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Real Brick Vs Brick Veneer: Which Is Best?

Aug 18, 2017

Brick is one of the most popular materials for builders and designers to use. It’s steeped in history and character, and gives a robust, rugged look that suggests stability and foundation.

But in a hypothetical situation where you want this look on your walls, which is better to use? Brick veneer or the real thing?

There are a number of different factors to take into account when making this choice, so let’s examine the options.

There are a number of products available that incorporate the use of real or manufactured clay bricks in a wall surface covering. One product we know of, for example, takes real reclaimed bricks from demolished buildings in metropolitan New York, and carves off slivers to make into tiles, also called “thin brick.”


The disadvantages of that, though, include cost and a difficult installation.

From a cost perspective, reclaimed bricks from places like New York or Chicago are about as affordable as anything else in those cities (as in, not very.) Their cost per square foot is often double that of our faux brick panels – more if you hire a contractor to install them.

And installation is a pain. With reclaimed or manufactured brick tiles, they need to be installed on metal panels that cover every inch of the available wall space, and then filled with grout and adhesive. It’s time consuming and messy.

Even cheaper options like manufactured ‘fake’ bricks require installation like classic tiles – with careful and tedious attention to detail and grouting. It’s a long, convoluted process.

There’s no denying that the end result can look and feel incredibly impressive, but now let’s talk about the alternative choice.

Our brick styles are manufactured from lightweight and durable polyurethane, and are incredibly cheaper than the ‘real’ alternatives. In addition, they’re much easier to install – requiring nothing but regular construction adhesive and screws. They’re also quicker to install – slamming up over 9 square feet of realistic-looking brick with every panel, rather than painstakingly installing each and every piece.

But the real issue is how they look – as that’s often going to be the deciding factor for most people.

As these close-ups show, the look of the panels is astonishingly realistic. They’re made using an innovative process that takes molds from real weathered brick, capturing each chip, crack and groove. The panels are then meticulously shaded in realistic colors to resemble actual clay.