FAQ

What are the differences between pavers and slabs?

Interlocking concrete pavers will have a minimum thickness of 2⅜”, will have no dimension larger than 4 times the thickness, and will have a surface area no greater than 100¼ square inches. Generally, slabs will have a larger surface area and a thinner profile than pavers, and will be suitable for pedestrian applications only.

Where can I buy these products locally?

To find your local HIGH FORMAT distributor, see our dealer locator.

Do you offer design / technical support?

We have many design and installation resources available on our Design/Install page. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, fill out our contact form, and a real person will contact you shortly.

Should I seal my patio / driveway?

Sealing HIGH FORMAT slabs and pavers is not necessary. However, you may be considering sealing your patio or driveway if you’re seeking additional protection from organic staining, if you’re seeking to add a gloss, or if you’re seeking to enhance the color of your HIGH FORMAT products. Sealing should always be performed by a professional contractor. Improper application of a concrete sealer is not covered under HIGH FORMAT’s warranty.

How does the color of HIGH FORMAT materials hold up over time?

The color of HIGH FORMAT products is integrated into the materials. The color will not wear off and it does not fade. Environmental factors like dust can dull the natural appearance of the color over time. Periodic cleaning (typically annually) with water and mild detergent will restore the natural appearance. In some cases, sealing can delay the visual impact of naturally occuring dust.

Is the color consistent throughout these products?

HIGH FORMAT products are crafted to mimic the color variations inherent in natural stone. Most HIGH FORMAT products consist of two or more blended colors, and no two pieces will look exactly alike. However, the color blends are consistent across the entire product line; so your walls can match your pavers. When applicable, we always recommend that projects be installed from multiple pallets simultaneously to ensure the most natural blend of colors.

Where are HIGH FORMAT products made?

All HIGH FORMAT products are manufactured with loving care in beautiful Charlevoix, Michigan.

How do I clean and maintain these products?

Maintenance of HIGH FORMAT products is typically limited to periodic cleaning as needed. Often, this can be achieved with soapy water and a deck brush. Avoid steel-bristle brushes, and acid-based cleaners, except as needed.

Where can I see samples of these products?

To find your local HIGH FORMAT distributor, see our dealer locator.

Where can I get a quote for my project?

Your local HIGH FORMAT distributor will be happy to supply a list of amazing contractors and landscape architects to quote your project. See the HIGH FORMAT dealer map here.

What are the differences between wetcast and drycast concrete?

Both wetcast and drycast concretes are composed primarily of portland cement, water and aggregates. Wetcast is produced having a fluid, flowable consistency whereas drycast is more similar to moist gravel. The fluid consistency of wetcast allows for placement into flexible molds that can achieve deep, detailed textures and a large range of shapes and sizes. Drycast is dosed into a rigid steel mold and then compressed at high pressure allowing for fast, repeated production using a single steel mold.

What footing is required for the wall systems?

Footing requirements can vary by project. But typically a wall footing in ideal site conditions will consist of compacted dense-graded aggregate, will be a minimum of six inches thick, will extend beyond the front of the block by at least six inches and will extend beyond the back of the block by at least twelve inches. For specific details, download our Technical Guide.

What is geogrid?

Geogrid is an engineered geotextile that is used to stabilize the retained soil behind a retaining wall, allowing for taller walls. Any wall tall enough to require geogrid should be designed by a registered geotechnical or structural engineer.

What are standard base/backfill requirements?

Minimum base requirements are covered in question #1. Backfill requirements can vary by project. But under ideal site conditions, typical backfill will consist of clean, angular aggregate, in accordance with ASTM #57 standards. This aggregate will extend a minimum of twelve inches behind the wall, and will be separated from the retained soil by a non-woven geotextile fabric. For specific details, download our Technical Guide.

Should I use a drainage system behind my wall?

You should always design proper drainage into your wall. Trapped water is the cause of nearly every retaining wall failure. In addition to the backfill guidelines listed in question #3, a minimum four inch diameter perforated drain tile should be placed in the lowest free-draining location behind the wall. For complete details, download our Technical Guide.

