Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick

 
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:30 PM   #1
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Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Ok ..first off I have to say I hate salesman....I just got off the phone with a guy from BRICK-IT.
They have a thin brick system....great...a peice of alumiun crap to hold there 1/2" brick...and you have to buy the "glue" from them and the grout.
They want $7.50 a sqft..for this junk......all I could say is you what WHAT? for this?.....when I can get real brick for less then half that price?
Well It's geared for people that don't have the support for real brick....so I said yeah, thats great so, you want me to sell somebody a basically "fake" brick front for double the price of real brick....

This kind of crap really ticks me off......just another way to screw the HO.."and everyone else"...for a 1/2" piece of product...that the "company "is making a mint on.....and I'm supposed to tell somebody that...this product is great...gee you can have a "fake" brick house for gee $20K...but you can have it resided for under $5K.......
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:04 PM   #2
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Thin brick doesn't usually work out cheaper than real brick, as you mentioned it allows you to use brick where it wasn't designed to be used in a retrofit or remodel application.

It also allows you to not have to address alot of engineering and support concerns on new construction so you can build a simpler frame and there you can realize some cost savings and the thin brick can be cost effective.

Thin brick is also very easy to do a poor install with. I've seen commercial jobs in total shambles and needing to be stripped completely because of the hack contractors doing a job they dont know how to do properly.

I'm not a big fan of thin brick either but has it's uses and for the most part they aren't in residential work except as an expensive residing option.

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Old 11-05-2006, 09:37 AM   #3
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


It is a good product, but it is often used poorly. The applications I recommend it for are:

Bricked vaulted ceilings
Dormers where there would be issues with supporting walls
Kitchens where the would be size issues
All types of remodeling where there is no brick ledge

Of course it is more expensive than real brick. Anyone that says it is a cheap solution or alternative is just wrong. Remember that unless it is a concrete product like Cultured Brick, it involves taking a regular brick and then sawing the face off. Corners require 2 cuts. The way we price it is the cost of the brick, plus a buck a cut (on small jobs). This means that on some types of brick, you can get 2 faces per brick, but most brick only one.

Take a modular face brick at 450 per thousand:

You will only get one face per brick, so each thinbrick has a cost of $1.45. This works out to $10.15 a square foot, with a cost of $9.80 per linear foot for corners plus lath, scratchcoat, thinset and tuckpointing.

Not cheap by any means.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Yeah, I can see it has it's uses. For small decoretive work. I guess its the way these guys try and sell this stuff, that gets my goat. They really list this as being compatably priced with other siding products. What siding product that may be...is beyond me.
Plus if you ask them a strait up pricing question...you get the dog and pony show for the next 10 min.
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


I participated in 2 similar jobs last year. One was vaulted ceilings using full sized old Chicago brick in a a barrel vault throughout the house. The other used the same brick which we cut thin, in various vaulting patterns. Even with the high per square foot of the thin brick, it was almost 1/3 cheaper per square foot installed, and actually looked better, since the real brick required visible steel I beams.

They both looked great, any way you look at it, though.

Know your options, and then you can apply the best solution. While both of the above were new construction, the one that used full sized brick was CMU wall construction and could take the loads, and the other was stick framed and could not have held them as designed.

Last edited by Tscarborough; 11-05-2006 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:02 PM   #6
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Tscarborough,

I'm confused by one of your posts. I'm not a mason by any means but I don't understand why someone couldn't get 2 useable thin brick faces from each modular brick. The brick is 3 5/8" thick and to my understanding the thin cuts would only be about 1/2". Could you please explain?

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Old 09-18-2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cache View Post
Tscarborough,

I'm confused by one of your posts. I'm not a mason by any means but I don't understand why someone couldn't get 2 useable thin brick faces from each modular brick. The brick is 3 5/8" thick and to my understanding the thin cuts would only be about 1/2". Could you please explain?

Cache

There is only one "face" to a brick, That is to say - the good side that you look at once the wall is finished.
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Old 09-18-2007, 02:36 PM   #8
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Hmmm, I wasn't aware that only one face was useable. I was under the impression that the brick (many types of extruded brick at least) could be flipped either direction as long as the cores aren't facing out. Thanks for clearing that up.

On a different note it seems that some of the figures on this thread are a bit misleading. In talking to brick suppliers, the thin bricks are only about 30% more expensive than full brick. Most manufacturers claim that the brick face is cut off the extruded clay before the kiln. When it comes down to it, a DIY homeowner can hang thin brick for just less than 1/2 the cost of hiring a masonry contractor to lay full brick. I don't think it is a question of cost, but rather a question of whether the DIY guy can do a satisfactory job.

