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Brick Veneer vs. Real Brick: What’s the Difference?

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Brick Veneer vs. Real Brick: What’s the Difference?

Brick is timeless, and many people opt for real brick since it’s highly durable and offers an attractive aesthetic. That said, it can be costly, and it typically needs to be installed during construction.

For that reason, homeowners, builders, and contractors alike may decide on brick veneer over real brick. But what are the differences between brick veneer vs. real brick? Here, we’ll discuss how brick veneer differs from the real material.

What is Brick Veneer?

Brick veneer is a thin panel that is molded to look like real brick. It’s placed over existing walls to create the illusion of real brick without all the weight, time, and expense.

Brick veneer is made of high-density polyurethane that can be cut and shaped with regular woodworking tools. While it isn’t real brick, it can be molded, textured, and painted to look almost exactly like the real thing.

Brick veneer is installed in thin panels which are fastened to the wall with an adhesive. In cases where it reaches a corner of a wall or doorway, corner pieces are also available to seamlessly complete the look.

Differences Between Brick Veneer vs. Brick

Brick veneer is a vastly different material from real brick. Some of the key differences—aside from the material—include the following.

Weight

Brick veneer is far lighter than the real thing since it’s a thin panel of lightweight polyurethane. Bricks are thick, dense, and heavy, adding more weight to your walls. So, you’d have to support the weight of bricks with built-up layers and mortar, whereas brick veneer is simply held to your wall with glue.

Installation methods

Brick is laid layer upon layer by a mason with mortar in between each row to fill in the gaps and keep everything level. Given the nature of real brick, it’s only installed during construction. Once that’s complete, it’s challenging to make the switch.

Brick veneer, on the other hand, is installed by gluing panels to your wall. The panels can be cut to fit around fixtures and elements already in place, and there’s no need for specialized masonry skills.

Advantages of Brick Veneer

Even though it may not be the real thing, brick veneer yields many benefits. These advantages include the items described below.

Ease of installation

You don’t need a mason to install brick veneer. All you need are some simple tools, some glue or caulk, and enough panels to cover the area you want to look like brick. The lightweight thin layers can be installed by just about anyone, and the process is much faster than laying and mortaring solid bricks row by row.

Better insulation

Solid brick isn’t very good for insulation since it doesn’t enable much airflow. Brick veneer, on the other hand, allows much more ventilation as well as creating space for air cavities between interior walls and the exterior of your home.

Lower cost

The time saved on installation is one way in which brick veneer costs far less than solid brick walls, since there is no need for specialized labor. However, brick veneer also saves money by simply being a lighter, cheaper material than actual brick. Polyurethane costs only a fraction of the price of real brick, and it’s faster and easier to manufacture.

Its lightweight and more compact shape also means transporting the materials to you is less expensive as well, saving massively on shipping costs.

Can be installed any time

Brick walls are typically built from the foundation up during the construction phase. To support their weight, they need to be built upon each other. Brick veneer doesn’t have to support its weight. In fact, it’s light enough that your wall can support it without any major alterations. It can be installed at any point, which means if you want a traditional brick aesthetic in specific areas inside—or all around the exterior—you can “upgrade” to brick without having to build new walls.

Is Brick Veneer Right For Your Project?

if you’re going for the look of real brick, brick veneer offers many benefits.. However, it’s not the real thing, so in some cases, you may decide to go the authentic route. You can get the same look and texture with brick veneer, without the high costs of materials and installation.

If you’re interested in adding a brick-like appearance to your home, faux brick veneer is the easiest and most cost-effective option.

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