Fizzano Brothers carries a wide variety of masonry products, including bagged material for just about any job you will encounter. Included in that product line are Spec-Mix dry pre-blended products such as masonry mortars, masonry grouts, and adhered veneer mortar. These Spec-Mix products all offer great workability, increased productivity, and consistency from batch to batch – all characteristics that dedicated contractors look for in their mortars and grouts. One of the reasons we like to feature Spec-Mix products, besides the quality and workability they offer to masonry contractors, is that they are used in our Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500, a competition that seeks to crown the “World’s Best Bricklayer.”
Spec-Mix Masonry Grouts, Mortars, and AVMs
Spec-Mix Masonry Mortars are a dry pre-blended mortar mix of masonry cement and masonry sand that has been formulated for exceptional water retention, workability, and board life. They are available in Type N, S, and M strengths and provide a two-hour working time. Spec-Mix Masonry Mortars were specifically designed for use by masonry contractors. They are well adapted to use with brick, stone, and CMU units, especially where there is a need for workability and good board life.
Spec-Mix Masonry Grouts, available in both fine and coarse, are used to fill cells of horizontal beams and concrete masonry units and the cavities of composite masonry construction. They are a dry, pre-blended product that includes cementitious materials and dried aggregates. In addition, they are formulated to achieve superior flow into the voids and cavities while providing excellent compressive strength.
Spec-Mix Adhered Veneer Mortar (AVM) is used in the installation of masonry veneer. It is a dry, pre-blended mixture of cementitious materials, masonry sand, and admixtures that have been formulated to provide superior bond. Other benefits include outstanding workability, bond strength, and water retention.
All three of these products – Masonry Mortars, Masonry Grouts, and Adhered Veneer Mortar – come in 80 lb bags and include dry sand already in the mix. Just add water and get to work! Because of their design and formulation, you can focus on the masonry job at hand without worrying about trying to get the mixtures just right. And speaking of masonry work, there is a specific reason we are featuring Spec-Mix Products.
Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500 Competition
On Thursday, September 21, we hosted the Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500 Regional Competition at Fizzano Brothers Concrete Products for our fourth consecutive year. This year, our winner was Joe Masters and his tender Ryan Drakely, who hailed from Dan Lepore & Sons in Conshohocken, PA.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this competition, its goal is incredibly simple: determine who is the world’s best bricklayer. The winner received $1,000 and the opportunity to complete in the World Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500 Championship with 25 other bricklayer-tender regional winners from the US, Canada, and England. The championship will be attended by thousands of fans cheering their favorite competitor!
The world championship determines who is crowned the “World’s Best Bricklayer” and will be held in Las Vegas on January 24th, 2018. The winner receives over $65,000 in cash and prizes, including a brand-new Ford F-250 XLT 4×4 Truck. The 7 contestants who competed at the regional level represented the finest mason contractors we have in the Philadelphia region. Only one, however, is going on to the world competition. Only one has a chance at the title.
The Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500 competition was started in 2003 as an opportunity to allow bricklayers to show off their speed and accuracy while doing what they do best and has grown beyond what Spec-Mix could have possibly dreamed. Masons and their chosen tenders work together for 60 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break, and then a 20-minute tooling period. Their basic task is to build an 8” wide wall that is 2 bricks deep and 26’ long, but there are many different rules involved that really test the accuracy skill of the mason. Contestants are judged on a combination of how much brick they are able to lay within the time limits and the quality of their workmanship.
Recognizing and Respecting the Trade
These outstanding brick layers train during the year just like an athlete: honing their skills, building up their stamina, and developing strategies, all to give them an edge not just in the competition but in their regular masonry work, too. Their objective is, of course, to win the competition and the coveted title of “Best Bricklayer in the World.” But more than that, it is an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the craft and push their level of expertise even farther.
The goal of the competition itself goes above and beyond establishing the best bricklayer in the world. It endeavors to help masons and bricklayers earn the respect they deserve for the talent, skill, and expertise that goes into their work every single day. Too many times bricklayers are viewed as unskilled labor, doing a job that anybody can do – which is so far from the truth it is laughable. The Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500 competitions demonstrate that true masons and bricklayers are incredibly skilled professionals who are experts at a job that very few people can do well, and even fewer can excel in.
At Fizzano Brother’s Concrete Products, Inc., we have been providing for the masonry needs of contractors in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1935. We take pride in our high-quality product lines, but we also take pride in the skilled masons and bricklayers that use our products. We appreciate the opportunity to give back to the skilled trades community by hosting the Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500 Regional Competition, and hope to continue doing so for many years to come.