This comprehensive study examines the US residential market for bricks, blocks, and pavers industry by product, application, market sector, housing type, and region. Historical data are provided for 2010, 2015, and 2020, with forecasts for the years 2025 and 2030 in current US dollars (including inflation) and 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.
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.
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 new and renovation sectors for the following housing types:
Bricks, blocks, and pavers have a variety of applications, most related to construction. Leading applications include:
Residential demand for blocks, bricks, and pavers is also segmented by the following US geographic regions:
The primary determinant of residential demand for bricks, blocks, and pavers on the regional level is the overall level of residential construction activity. However, there are regional differences in building preferences, which have an impact on demand:
Residential demand for bricks, blocks, and pavers is projected to increase 1.9% per year through 2025 to $3.7 billion. Growth in single-family home construction and home renovation spending early in the forecast period will boost brick, block, and paver sales. However, single-family home construction will then proceed to slow by 2025, causing average growth over the 2020-2025 to decelerate significantly.
The South is, as a whole, the leading regional residential market for bricks, blocks, and pavers, reflecting its large inventory of existing buildings, as well as the strong regional economy, large share of the US population, and regional building preferences.
Bricks, blocks, and pavers are low-cost, low-value building products, which tend to see relatively slow growth in average prices over the long term. However, there are times when prices for these products can rise substantially. This occurs most frequently when energy costs increase, as both the clay brick and concrete block manufacturing processes are energy intensive. In contrast, during times when the construction industry is in a cyclical downturn, pressure can be strong for producers to reduce prices.
Changes in average brick and block prices can also be impacted by changes in the product mix favoring higher or lower priced products. Clay building bricks can sell for as little as 15 to 20 cents per unit, while concrete block products generally cost over $1 per unit:
Specialty products can cost even more. Products that have been treated in order to achieve a different look generally have higher average prices than do basic products of the same type. For example, glazed clay brick is more than twice as expensive as common face brick.
Prices for most types of bricks, blocks, and pavers are expected to rise through 2025 due to cost increases for the raw materials used to manufacture these products.