Wet Cast Pavers vs. Dry Cast Pavers

While the aesthetics of your concrete paver are an important part when selecting what will be best for your project, knowing how the paver is made is just as important. Ensuring the paver is suitable for the job will help the overall longevity of the projects lifetime. There are two type of concrete pavers: Wet Cast Pavers and Dry Cast Pavers.

What is the difference between Wet Cast Pavers and Dry Cast Pavers? 

The Process: As the name suggests, the concrete used in manufacturing wet cast pavers is typically quite liquid. This concrete mix is poured into a mold shaped for the paver and then vibrated to release air bubbles from the mix.Wet Cast Paver Mold

The curing process for wet cast pavers is much longer than that of a dry-cast, making it more labor intensive to produce. Once this concrete is cured, the mold is removed and the pavers are palletized and ready for shipping.

Dry Cast Pavers - Techo Athena
Dry Cast Pavers – Techo Athena

Dry cast, as it sounds, is a concrete mix with very little water. These are the pavers we typically think of when picturing a paver block. Dry cast paver mixes are similarly placed in a mold, but are then compressed with very high pressure, complex machinery. The compressed molds are cured on racks before being palletized.  Because these pavers are air-cured they can be produced quickly and affordably.

Color & Finish: Wet cast pavers often feature more bold color tones, smoother and more intricate surfaces, and can better imitate natural stone. While dry cast have historically been more simple and basic in color and texture, modern manufacturing has made color blends and surface textures more desirable.

Wet Cast Paver - Techo Block Aberdeen
Wet Cast Paver – Techo Bloc Aberdeen
Dry Cast Pavers
Dry Cast Pavers – Techo Allegro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strength: Both wet cast and dry cast pavers are suitable for residential projects such as driveways, walkways, and patios. When considering a paver for a large-scale commercial project, dry cast is a more suitable choice. Dry cast pavers have a more optimal water to cement ratio making them incredibly strong and high strength, perfect for the load capacity of a road or highway.

Dry Cast Pavers Driveway
Dry Cast Pavers in Driveway – Techo Blu 80
Wet cast pavers
Wet Cast Pavers – Techo Inca

 

Protection & Maintenance: Once you decide which paver suits your project best, you want to protect it from the elements, especially during the winter months here in New England. Dry cast and wet cast pavers should both be sealed to prevent possible staining, chemical deterioration from any acids or salts, and color fading from use over time.  We offer a variety of sealers for pavers such. Alliance Low Gloss Sealer adds a mild sheen and is to be used only on dry cast pavers only. Our best seller, Prosoco’s Siloxane PD is a clear, no-gloss sealer that can be applied to wet or dry cast pavers.

To further protect your new investment, it is recommended to use an ice melt that is safe for hardscape and masonry. Mr. Magic Premium Ice Melt is engineered to safely breakdown the ice without breaking down your pavers.

Summary: Wet cast pavers offer more variety in color and finish, and they also typically cost a bit more and are generally less durable. Dry cast pavers are typically very standard in color but have high strength and are more economical, ultimately making them the more popular option. Here at TLC Supply we offer a multitude of both dry cast and wet cast items from leading paver manufacturer’s Techo Bloc, Genest, and Belgard.

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The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Leave your questions or comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

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Interlocking Veneer Panels

Interlocking Veneer Panels

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NEM is revolutionizing the veneer installation process with their new interlocking veneer panels. These panels can be installed in seconds, compared to 10x the time it takes to lay loose individual veneer stone pieces.

Interlocking Veneer Panels BerkshireWhat makes these panels different from tradition veneer panels is their staggered shape which makes it nearly impossible to detect seams. The classic elegance and intricate detail of small stones combined with the simplicity of a panel system allows this paneling system to mimic the appearance of a precision hand-laid dry-stack veneer stone. 

Interlocking Veneer Panels Installed

  • Panels are fast, simple, and economical to apply
  • Easy to use, no specialist skills required.
  • No need to fill grout joints
  • Seamless walls and corners.
  • Suitable for exterior and interior use.

NEM Interlocking Panels come in the ever popular ledge stone cut in the colors New England Blend or Berkshire.

       Interlocking Veneer Panels New England Blend      Interlocking Veneer Panels Berkshire

How to Install  Interlocking Veneer Panels

Step 1: Calculate 

Calculate the square footage of the area. Interlocking Veneer Panels come in corner pieces and flat pieces. Linear footage is used to calculate corner pieces and square footage is used to calculate flat pieces.

Interlocking Veneer Panel Flats      Interlocking Veneer Panels Corners

To figure out the square footage simply multiply length by height. To calculate the liner footage for corners simply measure the height of all walls and add together.

*Tip: Be sure to subtract the areas filled by doors, windows, and fireplace openings.

