Solid Brick Vs. Brick Veneer: Weighing the Pros & Cons

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Solid Brick Vs. Brick Veneer: Weighing the Pros & Cons

For hundreds of years, brick has been used to construct homes. Because we make brick with solid and fireproof materials, many still stand today. Have you ever heard the phrase “brick veneer” and wondered what made it different from “solid brick”? Is brick veneer constructed from a different kind of brick, or perhaps a more thin or hollow brick? Is one superior to the other? If so, why? Let’s examine these distinctions in more detail.

What is Solid Brick?

Up until the middle of the 20th century, solid masonry, or plain ol’ brick building, was extremely popular. This style of construction is also known as “brick and block,” “solid brick,” or “double brick.” The exterior of solid brick homes, sometimes called double-brick and solid masonry homes, are made of either two layers of brick or a layer of concrete block and an adjacent layer of brick. If a builder removed the brick, the structure would experience structural failures because it is an essential component of the structural support system. Since brick buildings’ roof walls don’t need to be thermally efficient, solid masonry is still used in their parapets. Other outdoor buildings without a need for thermal insulation share the same characteristics. For instance, masons can use solid brick walls to construct steel-reinforced retaining walls. In some instances, solid stone walls included metal connections. Unquestionably, a robust method of construction was masonry. They could support a wide range of alternative roof systems when the walls were 8 inches thick.

What is Brick Veneer?

Contrary to popular opinion, brick veneer is not made of thin brick pieces like those used for veneer floors, patios, and decorative interior features. Besides their construction method, brick veneer homes resemble solid brick buildings virtually identically. The actual structure of the house is made of steel or wood framing, which is subsequently sheathed in wood or insulated. 

The primary structural support provided is where brick veneer and solid brick differ the most. The building’s structural support is made of solid masonry. With brick veneer, the concrete, steel, or wood that make up the backup wall provides the structural support, and the brick is just there on the exterior for cosmetic reasons. In contrast to a solid masonry building with multiple wythes, the brick veneer is only one wythe thick.

Pros of Solid Bricks


There’s a reason why a solid brick was used to build so many older houses. Brick is a strong, long-lasting building material that can survive natural disasters like earthquakes and strong winds. Termites and rot are not a problem since there is no interior wood frame structure.


Since brick construction does not use wood, termites and decay are not a concern. In the event of an earthquake or strong winds, solid brick is far more stable. Houses made of solid brick are durable and can last for generations.

Fewer construction accessories

On the other hand, solid brick walls need fewer accessories to perform the job. In actuality, lateral support was only provided by header rows perpendicular to the wall and spaced out every few courses in older solid brick wall systems.


Solid brick requires little upkeep because it is durable and has excellent color retention.

Pros of Brick Veneers

Flexible and Simple to Install

After construction is complete, the builder can add the brick veneer at any time. Since there is only one layer, it is simpler to install than solid brick.


As a solid brick can cost up to three times as much as brick veneer, it is typically more economical.


Compared to pure brick, brick veneer offers substantially superior insulation. When filled with insulation, the air cavity between the brick and the house works effectively as an insulating zone and keeps moisture out of the house.


It needs a pretty easy foundation and support structure. Contrarily, solid brick homes are burdensome and need firm footing and foundation systems.

Cons of Solid Brick

Poor insulation 

Brick is not a good insulator because it is a hefty, solid substance. This could result in higher utility expenditures.


Brick will cost around three times as much as brick veneer when the materials and labor from a mason are considered.

Poor durability 

Brick veneer is less sturdy than solid brick construction because it is thinner.

Complex building accessories 

Accessories for brick veneer walls are more complex. They frequently have wall flashing, weep holes, and insulation in the cavity to keep moisture out. Due to the separation of wythes, brick ties and other structural anchoring systems are necessary. The outer veneer requires support from structural shelves.

How DeLuca Masonry Can Assist 

No matter the style you use, make sure to employ correct structural reinforcement and clean mortar application methods to keep moisture from penetrating past the first bricklayer. The wall will survive longer, and you’ll be delighted with the superior craftsmanship at DeLuca Masonry.

There is no better masonry contractor than DeLuca Masonry. DeLuca Masonry is an expert in masonry brick design, from backyard patios to retaining walls. With years of experience, it is a suitable choice for your masonry project! They transform ideas and concepts from designs into coherent proposals to engage with clients and persuade them of the value of a design. Contact DeLuca Masonry today and begin designing your brick veneer project!

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