Patio Gaps – Fill ‘Er Up!


The number one question I am always asked at a Home and Garden show is “what in the heck is that in the crack of that patio?”  This has been a hot topic over the past 7-10 years.  As more landscapes are centered around a pool or outdoor kitchen so are the little things that make these entertainment areas places of beauty.  By little things in terms of patios, I mean, the finishing touches that get noticed.  A well put together outdoor room, pool, or patio will undoubtedly have some sort of material swept into the void to bridge the gap between the neighboring bricks.  As you read on I will detail out the different choices available.


Washed Concrete Sand:  Washed concrete sand is the classic choice.  It is a simple choice because it is cheap, plentiful and easy to reapply.  There are a couple of problems that can be a nuisance, but that depends on the type of person you are.  If you don’t mind plucking a weed here or there then this is a suitable choice.  Washed concrete sand can also move with foot traffic or in a heavy storm.  Most of the time this is not a major irritant, but some homeowners love a pristine patio surface so one of the next choices might be best.


Gravel Chips:  This option works very well in large gap patios.   Its staying power is excellent and it rarely needs attention.  If a supplemental reapplication is necessary the task is very easy needing only a broom and a few buckets of the actual chips.  Compaction can be a good thing so the chips can be nestled amongst each other creating a nice tight lock.  A plate compactor can be rented at a local hardware store if you feeling like tackling this.

Polymeric Sand:  If you like the looks of indoor grout in the bathroom or kitchen, then polymeric sand is the ideal gap filler for your outdoor projects.  There are many choices available today.  We use Gator Maxx as we think it has excellent stability.  To go along with the stability it always has excellent winter flexibility.  This is ideal in Minnesota as we have a winter ground heave that might ordinarily split the material apart if it were not allowed to move.  Polymeric sand is beautiful, but it is not without its own drawbacks.  It does have to be reapplied from time to time.  With the sun beating down on it as well as the snow, ice, and salt doing their thing, a breakdown is inevitable.


In Conclusion:

Play sand, Granite chips and Polymeric sand are all excellent patio gap fillers.  They all look nice but do require a bit of upkeep.  Depending on your wants and needs there will be a suitable material for you.  It would be best to call Beds & Borders for a consultation.  We have samples and can team you up with the right fit.