FAQ General What makes Techo-Bloc pavers the ultimate paving stones? Techo-Bloc pavers are engineered to handle the freeze/thaw that occurs in changing climates. As long as they are properly installed, the stones will remain adaptable, even, and stable for years to come. The joints between the pavers create flexibility, which avoids cracking, while still allowing subtle movement. Techo-Bloc pavers are nearly 3 times stronger than poured concrete, having a minimum compressive strength of 8,000 psi and a maximum of 5% water absorption. Is it possible for weeds to grow between Techo-Bloc pavers? Techo-Bloc recommends using polymeric sand in the joints of your pavers to inhibit the growth of weeds and grass. There is little that can be done in damp, shaded areas to prevent moss from continuously growing. However, you can try using 10 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach to remove the moss. To resolve the problem permanently, consider professional advice to correct the moisture that encourages the growth of moss. Is it possible to lay Techo-Bloc pavers over an existing concrete walkway that is in good shape? For concrete walkways, balconies, patios or step landings in good structural condition, Techo-Bloc’s Blu 45mm concrete overlay system is the answer. This concrete slab acts as a thin and lightweight concrete cover that won’t crack or stain like concrete and is de-icing salt resistant. For concrete walkways that are not in good condition, even though we do not recommend it, it is possible to lay pavers over an existing concrete walkway. There are, however, two major things to consider: First, this will raise the project site by about 2″ to 3″. Second, the contraction that can result in the concrete slab in colder weather will, in the same way, affect the pavers. Therefore, you must also take into consideration doorways or other areas that may be affected. Please consult our Techo-Spec guide for more detailed information. Can I use Techo-Bloc pavers on my pool deck? What are the benefits of doing so? Using Techo-Bloc pavers will not only provide a beautiful pool deck, it will create a safer surface that prevents slipping. In addition, Techo-Bloc pavers provide a cooler walking area and can handle moisture better than alternative concrete surfaces. For a gorgeous pool coping, we suggest our Bali Travertina or our Bullnose cap with rounded edges. Be sure that the base material surrounding the pool is well compacted prior to installing the pavers. To provide added security to your pool deck, safety covers may be installed over Techo-Bloc pavers using special anchors. Is it possible to use Techo-Bloc pavers for a driveway? Absolutely. For residential driveways, be sure that you use a minimum 8” compacted base material. Please consult our Techo-Spec guide for more detailed information or the ICPI installation guide. What is the difference between slabs and pavers? The major differences between slabs and pavers lie in their design and application possibilities. Pavers are designed with interlocking qualities and are structurally suitable for surfaces exposed to vehicular traffic. Slabs, on the other hand, do not possess interlocking qualities and are essentially tiles used for surfaces exposed to pedestrian traffic only, such as a walkway, patio or poolside. Slabs and pavers can also be combined to create interesting visual effects with banding and mosaics. Why are Techo-Bloc pavers called interlocking concrete pavers? It is not the shape that makes Techo-Bloc pavers interlock, it is the actual system. When properly installed, the combination of the paving stones, bedding sand, joint sand, and edge restraint allows Techo-Bloc pavers to interlock. Color blending, Product Combination & Color matching Color choice and color blending is very subjective and based on personal preference. However, an industry professional such as a Techo-Bloc authorized dealer/retailer or contractor can assist you with design decisions. Visiting a Techo-Bloc authorized dealer to view Techo-Bloc product samples also greatly aids in the decision-making process. Visit our Locate a Professional page to find a retailer near you. What’s the difference between tones & colors? The Stonedge Collection products are manufactured using a wetcast manufacturing process to more closely resemble the sculpted attributes of natural stone. Granite and other natural ingredients are present within the recipe to allow for a range in tones, veining and textures from one stone to another. For an authentic look, each color option is therefore, composed of a variety of darker and lighter tones. Variation Distribution for Color Variation Distrbution for Tones Is the color consistent throughout Techo-Bloc pavers? All Techo-Bloc products (paving stones, wall stones, slabs, and edges) are manufactured with a process that creates a