First floor, Catterick House, Morton Road, Darlington, DL1 4PT

Sharp Sand Newcastle-Upon-Tyne


Welcome to Tyne Tees Crushing & Screening Ltd, leading providers of aggregates of all kinds to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and all areas of the North East, UK. 

From aggregates like cement, gravel, stone, and soil, we’ve got everything your projects need whether it’s commercial landscaping jobs, personal gardening, landscaping, or driveway installations. 

We’ve got you covered with aggregates that do the job across a wide range of applications, with delivery and collection available throughout Newcastle and the North East to the building trade and individual customers from our County Durham base.

In this particular piece, we’ll be looking at sand, but not just any sand, our focus will be sharp sand and how it can help you. We’ll explain what sharp sand is, what applications there are for sharp sand, the difference between sharp sand and building sand, and answer questions such as “can you use sharp sand for pointing?” and “can I use sharp sand for mortar?”

Let’s jump in with a definition of what sharp sand actually is.

What is sharp sand?

Sharp sand is made from ground quartz rocks and is almost or totally free from foreign particulars such as clay or loam. It’s not cleaned or smoothened to the extent of other sands, i.e. recreational sands, and it is particularly useful for drainage among its many other uses and applications.

Generally speaking, sharp sand has a gritty texture and is often mixed with concrete for a wide range of construction and building applications. It’s uses are vast and it’s a versatile product that can be used for anything from laying paving slabs to bolstering garden soil, where it can added to loosen clay soil. It’s also often mixed to create soil ideal for potting plants in the garden.

In terms of colouring, sharp sand is an orange/red colour and is found in areas with high concentrations of iron-oxide. Sharp sand is also commonly referred to as grit sand or river sand and sometimes as builders sand when the grain is course or medium.

What is sharp sand used for?

Sharp sand is primarily used or laying paving, bricklaying, and for mixing with compost for planting purposes. It’s frequently used for mixing with other sands for mortar to help prevent cracking when a mortar mix dries up. 

It’s also commonly utilised for landscaping work such as patio installation, driveways and path installation using heavy concrete slabs, and it needs to be salt-free to avoid erosion and damage to the slabs themselves. This is often the case anyway as the regions where sharp sand is mined are generally away from the coast with little to no moisture in the rock.

Sharp sand is perfect for renders or concrete, as well as various other landscaping applications such as laying slabs of concrete in outdoor paving. It’s great for compost and can be forked into peat, improving the overall drainage of the soil it’s been used within or as part of.

What’s the difference between sharp sand and builders sand?

The key difference between sharp sand and softer building sand is the size of the particles in the aggregate. Sharp sand is much coarser than building sand because it has much larger particles, which also makes it much heavier. This increases its strength, makes it less flexible, and inevitably makes it more durable for mixing with mortar in comparison to builders sand.

So, if you’ve found yourself asking, is sharp sand the same as builders sand? Then the answer is no, primarily due to the size and weight of sharp sand and it’s consequent uses and applications in the construction and landscaping industries.

Can I use sharp sand for mortar?

The fact that sharp sand is more coarse than soft sand and builders sand means its perfect for mixing with other forms of sand to create mortar, especially for building foundations, paving slabs, and wall renders. 

It’s particularly useful when a thicker layer of mortar is required than usual due to the additional strength of the course, heavy sand grains. It’s therefore commonly preferred for gardening and landscaping projects such as patio installation, bedding roof tiles and more, especially when drainage is required.

When it comes to mortar, it’s a case of finding the right mix of sands to handle the jobs at hand, whether it’s bricklaying, paving, pointing, or anything else in the engineering and construction world. The sands used need to have a durability and a certain amount of strength to them in order to be an effective aggregate, and they need to fit the specific landscaping project or construction site you’re working on.

Can I use sharp sand for gardening?

Using sharp sand for gardening is very popular with budding gardeners and landscaping professionals alike. It’s incredibly versatile as an aggregate which makes it a strong garden all-rounder. 

When you combine sharp sand with clay-based soil it can help break down the soil and create channels for excess water which makes it brilliant for drainage. It can also be used as a top dressing for lawns in the commercial and domestic garden space and a range of other landscaping duties in the garden.

So in answer to the question “can I use sharp sand for gardening?” The answer is a resounding yes and in fact, it’s one of the more popular aggregates for many kinds of specific garden projects as well as being a strong all-rounder in the gardening game. 

Can you use sharp sand for pointing?

Using sharp sand for pointing is pretty common when it comes to brickwork, as well as for paving and essentially any project where cracks in materials and concrete need to be prevented during the drying process. This is particularly the case when talking about paving or concrete slabs. 

Soft sand (sometimes also referred to as builders sand) is also commonly used when it comes to pointing, but more so when thin layers of mortar are required. This is down to the particles and size of the sand in building sand which are very fine and soft (hence the name), which makes it more difficult to mix and less efficient for preventing cracking during the drying process.

Sharp sand, however, is the ideal bedding compound for block work, and you won’t need a lot of it to get the job done because generally speaking, pointing in the building trade doesn’t require lots of mortar at all.

Buy Sharp Sand with Tyne Tees Crushing & Screening Ltd

If you’re looking to buy sharp sand, or any other sand or aggregates for that matter, then you’re in the right place with Tyne Tees Crushing & Screening Ltd.

All of the building materials we supply from our depot are available for collection at our County Durham base in the North East of the UK, with delivery directly to your site also available around the country.

Our team are experts in the aggregate industry and have been providing bags of sharp sand and other aggregates to customers for years. We’ve got lots of experience working with all kinds of aggregates including crushed stone, soil, and all other forms of sand, and we understand the nature of the building materials which we supply to our customers. Just like you, we all want your project to be a success, so our staff are more than happy to advise on the materials and accessories you may need for any individual project you’re working on, no matter the nature of the project or the site in which it takes place.

It’s our high level of customer care that helps to set us apart from other sharp sand and aggregate suppliers, because we love to share the knowledge we have accumulated over the years with our highly valued customers. 

Get in Touch Today

So, if you’d like to speak to a member of our team about sand, aggregates, patios, landscape or anything else at all, please call us on 01325 746 555 or email us at and we’ll do everything we can to help.

Our team loves speaking to potential customers and providing info you might need about the services, accessories, and products we provide, and we will do our very best to assist you every step of the way.

Aggregates for any occasion

Using the correct aggregate for your construction job is highly important and we have the skill and experience to help you make the right choice every time. We have a very high customer satisfaction rating due in part to our knowledge and customer service.