Antico Elements Blog

Imitation Brick Paneling For Siding And Home Skirting

Posted on November 18, 2016

There was a time when homes were built on a foundation of real rocks and bricks. That was not only time consuming but expensive and it would let humidity and cold rise to the house floor.

Today we have learned to raise and isolate homes and all kinds of buildings from the floor.
This presents different but smaller challenges. There is a crawl space beneath the home that needs to be covered with affordable and visually appealing products.

Thankfully companies like Antico Elements come to the rescue!

We have created imitation sheets of brick that look incredibly real and beautiful.

Faux Siding And Skirting Panels

Faux Siding And Skirting Brick Panels In Tan Color

Because of the nature of these faux sheets, whether they have the look of rock, wood or brick, they can be quickly and easily used around the home skirting area or on a whole façade.
Above you can see a beautiful example of such installation, where the customer was so excited that he posted photos in different places.

Close-Up Of The Tan Panels

Close-Up Of The Tan Panels

We understand that siding installer are a bit reluctant to try new products but we have seen so many of them taking the first step toward the use of faux brick panels and never going back to vinyl looking products.

These sheets are not Styrofoam, on the contrary they are made of a very dense resin that is designed to be waterproof and is treated with multiple layers of exterior acrylic paints.

There is now hardware required, like metal channels or clips.
They can be put directly over the framing between the bottom of the house and the ground. Some homeowner use cinderblocks, some simply aluminum or galvanized studs and install the faux brick directly on them.

More Info About This Product

Click For More Info About This Product

The only problem about this solution is making consumers seeing it. Once they do, they never use anything else.

Why Use Imitation Brick Panels vs. Natural Brick

Posted on December 29, 2015

Real Brick Vs Faux Brick Wall Panels And Advantages

How do you make the decision of whether or not to use real or fake brick for your masterpiece? Which factors would contribute to that decision when considering both? For some this could be a difficult decision and yet for others it's as simple as taking a look at a few key points. Whether your trying to give a fresh new look to your home, or trying to give it to your business

The look and appeal of brick has attracted many people to that style. The problem is the limitations of natural brick far outweigh the benefits. This problem has been solved by the advent of faux brick products.

Uneven Brick wall

Uneven Brick wall

Take a look at the grout lines in the faux brick wall panels and observe how uneven, rustic and attractive they are. Real brick is extremely difficult and time consuming to repair. It requires a mason and the right brick.

Repairing a cracked brick in a wall consists of many long steps, plus it is very common for brick or stones to chip off and crack since they are extremely porous.

In some cases homeowners complained about excess dust from their brick slowly crumbling and dirtying their floors.  Another problem with natural elements is their porous structure allows for water and mold to get inside it.

Once the water finds a crevice to sit in, the mold develops. In addition, water turns into ice and it can crack the stone or brick leaving an unappealing scar on the once beautiful veneer. This has been accounted for by developers of faux brick wall panels.

Alternative products such as faux brick avoid this problem because they are water and mold resistant. Since the hardened resin of imitation products has a closed cell structure, none of the problems for natural elements listed above can affect the ultimate finished project. This enables it to be one of the most efficient products in the home improvement industry.

Antico White Brick

Antico White Brick

Using natural brick also brings a high transportation cost to the table because of the weight involved along with the labor involved in moving it. Since it is extremely heavy the contractor does charge for transportation costs, which is an extra expense that you have to worry about.

This also limits the kinds of projects that can be completed because the weight can bring down certain walls.

If you put too much weight on drywall, it will most definitely fail under the pressure resulting in a huge mess and the total loss of your wall.

Another  limitation for using real stone or brick is the height you are allowed to build. With polyurethane products, the weight is minimal so you can go as high as you want.

Unfortunately, there are many unseen obstacles and problems that come up with using real brick. The preparation takes a long time. There is also the cost of the labor which can run $30 per square foot. You can double check this in the local masonry guide. Fake brick or faux brick wall panels can help people save a ton of money. You can see how they look here

After the prep work is done then the measurements must be taken and the bricks set down on the mortar.

Each row is time consuming and tedious which adds on a higher labor cost. If I was a restaurant owner and I needed to be opened quickly, this method of construction would drastically slow down the project completion time.

The best alternatives look great and take less than a fraction of the time to complete. So not only is the restaurant owner losing money on labor costs but now losing time that the restaurant could be open. Don't get stuck using vinyl brick because it can not stand up to the test of time.