complete pigmentation throughout the entire stone. As a result, the color will not fade over time. Please note that Stonedge products are not manufactured using our color processing. What is the difference between Techo-Bloc pavers and stamped or patterned concrete? Stamped or patterned concrete is merely slabs of concrete with a design and/or pattern. These are prone to problems of deterioration and fracturing, especially in freeze/thaw environments. Techo-Bloc paving stones are guaranteed against fracture or deterioration. Techo-Bloc pavers can be moved and replaced when needed (e.g. for the installation of utility wires or an in-ground sprinkler system, something concrete pavements do not allow you to do). Where can I find the manufacturer’s warranty? Consult the Techo-Bloc warranties for both drycast and wetcast (Stonedge Collection) products by visiting our warranty page. Where can I get a Techo-Bloc product catalogue? View virtual product catalogues or request a hardcopy by visiting our Catalogue page. Are there advantages to sealing Techo-Bloc paving stones? Sealing pavers is really for aesthetic purposes as the quality of the products is not compromised if you do not seal them. It really is up to individual preferences – sealing them can enhance the color and make the product more stain resistant and easier to keep clean. It is entirely optional, but you must remember that typically sealers need to be reapplied every 3-5 years. If you are going to seal the product it is recommended that you wait at least one year to allow the final curing of the paving stones and allow the initial efflorescence to weather off. The product will absolutely need to be cleaned with efflorescence cleaner before you proceed with the sealing. Where can I find a contractor? Press on Find A Pro. Enter your zip or postal code in the search bar to locate a certified Techo-Pro (independent landscape contractors) in your area, prescreened for ICPI & NCMA certifications. We recommend that you do your own research by asking for referrals and visiting job sites that contractors have previously completed. There’s more information on tips to finding the right contractor if you click on the link HELPFUL TIPS TO FIND THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR. What is the Techo-Pro Program? The Techo-Pro program is a referral program that helps you find a qualified Techo-Bloc contractor in your area. Techo-Pros have the knowledge and experience to design and build precisely what you want. Techo-Pro contractors have been pre-screened to ensure that your driveway, poolside, patio, steps, walkway or other installation needs exceed not only industry standards, but also our own. Be sure to read our HELPFUL TIPS TO FIND THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR before choosing a professional. I’m interested in getting a quote for my job? Can you send someone to my house? Techo-Bloc is a paving stone brand, we essentially manufacture the stones and sell them to retailers and landscape installers, and therefore we can’t personally send a contractor to your home. Although, what we can do is assist you in finding a contractor. The steps are as follows: Click on Find A Pro. 2. Enter your zip or postal code in the search bar and you will find local Techo-Pro contractors in your area. These landscapers are familiar with our Techo-Bloc products, so please don’t hesitate to contact them to set up a meeting for a consultation and/or estimate at your home. Where can I see samples? I want to see the product in real-life. You can see our products at a retailer/dealer near you. Click on Where to buy and then type in your zip or postal code. This will locate independent stores in your area that are authorized Techo-Bloc resellers. Most of these stores have Techo-Bloc displays that will allow you to view the products up close. You can also ask to see specific products if they have it in their inventory. If the product you’re interested it is not available, retailers/dealers can order product and/or color swatches for you. What’s the price of a certain product? Techo-Bloc sells through a network of retailers, which means the prices vary depending on the retailer. If you contact a dealer in your area, they can provide you with the pricing information that you’re looking for. To locate a retailer/dealer near you, click on Where to buy and then enter your zip or postal code. You can call these stores and ask for pricing information on specific products. Be sure to mention the correct product name and the brand name Techo-Bloc to ensure you get the proper information. Purchasing & pricing questions Where can I get pricing for Techo-Bloc products? Techo-Bloc sells its products through a network of independent distributors/retailers. Visit our Locate a Professional page to find an authorized Techo-Bloc dealer/retailer near