Whenever you see the word ‘sand’ most people immediately think of sand castles, fun at the beach, or the tedious task of sweeping out your home. What many people do not realise is that there are in fact many different types of building sand which all have their own very specific and important uses.


The type of sand used for plastering is often also called bricklayer’s sand. This is a very fine type of sand, usually gathered from riverbanks, and appears whitish or a light grey in colour. River sand is effective for use in plastering because sand suppliers usually supply it properly washed and it is also well rounded by the action of tumbling down streams or rivers. This roundness makes working the plastering easier as well as providing a smoother, more even finish in the end result.


Another commonly used building sand type is pit sand, also known as coarse sand. Pit sand is a rough-grained sand procured from deep pits located roughly one to two metres below the topsoil. This building sand type’s rough grains are essential to its success as a binding agent in materials such as cement, and its lack of salts also prevents deliquescence – this means it will not absorb moisture content from the air which could damage the structure.


One of the easiest building sand types to get from nearly all sand suppliers is crushed stone sand, also referred to as artificial sand. Crushed stone sand is produced by crushing granite or basil rock, usually to a size small enough to fit through a 4.75 mm sieve. Artificial sand as an easily acquired and economical alternative to more specialised natural sands, and in both the cube compressive strength test and beam flexure tests concrete making use of crushed stone shows strength similar to that of concrete using the ideal natural sands.


When in doubt, whether you are wondering what type of sand is used for plastering or what the perfect choice is for your project from the different types of building sand, use Sand Shifters as your sand supplier in Gauteng. We have been working within and around the construction industry for years, and we know exactly which building sand type is perfect for every project!