I have steps about 4ft high built of interlocking pavers leading up to my front door. The sill on my front door is a nice piece of 2" oak. When I had the steps rebuilt about 4 years ago, I didn't notice that the contractor had raised the steps about 1". This means that the interlocking brick now butts against the wooden sill (instead of underneath the sill), and polymeric sand has bonded between the wooden sill and the brick.

The paint on the sill is beginning to peel, so it needs to be repainted. But what do I do where the polymeric sand is bonded to the sill? Should I dig out the sand, repaint the sill and replace the sand? I'd like to be sure the oak is sealed so that I don't have problems with the wood rotting.

I suppose another option would be to rebuild the steps to lower them back down 1" so that the sill will be clear of the brick. This seems like an expensive solution!

1 Answer 1


Dig out the sand, paint the sill, then use sanded-grout caulk. It is caulk but with an aggregate in it to make it look like... well like a polymeric sand joint. It will be waterproof and flexible and it comes in many colors so you can get a close match to your sand joints (which I assume are either tan or gray).

  • Good call, there are sanded caulks for tile joints that will allow a nice spectrum of colors to choose from. The caulk will proved a moisture barrier from the pavers to the oak sill, and it is IMPERATIVE the wood is completely sealed away from the pavers, since when the pavers get wet, even a close proximity with unsealed wood will increase the chance of decay in the sill.
    – Jack
    Apr 25, 2021 at 17:00
  • Is this the type of caulk you're describing? It's really hard to find in Canada! lowes.com/pd/…
    – billmcc
    Apr 26, 2021 at 23:55

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