Play Sand vs Builders Sand

Over the years we have been asked the question “What is the difference between play sand and builders sand?” The simple answer to this is that play sand is a less coarse, much finer version of builders sand that has been through certain processes to make sure it is safe for children to play with.

Sand is a natural material that has been around for many years and is literally made up of ground down rocks. However, when sold as play sand it has gone through processes and checks to certify that it is safe to use for children. We’ll go into a bit more detail on this later on.

Builders Sand

We’ll start with Builder’s Sand so that we can provide information on what not to buy if you want to create a sand pit area for children. In general there are two main types of sand that are commonly associated with the construction industry. These are Builder’s Sand and Sharp Sand and are frequently used for projects that involve brickwork, paving, mixing mortar and smoothing floors. 

The difference between the two is that Builders Sand is seen as a slightly less coarse and can be free of unwanted additives. On the other hand, Sharp Sand has had other materials, most likely in the form of clay and iron, added to the mixture therefore it can contain larger pieces. It’s more likely that it will be used for projects that require a sturdier base, for example, in conjunction with concrete for foundation work.

Play Sand

As we discussed earlier, Play Sand is a finer material that has gone through certain processes to end up as the soft, clean product we know of today. So what are these processes? Well, firstly the sand is washed to clean the product and rid it of any unwanted debris and bacteria that may be harmful. The next stage is where it is subjected to a host of pressurised water blasting. This stage is where any larger grains that were previously sharp are then rounded, making it much safer for a child to play with. To ensure peace of mind, your play sand should come with an EN 1177:2008 certificate. This certifies that it has been tested and is safe to use (shown below).

What Play Sand Do We Supply?

We supply a range of different certified play sands, from bulk bags, easy-to-carry 10KG bags and larger packs. So whatever the project and project size, we will have a variant to suit you.

A Few Handy Tips For The Upkeep Of Your Sand

  • Before covering up your sand, make sure that it is thoroughly dry as it can harbour bacteria when wet.
  • Always cover after use to avoid unwanted insects making their way inside and also to stop household pets using it as a litter tray.
  • Before use, rake the sand to ensure no foreign objects are present.
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