Which wall products can I use for a freestanding application?

There are freestanding versions of every HIGH FORMAT wall. In fact, all standard HIGH FORMAT wall products except Rosetta Outcropping can be used in both freestanding and retaining walls.

What are the height restrictions for these products?

We provide preliminary height guidelines for all HIGH FORMAT wall systems here. These preliminary guidelines are for reference only, and are not intended for final construction. Any retaining wall requiring soil reinforcement should be designed by a registered geotechnical or structural engineer. Also, the International Building Code calls for building permits to be acquired for any retaining wall to be built above four feet tall. Some local municipalities have more stringent guidelines.

How do I hire a contractor/landscape architect/engineer/etc?

Your local HIGH FORMAT distributor will be happy to supply a list of amazing contractors, landscape architects and engineers in your area. See the HIGH FORMAT dealer map here.

What materials should I use in the base of my patio or driveway?

Base requirements can vary by project. But typically a residential patio or driveway base in ideal site conditions will consist of compacted dense-graded aggregate, will be a minimum of six inches thick, and will extend beyond the perimeter of the patio by at least twelve inches. There will also be a minimum of one inch of screeded bedding sand on top of the aggregate. For specific details, download our Technical Guide.

What is the chalky residue on my patio?

Chalky residue on the surface of a wall or paver may indicate the presence of efflorescence. Efflorescence is a naturally occuring mineral deposit that exists to some degree in all concrete. It is not a defect in the material. Efflorescence can often be brushed away and sometimes dissipates on its own. Persistent efflorescence can be removed from the surface of concrete with a dedicated efflorescence remover. Some efflorescence cleaners have the potential to damage concrete and should only be used by experienced contractors.

Is it safe to use de-icing salts on HIGH FORMAT products?

De-icing salts are potentially damaging to all concrete. Use of de-icing salts will void the warranty on most HIGH FORMAT products. Exceptions would be products utilizing TEKTRAMAT Technology, like Gauge Select  and Mid-Century slabs.

Can I drive on HIGH FORMAT products?

The following HIGH FORMAT products are suitable for vehicular traffic in a properly designed residential driveway: New Mission Pavers, Old Mission Pavers, and Amaro Pavers. All other HIGH FORMAT slabs are not suitable for vehicular traffic, and are not warranted against such.

Can I use a snowplow on HIGH FORMAT pavers?

HIGH FORMAT products suitable for residential driveway applications may be cleared of snow using a plow equipped with a polyurethane blade. The use of steel blades may cause damage to the surface of these pavers and will void the warranty.

How can I stop weeds from growing up in my paver joints?

Weed growth in paver joints can largely be prevented by installing polymeric sand in the joints. Polymeric sand contains a bonding agent that coagulates the sand while remaining flexible. Improperly installed polymeric sand can cause a semi-permanent haze on the surface of the patio or driveway. This is not covered under HIGH FORMAT’s warranty. So polymeric sand should only be installed by an experienced contractor.

Is it safe to use a pressure-washer on HIGH FORMAT products?

Most consumer-grade pressure washers are safe to use with caution on HIGH FORMAT products. However, high-powered commercial pressure washers have the potential to etch concrete. Damage caused by pressure washing is not covered under warranty.

What should I clean my pavers with?

Periodic cleaning can usually be performed with soapy water and a deck brush. Some organic staining (such as leaf staining) goes away naturally on its own. Persistent efflorescence can often be removed with a dedicated efflorescence remover. However, as some efflorescence cleaners have the potential to damage concrete, these should only be used by experienced contractors.

How can I remove moss from my patio / driveway / wall?

Moss can often be carefully removed with a low-powered pressure washing. There are also chemical cleaners that can kill moss. Cleaners should be tested on a small area to ensure that they don’t damage the concrete. Damage caused by chemicals and pressure washing is not covered under warranty.