About CMU Basics

Dimensions & Sizes














CMU Basics | Colors

Desert Block offers a wide selection of standard and special order integral colors. See Colors & Textures for color charts and additional information. Your representative can offer samples and specific information to assist in color specifications.

Cmu manufactured by Desert Block are of the highest quality and uniformity available. However, variations may occur in color and shade, in natural gray or integral color, as a result of color ranges in raw materials over which we have no control. A color name, then, refers to a range of color. Further, exact color duplication from run to run cannot be guaranteed.

Color will be affected by differences in weight (density) or strength. A weight classification will require a specific aggregate mix, which will create its own natural gray and have an effect on any added coloring agent. For example, a color in mediumweight will differ somewhat from the same color in lightweight. Similarly, High-Stress units have a different mix design; as a result, their color will not be exactly the same as non-High-Stress units. Contact your representative should the weight or strength to be specified differ from that indicated on a given sample.

Occasionally, new construction may be required to match an existing wall or structure, dictating the color of new cmu match the color of existing cmu. This circumstance raises a host of considerations such as the age and extent of weathering of the “old” cmu, possible differences in aggregate from the time of its manufacture to the present, and the fact that a good match now may not last as the “new” cmu weathers.  We strongly suggest that specifications for such a project avoid the simplicity of the “match existing” statement. Instead, we recommend consulting your Desert Block representative to determine the availability and/or feasibility of current materials to reasonably match the existing wall and whether the best solution would be integral color or staining natural gray to best match existing cmu. It is advantageous for everyone involved if this is specified in advance of the masonry bid, much more the start of the masonry work, thereby avoiding last minute scrambling for suitable materials.

Sources of raw materials may differ from plant to plant. So, too, will color differ from plant to plant. One location’s gray or color will not match another location’s gray or color. Even if they bear an identical color name, product from one plant should not be mixed with another’s if it is intended they match. Consult your representative for color compatibility from plant to plant.

Note: As extensive as our color palette is, you can extend it further by combining two or more colors in the same wall. This gives you more control over final effect, and results in rich, intense colors. Blending colors in a single cmu batch tends to muddy them and mute their clarity.

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