FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How is
the product made? What is the difference between Trendstone
and Trendstone Plus?
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.
Plus filled and polished masonry units offer
a smooth terrazzo look on one or more of the faces. After
the initial grinding process to expose the variegated colors
of the natural aggregates, the pores and interstices are filled
with a cementitious grout. The exposed faces are then polished
smooth in a multi-stage polishing process and a factory-applied
clear satin gloss acrylic is applied to accentuate the natural
beauty of the aggregates and provide moisture resistance.
2. Is the
color on the surface or all through the block?
The color is integral, i.e. it is uniform throughout
the concrete block.
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, therefore, 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
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 the factory.
6. Can any
mason install this product?
Any mason can install this product. 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, medium-weight and normal-weight
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 normal weight 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 normal weight. Most Trendstone and
Trendstone Plus units are medium-weight.
8. 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
9. Why do
you recommend walls have a field coat? Is the field coating
The factory applied acrylic is designed primarily to
protect the Trendstone and Trendstone Plus surface during
shipment and installation. The field coat covers and enhances
the entire wall including the mortar joints and it hides most
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.
is the life expectancy of the product?
50 years plus — if the building is properly designed
and the Trendstone and Trendstone Plus units are installed
11. At what
temperature should the TRENDCOAT® field coating be applied
or not applied?
The TRENDCOAT® 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.
the TRENDCOAT® coating peel, fade, crack or spall?
TRENDCOAT® 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.
13. Can you
control the color consistency?
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 and curing process.
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 those samples to the master sample for that project.
Always request a jobsite field panel to be erected to show
the expected unit and mortar color.
14. Can you
Yes, within the limitations of the aggregates available
at each of our plants.
15. 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 adjustments
made to the color if necessary. Aggregates are a product of
“Mother Nature”, however, and can vary over time.
Always order a current full size sample to verify color.
special precautions should be taken in the handling, storage
and installation of the product?
Refer to the Trendstone and Trendstone Plus Installation
& Cleaning sections.
17. Can Trendstone
and Trendstone Plus units be used in flooring or paving?
No. Trendstone and Trendstone Plus units are designed
as wall material and are not suitable for flooring or paving.
18. How does
one patch this product? Can chips in the wall be repaired?
Damaged or chipped units that do not meet requirements
of ASTM C90 for the block should not be installed. If units
incur damage during installation or by other trades, a patch
kit can be ordered from Trenwyth Industries. Follow manufacturer's
instructions for best results.
19. Why should
I pay a for Trendstone and Trendstone Plus 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
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 as well as a bullnose. A full
range of over-sized units are also available. See the Monumental section.
do I use for the washdown to remove mortar and scum?
Refer to the Trendstone and Trendstone Plus Installation
& Cleaning sections.
happens if acid is used on Trendstone and Trendstone Plus
Cleaners that use a harsh acid (like HCL) as a base
can attack the acrylic sealer, degrading the coating and etch
the pigment in the blocks. Use only the recommended cleaner
on Trenwyth products.
23. Are the
blocks 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, as there is no requirement that ground
face blocks be UL listed in the United States.
24. 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 don’t make any blocks
for stock, any Trendstone and Trendstone Plus blocks that
are ordered in excess must be shipped and cannot be returned.
25. Is the
score cast or cut?
The score is cut into the finished side of Trendstone
and Trendstone blocks.
26. Can I
get the back side of the exposed, unfinished block scored
to match the score on the finished face?
27. Do I
tuckpoint the scored joint?
The scored joints must be tuckpointed to match the
rest of the mortar joints. If they are not tuckpointed, the
continuity between the scored joint and the mortar joint is
lost. Rake joints are not permitted on Trendstone and Trendstone
28. 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 section of this binder or call Trenwyth and ask
for Trenwyth Mortar Kit, TR0705. A Trenwyth-approved integral
water repellent admixture is recommended for all exterior