you for pricing information on Techo-Bloc products. How and where can I purchase Techo-Bloc products? There are more than 450 Techo-Bloc dealers in Canada and the United States. At these Techo-Bloc dealers, you will find our products on display, giving you an opportunity to see what a walkway, wall, and other designs look like in a landscape setting. Our dealers can also provide assistance with calculating materials, tools, and planning. They can also provide you with referrals for qualified contractors for your projects. Where can I find Techo-Bloc products on display in my area? Visit our Locate a Professional page to find a retailer near you with a Techo-Bloc Outdoor Living display/ showroom. Where can I get a price quote for my landscape project? Techo-Bloc is a manufacturer of hardscape products and does not offer installation services. However, we can suggest certified Techo-Pro contractors that have been screened for good reputation and have adequate education and certification from NCMA & ICPI authorities. Visit our Locate a Professional page to find a certified Techo-Pro contractor near you. Installation & technical questions Installation how-to questions & resources Visit our Support page for downloadable installation guides. What should I use for the sand setting bed? Use coarse concrete sand, which should be evenly spread and leveled to 1″ thickness. Be careful not to compact the sand setting bed and do not use stone dust or screening. These will cause improper drainage and your Techo-Bloc pavers will not set properly. What sand is recommended for use between Techo-Bloc pavers? Use Techo-Bloc’s Stabilizing Sand. When it hardens it allows minimal weed growth between the joints. For replacing existing joint sand with our Stabilizing Sand, Techo-Bloc suggests removing 1″ to 1-1/2″ of the surface from the pavers before reinstallation. This can be accomplished with the careful use of a pressure washer, making sure you do not disturb the bedding sand. Using an insufficient amount of polymeric sand will not achieve the recommended cohesive strength needed to stabilize the sand joint. Carefully read and follow the directions of the product prior to beginning the project. Should I use a filter fabric under my installation, and if so when and where should it be used? Techo-Bloc strongly recommends using a filter fabric, or geotextile (e.g. Mirafi® 500X), under pavers to prevent the base from deteriorating and failing. The filter fabric should be laid on the top of the compacted soil in the excavated area to help control the aggregate base material from passing into the soil sub-grade (especially in areas that contain mostly clay). Is there a required footing to be used for Techo-Bloc wall systems? Techo-Bloc recommends a minimum 6″ (find out if 6 or 12) of compacted stone base for all our segmented retaining wall systems. Please consult our Techo-Spec guide for more detailed information. What is geogrid? Typically made of HDPE or polyester, geogrids (e.g. Mirafi 2XT) are open-celled, directional fabrics that are placed between the layers of block at different intervals to stabilize the soil behind the retaining wall and secure the wall face to the earth being retained. Geogrids are laid out perpendicular to the wall face within the compacted soil behind the wall. The height of the wall being constructed, soil characteristics, and the pressure on the wall caused by the slopes, structures, and/or paved areas all affect the proper placement of geogrid. Geogrid is available through Techo-Bloc and professional engineers. What does Techo-Bloc recommend to backfill a wall? We recommend that the first 12″ behind the wall be backfilled with at least 1/2″ to 3/4″ diameter clean stone. This will assist in easing any hydrostatic pressure. It is best to use compacted soil in the area directly behind the stone. Please consult our Techo-Spec guide for more detailed information. How can I build steps into my retaining wall? You may use any Techo-Bloc retaining wall stones to construct steps. When building a staircase, follow these security measures: In poor soil conditions, a geotextile must be installed over the excavated area to eliminate cross-contamination of the soils. Every riser should be built with the wall as one unit to create a monolithic structure. To ensure the structure and the compaction of aggregates are stable, biaxial geogrid should be installed at strategic locations. All cap units and blocks should be clean of all debris and glued with a concrete adhesive. Investigate local codes regarding step height, depth of tread, and handrail requirements. Please consult our Techo-Spec guide for more detailed information. Should I use a drainage system behind my wall? Techo-Bloc recommends using a draining tile behind the wall at grade level. Please consult our Techo-Spec guide for more detailed