How much does a yard of sand weigh? (Sand Weight per Yard)

So, while you’re planning to deliver sand for your landscape project; a common question is how much does a yard of sand weigh or how heavy is a yard of sand?

A yard of sand weighs 1.3 to 1.6 tons (average 1.35 tons) or between 2,600 to 3,200 pounds. But here yard means cubic yard so that means if you spread the sand on a 1 square yard area with 1 yard high layer the weight of such sand will be 1.35 tons (average 3000 pounds or 1 ½ tons).

Note:

So, if you have a landscape area, the yard of sand will cover 125 to 155 square feet area with an average depth of 1 to 2 inches. But this all sand weight and sand area calculation depends on the type of sand, its density, moisture content, and compaction.

Table of Contents

How much does a yard of sand weigh?
How much does a yard of sand weigh?

Sand – A useful construction material

Sand is one of the most commonly found materials on earth. We can find sand almost everywhere from deserts to coastlines, sea beds to flood plains.  It is a very important constituent of building materials that is used in construction to provide bulk, stability, and strength to other materials including aggregate and cement.

When combining all three makes concrete this is used to build strong and long-lasting structures like bridges, dams, and high-rise buildings.  

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Sand is made by broken pebbles, erosion, and weathering effect of sedimentary rocks which is normally carried by wind or sea, or rivers. The creation of sand also happens due to the freeze-and-thaw effect of rocks.

When water enters the porous surface of the rock and later when it freezes it creates a pressure that causes the separation of material.

Later on, it is collected along the river basin as river sand. Sand collected from river is highly recommended for construction work and concreting work. Although, deserts are the best place to find sand, however this sand is not ideal for construction.

Also Read: 11 Different Types of Sand and their uses in Construction [PDF]

Factors affecting the weight of sand

The value of sand weight per yard depends on various factors and it is important that you consider these factors while making approximation or finalizing a value for your landscape project:

  • Shape and size of grains (a fine sand with grain size of 0.075 to 0.425mm will have more weight than coarser sand (2.0 mm to 4.75 mm grain size).

Sand Density Table:

Relative Density Percentage  DescriptionAngle of shearing resistance
0-15Very loose< 28
15-35Loose28-30
35-65Medium30-36
65-85Dense36-41
85-100Very dense>41

Weight of sand

The weight of sand depends on whether it’s wet or dry. If the sand is dry and free from moisture then approximately it weighs 45 kg per cubic meter or 100 pounds per cubic foot. Whereas wet sand is heavier as compared to dry sand due to obvious reasons and it weighs between 120-130 pounds per cubic meter or 54-58 kg per cubic meter.

How much does a yard of sand weigh?

Normally, one yard of sand weighs between 1.3 to 1.5 tons (average 1.35 tons) or about 2600 to 3000 lbs. Now, this is not the exact figure you will find from the sand of different areas. Because weight range varies for different densities, moisture content, composition, and compaction.  

Some of sand types are soft and fine on the other hand some are course and thick. The density of sand or the unit weight of sand varies from 96-110 lb. per cubic foot, which is around 2600-3200 lb. per cubic yard.

It is actually heavier than you might think. The estimation of sand material is calculated at an average of 100 pounds per cubic foot or 1.35 US tons or 2700 pounds per cubic yard.

Water absorption greatly affects the weight of sand. Similarly, sun dry sand also contains some amount of moisture content.  Although, for lab testing of sand it is oven-dried first which is not convenient when it comes to mass construction. 

Also Read: Sand Blasting Concrete Finish – Purpose, Process, Pros & Cons

How much is a yard of sand?

The prices of sand vary depending on the type and quality. A typical quality of sand has a price between $5 to $30 per ton or $7 to $42 per yard. But obviously the price of topsoil will be different than mulch, rock, fill dirt or river sand.  

Anyhow, for delivering the sand to your home for landscaping project; you need to know how many yards of sand you require plus how much does a yard of sand weigh so you can overall estimate the total cubic yard required for your project. Once you got the total weight of sand required; you can mention the same to the delivery company to know the price of delivery in bulk.

Some suppliers do deliver the sand to your home and their rate includes the delivery rate but only up to certain kilometers. For projects far off, you may have to pay additionally per kilometer charges. So, it is best to engage a supplier that is near your project area or home.

Also Read: 11 Different Types of Sand and their uses in Construction [PDF]

Wet Sand Weight per Yard

As we know, when water comes into the equation it increases the weight of the sand. Therefore, wet sand is always heavier and it weights between 1.6 to 1.75 tons per yard or about 3200 to 3500 lb. per yard with a unit weight of 120-130 pounds per cubic foot.

Note: Good practice is to consider at least 10% -20% more weight per yard to keep the balance.

Also Read: Rapid Sand Filters – Working – Components – Everything Explained

Dry Sand Weight per Yard

Dry sand is comparatively moisture free as compare to wet sand and it weights between 1.3 tons to1.45 tons per yard or about 2600-2900 lb. per yard. Its unit weight is between 96-108 lb. per cubic foot. Dry sand’s weight is mostly affected by compaction, the more compacted the sand, the heavier it will weight.

 Large pile of sand tends to hold moisture towards the center of the pile, whereas small pile is comparatively dry due to evaporation.

