Experts say that sand is as precious as oil and extraction of it is destroying the environment, specifically the world’s rivers, and coasts. And why not? Sand is a nonrenewable resource. Once you used it in buildings and other structures, it can never be replaced. Not until perhaps half billion years.
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. It is defined by size, being finer than gravel and coarser than silt. The sand is usually consisting of silica, usually in the form of quartz. But there are also other variations like calcium carbonate in the case of aragonite which is created by various forms of life like coral and shellfish.
Sand is one of the most used natural resources and a critical material in construction and landscaping industries and can even be used in paint to produce a textured finish.
While sand is generally non-toxic, activities using sand such as sandblasting need precaution as the silica contents of sand is linked to silicosis, an occupational lung disease caused by excessive inhalation of crystalline silica dust.
Average Cost of Sand Per Ton
The average sand prices range from $25 to $40, not including the delivery fee.
Some stores sell smaller quantities like 25 to 50-pound bags at around $5 to $18 per bag. 1,000-pound bags will be available for around $22 in some stores. These amounts can cover an area around nine cubic feet.
Different type of sands like Mason, used in road constructions, golf course and landscaping can cost around $22 top $42 per ton. Live sand utilized in the aquarium can be anywhere between $35 to $55 per 20 pounds.
Other Types of Sand Sold in Small Quantities
- All-purpose sand – $4 per 50-pound bag
- Colored sand for sandbox – $25 per 20-pound bag
- Masonry sand – $25 per ½ cubic yard
- Paver sand – $4 per ½ cubic feet
- Play sand – $3 per 50-pound bag
- Polymeric sand – $250 per 50-pound bag
- Pool sand – $10 per 50-pound bag
- Bunker sand – $80 per cubic yard
Sand purchased in bulk will automatically be delivered to a spot of your choice. Since the sand prices do not include the delivery fee, expect to spend around $50 to $100 more, depending on how far the company has to travel. Some of these businesses are willing to forgo the delivery fee provided you meet the minimum quantity purchases.
Where to Buy
Sand is usually available at your local hardware stores, sand and gravel plants, and Walmarts, among others. For convenience, please visit the links below to locate different companies selling sand near your place:
Factors Affecting Cost of Sand
- Type of sand – as shown above, different types of sand have different prices. Plaster, concrete and building sand is relatively cheap when compared to other grades.
- Quantity purchased – sand is sold in small quantities as well as in tons.
- Location – Regions with a large supply of sand and stiff competition among dealers tend to have lower prices.
- The company where you buy sand – some companies sell cheaper sand than others.
Classifications of Sand for Construction
There are three classifications of sand according to the size of the sand grain. These are as follows:
- Fine sand – 0.075 to 0.425 mm
- Medium sand – 0.425 to 2 mm
- Coarse sand – 2.0 to 4.75 mm
Other classifications of sand are based on their being incorporated in the construction. They are as follows:
- Pit sand – this is classified under coarse sand and is procured from deep pits of abundant supply, usually 1 to 2 meters below the topsoil. The grains are typically sharp, angular, free from salts and generally red-orange in color. It is commonly used in concreting because of its binding property.
- River sand – this is procured from river streams and banks. This type is fine and soft to touch; its grains are rounded and generally in white-gray color and has a very consistent particle size. It is mainly used in plastering. It is a vital decorative component in concrete and mortar mix. It is also ideal for creating a level surface on which to lay pavers and to sweep between gaps when finished.
- Sea sand – this is taken from seashores and typically has fine circular grains that are brown in color. It is not used in construction because of salt content that absorbs moisture making the structure damp. If used in reinforced concrete production, it severely reduces the structure’s durability because of steel corrosion occurring at much higher rates than normal.
- A gallon of sand weighs 12.45 pounds, and a cubic yard of sand weighs close to 3,000 pounds.
- Sand can be sold by the cubic yard or half cubic yard. One cubic yard of sand weighs about 2,500 lbs.
- Bunker sand is the kind of that is found in golf course bunkers
- For plastering purpose, the overall fine sand used must not be less than 1.5 while silt is preferred to not less than 4 percent.
- For brickwork, fine sand used must not be less than 1.2 to 1.5 and silt is preferable at 4 percent generally.
- Concreting work requires coarse sand in modulus of 2.5 to 3.5 with not less than 4 percent silt content.
- One ton of masonry sand or river sand will cover roughly 35 square feet, 1 inch thick.
- One ton of granite sand will cover about 75 sq ft, 2 inches thick.
- Sand is usually measured by weight, not by volume.
- One yard of sand will weigh close to 2,700 pounds. Every 1,000 pounds will be able to cover about nine cubic feet.