Step 2: Prepare

Prepare the surface area by making sure that the existing surface is sound and level (i.e. repair cracks). Interior and exterior applications may require different preparations for the stone veneer. If you are unsure about your existing surface area please contact a representative at TLC Supply. 

Step 3: Layout

Making a mock-up pattern on the floor because applying the stone to the wall is usually recommended. Make sure that panels are fitted together at random so a repeating pattern isn’t created. It is helpful to start with the corner pieces and then fill the inside.

Interlocking Veneer Panel Starter Panel
Starter Panel

Once you have laid out the corners start at the bottom with the Starter Panels. These panels are 1/2 height and are used on the first course of an installation. Starter Panels will give you the offset you need for the rest of the area.

*Tip: Instead of cutting a full size panel in half and potentially wasting product, use the Starter Panels to save time and money.

Pieces may need to be cut to lay flush against the floorboard, ceiling, or fireplace opening. You may cut the pieces with a wet saw using a carbide or diamond tip blade. Be sure to wear protective eyewear and follow proper safety measures when cutting stone veneer.

Backside of Interlocking Veneer Panel
Backside of Interlocking Veneer Panel

Step 4: Install

Run a horizontal chalk line every 18 inches for a reference point to help keep your courses level. Dampen the wall to increase the bonding strength of the mortar. Spread approximately ½ inch of polymer modified mortar such as Ardex X5 to the back of the stones (make sure there is 100% coverage) with a 1/4” mason’s trowel or notched towel.

Apply the stone to the wall with firm pressure and wiggle it gently to make sure the mortar is evenly coated. Hold the stone in place for a few seconds to ensure a secure bond. If the mortar seeps out you may use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe it away.

The beauty of having the panels already fixed to a precast backing is that there is no need to fill mortar joints. This eliminates the step of needing more than one type of mortar to fill the joints.

Interlocking Veneer Panels New England Blend Installed
Interlocking Veneer Panels New England Blend Installed

Step 5: Cleaning and Sealing

If mortar gets on the panels you may use a gentle cleaner such as Simple Green to remove it. If the application is outside you may wish to seal it to help prevent water damage and stains. We highly recommend a breathable siloxane/silane blend sealer. Keep in mind that not all sealers are created equal, to learn more about sealers please visit our blog post on sealers. Different types of stone react differently to different types of sealers so it is important to select the proper one. Since these interlocking veneer panels contain granite we recommend using Prosoco Stone, Masonry, and Tile Protector to seal them.  

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You can find Interlocking Veneer Panels as well as other types of natural thin veneer stone at TLC Supply in Quincy, MA. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand,cement, and much more!

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Breathable Siloxane Silane Sealers

Siloxane based masonry and brick sealers that are breathable and penetrate into the substrate have many advantages over other surface sealers comprised of acrylics, silicone and epoxies.

Siloxane Silane Water Repellent SealersAdvantages of Sealers:
A breathable sealer will help protect masonry and hardscape in many ways such as,

  • Resist cracking
  • Resist spalling
  • Reduce staining
  • Protects against UV damage
  • Prevents efflorescence
  • Prevent other damage related to water intrusion

Why choose a silane/siloxane blend?

Siloxane based sealers penetrate deep into the capillaries of concrete pavers and brick. The chemical bond that the siloxane and silane creates inside the microscopic pores acts as a resin. It minimizes the sizes of the capillaries so that it is smaller than a water molecule which provides the repellency.

Siloxane Silane SealersPenetration deep below the surface also means that your pavers will not lose protection if they are in a high traffic area. Sealers that sit on top on the paver can be eroded with heavy foot or vehicular traffic.

Siloxane/silane blends will also be 100% breathable. Concrete can absorb water 2 ways, from the surface and from the soil beneath it. These sealers will allow interior water to evaporate while also keeping surface water from penetrating into the paver. This is very important because sealers that do not allow the paver to breathe will trap moisture which can cause water to freeze and break the paver or brick during the colder months.

 

TLC Supply offers several professional grade detergents and breathable siloxane/silane sealers from industry leading brands such as Prosoco and Mapei. TLC also carries a wide selection of premium pavers from Techo Bloc, GenestBelgard and Cambridge Pavers. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand,cement, and much more!

Before you go check this out! You may even like our posts  on How to Build a Paver Patio

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Leave your questions or comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

How to Prepare Pavers for the Fall and Prevent Leaf Stains

Treat and Prevent Unsightly Leaf Stains on Your Paving Stones this Fall!

PreparePaversforFall

As you may have noticed during autumn, once the leaves start falling they can leave behind leaf stains on concrete sidewalks. This staining can happen to your pavers too. Protect your hard earned investment and prevent those unsightly stains by sealing your paver patio, walkway, or driveway!