 

Antico brick-charcoal

Antico brick-charcoal

Essentially, using real brick would have hurt the project greatly by slowing it down. Different options like the imitation brick panels can greatly increase the speed of construction saving the owner thousands in the long run. Using other alternative brick styles like brick wallpaper or vinyl brick like the one in this picture can ruin a project over time.

Avoid The Weight

Posted on December 11, 2013

Many building projects have a lot of factors that affect the construction process. Weight is a big factor in the construction process. It affects the transportation costs.

It also influences the labor cost by increasing the time it takes to install as well. Ultimately, weight can play a large role in any type of building project. Thankfully, there is a great way to get around the weight issue.

Stone slabs

Any masonry job can cost a large amount of money due to the installation and the many additional expenses associated with it.

Some of the major expenses that affect the price is the actual cutting of the stone from the quarry and then transportation cost.

That expense is calculated into the material price at first. The contractor picking up the stone or brick can add onto the bill whatever amount they want.

A small section of a couple dozen square feet would weigh hundreds of pounds. If that were to ship with UPS or a freight company it would cost a fortune. Even with freight shipments it will be expensive because they weigh so much that the cost can even prevent certain projects from being finished.

The weight can also prevent it from being installed in certain spaces. Some walls are not designed to hold that kind of weight so it limits the areas that you can apply the stone.

This problem can hold back a lot of people from using the real stone on their projects.

Since our imitation stone panels don’t weigh that much they can be placed on any flat surface.

Another problem with using natural stone is the distance from the quarry. The selection for some people is extremely narrow because the distance can prohibit the use of different styles from regions farther away. For example, a client in New York would spend a fortune getting desert style stone to his or her project.

Stone with water

With our product you can choose from dozens of styles and colors.

Natural stone weighs too much to send around the country which prohibits the stylistic choices for the client.

Real stone is obsolete. The weight involved in stone installation is too inefficient because it is not cost effective. Our high quality faux stone or brick panels come with an array of accessories that help make it look and feel real.

Let's not forget about the wall preparation. With natural stone or brick a different type of framing and preparation is required to hold the weight of the stone. This is not the case with the faux version.

Brick Isn’t All That Its Cracked Up To Be

Posted on October 24, 2013

Over the years people have seen many problems arise from using brick masonry. Now there is a simple solution.

This article will talk about the different reasons why brick doesn’t stand up to the test of time and climate. The main reason people still use brick is because of traditional usage and the psychological familiarity. Unfortunately, using brick is the most inefficient method there is because of its time consuming process and the lack of structural integrity. They have been incorporated within many modern designs but they still have too many drawbacks.

Bad Brick SeamLow Quality ProductUsing brick may look great but it requires a lot of complicated steps before installation and maintenance. The main problem with using brick is the drainage of moisture. Without proper drainage throughout the right outlets the life of the brick will decrease, requiring an expensive repair process.

Pictures of a broken chimney come to mind when observing the disadvantages of brick. There are dozens of brick chimneys that have not survived the test of time due to simple problems that arise with brick. There are many issues in climates where freezing may occur because freezing of water can cause the moisture trapped within the area of the brick to expand and start cracking the brick. The best way to avoid this is by using brick veneer panels.

Another problem that arises is the heat expansion of the bricks. If the builder hasn’t accounted for heat expansion then a major problem could arise in the future summers to come. Heat can cause the bricks to expand beyond a point that would cause them to crack and fall out of place.

It happens commonly, if they have not been aligned with the correct formula. Saving time and money is always important in any construction job but never at the cost of the project or else the client will have to pay twice. The most important thing that hasn't been recognized in the construction industry is the fact that without using the best materials projects will be over budget and over time. Crews could save countless hours by using the panels.

Real Feedback Equals Real Results

Posted on October 17, 2013

The home improvement industry is constantly changing and finding good products is getting harder every day which is why using consumers' feedback is important. The best way to find out about new products is getting feedback from customers themselves. Learning about real experiences help paint a better picture of the pros and cons in using natural stone. Unlike consumers who have used traditional masonry people who have purchased fake stone panels have all fallen in love with the professional look and easy installation process.

Using trial and error is not the most efficient means of production so people use different forums like Houzz.com to find out information on the projects they want to tackle before they get started. Doing your homework can increase the efficiency of the project and make sure they come out looking like this living room below.

Many home improvement projects include using stone facing for skirting or foundation cladding. Projects that use stone may appear inexpensive at first but once we take real people’s experiences and extrapolate the real cost after construction then we can make an educated decision.

Educating the masses and helping others is the main reason why people need to do their homework before starting a project. Taking a look at the real costs and methods involved in the project can help people save money and time.

