FACT SHEET TRENDSTONE® TRENDSTONE PLUS® FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How is the product made?
TRENDSTONE® ground face masonry units
are integrally colored concrete blocks with one or more faces ground
to expose the variegated colors of the natural aggregates. A special
additive is included in the concrete mix design to prevent efflorescence.
A factory-applied, clear satin gloss acrylic accentuates and highlights
each burnished face and provides moisture resistance.
TRENDSTONE PLUS® filled and polished
masonry units offer smooth terrazzo-like surfaces. After the initial
grinding process, the pores and interstices are filled with a cementitious
grout. The face(s) is then polished smooth in a multi-stage process.
A clear acrylic seals and covers the face, resulting in a smooth finished
2. Is the color on the surface or all through the
The color is integral, i.e. it is uniform throughout the
3. Why is the color different depending on which
plant makes the blocks?
The aggregates used to make the blocks at each plant come
from different sources and are of different colors and particle shapes.
This changes the color and appearance of the finished products.
4. How can I be sure it will not be chipped and
scuffed in shipment and jobsite handling?
Trenwyth takes great care in the manufacturing, packaging,
and shipping of TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® units to protect
the finished surfaces. The units are placed on sturdy wooden pallets
and a layer of heavy cardboard is placed between each layer of blocks.
The entire cube is then covered with a heavy gauge plastic bag and strapped
with steel banding.TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® units should
be handled as finished material on the jobsite to avoid scuffing, chipping,
or other damage.
5. Can I grind these blocks at the jobsite?
No. Precision equipment is needed to grind and polish TRENDSTONE® and
TRENDSTONE PLUS® units and this can only be done satisfactorily in
6. Can any mason install this product?
Any mason can install this product. However, we find that
masons who are not highly skilled do a very poor job installing TRENDSTONE® and
TRENDSTONE PLUS® units. Conversely, masons experienced in laying
architectural blocks who are good craftsmen can lay ground face blocks
very well. Unfortunately, no matter how well our blocks are manufactured,
if they are not laid well, the appearance of the project is diminished.
7. What is the difference between lightweight,
mediumweight, and normalweight blocks?
ASTM C90 specification for load-bearing concrete masonry
units defines lightweight as concrete less than 105 lbs per cu. ft.,
mediumweight as concrete between 105 and 125 Ibs per cu. ft. and normalweight
as concrete of 125 lbs per cu. ft. or more.
The aggregate used to make lightweight blocks is usually
expanded shale, expanded clay, pumice, or some similar type of open-cell
material. By its nature such aggregate is porous and will allow some
moisture penetration. ASTM C90 sets the maximum rate of absorption at
18 lbs per cu. ft. for lightweight, 15 lbs per cu. ft. for mediumweight,
and 13 lbs per cu. ft. for normalweight. Most TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE
PLUS® units are normalweight.
8. What is the difference between TRENDSTONE® and
TRENDSTONE PLUS® ?
TRENDSTONE® units are ground on the face or faces and
an acrylic is applied to the finished surfaces. TRENDSTONE PLUS® units,
as the name implies, involves an extra process. After the initial grinding,
the pores and interstices of the face or faces are filled with a cementitious
grout and polished smooth in a multi-stage process before the acrylic
is applied. This gives the appearance of high quality terrazzo.
9. What is the surface coating?
A clear high solids acrylic coating is applied in the factory
after the blocks are ground and polished. It is completely light stable
and will not deteriorate with exterior exposure and weathering.
10. Why do the walls have to be field coated? Is
the field coating necessary?
The factory applied acrylic is designed primarily to protect
the TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® surfaces during shipment
and installation. The field coat covers and enhances the entire wall
including the mortar joints and it hides all the scuffs, scratches, and
nicks that occur during handling and installation. We consider the field
coating necessary because it puts the finishing touch to the installation
and brings out the full beauty of TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® units.
11. What is the life expectancy of the product?
50 years plus--if the building is properly designed and
the TRENDSTONE® or TRENDSTONE PLUS® units are installed correctly.
12. At what temperature should the TRENDCOAT® T1
field coating be applied? And not applied?
The TRENDCOAT® T1 coating should be applied to dry
walls when the temperature is above 55° F. It should not be applied
at temperatures lower than 55° F. If a coating other than TRENDCOAT® T1
is used, please follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.
13. Will the TRENDCOAT® T1 coating peel, fade,
crack, or spall?
TRENDCOAT® T1 contains the highest quality acrylic
available and will not peel, fade, crack, or spall when properly applied
to a dry surface. However, if the walls are not properly designed or
constructed with appropriate flashing, weeps, vents, etc., and the substrate
block is continuously saturated behind the acrylic, deterioration may
occur over time.