Why do leaves stain concrete?LeafStainonConcrete

Leaves and pine cones contain organic pigments that give them their color and when they decay they release a dye referred to as tannins. The word tannins originated from the German word for Oak tree and it was commonly used to tan leather. Tannins are also responsible for turning water brown when you steep a cup of tea. The staining from leaves occurs mainly in autumn when the leaves are decaying causing the tannins to react with the alkaline found in concrete.

How do you prevent leaf stains on concrete?

Sealing your pavers with a siloxane/silane sealant will help combat the staining. But bear in mind that not all sealers are created equal. Some sealants just create a film over the pavers and do not provide a breathable barrier for moisture to escape. We recommend choosing a water-based sealant with a siloxane/silane blend.

Why choose a silane/siloxane blend?

Siloxane based sealers penetrate deep into the capillaries of concrete pavers and brick. The chemical bond that the siloxane and silane creates inside the microscopic pores acts as a resin. It minimizes the sizes of the capillaries so that it is smaller than a water molecule which provides the repellency.

Penetration deep below the surface also means that your pavers will not lose protection if they are in a high traffic area. Sealers that sit on top on the paver can be eroded with heavy foot or vehicular traffic.

Siloxane/silane blends will also be 100% breathable. Concrete can absorb water 2 ways, from the surface and from the soil beneath it. These sealers will allow interior water to evaporate while also keeping surface water from penetrating into the paver. This is very important because sealers that do not allow the paver to breathe will trap moisture which can cause water to freeze and break the paver or brick during the colder months.

In conclusion,PreventLeafStainsonPavers

Sealing your pavers will act as a supplement to prevent the tannins from penetrating deep into the stone. You should take proactive measures to maintain your landscape by raking leaves before the pigments penetrate too far deep into the pores of the concrete and power wash stains whenever possible. The longer you keep the leaves on your patio to rot the harder it will be to remove the stains.

If it is too late and you need a detergent cleaner to help get those stains out we carry Paver Clean Paver Wash® by SRW.

Creating curb appeal with hardscaping is a big investment so protect it the right way the first time by choosing high quality, professional grade sealers. When sealing your hardscape be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions very carefully and wear protective clothing and eyewear.

TLC Supply carries several professional grade detergents and breathable siloxane/silane sealers that can help prevent leaf stains. We also carry a wide selection of premium pavers from Techo Bloc, GenestBelgard and Cambridge Pavers. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand,cement, and much more!

Before you go check this out! You may even like our post  on Efflorescence Causes, Removal, and Prevention.

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Leave your questions or comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Efflorescence Causes, Removal, and Prevention

What is efflorescence?

EfflorescenceBrickEfflorescence is a crystalline deposit of salts (carbonates, sulfates, chlorides) that may appear as a chalky or white haze on surfaces of masonry, stucco or concrete.

The efflorescence  you are observing in your pavers is Calcium Carbonate, a by-product resulting from an interaction between the cement used to manufacture the paving stone and the natural environment, which includes the ground, the weather, and the atmosphere. In clay brick, the main component that can cause efflorescence is usually Sodium Chloride.

Efflorescence may appear soon after the pavers are installed or it could appear months after depending on several factors such as the climate, humidity, and the ingredients in the materials being used (such as cement, lime, pigments, and aggregate). When the stone is wet, you may notice that the efflorescence has disappeared but this is only due to water turning the efflorescence salts temporarily transparent rather than actually removing them. Once the surface dries, the efflorescence salts will re-appear.

EfflorenecePaversThere is no need to worry because your pavers and brick are not defective. Efflorescence is naturally occurring in cement based products and it will correct itself with time and exposure to the elements.

Why does efflorescence occur?

Concrete products contain cement which produces lime or water soluble calcium oxide. Since pavers have millions of microscopic capillaries, when moisture enters these capillaries it reacts with the calcium oxide and then calcium hydroxide is formed. This rises to the surface and reacts with carbon dioxide in the air and forms a white haze of calcium carbonate. When the moisture on the surface of the paver evaporates it leaves behind the white haze of efflorescence. Still curious about its formation? For a very in depth explanation of efflorescence please click here.

efflorescencediagram
Efflorescence Diagram

How do you eliminate efflorescence?

As mentioned above, efflorescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon and it will correct itself with time and exposure to the natural elements.Since many factors are involved in the formation of efflorescence it is hard to determine when it will stop occurring. But if you would like to alleviate the problem quicker there are detergents available that can help clean and remove efflorescence. Another option to prevent efflorescence is to seal the pavers with a breathable sealant once the efflorescence is cleaned off.

EfflorescenceFreePavers
Enjoy your beautiful pavers efflorescence free!

TLC Supply carries several professional grade detergents and breathable siloxane/silane sealers that can help alleviate the effects of efflorescence. We also carry a wide selection of premium pavers from Techo Bloc, GenestBelgard and Cambridge Pavers. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand,cement, and much more!

Before you go check this out! You may even like our posts  on How to Build a Paver Patio

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Leave your questions or comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.