The Hardscaper Blog:

Sandscape® or Sand Finish?

Concrete walkway with dark Sandscape® banding

When determining your flatwork needs, always consider Sandscape ® vs sand finish.

“Sand finish” concrete is exactly what it sounds like – A sand-textured decorative flatwork option. Sand finish concrete creates a non-slip surface, perfect for parks, entryways, plazas, etc…While being non-slip, soft, sand aggregates allow you to walk on its surface barefoot and comfortable, making sand finish great for pool decks. It also has the possibility to incorporate specialized colored sands and/or a variety of integral colors and staining options. This flatwork option is extremely durable in Colorado weather, making it a popular solution among clients along the Front Range.

Kleenex vs tissue

So, what is the difference between sand finish concrete and Sandscape? Sandscape is the premier, name-brand version of the two. Being one of our most popular products, Sandscape proves its versatility. Moreover, “Sandscape” defines the entire construction process. Our brand’s reputation for quality lies within every step of execution from adding the retarder to sealing the surface. Methodical application is the difference between a premium and a mediocre product.

Close up view of the pool deck Decorative Sawcuts on Flatwork - Colorado Hardscapes
Gaylord of the Rockies Pool Deck

Q: Who installs Sandscape?

A: Colorado Hardscapes collaborates with Bomanite for the use and distribution of Sandscape products, meaning anyone licensed by them around the country qualifies for installation.

Aesthetics, Consistency, and Durability

Two traditional ways to achieve sand-textured concrete are through sandblasting and acid etching. Sandblasting removes the top layer of concrete by propelling abrasive while acid etching erodes the top layer away, exposing aggregates residing in the mix. Both methods have also been known to leave uneven depths/textures in addition to a dull finish. Knowing this, Colorado Hardscapes installs Sandscape using custom retarders. These allow flatwork to instead maintain a uniform and vivid appearance.

Our team’s experience with various retarded grades lets us have full authority over how deep concrete goes. From just beyond broom-finished to a full exposed aggregate, different concrete depths add to the element of individuality in designs. Due to the wide range of depth possibilities, we prioritize knowing and controlling our product so you get exactly what you imagine, every time.

Furthermore, scoring either makes or breaks, Sandscape flatwork – literally. Scoring, also known as sawcutting, maintains cracking in concrete. One of the ways we preserve the condition of Sandscape while maintaining the flatwork’s design is by providing decorative sawcuts. Read our blog Don’t Let Functionality Compromise Your Decorative Sawcuts for more information on how we apply them to our work.

Is Sandscape Worth It?

To many, durability and uniformity are not significant factors in concrete installation, but for those who care about quality, Sandscape is the best option. A better solution exists so you don’t have to put the value of your project at risk.

12 named samples in sample box

To get a better idea of the wide range of products we provide, check out our Design Center. We now provide a Variety Sample Box with twelve different 2”x3” Sandscape samples. Stop by our office or call us for more information about the sample boxes available for you.