Sam enjoying his new sandpit filled with White Silver Sands.

At Centenary Landscaping Supplies, you will find a range of sands that will allow you to complete a wide range of jobs… from laying bricks and pavers, to building a sandpit. A couple of important things to know about the sands range: as with all landscape and building products, cleanliness is extremely important and to that end, all sands products are stored in individual concrete bays with a concrete floor so there is no contamination at all. Secondly, whatever the size of the job at hand, you can purchase exactly the right amount. All products can be bought in amounts as small as a shovel; through to bags, trailers and ute loads right up to full truckloads, when that’s what is needed.

What do you need sand for?

So what sands are available and what type of sands will suit your particular job? Below we will outline the most popular uses of sands in landscapes, but be assured that if you have a job to do; we will be able to advise you as to which of the range is most suitable.

Sands for Laying Pavers

Use either Medium or Coarse Bedding Sand
Both of these products are washed and screened, making them easy to screed (level) and use under pavers. They are both of fresh water origin so they don’t come laden with salts that can appear on the paver surface. Visit the DIY video on how to use these products when laying pavers.

Laying Bricks

Brickies Loam

This product is used by many local bricklayers and is actually a blend of clean fine washed sands and a more loamy (clay) sand that sticks or adheres to the bricks. This makes it easier to use when laying bricks and is specifically for this job. If you are going to be laying some bricks then the following pointers will be helpful:

  • Mix brickies loam and grey cement in a 4:1 mix (about 12 – 14 bags of cement per cubic metre of loam). Consistency should be like clotted cream. Always use a plasticiser (just ask us) to make the mix “smoother” and easier to work – adding lime also makes the mix more pliable and stops the sands and water separating (ratio should be 4:1:1 approx).  It is often asked if dishwashing liquid can be used instead of plasticiser. The answer is basically, “Yes, but is not recommended”.
  • Finally, you will need approx 1m of sand for every 1000 bricks although it will depend on the brick being used and how neat you are!
  • The above can be used for the laying of paver garden edging although if there is any movement in the ground the mortar joins could crack. To make a stronger edge you could use bedding sands, still using brickies loam as a joint or even stronger still would be concrete blend 10mm, with loam as the joint. Mortaring between pavers is a whole new game and has to be done carefully. Once again just ask us how it is done. In fact, we only recommend that it be done by professionals as you could wreck your whole job with cement stains that are almost impossible to remove.

Laying “Besser” blocks

Washed Pit Sands

As the name implies, this is a clean, fine, washed sands that is used when laying the “heavier” concrete or Besser blocks. It is often preferred to the brickies loam as it isn’t squashed out of the joints as easily by the heavy blocks.

  • Use Washed Pit sands, lime and grey cement (about 14 bags per metre) in a 4:1:1 mix, again using plasticiser. This time the mix should be drier so that the weight of the blocks doesn’t squash the mix out the sides. If using a mixer then the mix will appear “egg” shaped as opposed to brickies loam which will appear more sloppy.
  • For both blocks and bricks, if you need the colour of the mortar to be white, then you will need to use White Sands mixed with Off White Cement but, be aware, that it doesn’t mix as well as the two other sands above making the use of Lime and Plasticiser even more important.
  • Other colour mortars can be achieved by mixing a coloured Oxide (powder dye) in with the mix. There are a number of basic colours available but trying a small batch first would be advisable.

For Rendering a wall

Washed Pit Sands (often called Plasterers Sands)

  • It must be stressed that rendering is not an easy task and should be approached with caution.
  • The biggest risk with rendering is that as the render dries, it shrinks and separates from the wall, creating a small void. It may even be worthwhile getting a professional to give you a quote first. If you decide to continue yourself, you will need to mix the washed pit sands with grey cement and lime in a ratio of 2:1:1/2. (Approx. 24 bags of cement per metre of sand) with the consistency being that of clotted cream.
  • The wall needs to be painted with Bondcrete and some Bondcrete needs to be added to the sand/cement mix (for exact amount see details on the tin). This product will help the mortar or render “stick” to the wall. So how much do you need? Well, at 10mm thick, you will use 1m per 100sq metres of wall.
  • Talk to your local hire yard about the specific tools that you will need to carry out this job effectively.

For Bagging a wall

Washed Pit Sands
While render is an actual layer of sand over the wall, bagging is just a smear.  Use washed pit sands, cement, and lime in a 2:1:1/2 ratio with plasticizer.  Wet the wall before starting… not soaking it. The mix should be quite runny.  Use a sponge and smear the mix on, making sure you wash the sponge out every 3 or 4 goes so it doesn’t get clogged up. Bagging is much easier to do than rendering and if it’s going to be painted it will look good too.

Children’s Sand Pit

White Sands
This is the cleanest sand available and is used extensively in the local schools and day care centres …often for that very reason. Some other points to note: If you are filling a “Clam Shell”, then 3 bags of White sands will be enough for one half and they will easily fit in the boot of the car. A fairly standard size for a Sand Pit would be 1.8m x1.8m x 15cm deep. To fill this area would take a half a cubic metre which will comfortably fit in a ute or a trailer. To give you an idea, this would probably equate to about 6-8 wheelbarrows full… it won’t take you too long!

Jumping Pits (at schools)
Washed Pit Sand (or maybe white sand) – What is needed here is just a clean fine sand that cushions your fall and this is ideal for the job.

Top Dressing a Lawn

Washed Pit Sand
If you have a particularly fine lawn and use a cylinder mower then this is what you need and this product is used by Bowling and Golf Clubs alike.

Medium/Coarse Bedding Sands
If you have a lawn laid on a very heavy clay and you are trying to improve the drainage, then either of these two will help. The best way to start is to aerate the lawn first (punching hundreds of holes in the surface) and then top dress, letting the coarser sands particles drop into the many holes, thus improving the drainage of the area.

In most cases (e.g. irrigation, storm water, and electrical conduits) the sands to use here is basically the most economical: Slab Fill Sand. All that is required is a screened product that will fill in around pipes and not clump together. Please be aware that if a plumber is working on your property, they may well require a specific grade, especially if laying sewerage pipes, so always check with your plumber first. The plumber may well ask for a coarse sands or even a 5mm sands and this request matches with our 5mm Drainage Gravel.