Concrete Brick Costs Less Than Clay
Whether you are building a home, garden walkway or exterior patio, you may find yourself debating between concrete brick and clay brick. These two materials serve much of the same function. However, they both offer unique characteristics that deliver different benefits. One of the most important considerations is cost.
Concrete Brick Prices vs. Clay Prices
Yes, it is true. Concrete brick is typically less expensive than clay brick. By some estimates, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars from the cost of building an average-sized house by choosing concrete over clay. However, there are varying qualities of concrete brick. The least expensive will not be color treated and may exhibit a less durable construction.
Weighing Cost With Appearance
Choosing concrete over clay should not be based on price alone. More importantly, are factors such as long-term durability and visual appeal. In terms of appearance, many homeowners prefer the look of clay when compared cement. In general, clay offers a warmth that is hard to recreate in colored cement. Having said that, cement bricks can be manufactured in a much wider range of colors. Clay bricks are typically limited to browns, oranges, reds and other earth tones.
Cost vs. Long-Term Durability
Colorfastness is another consideration when choosing between concrete brick and clay. Concrete brick achieves its variations in color through the use of colored dye. Over time, sun damage can cause the color of these exterior bricks to fade. Additionally, if the concrete bricks are surface painted (not colored throughout), then chipping or other wear and tear may reveal discoloration.
Clay tends to retain color and structural appeal much longer than cement. So, while cheaper, cement bricks may not be worthwhile if you are worried about long-term visual appeal.
Considering Brick Shape
If you are using brick for decorative purposes, then concrete may be your better option. When it comes to brick shape, concrete is a much more versatile product. Concrete brick comes in a myriad of shapes – from squares and triangles to octagons and trapezoids. Clay, on the other hand, is typically limited to more traditional shapes such as rectangles. Concrete can also be stamped or textured to provide unique visual appeal.