How much sand do I need under block paving?

How much sand do I need under block paving?

First of all, what type of sand should I use? The answer is of course sharp sand, otherwise known as ‘grit sand’. Although the thickness of sand bed required is dependent on many factors the main factor is of course the thickness of the blocks being used.

There are three main thicknesses of blocks available for block paving. The most common are 50mm or 60mm thick, with 80mm blocks used for heavier duty paving such as access roads and car parks that are lightly to take very heavy traffic. Ideally the 50mm and 60mm blocks need about 25-50mm of sand underneath. About 25mm-50mm?…. Well ideally closer to 25mm, but we know this is difficult when laying and levelling large areas of sand. And of course the depth of the sand to be laid is totally dependent on the accuracy of the Type 1 MOT already laid underneath.

Why closer to 25mm? Well if you imagine these poor little blocks are going to take a lot of weight for the rest of their lives, including from cars & vans and maybe even heavier vehicles. Then imagine the sand underneath these blocks – although compacted – is under pressure to compact even further by the weight of the vehicles etc on the blocks. So the less sand that is there, the better!

When using heavier duty blocks such as 80mm or bigger a thicker bed can be used of up to about 75mm or so. But the thinner the bed, the better!

One of our regular customers recently won a contract to relay a large amount of block paving in a car park that had sunk in various locations and we supplied them with all the sharp sand they needed, along with some Type 1 MOT to ‘top up’ a few areas. The areas that needed relaying due to settlement were where too much sharp sand had been used! 

Once decided on how much sand you are going to use you can work out the quantity required delivered by using our calculator

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