Also Read: Sand Cone test Method for Field Density of Soil

Beach Sand Weigh Per Yard

Beach sand takes thousands of years of erosion. The broken pieces of sand and other materials get eroded due to the constant wave motions and then they get further broken down into pieces by constant change of pressure and force.

Beach sand on average weights between 2700 lb. or about 1.35 tons per cubic yard with a unit weight of 100 pounds cubic foot.

Also Read: How much is a yard of concrete? – With Bonus tips to save money

Washed Sand Weigh Per Yard

Washed sand can easily be identified just by seeing it’s typically light buff color. Washed sand is free of silt, clay and other impurities. Washed sand is finely graded sand that can be used as a base  for laying brick and pavers. It weights around 1.1 tons to 1.35 tons per yard or about 2200-2700 pounds per yard on average with a unit weight of 82-100 lb. per cubic foot. 

How much does a cubic yard of sand weigh?

So, what’s the weight of 1 yard of sand?

The unit weight of sand is around 96-100 lb. per cubic foot. Therefore, 1 cubic yard of sand weights approximately around 100 lbs. Moisture content is also the leading factor of increase in weight of sand. So, on average, 5 cubic feet of sands weights between 0.25 tons or about 500 pounds.

Compaction of sand also effects its weight. Therefore, it is recommended to use small sand loads because they are closer to the average of 100 pounds per cubic foot.

How much does 1/2 yards of sand weigh?

½ cubic yard of sand weighs between 1300 to 1600 pounds or 0.65 to 0.8 tons.  However, you need to check the condition of sand like moisture content, density, composition, origin, compaction and if it’s washed or not. To estimate weight of sand on job site, you can use figures that 1 yard of sand weighs 1.35 tons or 2700 lbs. while 1 yard of sand equals 3 feet.

How much does 2 yards of sand weigh?

2 cubic yard of sand weighs between 5200 to 6400 pounds while in tons of 2.6 to 3.2 tons.  However, you need to check the condition of sand like moisture content, density, composition, origin, compaction and if it’s washed or not. To estimate weight of sand on job site, you can use figures that 1 yard of sand weighs 1.35 tons or 2700 lbs. while 1 yard of sand equals 3 feet.  So, you can just multiply these figures with 2 to get weight of 2 cubic yards as 2 x 1.35 equals 2.7 tons.

How much does 3 yards of sand weigh?

3 cubic yard of sand weighs between 7800 to 6900 pounds while in tons of 3.9 to 4.8 tons.  However, you need to check the condition of sand like moisture content, density, composition, origin, compaction and if it’s washed or not. To estimate weight of sand on job site, you can use figures that 1 yard of sand weighs 1.35 tons or 2700 lbs. while 1 yard of sand equals 3 feet.  So, you can just multiply these figures with 3 to get weight of 2 cubic yards as 3 x 1.35 equals 4.05 tons.

How many bags of sand in a yard?

A cubic yard of sand has 54 bags with each bag having 50 lbs (pounds) of sand. In market, we have typical sand bag weight of 50 pounds or 0.5 cubic feet. So, if you need a volume of 1 cubic yard that means you need a volume of 27 cubic feet. By dividing the total volume by the volume of 1 bag you can obtain the total number of bags. So, 27 / 0.5 equal 54 bags. So, for 1 cubic yard sand you need 54 bags of sand.

How Much Sand Can A Pickup Truck Hold?

The weight a truck can deliver depends on the type of truck and the type of sand. But in normal hauling conditions, a typical truck can hold 44,000 to 50,000 pounds or 22.5 to 25 tons (average 20.7 tons).

A loaded truck with sand can hold 450 ft3 in volume while weight of 1 cft sand is 46 kg so 46×450 equals 20,700 kg or 20.7 tons.   

Summary

Sr. No.SandSand weight (pounds)Sand weight (tons)
1.½ cubic yard1300 to 16000.65 to 0.8
2.2 cubic yard5200 to 64002.6 to 3.2
3.3 cubic yard7800 to 69003.9 to 4.8
4.5 cubic feet500 to 5500.25

Final Remarks

Sand is basically a granular material that is made up of small fragments of rocks. With time rocks erode due to weathering effects and disperse into small stones which later become sand particles. Sand weight and volume may vary from sand to sand, its type whether it’s dry or wet, coarse or fine and compacted or uncompacted. One yard of sand weights around 2600-3200 lb. or about 1.3-1.6 U.S tons.  Some of them are fine other are coarse.

As we know, one cubic yard of sand is equal to one yard high, one yard long and one yard wide. For better understanding, you can take one yard of sand and you can fill a cube of 3 feet length, 3 feet height and 3 feet width.

Moisture content is considered to be an integral part which affects its weight and volume. Even the dry looking sand also contains some amount of moisture in it. Therefore, during construction works small loads of sand would mean lesser amount of moisture in it. Because it greatly affects the workability of concrete as well as the finishing work.

Further Read: How much does a cinder block weigh? (4″, 6″, 8″, 10″ & 12″ Blocks)

Saad Iqbal is a professional civil engineering and freelance write. He's passionate about structures, construction management, and home improvement topics. He's been working as a Senior Engineer in a consultant firm for over 8 years. Besides he loves writing informative and in-depth content focused on construction and home-related topics. You can catch him at his linkedin page or reach out via our contact us page.

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