A cast stone is used by architects, builders, and developers as a natural stone alternative for its unique material, versatility, cost-effectiveness, durability, and strength.
They also deliver enhanced beauty with their large color variety, different shapes, and textures.
Cast stones are manufactured in either dry tamp or wet cast. Limestone and sandstone are the most commonly used finishes for dry tamp.
During the manufacture of wet cast stone, sand, cement, pea-rock, and water are mixed with other selected admixtures. Wet cast stone products include pavers, sculptures, coping, veneer, window sills, vases, etc.
Cast stones are made by creating moulds whose production is based on two processes, namely, wooden moulds and rubber moulds.
The wooden moulds are applied in simple designs like window sills and pavers.
The rubber moulds are used when working on complicated designs like sculptures. Wet cast stone pavers are the best Do It Yourself (DIY) option since it requires very little material.
In the following article, we shall outline the laying of wet cast stone all at home.
Create A Mould To Shape The Wet Cast Stone
For an accurate paver, the mould should bear the correct size and measurement of the intended paver to make. Rubber moulds are easy to use but expensive; hence one can substitute with either wood or steel.
Have the mould material in shape and needed size. Ensure that the walls of the mould are thick and robust enough to maintain the desired shape of the paver once filled with the wet cast stone.
When commercially done, different types of moulding are put into place for speedy and quality production of the pavers to meet the client’s needs.
Fill The Mould With The Wet Cast Stone
During the manufacture of the wet cast stone, ensure the quality of the ingredients is of good quality and quantity. Mixing the ingredients should be slow and sure by mixing small, accurately measured ingredients.
Add the mixture slowly into the mould, again in small bits, and shake well to ensure air is trapped. Air trapped in the mix will create a weak point that will initiate the breaking process.
Blanket The Wet Cast Stone
The pavers can have a design on the top even as simple as just mere lines. A cover with the desired pattern gets placed on the mixture in the mould to transfer the pattern.
The blanketing of the mixture in the mould enhances a uniform drying since no part of the mixture is exposed to the air directly. In wet conditions, the pavers will quickly take up the pattern.
Leave the mixture and allow it to slowly and uniformly dry to guarantee quality and durability.
De-Mould The Hardened Cast Stone
De-Moulding is the most satisfying stage in this whole process as the pavers at this stage are well-formed and with the desired pattern.
By just looking at them, they look complete and ready to use. De-Moulding involves the removal of the hardened cast stone from the mould. The process allows the paver to dry and stiffen by losing all the water.
Curing The Cast Stone
Curing is a physical process where the paver loses its held-in water through evaporation, making the paver harden, toughen and increase durability.
It adds the ability to withstand high pressure without breaking.
The curing process can take up to 14 days, depending on the cast stone size and components. Modern technology has invented the curing machine that speeds up the process, primarily for commercial workers.
Laying The Cast Stone Pavers
After a successful curing process, it’s eventually the ideal time to lay the pavers. The very initial step is to identify a suitable place to lay the pavers.
It could be in the courtyards, the garden, pathways, or even in the pool area. Leveling the recognized site is the next step.
Leveling is done by excavating, filling, and pressing it to compaction. The compaction process is aimed at removing possible air spaces in the ground.
Set aside the drainage feature to eliminate chances of water stagnation that could end up causing damage to the well-laid pavers.
There should be a layer of rumble below the sand that will aid in taking up the weight exerted on the paver. Over the layer of rumble, add a layer of fluffy sand to where the paver will lay.
The fluffiness and softness are meant to leave room for vibrations that would break the paver.
Add an edge restraint at the paver’s perimeter to prevent the pavers from shifting away from their laid position, spoiling the pattern.
The last step is to spread the paver by softly pressing them down with a rubber mallet to not break them.
Making cast stone paver at home is possible, easy, and cheaper when only driving a few for a small area. The curing stage requires a long time to conclude.
Making them for a prominent place would be inconvenient. Making other complex designs like sculptures can be easy and less tedious with flexible rubber.