7th Dec 2022 -

A building material mixed into both plaster and render, plastering sand is clean and fine-grained, ensuring smooth quality coatings internally and externally. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explain the essentials of plastering sand, what it is, what it’s used for, and the price it’s sold at.

What is Plastering Sand?

Plastering sand, sometimes called plasterer's sand, is a fine-grained sand that has been washed to remove all silt, salt, and clay within it. This is done to give it a smooth finish and to reduce both cracking and shrinking when dried. Plastering sand will be used within plastering and rendering, meaning it functions internally and externally. The grains themselves will be smooth and rounded, with no sharp edges.

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  1. Plastering Sand (201/001/1140)

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  2. Sharp Sand (201/001/1138)

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  3. Soft Building Sand (201/001/1137)

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Plastering Sand vs Building Sand

Plastering sand will typically have a finer grade than building sand, alongside being washed to ensure cleanliness. This makes it the preferred choice for rendering as it will neither shrink nor crack.

What Are the Uses of Plastering Sand?

Plastering sand is predominantly used by plasterers for two purposes, plastering and rendering. Both require mortar mixings, though builders' sand would typically be used for bricklaying.

  • Plastering: Plastering sand is designed around plastering uses across the interior of a building. Plastering involved making an even coating of mortar across the interior brickwork and ceilings of a house. This allows them to be painted, tiled, or wallpapered for a smooth and attractive finish. Plaster is decorative and not designed for moisture, making it unsuitable for external use
  • Rendering: Rendering involves creating a coat of mortar on the exterior walls of a building, designed to offer water and fire protection and to give a specific attractive look. Render can be finished in a variety of looks and textures. The mortar mix for rendering will have a heavier cement base than a mix for plastering.
  • Bricklaying: Plasterers' sand can be used in bricklaying mortar within general buildings. This will typically be laid for a 10mm joint around the edges of each brick, with bricks placed in specific bonds to emphasise strength. Strong mortar will be essential for the longevity of a building, which is why coarser sands will often be used.
A pile go golden coloured ballast sand on a building site to be used for a construction project.

Mixing Plastering Sand

Mortar is a mixture of sand, cement, and water. Changing the mixture will give your mortar different properties. For instance, using harsher sand like builders' sand would be more suited for bricklaying purposes, while plastering sand will be used to make plaster and render. Here are some general guidelines for mixing both plaster and render:

Mix Ratio (Concrete to Sand)Mortar Purpose
1:3External Walls in Extreme Conditions
1:4Ceilings and External Walls
1:5Bricklaying and Internal Plastering
1:6Internal Plastering

The higher levels of concrete within the render will give it better performance in extreme weather and rainfall, while higher amounts of plastering sand will be perfectly suitable for internal plastering, with the fine, smooth grains creating flat surfaces to be painted over.

The Price of Plastering Sand

Plastering sand will typically be sold in two ways, in 25kg bags or in 850kg bulk bags. For large-scale building projects, the high amount of plastering sand needed will make investing in bulk bags the better decision.

Our Range of Sand and Aggregates For Sale

Building Materials Nationwide offers a range of aggregates for sale including plastering sand. We aim to offer everything a builder could need, with a huge product range that can be delivered to you across the UK. Alongside our sand and aggregate range, we offer quality cement to buy. We also have a range of bricks, with facing bricksengineering bricks, and concrete blocks available. For customers within the industry, we also offer trade accounts, granting access to our express delivery options and the services of a dedicated account manager. Our dedicated account managers are real people you can contact via phone or email, who’ll be able to help you with large or unusual orders and can connect you with our huge network of suppliers to source whatever products you need. Sign up for a trade account through our website today.