If a person were set on a DIY project I would encourage thin brick as they are likely to be able to do a better job with that than with full brick. Not saying that thin brick is fool proof, but rather than full brick takes practice and is easy to screw up. On the other hand, if a contractor will be hired either way, thin brick users probably won't realize any savings.

Last edited by Cache; 09-18-2007 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:18 PM   #9
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


most of the brick I recall had one good face because of the extra work necessary to give it the look or color. Sometimes that was extra color added and baked, other times it may have been the extra sand coating on the finished side. Put up a 27k house using wood mold bricks which were the same on both faces. Nice being able to use different materials to see how they lay.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:48 PM   #10
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Several comments. First, the faces are not cut off before they go into the kiln. If it was possible to fire thin profiles, they would simply extrude them thin, then cook them. They warp and distort, however, so this is seldom done.

Second, a significant portion of the price of brick is freight, so the cost varies widely, even for the same or similar brick in different markets. The same applies to thin brick, to a lesser extent.

Brick are sometimes made with one face and one end "usable", and the other face and end left plain or frogged. Some brick are made with 1 face and both ends finished.

It is generaly cheaper for a DIY'er to use an adheered veneer than it is to hire someone to do it.
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:39 PM   #11
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


I work on the west coast where thin brick has been used since the 70's. The prices range from about $2.00 s/f to $3.50 s/f.

One company in So Cal makes a 2 sided brick that they get 2 faces out of. Corners run about $6.00 l/f.

Structurally speaking, thin brick can be engineered as if it were wall paper, but provides a 1 hr fire rating here.

The know-how makes it much more attractive from a budgetary point of view. Studs with cementitious backer boards or scratch and brown surfaces are ideal, The brick surface will tend to project a poor substrait. So careful attention must be observed.

Comparing full brick vs thin brick alone, will not tell the story. Here in seismic Zone 4, engineering requirements for foundations and footings along with required stainless steel masonry anchors, contribute to the decision.

Matching full brick on pilasters, planters, etc with thin brick veneer with L shaped corners on the walls is totally viable and highly competitive.

As far as a system of trays for the thin brick to go on the wall, with the glue and such....I tend to prefer the old fashond method that the tile setters have proven to work for a few thousand years. My 2 cents.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:11 AM   #12
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


This thread is the reason I recently joined Contractor Talk. I am a newbie to this site, so hello everyone. Anyway I will get down to business.. I build schools and enjoy my work. I am taking a little layoff due to the cold weather (not trying to drive past my 1 hour limit boss), the wife wants a pass through to the dining room. I need to add a beam and frame an arch, we want to do brick. I think thin is the way to go here. Unless I add more steel under the floor to hold real brick, (not likely). So should I use moistened drywall for the backup, or thinner ply wood. Like I said never done thin brick before. I am trying to gain know how before I talk to sales. Water won't be an issue, so just stick em to the backer right?
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #13
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


1/4" Hardi-backer screwed and glued, with thinset to attach the brick.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:40 AM   #14
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


I recently did a wall for a woodburner/gas log, whatever. I didn't want brick because of the weight issue.

I had some very nice dark brown porcelain tile. They were 12x12's. I cut each into 5 pieces with a wet saw. It would have been easier to score and snap them, but I didn't want the super sharp edges. This was more than a wall; it sticks out and serves as the conditioned air supply and return for a floor above. So there are corners, and I did them just like with brick. The tile is a through-and through porcelain, so the ends look good. They would look pretty scheit with a glazed tile.

Anyhow, I did a 1/3 bond on each course, so the joints don't line up every other course, rather every third course. I think this looks much nicer than the typical 1/3 bond. And they are about 12" long, so they look like Normans.

This might be an option for you. You could cut down 8"x8" tile if you wanted the modular brick look. The trick is finding something the right color.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:46 AM   #15
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Thin Brick can be done by DIY'ers but they need to have some basic skills. Not every manufacturer cuts faces off fired brick. Clover Creek Brick, Owensboro Brick, McNear Brick, and Glen-Gery all produce thin brick as a piece of tile and fire it as such. Products are pefectly flat on the back side but do offer tumbled features on the face of the thin brick.

Thin Brick is also available from these manufacturers and others such as Endicott, Metropolitan, and Summitville in a clean, straight edge application. The latter companies predominantly sell to pre-casters and tilt-up companies for commercial applications.

Installation methods vary significantly but there are some very reputable providers such as Loxon (Universal Brick) and Tabs II which sell a 20-year warrantied product. You also have thin-set manufacturer, Laticrete, that has a very aggressive 10-year warrantied product.

