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Sand Weight Per Yard

A yard of sand weighs approximately 2,600 – 3,200 pounds, or about 1.3 – 1.6 tons. A cubic yard of sand equals 1 yard wide by 1 yard long by 1 yard high. Another way to look at it is a yard of sand fills a cube 3 feet wide x 3 feet long x 3 feet tall. It covers around 120 – 150 square feet of area at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. There are many types of sand that vary a bit in weight. Some sand is very soft and fine while others are course and thick. How much sand weighs per yard depends a lot on what type of sand you’re using, its compaction and moisture content. But on average, sand weighs approximately 3000 lbs or 1 1/2 tons per yard.

How much sand weighs per yard can vary based on a few factors like the shape and size of its grains, compaction, composition, type, moisture content and whether or not it’s washed.

Sand’s weight and volume can vary based on its moisture content when measured. Sand absorbs a lot of water which can greatly increase its weight and volume. Even when a sand pile looks dry on the surface, it can still be holding moisture below the surface.

Most homeowners will buy one of two types of sand. The first is masons sand which is sold at Home Depot, Lowes and other home improvement stores. It’s course and great for mixing concrete and other cement products. The second is fine sand which is used primarily for kids playgrounds and decorative areas.

In this article we’ll discuss different types of sand and how much they weigh per yard.

How Much Does Sand Weigh?

On average, sand weighs between 2600 – 3200 pounds per cubic yard or 1.3 to 1.6 tons per yard.

The unit weight of sand, or the density of sand, varies from 96 – 110 pounds per cubic foot, which would make around 2600 – 3200 lb per cubic yard.

This weight range accounts for a variety of factors like compaction, moisture content, density, composition, origin and if it’s washed.

When sand weight is estimated on a construction site, it’s calculated at an average 100lb for per cubic feet or 2700lb per cubic yard or 1.35 US tons.

  Weight Per Yard Tons Per Yard
Sand, dry, loose 2619 1.30
Sand, wet 3186 1.59

What Does 1 Yard Of Sand Weigh?

1 cubic yard of sand weighs between 2,600 – 3,200 pounds or 1.3 to 1.6 tons.

This weight range accounts for different conditions like moisture content, compaction, density, composition, origin, and if it’s washed.

Builders use the figures 100 lbs per cubic foot or 2700 lbs or 1.35 tons per yard when we estimate sand weight on a job site.

What Does 2 Yards Of Sand Weigh?

2 cubic yards of sand weighs between 5,200 – 6,400 pounds or 2.6 to 3.2 tons.

This weight range accounts for different conditions like moisture content, compaction, density, composition, origin, and if it’s washed.

Builders use the figures 100 lbs per cubic foot or 2700 lbs or 1.35 tons per cubic yard when we estimate sand weight on a job site. If you take those weights and multiple them by 2 you get 5,200 – 6,400 lbs per 2 yards of sand. That’s 2.6 to 3.2 tons.

What Does 3 Yards Of Sand Weigh?

3 cubic yards of sand weighs between 7,800 – 9,600 pounds or 3.9 to 4.8 tons.

This weight range accounts for different conditions like moisture content, compaction, density, composition, origin, and if it’s washed.

Builders use the figures 100 lbs per cubic foot or 2700 lbs or 1.35 tons per cubic yard when we estimate sand weight on a job site. If you take those weights and multiple them by 3 you get 7,800 – 9,600 lbs per 3 yards of sand. That’s 3.9 to 4.8 tons.

What Does 1/2 Yard Of Sand Weigh?

1/2 cubic yard of sand weighs between 1,300 – 1,600 pounds or 0.65 to 0.8 tons.

This weight range accounts for different conditions like moisture content, compaction, density, composition, origin, and if it’s washed.

Builders use the figures 100 lbs per cubic foot or 2700 lbs or 1.35 tons per yard when we estimate sand weight on a job site. If you take those numbers and multiply them by .5 you get 1,300 lbs – 1,600 lbs per 1/2 yard of sand. That’s 0.65 to 0.8 tons.

How Much Does Wet Sand Weigh per Yard?

Sand can absorb a lot of moisture which increases its weight per yard. How much heavier wet sand is than dry depends on how much moisture its holding.

Wet sand is heavier and typically weighs between 3200 to 3500 pounds per yard or 1.6 to 1.75 tons per yard.

The unit weight of wet sand is between 120 – 130 pounds per cubic foot. This equals about 3200 – 3500 lb per cubic yard.

Knowing exactly how much extra water weight a sand pile is holding is hard to determine. You’ll have to make a judgement call after inspecting the sand. Even if the sand looks dry on the surface it can still be holding moisture inside the pile.

On average, I always estimate at least 10% – 20% more weight per yard due to moisture. However, a sand pile can be holding much more if the inside is water logged. Use a shovel to remove about a foot of sand. If you find dark sand right beneath the surface then the pile is holding a lot of water. However, if you don’t find moisture a foot into the pile, it’s fairly dry.

How Much Does Dry Sand Weigh Per Yard?

Dry sand weighs between 2600 to 2900 pounds per yard or 1.3 to 1.45 tons per yard.

The unit weight of dry sand is between 96 – 108 pounds per cubic foot, which equals around 2600 – 2900 lb per cubic yard.

Since dry sand doesn’t contain moisture, the weight of dry sand is mostly effected by its compaction. The more compacted the sand pile is, the heavier it will weigh.

