Sand is widely used as the primary material for building construction around the world. Sand mixed with other materials support the building by giving it volume and strength. Sand is also pivotal when making asphalt and concrete, as well as for use in decorative landscaping. Additionally, other types of uses for sand include glass manufacturing, moulding materials in metal casting and even making sandpaper.
There are many types of sand that each have their benefits and drawbacks. That is why we need to choose the right type of sand based on what our project needs to get the best result. If you have a construction project or you need to complete some brickwork, then building sand might be the best choice for you.
Building Sand for Bricklaying
When it comes to bricklaying, we have to choose a type of sand that has a good clay and silt content so that we get a sticky mortar texture when it mixes with cement. When it dries up and bonds, the sand will repel water and create a strong structural join for a brick wall.
Builders sand (also known as fatty sand) is the ideal choice when blending mortar for bricklaying. The word ‘fatty’ refers to the high content of clay in the sand, which will make the sand stickier when it’s mixed with cement. The fatty sand is very compressible making it easy to apply when laying bricks.
Step by Step in Using Building Sand for Bricklaying
1. Making Mortar for Bricklaying
Mortar is simply a mixture of sand, water, cement, and hydrated lime. One important thing to keep in mind is that the ratio of each ingredient will be different for each project but it’s essential you get the right proportions. You have to blend the mixture with the proper ratio to avoid the mortar becoming too wet or dry which can result in the bricks not setting properly.
You should take note of the amount of mortar you need to use for your bricklaying project. An effective way to do this is by measuring the size of your project area including the size of the wall and the bricks.
2. Mortar Ratio
Generally, you will need 75 bricks per square meter of wall. For example, if the wall is 6 meters tall and 3 meters long it would be 18 meters squared. For this you would need 1,350 bricks. Next, you can multiply the total bricks by 0.9 to get the amount of dry material of mortar needed in kilograms. If we use this case: 1,350 x 0.9 = 1,215 kilograms of dry mortar.
Here are some standard mortar ratios for dry material that we use for bricklaying (lime : cement : sand):
- standard mortar – 1:1:6
- concrete bricks mortar – 0:1:5
- structural brickwork mortar – 0.5:1:4.5
- historic masonry mortar – 1:0:3
- internal brick walls mortar – 2:1:9
3. Mortar Mixing Process
After finishing the calculation and getting all ingredients ready, you begin the mixing process. What you will need:
- Mix the dry material into a wheelbarrow and prepare the water.
- Mix the mortar with a shovel and add water slowly until you get the right consistency.
- Continue mixing until all dry material is well-absorbed by the water.
- If you feel it’s too dry or wet, repeat the process to the smooth mortar consistency.
- Next, place the mortar in the mud board and use a trowel to make sure it’s entirely mixed.
- Try to fold and chop the mortar to test if the consistency is right. Here you can determine whether you need more water or not.
- Clean the wheelbarrow to avoid leftover mortar sticking.
- The mortar will be good to use throughout the next hour to an hour and a half.
Additional Information about Building Sand
Yellow brickies sand and white brick sand have the same clay content and function well in construction work, such as:
- Limestone blockwork
- Wall construction
- Sporting fields and arena
- Garden and agriculture
- Roof capping and sand joints
- Bagging for walls
The contents of these sands are also suitable to use as layering under pools. This is especially true for white brick sand as it will give a clean white coloured effect.
Building sand is very useful for bricklaying and other construction projects. Even a small project needs the right type of sand to get the best result. If you are still unsure what type of sand you need for your project, our professionals sand suppliers Perth are available to help get you the information you need. We have a wide range from bricklaying sand to paving sand at the best prices. Kindly contact the Premium All Sands team on (08) 9733 2289 to know more.