- Faux brick was first manufactured to provide homeowners with a faster and more cost-effective way to achieve the look of brick for the decorative aspects on both the interior and exterior of houses and buildings.
- Faux brick cannot be used as a support system and can only be used for decorative
- Although nothing comes close to the look and texture of a real brick wall, faux bricks are extremely versatile and offer endless options that will save you time while being effective.
We all know that brick houses are timeless and attractive. But with all its benefits, it is an extremely heavy, costly, and permanent product, which can be difficult to work with. More and more homeowners and DIY enthusiasts are discovering an easy alternative to this problem. What is faux brick?
What Is Faux Brick?
Faux brick is made to imitate real brick. Faux brick looks almost identical to real brick with the naked eye, but several differences apart these two materials. Upon closer inspection, you will notice the differences pretty easily, and some faux brick is made from thin layers of real brick.
There are several different types of faux brick on the market. Some types even come in panels that make it easy for any unprofessional to be able to install. Their panels are made of much thinner layers of real bricks.
It is good to note that all types of faux brick cannot be used for structural support of a building, as it is merely for aesthetic reasons and not at all strong enough to serve as a support.
While faux bricks can be cut in any size and shape, they are usually sold by the panel, panels generally being 47.5 inches x 27.25 inches.
Is Faux Brick Popular Today?
For thousands of years, real bricks have been used in construction for their natural beauty, permanence, and, most important of all: stability. Unfortunately, because real bricks are so incredibly heavy and require professional installation, using brick as a building material for us “normal people” could be considered outside our skillsets.
Because of the main benefits of using faux brick, such as being cost-effective, durable, and easy to install, faux brick panels have become very popular among designers and homeowners in recent years. These panels are usually lightweight and thus designed to be easy to install, needing only construction adhesive and an electric drill.
What Is Used To Make Faux Bricks?
Faux brick can be made from several synthetic materials. Faux bricks can be produced with high-density polyurethane and other materials to imitate real bricks’ look. Other types of faux brick can also be made from plastics that are molded into the shape of bricks.
Different Types Of Faux Brick
If you are unsure whether faux bricks are going to work for you, you will be relieved to hear that you have several types to choose from! Ranging from different materials to different purposes and ways to install them, you will have the perfect match in no time with all the different types of faux brick!
Common faux brick
These faux bricks are generally made from a high-density type of plastic and come in ready-to-be-installed panels. These panels usually interlock to form a relatively “seamless” surface. They should be nailed or glues to a stable and strong backing.
These panels are also the lowest cost option if you are looking for ways to decorate your home without completely breaking the bank!
Thin brick veneer
These thin brick veneers are almost always made of the same type of clay as traditional masonry brick. The only difference is that they are much thinner, which means they can be placed onto walls as if they are tiles. They can also be in large units of prefab panels that can be mounted to a strong and sturdy wall backing.
As you can see in the picture above, various glues and materials attach a plastic backing to the structural wall behind it. Then, the thin faux bricks are individually placed in the supports on the plastic backing panel. When it has dried, grout is then used to fill up the holes in between, giving you a distinct real brick finish.
Masonry brick panels
Traditional masonry bricks can also be manufactured off-site and then installed as a premade panel. Although masonry bricks are real brick panels, such installments are usually available from faux brick manufacturers or contractors and are treated very differently from veneer panels.
Flexbrick is an innovative product that connects thin bricks on a series of long wires, creating a product that seems like a brick fabric. The mesh can be expanded to create a see-through screen, flexed to create a curved wall, or even embedded in another surface to create a brick veneer.
Alternatives To Faux Brick
Alternative faux brick building materials are just as beneficial as faux bricks, with different properties creating the same look. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Hollow concrete blocks
A concrete block is one of the numerous precast concrete products that is used daily in construction. Most concrete blocks have one or more hollow cavities, with their sides being either a cast or smooth design.
Concrete blocks are primarily used as one of the most popular building materials in the construction of walls. When using concrete blocks, they are stacked one at a time and then held together with a fresh concrete mortar to form the wall, similar to conventional bricks or faux bricks.