Full-size masons will give you a 1-year warranty. Wire-mesh with Type S mortar is 1-year as well. These warranties come from the installer, not the manufacturer of the system or the brick. Manufacturers will warranty their brick products but obviously not the installation method. 20-year warranty vs. 1-year warranty. That's not high-level math!!
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:04 AM   #16
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


it works out to about the same price as brick, the savings is on the labor but the devil's in the detail. thin brick systems do not trim out the same which becomes obvious at windows, doors, etc. careful who you're selling it to they may notice too. we've also experienced some water proofing challenges on chimneys, which is a logical place to use the system given its weight is a fraction of brick. wouldn't hesitate to offer thin brick or thin stone for enhancing the look of exposed concrete foundations for example. give it a watertable but you'll need to reconcile the drip edge of the side, with a swoop detail or ban board. thin brick is around 2" = thin stone maybe 3" depending on the style of stone. we've also used it on interiors for commercial and residential development for a live / work look.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:13 PM   #17
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Most of the posts shown in this forum have serious agendas and/or serious mis-understanding of thin brick. Some have just enough information to be dangerous to the future of thinbrick.

Let me see........ where to begin:

Thinbrick on a steel panel only makes sense from a cost stand point above 130 feet where astm 330 windloads are required because of the extra $3.50 per square foot.

There are many thinbrick out there cut after they are fired and these are less desirable than the thin brick cut or extruded before drying and firing.

Full brick walls which are non load bearing should never ever be considered anymore because:

they weight 80% more, consume 80% more energy to fire, ship and so forth. The walls leak moisture and air and have no r value and a high u factor. They require excessive amounts of steel to hold it up on the building, excessive amounts of cement to lay the brick, larger building foundations and higher taxes since property is measured from outside demensions by Uncle Sam. There are high amounts of jobsite waste and the room for install error is huge. It is a very touchy and mis- understood product to use....... to put it mildly.

Now, as we all know anything no matter how good something is it can be screwed up by someone who does not want it to work ie Full Size Brick installers, full size brick salesman, and full size brick manufacturers.

Field applied thin brick interior or exterior is the only thing that makes any sense if you really do all the research and take into account all the variables.


Ultimate wall system goes like this 1) studs 2) densglas/plywood 3)moisture barrier and 2.5 inches of polystyrene blue board 4) cement board(replaces lath and scratch coat) 5) polymer modified thin set 6)thinbrick 7) polymer modified pointing mortar.



Ba-Bam!!! Now your electrcity bill is 40% lower, your hvac tonnage can be less, you have no future pest control expense, no mold abatement expense, no moisture penetration, no salts to be cleaned off the wall after installation, no harsh acid cleaners, less weight to deal with during and earth quake, when power is lost during a snow storm for 3 days the house stays warmer longer and vice versa in a hot climate when the ac is not working. I could write much more but will wait for now.

Any nice intelligent questions are welcomed. Otherwise do it like your Granddad did it. Don't Change I don't care!

PS: All this does not cost more upfront either.
PSS: I ran the full size masonry con for 40 years so I know.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:47 PM   #18
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


Your ultimate system has maybe a 50 year life, if you are lucky. Shall I show you examples of real masonry thousands of years old (with no maintenance to speak of, BTW)?

Every product has it's place. Faking a masonry structure to get off cheap (upfront), is often a good option for retail and mid-level residential, where the life expectancy of the structure is short. For high end commercial, civil, and residential it is taking a shortcut.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #19
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


There are jobs up in Caifornia with this that are older than fifty. Is this what you say to scare building owners into using full size masonry in a non load bearing situation. Come on man.

Most masons use the scare tatic "I hope it doesn't fall off"

Come into the modern world and smell the coffee. Europe never uses full brick unless it is load bearing. They call them slip brick and there are some very old buildings over there.

I see you are a mason?

Full brick versus thin brick
pay phones versus i phones
eight track tapes versus ipods
newspapers versus internet
Sonny Liston vs Clay

Thin brick jobs installed in the last five years number in the thousands.

Full Brick are being made to a hollow brick spec instead of a astm 216 spec.

Full Brick used to ship 15 billion a year and already went below 4 billion for 2009. They continue to lose market share.

My system is better and will last much longer than your system and is better in every way and I mean everyway.

I am passionate about this and will continue to carry the torch agressively.

Thanks for your reply it lets me know what the competition is saying to undermine our efforts.

Good night.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:45 AM   #20
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Re: Thin Brick, VS Regular Brick


I am not a mason, I sell thin brick and full size brick. I also install thin brick, but not full size brick.

I hold to my stance that there is a place for everything, and often thin brick are used inappropriately.

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