Sand or Stone Dust: Which is a Better Material to Use Between Paving Stones?

You will have to choose a material to use between the paving stones once you decide to install them on your driveway . Your options may include using sand or stone dust. This article discusses the dynamics involved in using those two materials. Use this information to make an informed decision about the appropriate material to use as you make your driveway from paving stones.

Using Sand 

Sand comes in two forms. One is manufactured sand that has uniform grains. The other is naturally occurring sand that is mined. Natural sand has particles of different sizes because the rocks from which it forms decay at different rates as they are exposed to the elements. Sand has several advantages when used between paving stones. First, it remains porous even after compacting due to the effect of heavy rain. This porosity allows it to let water through so that it does not stagnate on the surface of the driveway. Another advantage of using sand between paving stones is that it is likely to remain where you place it because the grains are heavy and cannot be moved easily by raindrops. The downside of natural sand is that some of the large particles in it may feel uncomfortable as one walks barefoot on them. This shortcoming is addressed by manufactured sand that has particles of a uniform size.

Using Stone Dust

The byproduct of crushing/cutting natural stones for other uses, such as during the making of natural stone pavers, is stone dust. This byproduct can be used between paving stones. The stone dust can cause a non-porous layer between paving stones due to the fine dust particles in it. That layer prevents grass or weeds from growing in those spaces. That non-porous layer also protects the base of the driveway from being damaged by water. However, stone dust can be uncomfortable to walk on because it has particles of different sizes. The high water retention ability of stone dust can also make the paving stones susceptible to being damaged during freeze-thaw cycles. Furthermore, the smaller particles of the stone dust can be blown across the driveway leaving the base of the driveway exposed to the elements.

Discuss the benefits and the drawbacks of those materials with a landscape professional so that he or she helps you to choose the best material for your needs. You may also need to factor in the different colour options available so that you match the material that you choose with the paving stones that you purchased for your driveway.