Latest trends in exterior finishing

On trend

Helping clients select materials for a new home build can be a daunting task. Most will want their home to look timeless while also reflecting contemporary styles. Encourage them to choose materials from manufacturers that are constantly innovating by adding new products and colours and keeping up with the latest trends. Most importantly, quality producers listen to their customers.

Here are some of the latest trends in exterior finishing and how you can incorporate the newest products into today’s most sought-after designs.

Contrasting light and dark

One of the most popular trends in exterior finishing over the past five or 10 years has been to contrast white or light colours with dark materials, such as white stone contrasted with black elements such as window and door frames. In other cases, light and dark masonry are used to achieve the look.

Shouldice Designer Stone has interpreted this trend by introducing several new shades to their existing Residential product line. With its rounded, rocky surface, Shale Stone exudes permanence and tradition. The original four colours – Hudson, Sedona, Slate and Tundra – featured darker grey and brown tones. To balance that out, they have introduced two new shades. Polar, as the name suggests, is a white hue. But it features some sandy brown elements. Roberval, by contrast is a pure, stark white. The newest shade of Strata Brick Smooth is Jet. This unit is one of Shouldice’s darkest colours to date.

Mix and match materials

Whether for aesthetics or budgetary reasons, another popular trend is to combine masonry with other materials such as wood or metal siding. Estate Stone is by far Shouldice’s most popular residential stone. The existing lineup ranges from light greys and sandy browns to darker hues. The newest addition is Slate. This product features subtle contrast between sandy greys to slate, adding yet another option for that mix-and-match esthetic.

Affordable solutions

In 2022, Shouldice introduced a new texture to the architectural lineup – Smooth – to complement the three existing textures: Tapestry, Tex-Stone and Rock-Stone. In terms of surface texture, Smooth falls between Tapestry and Tex-Stone. Tapestry features a polished surface with bevelled edges. Tex-Stone is distressed to give it a textured surface. Oversized Rock-Stone blocks are mechanically split in half giving each a unique rocky surface.

The interesting thing about Smooth is that the finish is how all of Shouldice’s bricks appear when taken out of the kiln mold. Since it doesn’t require any additional finishing they can offer it at a lower price-point, giving architects and masons a little more flexibility with their budgets.

Ergonomics leading to sustainability

At a client’s request, Shouldice developed a new version of the hollow core bricks they’ve been making since day one. A client was working on a large community centre project and was considering using the 90 x 90 x 390 Architectural brick. But each of those solid core bricks weighed 16.3 lbs. Lifting hundreds of those every day was going to wear out the masons working on the job. So, the client asked if the company could come up with a lighter-weight solution while maintaining the look they were after. Shouldice modified their standard hollow core design with a tapered opening at the top so that mortar wouldn’t fall through. This design uses the same amount of mortar as our frogged units. The finished product came in at 11.45 lbs., a 30 percent reduction.

Trends come and go. But the best companies follow the trends in their industry and produce products to meet their client’s needs. Stay on top of the latest in exterior trends at