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July 15, 2016 • Mike Huber

The 6 Most Common Gator Dust Installation Mistakes

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Gator Dust Bond is a unique mixture of polymer binders and calibrated stone specially formulated to strengthen the joints of any pedestrian natural stone application. When installed properly, this product will become incredibly firm, locking the stone joints while still retaining flexibility and durability.

Notice how we began the last sentence with “if installed properly.” This is key. When the installation instructions are followed, the product has unmatched performance and beauty, which is why there is no other product like it. Due to the popularity we’ve seen with Gator Dust, we thought now would be the perfect time to share the top six installation mistakes we’ve encountered (and how to correct them).


1. Under-watering
Under-watering results in the Gator Dust not setting up properly. Depending on how much time passed since the dust was first activated, you may be able to resolve the issue by letting your sprinkler run on it for about an hour. (Note: If a crust has formed, make small holes in the joints to allow the water to seep in.) If the Gator Dust doesn’t harden after a few days of good weather, you’ll unfortunately have to remove it and reinstall new product.

2. Installing Prior to Rain
Attempting a Gator Dust install in unpredictable weather is a bad idea. If it rains within 24 hours after your installation, you run the risk of the material not setting up properly or even washing out of the joints. Should this happen, you will need to be patient and give the joints time to dry before evaluating. In most cases, if the Gator Dust has not washed out of the joints and appears to be hardening, you’ll probably be ok. If the joints are not hardening, it’s back to square one.

3. Overfilling the Joints
Overfilling the joints on a natural stone project can lead to damage down the road. When installing Gator Dust, you must leave a ⅛” space below the top of the stone. By doing this, the surface of the stone will protect the joints.

4. Mixing in Regular Sand
We do not recommend using regular sand to halfway fill the joints of a Gator Dust project. Without a firm, densely-packed base, water and ice can work their way into the joints and cause the Gator Dust to fail. It is also next to impossible to evenly fill up half a joint with one material – you will have some areas that are halfway full and others that may be 7/8 of the way full. We refer to this as topping. It can cause the Gator Dust to fail and come out of the joint. Topping should never be done. Short-term savings, will result in long-term problems and costs!

5. Installing in Inadequate Temperatures
Gator Dust is engineered to be installed at temperatures above 59 degrees Fahrenheit. If installed at lower temperatures, it may never set up and function as it is intended to.

6. Improper Use
Gator Dust should only be used for pedestrian applications. It does not have the compressive strength to resist the tremendous loads placed on the joint, by a vehicle. And Gator Dust should never be used with dry-cast pavers. (It can be used with some wet-cast products.) 

Avoid making these mistakes on your next Gator Dust project, and it will be clear sailing! For a complete list of FAQs on this product, visit alliancegator.com/faq/faq-gator-dust.


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