How Much Sand Do I Need for Pavers? – Calculating the Perfect Amount

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How Much Sand Do I Need for Pavers

How Much Sand Do I Need for Pavers

If you are thinking about installing pavers, whether in your patio, driveway or walkway, it is important to know the process and its components. One of the essential components of paver installation is paver sand. It is one of the foundations where paver stones will be laid, and the right amount of sand should be used. How much sand do I need for pavers? In this article, we answer that question.

How Much Sand Do I Need for Pavers
How Much Sand Do I Need for Pavers

How Much Sand Do I Need for Pavers?

The paver sand is key to having a soft and level bed and is excellent for allowing proper drainage. This is why determining the right amount of sand to use in your cool home improvement project is crucial. Follow this guide to calculate the amount of sand needed.

Calculate the Square Footage

First things first – you need to determine the square footage of the area you want to pave. If the shape of your project area is square or rectangle, this step is pretty simple. All you need to do is multiply the length by the width. This step is crucial, especially if you’re trying to renovate your home on a budget. Let’s say you have a 15-foot wide driveway that goes out 50-foot long: 15 x 50 = 750. The paved area is 750 square feet.

The more time-consuming task is to calculate the square footage of oddly-shaped areas. To do this:

  • Break the area up into smaller, measurable, familiar components so that instead of a large odd shape, you get a collection of smaller familiar shapes like rectangles and squares.
  • Multiply the length by the width of each small area.
  • Add the answers together.

It can be more challenging to get the square footage of triangular areas. For right triangles, find the two sides that meet at a 90-degree angle – those will be your base and height. Form a full square using these two lengths, multiply them, and divide by two to get the square footage. This can also be used for acute and obtuse triangular areas.

Determine the Cubic Amount of Paver Sand

The sand is where the pavers will be directly installed. Remember that your target is a full 1 inch of sand laid beneath the pavers. To get an exact measurement of how much sand between pavers you will use to cover your project area, you need to get the cubic measurement.

To do so, just multiply the square footage of the area by the depth of the ground where the sand will be placed. Using the example above and if you were to put sand 1 foot deep below, you will get 15 x 50 x 1 = 750 cubic feet of sand.

Convert Foot Depth to Inch Depth 

But, all you need is an inch layer of sand and not a full foot. Since there are 12 inches in one foot, you need to divide the 750 cubic feet by 12. You will get approximately 63.

So the whole equation looks like the following:

15ft x 50ft = 750ft² x 1ft =750ft³ / 12 = 62.5 or 63ft³

For this particular driveway, you need to buy 63 cubic feet of sand to cover the entire area with an inch deep.

Convert Cubic Feet to Cubic Yards

The formula for converting cubic feet to cubic yards is similar to the previous formula we used. Getting the cubic yards is essential as sand and gravel are usually sold in quantities by cubic yards.

You get 3 feet in a yard, and one cubic yard is equal to this formula: 3x3x3 or 27 cubic feet. Taking the 63ft³ we had earlier, divide it by 27. You will then get 2.33. This means you will need to buy 2.33 cubic yards of paver sand to create a 1-inch layer of sand base.


How much base for patio?

Ideally, you will need to spread between ½ to 1 ½ inch of paver sand over a layer of crushed gravel or stone. Paver sand will also be used to fill the gaps between pavers once they are installed to keep them in place.

Can you lay pavers on sand only?

There are several ways to install pavers. You can install them directly over dirt, over a layer of gravel and sand, or in mortar. However, laying gravel and sand before pavers is advisable as it creates a solid foundation, which could be beneficial in the long run.

What kind of sand do you put under pavers?

For paver installation, the ideal and most recommended type of sand to use is concrete sand. Its color is a mixture of beige, brown, and tan. Most of the time, it is mixed with cement and is also used in constructing septic systems. Using sand under pavers is also a tip on how to fix sunken pavers.

Bottom Line 

One of the questions you will ask when planning to build a paver project is, ‘how much sand do I need for pavers?’ Although you can lay pavers directly on dirt, laying it over a sand base or a gravel base of a particular size is beneficial as the sand acts as a level bed and allows for proper drainage. The amount of sand you will need largely depends on the area to be covered, and the ideal thickness of paver sand to be laid out is ½ to 1 ½ inch. To know the exact amount of sand needed, just follow the comprehensive guide above. Worst comes to worst, seek the help of professionals to get exact answers.

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