We can all agree that exposed brick walls look great. Rough and full of character, they make for excellent additions to homes that are in need of a rustic touch. However, what most people don’t know, is that not every one of these statement features is created in the same way.
Aside from genuine brick, these walls can also be built with other materials and methods, with the most commonly-seen alternatives being veneers and stucco. So, before you brick it up like the three little pigs, here are your options!
The real deal. Nothing conveys a feeling of sturdiness quite like actual, raw brick, which is probably why you’ll be surprised to know that these blocks of clay aren’t exactly the toughest building material around, despite what most people (or a certain big, bad wolf) may think.
Due to their porous nature, when left on their own to the elements, exposed bricks will start flaking or even crumble due to moisture accumulation. But that’s not to say that you can’t have a wall of actual brick at home, just get your interior designer or masonry contractor to treat its surface with a water-resistant sealant, and you’re more or less good to go.
Interior firm: Prozfile Design
Veneers are thin layers that are added on to give raw concrete surfaces the appearance of an actual brick wall. And while it goes without saying that they aren’t actual brick, some veneers available on the market are made out of the very same solid clay that real bricks are made from (with the other option being concrete resin), effectively making them the closest thing to the real deal.
You’ll also find that concrete resin veneers are, quite literally, more flexible for renovation use than brick. Being only a fraction of the actual material’s thickness and weight, installing veneers onto walls and around tight corners is a lot easier in comparison.
Interior firm: MET Interior
Unlike their brick and veneer cousins, stucco walls aren’t created by assembling individual pieces. Instead, they are made by first applying a cement coating to a wall, before each ‘brick’ is moulded into place as the coating dries. Because of this process, it isn’t wrong to think of stucco walls as being sculptures, in a way.
First, the cons. How authentic the final effect will be, hinges on the skill of the person doing the job; and depending on how detailed his/her work is, the grooves and bumps of a stucco surface can become dust traps – a problem that veneer and brick walls also share.
On the plus side, stucco isn’t bulky like brick and takes up even less space than already-thin veneers, making it the most efficient choice for homes that are small in space, but big on detail.
Interior firm: Meter Square
So, which option should you pick?
While there’s no beating the rustic charm of real brick, veneers and stucco walls are ideal alternatives for the reasons mentioned above, especially if you are on the lookout for options that are both cost-friendly (to build) and fuss-free (to maintain). And of course, there’s also wallpaper, but that needs no introduction, does it?
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