Concrete Products

MAR 2018

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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26 • March 2018 NEWS SCOPE MASONRY Fired-clay brick trends for 2018 feature whites, grays, black, deep reds, painted and glazed brick with overall larger unit sizes. Brick Industry Association (BIA) producer members report that clean, cool shades top product favorites at all home price ranges, primarily whites with white mortar and all grays from light to charcoal and steel. Sandy earth tones are also trending, reflecting how fired-clay brick is made from abundant natural resources. Sleek, black brick is also on the rise—especially for restaurants and office spaces—and gaining ground in home building. Residential black and dark gray brick is trending primarily for contemporary and Art Deco looks, along with reemerging blended reds in a rolled edge texture. Genuine thin brick is also booming for kitchens, entrance foyers, accent walls, exterior gables and other interior and exte- rior applications. Rougher, tumbled textures are likewise trending in tandem with heavier textures in the South and more clay brick overall in the West. HGTV-inspired painted brick is also on the rise, primarily whites and smooth, velour textures. Painted brick offers the flexibility to customize and change the exterior color at any time, BIA notes, while maintaining clay unit masonry performance in extreme weather and energy cost savings from its natural thermal mass. More producers are also offering a lower cost brick specifically for painting. If a home- owner wants a permanent white brick exterior, however, choosing a fired-clay white brick from the start eliminates future repainting and maintenance. Also rising in popularity for townhome and multifamily appli- cations, painted brick allows production builders to break up architecture and deliver unit individuality; and, offer the durability Clean and cool shades lead brick demand outlook The BIA member survey of this year's fired-brick color and shape trends finds whites, grays and painted units in the residential mar- ket, along with deep burgundy, glazed, larger and radial units in commercial projects. SCULPTORS ARTICULATE 'DITCH' PITCH Amerimix brought its "Ditch the Sand Pile" campaign for pre-blended mortar to World of Concrete 2018, enlisting sand and snow sculptors Sean and Tracey Fitzpatrick to craft a 6-ft. work in the Las Vegas Con- vention Center outdoor exhibits. Using sand, water and small doses of Elmer's glue, they finished subjects demonstrating the pitfalls of site- mixed mortar with traditional sand pile versus the ease of premixed material alternatives. and energy efficiency of brick while embracing a trendy, monochro- matic or historically accurate feel. In commercial markets, BIA members cite trends including glazed brick in bold colors, clear glaze and engobe coating. Among trending larger units are 21-in. Roman brick with a long, linear look, plus radial (curved) brick in deep burgundy reds. Brick paver trends round out the association's 2018 market outlook and are led by modern or modern-linear shapes, larger units in bold colors, permeable units, and geometrical designs.

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