  • Loose dry sand weighs between 2600 -2700 lb per cubic yard
  • Dense or compacted dry sand weighs between 2800 -2900 lb for one yard.

Large piles of sand are rarely completely dry. They tend to hold moisture towards the center of the pile. However, on the surface they may appear dry.

Small sand piles hold less water inside because it evaporates more easily out of the sand.

How Much Does Beach Sand Weigh Per Yard?

Beach sand is formed over thousands of years by erosion. Rocks and other materials are broken down and eroded from the constant motion of the waves. Marine sand is ideal for making concrete because it’s generally course and full of minerals.

On average, dry beach sand weighs around 2700 pounds or 1.35 tons per cubic yard.

The unit weight of dry beach sand is around 100 lb per cubic foot which equals around 2700 lb per cubic yard.

Beach sand’s weight is just as effected by compaction and moisture content as other types of sand. So to estimate the actual weight of a yard of beach sand, you need to determine how compacted the pile is and how much moisture it holds. I generally add between 10% – 20% to the weight of beach sand to account for these factors.

How Much Does Washed Sand Weigh Per Yard?

Washed Sand is screened and washed to remove silt, clay and other impurities. It’s then allowed to drain and dry.

Washed sand is typically a light buff color, almost off-white. It’s finely graded sand that can be used for things like fill, spread over grass, on playgrounds and sandboxes or as a base for laying brick and pavers.

Washed sand weighs between 2200 to 2700 pounds per yard or 1.1 to 1.35 tons per yard on average.

The unit weight of washed sand is around 82 – 100 pounds per cubic foot which equal approximately 2200 – 2700 lb per cubic yard.

Just as with other types of sand, you need to determine how compacted the sand is and how much water it’s holding to determine its actual weight. I usually allow for an extra 10% – 20% of weight to allow for compaction and moisture.

How Much Does 5 Cubic Feet Of Sand Weigh?

1 Cubic foot of sand weighs approximately 100 lbs. So on average, 5 cubic feet of sand weighs 500 pounds or 0.25 tons.

Compaction effects how much sand weighs. So 5 cubic foot of dry sand weighs between 500 to 550 pounds.

Moisture also effects how much sand weighs. Wet sand is naturally heavier and weighs between 600 to 650 pounds per 5 cubic feet.

When you’re working with small amounts of sand it’s easier to judge how compacted it is and how wet. For this reason, most small sand loads are closer to the average weight of 100 lbs per cubic foot or 500 lbs per 5 cubic feet.

How Many 50 lb Bags Of Sand Equal A yard

A yard of sand weighs approximately 2700 lbs on average. That’s assuming it’s dry with a normal compaction. So approximately 54 x 50lb bags of sand equal a yard.

The equation to figure this out is 2700/ 50 = 54 bags.

How Much Sand Can A Pickup Truck Hold?

A yard of sand is equal to a cube that’s 1 yard high x 1 yard wide x 1 yard long or 3 foot x 3 foot x 3 foot. That can easily fit inside the bed of an average full size pickup and even some midsize trucks. However, a yard of sand weighs approximately 2700 lbs which is more than most trucks can load into a bed.

The average pickup truck can hold about 1/2 – 3/4 tons. This means an average pickup can only hold about 1/2 to 3/4 yards of sand at a time.

How Many Bags Of Sand Is A Yard?

Most sand bags are 50 lbs. On average, sand weighs approximately 2700 lbs per yard. So there are 54 bags of sand in a yard.

What Is Sand?

It’s important to understand what sand actually is. Because knowing more about sand will help you understand what effects its weight.

Sand is a granular material composed of fine fragments of rock and mineral particles. The particle size of sand ranges from 0.05mm to 2mm. The grain particles that make up sand are finer than gravel but coarser than silt.

Rocks and other materials eroded by weather over a long period of time eventually become sand as they break down into very small particles. Things like coral, shells and even bones can end up being broken down and turned into sand.

Sand built up along a river basin becomes river sand. When it builds up along a shoreline its called beach sand or marine sand.

Based on where sand is collected it can contain different type of rock and/or minerals.

The sand collected from rivers, beaches or oceans are ideal for construction work and in high demand for making concrete. However, the sand that comes from a desert isn’t. This is because desert sand doesn’t contain the same rock and mineral particles as marine sand.

Summary: Sand Weight Per Yard

One cubic yard of sand covers around 120 – 150 square feet of area at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. A yard of sand weighs approximately 2,600 – 3,200 pounds, or about 1.3 – 1.6 tons. A cubic yard of sand equals 1 yard wide by 1 yard long by 1 yard high. Another way to look at it is a yard of sand fills a cube 3 feet wide x 3 feet long x 3 feet tall. There are many types of sand that vary a bit in weight. Some is very soft and fine while other sand is course and thick. How much sand weighs per yard depends a lot on what type of sand you’re using. But on average, sand weighs approximately 3000 lbs or 1 1/2 tons.

How much sand weighs per yard can vary based on a variety of factors like the shape and size of the grains, its material content, density, composition, compaction and moisture.

Sand’s weight and volume will vary based on whether it is wet or dry when measured. Sand absorbs a lot of water which can greatly increase its weight and volume. Even when a sand pile looks dry on the surface, it can still be holding moisture below the surface.

If you have any questions about sand, email any time.

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