Canadian Consulting Engineer

Brick Industry Association reports emerging 2021 brick trends

April 15, 2021

Preferences show whites, grays, washes, blacks, outdoor living spaces, and thin brick interiors.

The Brick Industry Association (BIA) has released its “Emerging 2021 Brick Trends” report for residential and commercial exteriors and interiors.


On the residential side, the report finds that top new home colour preferences include whites, off-whites, white blends, grays, dark neutrals and timeless earth tones. “Fast growing trends also include painted brick exteriors, primarily in whites, and Romabio Limewash to ‘paint’ brick in a safer way than using a traditional paint,” the report said. “Design expression includes varying patterns in the gables.”

Home trends also include a pandemic-inspired demand for outdoor entertainment and living areas. Paver trends also emphasize light colours.

Interior residential thin brick applications that add natural texture and dress up living spaces are also growing, the report said, including smeared mortar and mortar wash looks. “Design elements also include extending exterior brick colours and textures inside the home through interior thin brick,” the report said. 

“Clay brick can achieve any trend through virtually unlimited design options, textures and colors that do not fade or need to be replaced,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA president and CEO.

On the commercial side, top colours show surging blacks – especially gloss finishes – hot whites, grays, whites with dark accents and browns with range. 

“Commercial design trends include thoughtfully placed negative space as a key role of functionality; heavy textured/cut and roll back brick with character; timeless traditional design; herringbone accents and interior open spaces with sharp lines, raw materials and a monochromatic colour palette,” the report said.


Additional commercial design trends include brick laid in a running bond but all in a soldier course and pulling courses to increase wall depth.

“Commercial brick paver design redefines public spaces through patterns and artistry, along with herringbone patterns that add texture,” the report said. “Overall, an increasing focus on clay brick craftmanship reflects a growing recognition for brick’s artistry and aesthetics.” 

Made from abundant natural resources, fired-clay brick exteriors offer tested superior durability, fire and moisture resistance, energy efficiency and performance in severe weather.

A brief YouTube video is available here.

Contributing BIA members include Acme Brick Co., The Belden Brick Company, General Shale, Hebron Brick, Henry Brick, and Palmetto Brick. 


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