After months of researching and planning out your landscape design, choosing a landscape contractor and finalizing the contract, it’s finally time to choose the products that will bring your design to life! You have a good idea of the look and feel you’re going for, as well as how much you’re willing to spend, but how do you know if the landscape materials you’re picking are the best ones for your project? While your contractor will help you make the right choices, a landscape renovation is quite the investment, and it never hurts for you to do your own research so that you feel 100% confident in your product selection.
In this article, we’ll go over the different types of paving options available to you, including the existing technologies that will keep your landscape looking fresh for years to come. Let’s get started.
Wet cast vs. Dry cast pavers and slabs
When searching for landscape materials, you may stumble upon the terms ‘’wet cast’’ and ‘’dry cast’’ pavers/slabs. If you’re like most of us, you’re probably not familiar with these terms and may be wondering what they mean and what the difference is between the two. Don’t worry, as you’ll read, the name relates to the manufacturing process, and the difference between the two is actually quite simple!
Wet cast pavers and slabs
As you may have deduced, wet cast pavers are made with a liquid concrete mix. The mix is poured into a mold, vibrated to release air bubbles, and then cured. This manufacturing process results in a stunningly detailed texture and vibrant color.
Dry cast pavers and slabs
You guessed it! These types of pavers and slabs are made with a concrete mix that contains very little water. Once in the mold, the mix is compressed with high pressure machinery, and then air-cured on racks. While these types of hardscape materials have historically sported simple colors and textures, advances in manufacturing technology have allowed for more complex and desirable colors blends and textures to be made using this process.
Both these types of landscape materials are suitable for most residential projects. However, dry cast pavers are quite strong and high strength making them a great choice for driveways.
Pavers vs. Slabs
Another question you may be asking yourself is ‘’what is the difference between pavers and slabs?’’. Both of these hardscaping materials are made of concrete and used as pavement, making the difference not so obvious. Some may say that the difference lies in their size, with pavers being smaller, and slabs being much larger. While this is not 100% inaccurate, the actual difference is a bit more technical than that. In North America, what falls into the category of slabs or pavers must conform to standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Though the standards vary slightly between associations, a paver must have a minimum thickness of 60 mm, and its aspect ratio−meaning its total length divided by its thickness−cannot exceed 4. Slabs on the other hand will have an aspect ratio greater than 4, with a minimum thickness of 30 mm.
Of course, there are more requirements and testing involved to determine whether the stone will fall within the paver or slab category, but here’s what you should keep in mind: Pavers are made thicker, making them resistant to heavy loads and perfect for driveways. Slabs, which are thinner, are not suitable for areas that will have vehicular traffic and are therefore better used to pave your patio, walkway, or poolside.
Looking for a truly unique and eye-catching driveway paver? Our Diamond paver may be just what you’re looking for. Or how about an exotic patio slab for your poolside? Our Ocean Grande slab, inspired by the veins left behind on sandy ocean shores, is sure to be a treat for both your eyes and feet.
At Techo-Bloc, we firmly believe that no one should have to compromise between style and durability when choosing their landscaping materials. We also want our customers to have peace of mind, knowing that their newly constructed outdoor space will last for years to come. That is why we work tirelessly to develop the best pavers and slabs to not only revive your outdoor spaces, but to also ensure that they stand up to the test of time even through the harshest of climates.
HD2: A new era of concrete
Our HD2 (High Definition and Density) pavers and slabs boasts strength, good looks and durability, all thanks to our patent pending manufacturing process. This process allows us to produce products that are up to 1.5 times stronger than the industry standard of 8 000 psi. These products also count higher particles per square inch, decreasing their absorption levels, which in turn increases their resistance to the elements. Additionally, higher particles per square inch leads to a tighter surface with less pores, translating into finishes that are always ultra-detailed and refined for the smoothest smooth and most intricate textures. Finally, HD2 has thermodynamically stabilized color pigments that ensure resistance to UV rays, chemicals and extreme temperatures.
Standout products featuring this technology include our ultra-modern Sleek paver, our timeless Industria patio slab, and our elegant Aberdeen patio slab.
HD2+: Vibrant looks that last
Products featuring our HD2+ technology will benefit from everything mentioned above, plus an extra layer of protection! With this additional factory seal, these pavers and slabs benefit from added stain resistance, elevated color boost and a reduced absorption rate.
Standout products featuring this technology include our unique and modern Hexa 60 patio slab, our sleek and traditional Westmount paver, and our stunning natural stone lookalike Everest patio slab.
Klean-Bloc: Protection against everyday wear and tear
Klean-Bloc technology offers your pavers and slabs an advanced protective barrier against everyday wear and tear, allowing you to simply wipe life's spills away−such as drinks and condiments−and carry on with your day. Products with this technology boast scratch and stain resistance, as well as long-lasting color that will not fade over time.
Standout products featuring this technology include our wood lookalike Borealis patio slab, our clay brick-inspired Mika paver, and our luxurious Bali Travertina Raw pool coping and wall cap.
What about your regular pavers?
Fell in love with one of our paver collections but it’s not equipped with one of our exclusive technologies? Don’t worry! All Techo-Bloc pavers and paving stones are designed to withstand vehicular traffic, are salt-resistant and color-consistent all the way through.
Choosing the landscape materials that will bring your vision to life is probably one of the most exciting steps of a landscape renovation. We hope that this article has armed you with the knowledge to make choosing the right products for your design a breeze! If you still have questions, your contractor or local dealer can certainly help you out as well. One thing’s for sure – you can never go wrong with Techo-Bloc products.