For the last few years Unilock has been promoting something they call Endura Color. Being a Unilock Authorized Contractor I'm always keen to see what's coming down the pike. But with EnduraColor, what's all the fuss is about, is this just marketing hype or is there more to the story?
For Unilock, they have been making this type or product for some time. Their first facemix paver came out in 1992 and that product was Series 3000. At the beginning Series 3000 was sold and used only in the commercial market. Series became very popluar and Unilock decided to release it as a main stream product. For us residential contractors it took many years before we could get our hands on Series 3000. It still amazes me to this day when I cut a stone in half. The bond between the top "facemix" and bottom is perfect, there's no voids or gaps, I don't know how they do it.
Since the introduction of the Select line Unilock has worked hard in bringing new products to market. These have all been EnduraColor/Plus. We have done many jobs with them and typically, our experience with them has been very good. I know when I leave a job the colour will last a long time.
- Standard paving stones will become like an exposed aggregate over time.
- The surface has a thin film of colour that wears off, usually we see this in the 5 - 6 year range after installation, sometimes it's even less.
- Colour is through and through. Who cares? What do you see after 20 years? That's right, the surface. The surface will "etch" sometimes this is referred as "dusting" . After the surface is etched and pitted the product looks terrible.
- Unbelievably strong colours, long lasting. The colours last way longer.
- Push the colours into the top part of the mix. This is what you're going to see for the life of the product. It doesn't matter if the colour is through and through. It's the top surface that matters.
- The top layer is a higher concrete strength with a far smaller aggregate and usually a much harder aggregate like a silica.
- The client, which is spending some good money on their project, has a good looking product for a long period of time. Better customer satisfaction.
- Ultimately we want to go for the best option for the client.
EnduraColor Plus Advantages
- All of the benefits of EnduraColor! Yay.
- Specialized aggregates used on the surface produce unique colours and textures. Brushed surfaces can be produced.
- Vibrant colours, through the use of white cement. White cement is expensive and many producers don't use it because it increases their plant costs. If you are only using the white cement on the top portion and not loading up the whole paver than vibrant colours can be produced.
Potential downsides and/or risks
- This requires the manufacturing process to pay much more attention to detail in order to produce a quality product.
- De-lamination. This is simply not true, fud alert. I'm always amazed when cutting a paving stone. The top layer and bottom layer are perfectly bonded. I am continually saying to myself, "how do they do that?"
Garry's Final Thoughts,
If you are considering a hardscaping project you really owe it to yourself to consider these type of pavers vs a standard paver. There are certainly some additional cost in going with an EnduraColor or EnduraColor Plus paving stone. A very strong offering for 2013 will be Beacon Hill Flagstone. This is just slightly above the Brussels Block price point but has all the benefits of EnduraColor. This one is going to be big in 2013.
Garry's EnduraColor Price Point Matrix - from lowest to highest
|Beacon Hill Flagstone||EnduraColor|
|Series 3000||EnduraColor Plus|
|iL Campo||EnduraColor Plus|
|Copthorne, Courtstone, Richcliff||EnduraColor Plus|
|Town Hall||EnduraColor Plus|