Autoclaved aerated concrete
Autoclaved aerated concrete is a precast and lightweight foam concrete building material suitable for producing concrete masonry-like blocks. This type of concrete is usually composed of cement, quartz sand, calcined gypsum, water with aluminum powder. The products are cured under high heat and pressure in an autoclave.
The Advantages Of Using Faux Brick
There are quite a few benefits that come with using faux bricks. Although not real bricks, you will be both surprised and delighted by the various advantages you will come across when installing faux bricks:
- Whether in loose bricks or panels, Faux brick is much easier to install than real brick because it is extremely lightweight.
- The installation of faux bricks utilizes fewer materials, which makes it more cost-effective when purchasin Faux brick panels enable their buyers to create realistic environments at only a fraction of the cost of actual brick.
- Because of how faux bricks are manufactured, they are resistant to water and will not go through the natural fading process that real brick will undergo. Some of these faux bricks are even treated with fire-resistant chemicals.
- Faux bricks are durable. While real brick might last you for centuries, it is extremely vulnerable to cracking and chipping away. Faux brick wall panels are less vulnerable and are less expensive than a real brick to replace or repair.
- Faux bricks are easy to maintain. Real bricks can be very messy and dusty, and they generally need to be coated with a sealant. This is not the case with faux bricks, as they require little to no maintenance and can simply be wiped with a wet or dry cloth or dusted with a duster.
- Faux bricks are one of the most versatile products you can hope to find. Faux brick panels are available in almost unlimited colors and style options, and you even have the custom choice to make ones that accurately fit your style and needs.
- Solid brick homes were built to support a house, but the brick veneer will lie on the house for reinforcement. It can cover any siding, adding a beautiful and well-rounded aesthetic.
The Disadvantages Of Using Faux Brick
Although the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, there are a few things you need to know before buying faux bricks for your next DIY project:
- Of course, there is no way that faux bricks can be as strong as real bricks because they simply do not have the same support systems. It is made out of much fewer materials and is much lighter. As a result, it is more prone to damage and cannot withstand the same weather conditions as real bricks. On the contrary, some houses with faux bricks have lasted up to 30 years, so you will be getting value for your money at the end of the day.
- All types of faux brick have to be attached with the proper materials to an existing wall or surface. Since faux brick should only be used for decorative purposes, it cannot be used as structural support, which means you will be limited to the areas where you will be able to apply it.
Where Can Faux Bricks Be Used In The Home?
Faux bricks are known to be one of the most innovative products that have been made. In addition to enhancing residential areas, faux brick is also a great way to add a distinctive touch in hospitality, entertainment, and trade show environments.
Faux bricks are mainly used to make any kind of remodeling project more affordable. For example, a faux brick feature wall can make an awesome addition to kitchens, bathrooms, and even patios.
History Of Faux Brick
At the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, the Company named Lafayette, from Indiana, was among exhibitors using model scale houses to display what was seen as “a futuristic view of what architects predicted would someday become the norm.”
The model portrayed a steel-frame structure that was clad in panels of shale and lime. It then was used for the first time in 1937 to apply a uniform exterior covering to suburban houses that have undergone additions with unmatched siding.
What Can You Expect To Pay For Faux Brick?
Brick veneer is a more cost-effective way to get both the look and feel of solid brick. On average, you can expect to pay anything between $4 and $10.00 per square foot. When buying faux brick panels, 47.5 x 27.00-inch panels could cost you between $60 and $90.
The cost will greatly depend on what materials the faux bricks are made of, and since it is much easier to install, you will be saving the cost of hiring a handyperson.
Where Can You Purchase Faux Brick?
You can buy a faux brick at any trusted source or hardware store. It is best to inspect and evaluate the quality of your chosen faux brick before purchasing.
Architizer: An Architect’s Guide To: Panel Brick
Turnbull Masonry: Faux Brick Vs. Real Brick: What Are The Differences?