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How to choose your Aggregate

First of all – what are aggregates?

Aggregates are simply a variety of materials used to mix with with cement and water to make concrete. There are many types of aggregate, most are the same across the country but some are based on what is available I local quarries. Aggregates range from sand to ballast (a mixture of sharp sand and small stones or gravel). Aggregates can be used on their own without mixing with cement and water.


Popular types of aggregate:

Sharp Sand

  • Sharp Sand is a general-purpose sand also known as grit-sand or concrete sand. Sharp Sand is the more course than other sands.
  • Sharp sand is used for:
    • Render and floor screeds
    • Laying paving courses
    • Concrete for construction projects

Building Sand

  • Building Sand (or sometimes called Soft Sand)
  • Building Sand is used for:
    • Mixing with cement and water to form mortar for pointing and bricklaying
    • Mortar for joints in patios

Neither Sharp Sand or Building Sand is suitable for children’s sandpits or play areas.


  • Ballast is a mixture of sharp sand and shingle
    • Available in two sizes – 10mm & 20mm shingle
  • Ballast is used for:
    • Mixing with cement and water for foundations and footings
    • Concrete base for a conservatory, shed or extension.


  • Shingle is small stones of various sizes
    • Available in two sizes – 10mm & 20mm
  • Shingle is used for:
    • Mixing with cement and water to make a strong and textured strong fine concrete
    • Drainage by bedding pipes
    • Paths and drives
    • General concrete work

MOT Type 1 hardcore

  • MOT Type 1 hardcore is crushed limestone that meets the requirements of the Department of Transport’s specification for use on the highways across the country.
  • MOT Type 1 hardcore is used for sub-base projects in:
    • Driveways
    • Paths
    • Patios


How do we supply the aggregate for collection?

  • Either by loading the loose aggregate straight onto your collecting vehicle; or
  • Filled in large bags known as ton/tonne bags, jumbo bags, builder’s bags or bulk bags and loaded onto your collecting vehicle

How much can collect?

  • As much as you can drive away with, though to cover loading cost we charge a minimum of half a tonne.

How big is a tonne of sand?

  • A tonne of wet sand would fit in a cube of approximately 90cm x 90cm x 90cm

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