There are two types of sand, which can be used in mortar. However, it is important to note, that this sand cannot be interchanged. Whichever be the sand type, make sure it is sieved before used. This will ensure that only sand goes into the mortar and small stones do not make their way into it. The first type of sand used is the soft sand, also known as builders sand. It is used for bricklaying mortar, building foundations, for paving slabs, wall rendering. It is a smooth kind of sand and has cohesive properties. The other type of sand is sharp sand. It has a gritty feel to it. It is used in concrete and can also be used for rendering walls and floors.
The best sand to use for rendering is coarse sand, which can give a smooth finish appropriate for most vernacular buildings. This type of sand holds even when the mix is a little richer in lime than a standard pointing mix.