The Four Main Differences Between Wet Cast and Dry Cast Pavers

They feature departing levels of detail.

Imagine a dry cast mix as the beach sand you’d build a sandcastle with. It doesn’t have much moisture and can be heavily compacted into the mold. Wet cast, on the other hand, is more fluid, which allows the mixture to flow into the molds where it’s vibrated to increase density. Because of this process, wet cast pavers and slabs can be formed with more detailed textures and edges.

They vary in color consistency and range.

Wet cast pavers can be crafted in a variety of colors, including more unique variations of shades that simulate natural stone. Dry cast pavers tend to have more precise color due to the way the color is added in the manufacturing process.

Their density and durability differ.

Due to the lack of moisture in the mix, dry cast pavers tend to be more porous, allowing more water to enter than their wet cast counterparts. This can be problematic when combined with freeze-thaw cycles that cause the absorbed water to expand and may result in cracking or crumbling of the dry cast pavers. The more fluid mix used to create wet cast mix results in a less porous and denser paver. This density prevents water accumulation within the paver delivering a more durable, longer-lasting product in regions impacted by temperature changes.

Availability and cost may vary.

Dry cast pavers have been around for a long time, so their production process is hyper-mechanized, which results in more availability and lower price points. On the other hand, wet cast pavers are crafted using individual forms and trays. This, coupled with a longer curing process, means their production takes more time, and costs may be higher. However, many customers find that the appearance and durability of wet cast pavers more than make up for the slightly higher price point.

When Should Each Type of Paver Be Used?

dry cast and wet cast walls

Dry Cast

Their utilitarian production method and minimal texturing make dry cast pavers a popular option for heavily trafficked areas, such as driveways, sidewalks, and public outdoor spaces with lots of visitors.

Wet Cast

Because of the wide variety of textures, colors, and natural-stone appearance, wet cast pavers are a favored choice for patios, walkways, and outdoor residential spaces when looks matter most.

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Do wet cast pavers look different than dry cast?

Because of the fluidity of the mix, wet cast concrete can be used to create a huge array of textures. Conversely, dry cast concrete has very low water content and must be pressurized to take on textures. The dry cast manufacturing process also only allows for a limited range of colors. Because of this, dry cast pavers tend to have a more coarse, uniform texture that is often used in large projects like driveways, parks, and sidewalks. While both types of pavers can resemble natural stone, the formation process of wet cast pavers allows for more diversity in color, finish, and texture, allowing them to mimic the look and feel of a greater variety of natural stones.

Do wet cast pavers cost more?

Because of the more rapid, assembly line-style production process of dry cast pavers, some cost savings can be achieved by choosing them. Wet cast pavers require more labor and time to produce. The trade-off for a slightly higher price point is often a more unique, natural-looking wet cast product.

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