14. Can you control the color consistency?
Yes. Great care is taken in the TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE
PLUS® manufacturing processes to ensure a high degree of color consistency.
This includes checking incoming raw materials, use of computer controlled
precision automatic color injection equipment, precise control of the
moisture, the curing process, etc. As with any natural product, there
are minor color variations from block to block. Final inspection includes
dry stacking samples drawn from the production line every half hour and
comparing to the master sample for that project. Always request a jobsite
field panel to be erected prior to approval.
15. Can you match colors?
Yes, within the limitations of the aggregates available
at each of our plants.
16. If I want to put on an addition a year or more
after the original installation of TRENDSTONE® blocks, will the
new TRENDSTONE® blocks match the old?
We can usually match previously manufactured colors quite
well. However, we recommend that if possible, a small piece be cut or
chipped from the existing wall and sent to us. If that is not possible
a new sample of the color should be visually compared to the existing
wall and adjustment made to the color if necessary. Aggregates are a
product of Mother Nature however and can vary over time.
Always order a full size current sample to verify color.
17. What special precautions should be taken in
the handling, storage, and installation of the product?
See Handling Instructions in the GENERAL information sheets
in the back of this binder.
18. Can TRENDSTONE® units be used in flooring
No. TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® units are
designed as wall material and are not suitable for flooring or paving.
19. How does one patch this product? Can chips
in the wall be repaired?
TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® units cannot be
satisfactorily patched. Small chips, scratches, and scuffs will become
almost unnoticeable when the field coating is applied. Units with large
imperfections should be removed and replaced.
20. Why should I pay a premium for TRENDSTONE® units
when there are so many other less expensive ground face blocks, split-face
blocks, or bricks?
TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® units are the
highest quality ground face or burnished blocks available. Trenwyth specializes
exclusively in prefaced and prefinished concrete masonry units. If quality
and service are important to you -- you should specify and use TRENDSTONE® and
TRENDSTONE PLUS® units.
21. Does filling the TRENDSTONE PLUS® blocks
make them waterproof? How do you waterproof a TRENDSTONE® wall?
The filling of the surfaces of TRENDSTONE PLUS® units
does make them less permeable to moisture. However, masonry walls should
be able to breathe so that any moisture which does get behind
the facing can escape harmlessly to the atmosphere. A silane or siloxane
coating applied to the wall in accordance with the manufacturers instructions
can be very effective by making the surface hydrophobic, i.e. it will
repel the moisture from entering the wall system, but will allow any
moisture inside to escape.
22. What special shapes are available? Can you
provide bullnose corners? Are they available in larger sizes?
A large assortment of special shapes are available or can
be made. We have numerous molds, jigs, etc. -- the most in the industry.
Give us a drawing or sketch of the special shapes you would like and
let us show you what we can do. We offer a chamfered corner instead of
a bullnose. Most designers prefer it. Bullnose corners can be provided
at a higher cost. A full range of oversize units are available. See monumental
23. What do I use for the washdown to remove mortar
Refer to the Cleaning Instructions sheet in this binder
24. The wall was properly cleaned at installation,
now what do I do?
Apply the field coating, collect your money, and go to
the next job.
25. What happens if acid is used on TRENDSTONE® blocks?
The danger involved in using acid on TRENDSTONE® or
TRENDSTONE PLUS® surfaces is that a small amount of the solution
can soak behind the acrylic coating. If this is not completely removed
by rinsing, over time it will degrade the concrete behind the coating
causing discoloration and/or microscopic peeling of the acrylic.
26. Are they UL rated?
TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® blocks are tested
annually to Underwriter Laboratories (UL) standards by various independent
testing laboratories. Therefore, they are UL rated although they are
not UL listed, there being no requirement that ground faced blocks be
UL listed in the United States.
27. Can I return blocks I do not use?
No, all TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® blocks
are custom made. We require a signed sales contract before we will start
manufacturing any order. Since we dont make any blocks for stock,
any TRENDSTONE® and TRENDSTONE PLUS® blocks that are ordered
in excess must be taken and cannot be returned.
28. Is the score cast or cut?
The score is cut into the finished side of TRENDSTONE® and
TRENDSTONE PLUS® blocks.
29. Can I get the back side of the exposed, unfinished
block scored to match the score on the finished face?
30. Do I tuckpoint the scored joint?
The scored joints must be tuckpointed to match the rest
of the mortar joints. If they are not, the continuity between the scored
joint and the mortar joint is lost. NO RAKE JOINTS.
31. Is there any special mortar required?
Colored mortar that matches or complements the TRENDSTONE® and
TRENDSTONE PLUS® colors can create a beautiful effect. For more information
on mortars see Mortars in the GENERAL information sheets in the back
of this binder. W.R. Grace DRY-BLOCK® is recommended for all exterior