What’s The Difference Between Building Sand Vs. Sharp Sand? Which One Should You Use?

Sand is an essential part of any building project. You need it from the start to the end of the building project. However, not all sand is used for the same specific purpose. There are different types of sand, and they are all used for different construction work during the building project.

Depending on where you’ll need the sand, particular sand does the job better than others. If you are planning a new home construction project, or want to know the difference between building and sharp sand, keep reading the article below to know their difference.

What Is Building Sand?

Building sand is soft and is commonly used in house construction. The grain diameter in this type of sand is, at most, 1.5 to 2 mm. Builder sand is primarily composed of silica quartz, so its natural color is either light grey or white. However, depending on the soil composition, you can find it in yellow and red shades.

The building sand comes in two types—washed and dry-screened building sand. The washed sand is the type of building sand that’s been screened and washed with water to extract clay, dust, and other particles that can affect the quality of the mortar (cement mix).

On the other hand, the dry-screened building sand is passed through a vibrating screen or a drum that filters the sand by size and frees off the large particles in them. 

Here Are Things Building Sands Are Popularly Used For

Building sand is a popular sand for bricklaying due to the fineness of its texture. It serves as a perfect bonding material when forming mortar with cement. It prevents the mortar from shrinking or cracking during setting. This is why it’s great sand for plastering walls and fences. 

What Is Sharp Sand?

Sharp sand is a type of sand that has larger grains in them. It is mostly used for molding blocks and for layering the land for a foundation. The grainy sand provides a bonding effect that prolongs the firmness of the concrete.

Here Are The Things Sharp Sand Is Used For

Apart from using sharp sand in construction, there are other things you can use sharp sand for. They are:

  • Bedding sand for block/slab paving
  • Screeding and external rendering
  • Project that requires tough mortar
  • Soil drainage improvement 

Difference Between Building & Sharp Sand

Maybe you are still wondering what’s the difference between building and sharp sand. Here are some other points to help you understand their differences better:

  • Builder sands don’t have large grain in them, but sharp sand has grain
  • Sharp sand does not have a soft texture but builder sand has a soft texture
  • Builder sand provide a lot more flexibility than sharp sand
  • Sharp sand is mainly used for concrete mixtures while building sand is used for plastering purposes.


Building sand and sharp sand are not the same. There’s a huge difference between these type of sand. So, you have to know what you need them foe before buying them.

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