Astra-Glaze SW=
The Astra-Glaze-SW+ difference

Astra-Glaze-SW+ …
It’s not just another pretty face!

Click here to Download the
Astra-Glaze-SW+ color chart

Features / Benefits

Pre-consumer recycled content
(available upon request)

Regionally extracted, processed and
manufactured materials

High thermal mass benefits

Tight, impervious surface

Mold and moisture resistant

Up to a 4-hour fire rating

Sound-absorbing option

Custom colors, shapes and sizes

Interior and exterior applications

Load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls

USDA-approved for clean-room environments

Exceptional structural integrity

Unmatched durability

Outstanding colorfastness

Easy to clean – no need to repaint

Graffiti, stain, abrasion, impact and
chemical resistant

Virtually impenetrable to spray paint,
permanent markers, grease and crayon

One step, single-trade installation

Download our LEED Brochure

What’s the difference between Glazed Concrete Masonry Units, Structural Glazed Facing Tile (SGFT) and Ceramic Tile?

Face Construction

Astra-Glaze-SW+® glazed concrete masonry units are manufactured using high purity, natural grain silica and a resinous binder cast onto concrete blocks in a thermoset, glazing process. Fired at about 500º F in a tunnel oven, the result is a hard, impervious glazed tile-like surface permanently molded onto one or more faces of the concrete block.

Conversely, both SGFT and Ceramic Tile consist of ceramic glazed faces fired at about 2,000º F.

Face Durability and Bond Strength

The faces of Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units are permanently molded to the concrete block.  Due to the integrity of the bond between the glazed faces and the concrete, the glazed faces are inseparable from the block.  The block itself would be destroyed before the bond.

SGFT ceramic glazed facings are brittle and have a tendency to crack, bubble and break.

Ceramic Tile facings consist of a thin fragile layer that is glued on by tile setters after the wall has been erected.  Ceramic Tile facings are brittle, have a tendency to crack or bubble and can be easily removed.


Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units are perfect for both interior and exterior applications.  USDA-approved for sanitary environments, Astra-Glaze-SW+ is the optimal solution for foodservice areas, restrooms, locker rooms, swimming pools, surgical rooms, laboratories, etc. With its weather resistant formula, Astra-Glaze-SW+ units also provide outstanding colorfastness and its built-in ductility reduces the possibility of cracking and crazing in adverse conditions.

Both SGFT block and Ceramic Tile have been traditionally used for interior applications.
Shapes and Sizes

Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including custom shapes and sizes.

In contrast, SGFT offers a limited number of shapes and sizes.  SGFT capabilities exclude 10" and 12" blocks, as well as bond beams. 


Trenwyth produces add-ons for Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units; however, Trenwyth suggests take-offs be accurate from the start to avoid the project delay add-ons may cause.

SGFT manufacturers have great difficulty accommodating add-ons.


Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units offer one-step, single trade installation of finished load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls.

Ceramic Tile is a two-step purchase, two-step installation process.  First the mason installs the block; then the tile setter installs the ceramic tile on top of the block.  It’s obviously a more costly installation process.

SGFT is a one-step, single trade installation.

In-Wall Cost

2″ Block
Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units and SGFT blocks are similarly priced.

4″, 6″ and 8″ Blocks
According to R.S. Means, Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units are priced lower than SGFT.

10″ and 12″ Block
Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units offer 10″ and 12″ units.  SGFT manufacturers do not.

Ceramic Tile costs are higher than Astra-Glazed-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units and SGFT.

Lead Times

Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units have much shorter lead times than SGFT block.

Recycled Content

Available upon request, Astra-Glaze-SW+ glazed concrete masonry units contain a significant amount of pre-consumer recycled content which may earn your building U.S. Green Building Council LEED® points.

Conversely, most SGFT block does not contain recycled content.
Glazed Masonry Untis

© 2009 Trenwyth • One Connelly Road • P.O. Box 438 • Emigsville, PA 17318 • (800) 233-1924 • (717) 767-6868 • FAX (717) 764-6774