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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How Failing To Compact Will Ruin Your Paver Project

If you have read some of our other blog posts, you know we’re huge advocates of “do it once and do it right.” This is because we have seen too many jobs go awry due to a step being missed during the paver installation process. This critical step is compacting the base. A proper compact will help maintain your project’s integrity,protect jointing material, and keep your outdoor patio or walkway looking sharp for a long time.

Techo Bloc Blu 80 Smooth Compact Base


Interlocking pavers
are made to be flexible, meaning that they will move, mold and mimic to any settling or shifts in the soil or base. If they are installed over  an improperly compacted sub-base  they are not going to stand the test of time.

Not to mention there are other variables that can exacerbate the issue of paver settling and moving on an improperly compacted base,

  • Weather: Freeze/thaw cycles can wreak havoc on a paver installation that was improperly compacted. Each void within the sub-base serves as a place for water to potentially settle. When this water freezes it will expand and cause the pavers to heave; when it thaws, the pavers will settle (but likely not evenly), eventually creating an uneven surface.
  • Car on paver drivewayTraffic: Driveway pavers that sit on top of poorly compacted areas will shift and compress over time. The weight of a vehicle will depress pavers into the weak spots, resulting in unattractive (and potentially dangerous) ruts and grooves on the surface.
  • Joint Failure: While polymeric sand is designed to be self-healing and flexible, it will not perform as intended if it’s installed on an improperly compacted job. Radical shifting and movement of the pavers will eventually cause paver joints to crack and fail over time.

Uneven Pavers from improper compact base

 

As you can see the resulting compression and shifting of the pavers on an awfully compacted base will quickly lead to problems … many of which can lead to redoing the whole entire thing. So do it right the first time to avoid costly repairs in the long run.

 

 

Compact Base with Plate CompactorQuick Tips To Ensure Proper Base Compaction:

  • Have the proper base depth. The guidelines are to dig about 4 to 6 inches for pedestrian walks or patios and 8 to 12 inches for driveways.
  • Use the correct base material. It is recommended to use a granular course stone        0-3 ⁄4″, otherwise known as “dense grade” for the base and to use concrete sand as the setting bed.
  • Don’t compact material all at once. Most  plate compactors will not compact any more than 4” of base. If you try to compact 6” of base, you will only compact the top 4” and the bottom 2” will settle. It is best to compact your base in lifts of 3″ – 4″.

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You can find dense grade, concrete sand, premium pavers, polymeric sand, and all the necessary materials needed to build a successful patio, walkway, or driveway at TLC Supply in Quincy, MA. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products!

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just leave your questions in the comments below!

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