information. Can I build 90° corners with Techo-Bloc retaining wall systems? Our pallets of Mini-Creta and Mini-Creta Architectural (USA Only), Escala, Suprema, Semma Quarry Stone 100 and 200 mm, and Mini-Blok (QC only) all contain corner units that can be used to construct both left- and right-hand corners. The units are set in place by using a concrete adhesive; we recommend FlexLock Xtra Strength concrete adhesive. Can I create a curved wall with Techo-Bloc wall systems? All Techo-Bloc wall systems can be used to build walls with either inward or outward curves. For outward curves, we provide tapered blocks, while inward curves can be formed by placing the front corners of the blocks together and gapping the blocks from behind. To adhere caps to retaining walls, what does Techo-Bloc recommend using? We recommend using FlexLock Xtra Strength concrete adhesive for strength and flexibility in securing your wall caps. Can I build a freestanding wall with Techo-Bloc products and which stone should I use? Our Mini-Creta, Mini-Creta Architectural, Escala, Semma, Semma Polished and Manchester walls are double-sided wall stones in a variety of sizes and easy to install. Mini-Creta, Mini-Creta Architectural, Escala, Semma, Semma Polished (Canada Only) and Manchester walls can be used to build straight and inclined walls with inward and outward curves. Should I have an engineer assist in designing a retaining wall? Yes, especially if the wall will be more than 36” in height. A professional engineer can provide you with the necessary (local code) requirements, provide design planning to achieve the look you desire, and give you peace of mind that the job will be done correctly. Please consult our Techo-Spec for more detailed information. Are there any height restrictions that I need to respect to build a segmented wall? With proper installation and design planning, Techo-Bloc segmented walls may be constructed as high as 30 feet. It is highly recommended that you consult with a qualified engineer and/or contractor to assist you in proper execution of your project. How can I plan for tiered walls? Tiered walls are multi-level arrangements of two or more walls. Provided that you have model soil conditions, we recommend that the second wall be located directly behind the first wall at a distance of at least two times higher than the first wall. Please consult our Techo-Spec for more detailed information. How much modified stone base material and sand should be used in installing walkways, patios, and/or driveways? Techo-Bloc recommends a minimum of 6″ to 8″ stone base for patios and 12″ for driveways, while the setting bed should be at least 1″ thick. Be sure to have sufficient Techo-Bloc Stabilizer Sand to fill the joints between your Techo-Bloc pavers. Maintenance questions What is the whitish residue that I have noticed on some of my Techo-Bloc pavers? This residue is often referred to as efflorescence, and is both normal and common in concrete and clay brick products. Occasionally, the mineral salts from the cement and aggregates that are embedded in the product are dislodged by absorbed water and transported to the surface; it is not a product defect nor is it harmful to Techo-Bloc pavers. Efflorescence will weather off with time as exposure to the elements will loosen the salts and they will eventually wash away (within 6 months to a year). Concrete product manufacturers are unable to warrant against the presence of efflorescence. For more information, please click here. Recommended efflorescence cleaners: FlexLock www.flex-lock.com Techniseal www.techniseal.com Alliance Gator www.alliancegator.com What about removing snow from Techo-Bloc pavers? Just like concrete and asphalt pavements, Techo-Bloc pavers can be plowed and shoveled. Actually, the edges and joints around the pavers assist in melting snow and ice. When using a contractor for snow removal, it is recommended to verify that their equipment uses Teflon blades to avoid scratching the pavers. Using de-icing salt (sodium chloride or calcium chloride) to remove snow and ice will not harm Techo-Bloc paving stones. Stonedge Collection products can also be plowed but, the use of de-icing salt is not recommended. What can be done to remove moss from the joints of my Techo-Bloc pavers? There is little that can be done in damp, shaded areas to prevent moss from continuously growing. However, you can try using 10 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach to remove the moss. To resolve the problem permanently, consider professional advice to correct the moisture that encourages the growth of moss. Product details, specifications, installation guide,dimensions, colors etc. Colors and dimensions: To view product colors and dimensions 1. Scroll over COLLECTION 2. Click on PRODUCTS. This will bring you to our main product page where you can find the product you’re interested in. 3. Click on the product you like and scroll down to view the available colors. 