Sand Math: How Much Sand Do I Need For My Project?

We’re often asked to help calculate how much sand, topsoil, or stone will be needed for a particular job.  Here are some common calculations and conversion factors to use when filling a hole or topdressing.


To determine how much sand, topsoil or stone you need to fill an area:

  • Measure number of square feet in the area
  • # of square feet x depth in feet = # of cubic feet
  • # of cubic feet /divided by 27 = # of cubic yards
  • # of cubic yards x (unit weight in pounds / 2000) = # of tons needed

      (See chart below for unit weight conversion factors)

Remember to add 10-20% to the total for compaction and waste



  • Sand: 2,700 lbs (cubic yards needed x 1.35 = tons needed)
  • Topsoil: 2,200 lbs (cubic yards needed x 1.1 = tons needed)
  • Clay: 3,000 lbs (cubic yards needed x 1.5 = tons needed)
  • Compost: 1,200 lbs (cubic yards needed x 0.6 = tons needed)
  • Crushed Gravel: 2,700 – 3,000 lbs depending on stone sizing
  • Decorative Stone: 2,700 – 3,000 lbs depending on stone sizing


To determine how much sand topdressing you need to cover an area:

  • Measure number of square feet in the area
  • # of square feet x depth of application in inches x 0.0031 = cubic yards of topdressing needed for surface coverage
  • # of cubic yards x 1.35 = # of tons of sand needed

             (See chart above for unit weight conversion factors for topdressing with materials other than sand)


If you are aerifying prior to todressing, use this chart to calculate the amount of sand that will fill the areation holes.   Topdressing_Aeration_Table

Doing sand math is fun.  But to save some time, use our online calculators for topdressing, bunker sand, baseball infields, stone pathways, and warning tracks.  We hope your hard work and Waupaca Sand & Solutions’ materials add up to a successful project!

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