Polymeric sand or self-leveling sealant on expansion joint?

quantase

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2018
78
Central Virginia
I am wondering if I should use Polymeric sand or self-leveling sealant on expansion joint. I have travertine pavers going down on a dry set base. Pool PM says it doesn’t matter as long as there is a 3/8-½ inch expansion joint there. The deck builders say they often use polymeric sand between the pool beam and deck pavers. I heard that self-leveling sealant with a backer rod may be better from someone. What are you guys thoughts about this? Which is better, polymeric sand, sealant/backer rod, or nothing at all? Also, considering the ease of reinstalling ( if necessary) in several years. Thanks!!
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,401
FL panhandle
I would go with foam backer and a self leveling caulk, like sikaflex. I don't think there will be enough room for expansion and contraction with the sand. Sand doesn't compress much and it packs in pretty tightly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigEinAZ

quantase

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2018
78
Central Virginia
I would go with foam backer and a self leveling caulk, like sikaflex. I don't think there will be enough room for expansion and contraction with the sand. Sand doesn't compress much and it packs in pretty tightly.
Thanks. Will sikaflex stain the travertine stone? Someone said that it could.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,401
FL panhandle
Hmmmm, I don't know. But, I think maybe it could. I haven't seen anyone say that it does. One trick of the trade is to use masking tape on either side of the expansion joint to make cleanup easier. That would also help with potential staining of the travertine.
 

BigEinAZ

Well-known member
Jan 3, 2016
590
Mesa, Az
Neither SikaFlex or Sonneborn products should stain travertine. Some Sika products aren’t recommended for prolonged chlorine exposure (5ppm) and some Sonneborn products in white don’t hold color under UV exposure. Whatever you decide, read the literature before deciding on a purchase.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,045
Morris Cnty NJ
Either is fine the polymeric will crack and pop like grout if pushed enough. If you use sealant tape each side and wet wipe quickly and peel tape comes out nice if doing it right
 

Taylor1584

LifeTime Supporter
May 13, 2011
149
Houston, Texas
I would go with foam backer and a self leveling caulk, like sikaflex. I don't think there will be enough room for expansion and contraction with the sand. Sand doesn't compress much and it packs in pretty tightly.
Just curious, has anyone use Slab Gasket or Trim a Slam? Some of the joints I have to fill are pretty wide and deep. Backer rod is not going to fill the space at all.