4. For dimensions, open the SPEC SHEET in the bottom left corner of the product page under product specifications. Another way to view the colors and dimensions of products 1. Scroll over BUYING GUIDE 2. Press Browse catalogs on the drop down menu that appears. This will give you access to all of our catalogs. 3. Be sure to choose the one that corresponds to where you live (USA, Canada or Quebec) and then all you have to do is browse to your heart’s content. More photos: To view more photos of a product 1. Scroll over COLLECTION 2. Click on PRODUCTS. This will bring you to our main product page where you can find the product you’re interested in. Compatibility charts You can find our compatibility chart in our catalogs. To view our catalogs online: 1. Scroll over BUYING GUIDE 2. Press on Browse catalogs in the drop down menu. You will then have access to all of our catalogs. Installation guide To view our installation guides: 1. Scroll over RESOURCES 2. Click on Installation Guides when the drop down menu appears. Upon doing this you will be relocated to the page will all of our guides. Can I put this in my driveway? If the product you are looking at is placed in the paver’s section then it can be used for a driveway. If it placed in the slab section then it cannot be used in driveways for it has not been designed for vehicular traffic. Why is Travertina better than natural Travertine? Natural Travertine is made out of marble, which is porous and absorbs water. Unfortunately, this means that in freeze & thaw cycles cracks will develop all throughout the stone. Techo-Bloc’s Travertina, on the other hand, is made out of concrete, which allows it to resist any potential damage in freeze & thaw climates. For quality’s sake it’s a much better investment. Forno Forno is the oven appliance itself that is purchased separately from the base. It can only be used to cook outside, as it is a wood burning pizza oven. It is a stainless steel made-in-Italy pizza oven. It allows you to bake up to 3 pizzas at a time on the cooking stone to achieve impeccably crispy brick oven crust. It comes with a pizza spatula and a brush to clean the inside. Raffinato Pizza Oven This is a stone base for the Forno pizza oven that offers a contemporary look. The Raffinato pizza oven is not pre-assembled; it is a kit that comes pre-packaged with everything you’ll need. There is a matching stone counter top that can be purchased separately to elongate the counter space and provide a surface for the pizza and other food preparations. You can also store wood in the opening. Manchester Rustic Pizza Oven This is a stone base for the Forno pizza oven that offers a traditional/rustic look. The Manchester Rustic pizza oven is not pre-assembled; it is a kit that comes pre-packaged with everything you’ll need. There is a matching stone counter top that can be purchased separately to elongate the counter space and provide a surface for the pizza and other food preparations. You can also store wood in the bottom opening. Manchester Elite Pizza Oven The Manchester Elite pizza oven is larger in size and fully appointed. It’s a ready-to-go pre-assembled wood-burning pizza oven kit. This 2-piece modular system includes the top section where the pizza is cooked and the bottom section where the wood is stored. It requires very little installation time. Prescott Fire Pit The Prescott fire pit is a pre-packaged kit that is not pre-assembled. The kit includes everything you’ll need to create the wood-burning rustic fire pit (Prescott wall 180mm, 90mm, Piedimonte caps and a fire resistant steel insert for wood burning fire). The Prescott fire pit is designed to accommodate propane tanks or natural gas connections. Raffinato Fire Pit The Raffinato fire pit is a pre-packaged kit that is not pre-assembled. The kit includes everything you’ll need to create the wood-burning rustic fire pit (Raffinato wall 180mm, 90mm, Raffinato caps and a fire resistant steel insert for wood burning fires). The Raffinato fire pit is designed to accommodate propane tanks or natural gas connections. Valencia Fire Pit The Valencia fire pit is a pre-packaged kit that is not pre-assembled. It comes with a wood-burning insert kit but is also compatible with gas-fueled inserts that can be purchased at local fireplace or hardware stores. Borealis Borealis is a slab made of concrete designed for pedestrian traffic only. It cannot be used for driveways, as it is not designed for vehicular traffic. Borealis can be used on patios, or poolsides. It is typically laid straight on the ground or over concrete. The wood grain texture provides traction when wet to avoid slipping and will not wear off. The slabs can be sealed and are warrantied as long as you own your home.