Bricks, Blocks, & Pavers

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Building Materials

This comprehensive study examines the US brick, block, and paver industry by product, market, application, and region. Historical data are provided for 2010, 2015, and 2020, with forecasts for the years 2025 and 2030. “Demand” is defined as production, plus imports, minus exports, and is synonymous with terms such as “sales” and “apparent consumption”. Data are presented in millions of dollars and millions of units.

For the purposes of this study, brick units are defined as having dimensions of 3-5/8 inches by 2-1/4 inches by 7-5/8 inches. These are known in the industry as “standard brick units”, the production of clay bricks of other dimensions are converted into an equivalent volume of standard brick units.

Paver unit demand is also given in standard brick unit size, although it is important to note that pavers are generally laid with the largest face exposed, unlike bricks, which are typically laid with the long narrow face exposed (i.e., the height of the brick face is less than the depth of the brick in the wall). Similarly, block units are given in standard units measuring 7-5/8 inches by 7-5/8 inches by 15-5/8 inches, including interlocking wall block units.

Both standardized measurements are given in order of depth by height by length when the product is laid in a building wall in standard fashion (known as “stretcher” orientation when laying building brick). Furthermore, the dimensions given are actual dimensions. Nominal dimensions are slightly larger, generally to the next full inch, and include an allowance for mortar between each unit.

For purposes of this report, blocks include two main product types:

  • structural concrete block
  • interlocking wall block, including segmental retaining wall (SRW) blocks.

For bricks, a number of different types are evaluated, including:

  • building brick
  • clay paving brick
  • facing brick
  • chemical resistant brick
  • fire brick
  • specialty bricks including industrial floor brick, and sewer and manhole brick

This category also includes glazed brick, hollow brick, and thin brick (brick veneer), which are not broken out in the study. For purposes of this report, refractory brick and glass blocks are excluded.

The study includes both brick manufacturing processes of extrusion and molding:

  • Extrusion creates a more uniform brick shape with cores through the center.
  • Molding, a more costly process used primarily in high-end applications, creates bricks that have a more artisanal appearance and are often solid or have frogs (indentations) on non-visible faces.

Pavers are categorized by two types:

  • standard design
  • permeable design, allowing water to pass easily between the units and seep into the ground

Pavers are made primarily from concrete although they are also made from alternative materials such as recycled plastics. Both types are included in this report.

The market scope of the study consists of the following types:

  • residential markets (conventional single-family houses, multifamily structures such as apartments, and manufactured housing)
  • commercial markets (institutional buildings; office, trade, and lodging structures; industrial facilities; and other commercial facilities such as airport and bus terminals, recreational buildings, police stations, fire stations, and prisons)
  • nonbuilding markets, including transportation infrastructure such as highways and streets; and utilities, including sewer and water supply, power, and telecommunications infrastructure

All markets include both new construction and renovation.

Bricks, blocks, and pavers have a variety of applications, most related to construction. Leading applications include:

  • structural (primarily foundations and structural walls)
  • hardscaping (paving, walls, steps, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and other decorative landscaping)
  • siding
  • indoor fireplaces and chimneys

Demand for blocks, bricks, and pavers is also segmented by the following US geographic regions:

  • Northeast
  • Midwest
  • South
  • West

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