garden.


If any user is willing to purchase Sand for any garden, they should ensure the ingredients label. The cheap Sand may contain salt, clay, and other particles. The expensive Sand tends to be pure and has fewer chances of contamination. Thus, this is why it is considered to purchase expensive Sand for better garden space. 


Bags of Sand that have the ‘Builder’s Sand’ tag are usually soft than the Sand, considered sharp. A better way to differentiate between these Sand types is to gather them and gentle pressing. Sharp Sand will give a coarser feel than soft Sand. The builder’s Sand or soft Sand can build a compact sandcastle, whereas sharp Sand is difficult to mold.  


There is another type of Sand called ‘Ballast Sand, ‘ which is sometimes confused with sharper Sand, but ballast sand cannot be placed in the “sharp” category. Ballast sand contains big particles such as broken rocks that are much bigger than sharp sand particles. Sand helps create soil and mix it with concrete when large stones are removed. If you are willing to buy sharp Sand, get in touch with professional gardeners with in-depth knowledge. They can assist and give you better answers to related queries. 


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Sharp Sand is generally made from ground rocks, so it is known as the builder’s Sand. It is considered a stable source and mixed with the concrete. There are a large number of manufacturers and sellers selling sharp Sand, and this is the reason why builders trust it. 

How much sharp Sand and cement do I need for building?

Usually, you will need 1 part cement to 2 parts sand to 4 parts aggregates in ordinary construction work to build a typical concrete mix. However, you will need a concrete mixture of 1 part cement to 3 parts sand to 6 parts aggregates for foundations.

How much sharp sand do I need for block paving?

You will need around 25 kg bag of sharp Sand per 15-30 square meters of block paving to be re-sanded. Usually, for your block paved driveway, kiln-dried Sand is the best option.


Different Kinds Of Sands

1)   Gravel Sand is also known as grit sand, sharp Sand, and ballast sand. This type of Sand is most preferred and used for making concrete. Besides this, it is also used as a base for paving.

2)   Building Sand – It is also known as screeding Sand, soft Sand, fine Sand, Plastering Sand, and bedding sand. Screed bedding or building sand is used for paving flag blocks and mortars. It can also be used for making plaster. 

3)   Silver Sand – It is also known as jointing sand and white Sand. It is used to block paving to lock paving together. 

4)   Potting Grit – It is a coarse grit that is lime-free, and the particle sizes are from 2-4mm, 4-6mm, and 6-10mm. There are many uses of this type of Sand, such as making ideal growing mediums, using it as a mulch in containers, growing alpines, etc. 

5)   Horticultural Sand – This is one of the finest natural Sands used to improve soil drainage. Its most significant use is that it is used in compost mixes to increase soil fertility. In addition, this Sand further reduces the risk of fungal diseases. Above all, it can also be used for lawn dressing – The Sand is scattered over the property and is ideal for growing benches. The user needs to spread 4-6 cm of layer over the bench. In the end, the professional gardeners also use this to break up the heavy soil keeping in mind that it needs a giant Sand for this task.  

Apart from these all, there are still many types of sands that we cannot cover because sand variety is not limited; it may go up to thousands. Some more critical powders are Desert sand, bio-organic sand, olivine sand, and volcanic Sand. These sands, too, have many roles and are used by different natured industries.


There may be some misconceptions about the construction sand used by those new to the construction job. However, choosing Sand’s right type in construction work is one of the most significant responsibilities as slight ignorance can be dangerous. A decent example is that using wonderful Sand instead of building Sand can cause dissociation of bonds and collapsing the building. 


Confusion is further added when someone knows that the soil he is looking for has ten different names. In addition, the name of the soil may differ in other places and regions. Therefore, consultation is necessary before making the final decision.

Can you use sharp Sand for rendering?

No, it would help if you did not use sharp send for rendering because sharp send will crack and shrink. However, sharp Sand can be added to the rendering mix, but it can not be primary Sand. The best Sand for rendering is fine plastering sand.

Is sharp Sand suitable for lawns?

Yes, sharp Sand is suitable for lawns because sharp Sand works well leveling out uneven lawn areas and doing drainage, allowing for newly planted grass to grow back quickly.


How to Choose a Building Sand?

It is one of the primary concerns on how to clean sandy soil. For any construction purpose, any sand used should not have silt content above 4%. This is because if there is more silt content, this can affect the integrity and composition of concrete used. For this, all sands used must be clean and free from salts and other impurities. Therefore, a method is conducted for the sand test, known as the “Silt Test.” 


Sand can be considered as a gift of nature which we are using for ourselves and our development. A range of industries and even important works are dependent on SaSandBesides using the SaSandthere should be a way of controlling its erosion and wastage too.

Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Mark Brown is a construction engineer from California who has been working as an independent contractor and writer for the past 15 years. From 2022 onwards, Mark has also been contributing author of home repair articles at nimblefreelancer.com. Read more on Mark Brown's biography page. Contact Mark: mark@nimblefreelancer.com

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