Across the country, member manufacturers of the Brick Industry Association (BIA) report that “clean, cool” brick shades are trending at all price ranges. Top trends include white bricks with white mortar, earthy tones, and light, charcoal, and steel gray. Whites and grays are most prevalent in residential brick applications, while commercial project trends include deep red tones, glazed bricks, and radial edging.
"Brick's aesthetic freedom evolves with design trends while offering superior durability and fire resistance with little to no maintenance," says Ray Leonhard, BIA's president and CEO.
Black and dark grey brick is most popular in restaurants, office spaces, and contemporary or Art Deco residential buildings. Thin fired clay brick is also gaining popularity as an accent piece for kitchens, foyers, walls, exterior gables and also applications. Rough, tumbled textures are also trending, alongside heavier textures in the South and clay brick construction in the West.
Painting bricks in whites and smooth, velour textures has gained residential ground as well, given the technique’s use on HGTV. This trend allows home owners to change the color of their exterior at any time without losing the durability and energy-efficiency of modern brick. This application is popular in townhomes and multifamily as well, as it allows developers to break up their architecture.
In response to this trend, many manufacturers are offering bricks specifically primed for painting. "We're seeing more grays, simulated painted brick or brick to be painted," says Davis Henry, president, Henry Brick Co. Inc., and BIA's 2018 chairman.