Stone cladding takes a long time to finish. For example, to cover 48 square feet with thin river rock natural stone pieces took two people three days to finish. With faux stone panels it could have easily taken under three hours. It would have only required about five river rock panels which you can find here.

Here is an excerpt from their discussion, “We were very pleased. He and his father are great and actually did the entire kitchen from pictures I drew. This stone work job cost roughly $1,300. A bargain!” According to them this was a bargain when it could have cost them $834 including shipping if they used faux stone panels. Plus it would have only taken three hours to complete the project with one person.

Another example of the long time it takes to complete a stone facing project is an instance where a man wanted to cover the foundation of his house. Some of the sides he was covering amounted to 300 square feet and some were only 28 square feet.

Imagine if you will trying to mortar a piece of stone above your head that weighs easily a couple of pounds which could easily fall and kill you with one blow with one wrong step or the mortar didn't hold it. I don’t know about you but that seems a little ridiculous to take that risk just to make your house look better. Take a look at this picture and imagine if one of those stone pieces came off the grout line and fell on one of the guys with no helmet. Do you think a trip to the hospital would make a difference?

The house below represents the instance of the man trying to cover the foundation in natural stone. He took two summers working from June to November to finish the whole project. The project required him to mix eighty bags by hand. For those of us who have already mixed bags of mortar by hand your wrist is probably already aching just at the thought of it, but for those readers who haven’t had the pleasure try it and see how your arm feels after a couple bags.

Faux Sheet Installation

In conclusion, most of our readers now realize that there has to be a better and faster way to get the same results. Thankfully, there is a better way that only requires the ability to lift light panels of imitation stone. Faux stone or imitation stone panel installation only takes a fraction of the time it takes for traditional stone installation and isn't dangerous at all.

 

 

Stone Veneer Facing Made Fast

Posted on October 10, 2013

Stone facing is a long and complex process. This article describes many steps involved in conventional masonry while shedding light on the advantages of imitation stone panels. These steps could otherwise be avoided using fake stone panels which provide a better look at a fraction of the price. Also, there are different unseen expenses that are overlooked in the initial proposal for the project.

The crew needed for the project is another factor that can add a large expense, especially if the project runs into delays due to bad weather which doesn't effect faux stone panel installation. Stone facing can be broken down into a couple of steps which highlight the disadvantages of using this process. Observe the picture below to get an idea of the various steps involved.

Learn The Process And Choose For Yourself

The first step requires choosing a method for the securing the base mortar coat. Once you have chosen the surface then get the vertical substrate ready which means laying down the base mortar coat adding more time to the project.

The substrate or underlying wall where the stone is being placed has to meet certain requirements before being set.It must be strong enough to hold the weight of the stone cladding so a wooden frame won’t hold up. It also needs to have a waterproof barrier which is extremely important. Usually, cinder block or steel substrates are needed to give support to the masonry veneer.

Masonry veneer means stone facing that has no load bearing components but still requires a lot of preparation work before installing. Even though it has no load bearing effect the masonry still needs to have a drainage cavity for projects that may encounter moisture. The drainage cavity allows for moisture to be disposed of properly so the interior wall isn't destroyed by moisture deterioration.

Masonry projects cost as much to maintain as they cost to build according to, masoncontractors (OCTOBER 25, 2010 9:30 AM CDT). This maintenance is usually due one of the many factors that can go wrong in masonry. Then the masonry crew must build a flashing system at the base of the veneer. The flashing system is designed to prevent moisture from deteriorating the joints and mortar in the wall.

Moisture is the main factor that really hurts most masonry projects and requires more labor because creating the flashing system is an expensive and necessary process. Masonry cladding also requires lateral support in order to reinforce the stone facing. All of these steps and more must be considered in any masonry project because time is money and the more time a project takes the more money it costs to finish.

The Logical Choice

Stone close-up

Stone close-up

After all of these steps there are still many aspects and factors that require more in depth review which will be discussed in future articles. With the basic overview above we can easily see the long and expensive process it takes to build using the natural stone facing process. Imitation stone panels could easily create the same or better result in a fraction of the time it takes to place natural stone. Check out some of the panels here.

Mobile Home Faux Stone Skirting

Posted on September 20, 2013

Mobile homes and trailers represent 21% of the housing market. Although, there has been a dip in the number of mobile homes bought since 2010 many people still flock to the manufactured mobile homes since they are more affordable and offer a chance to relocate with short notice.

Mobile homes started to gather momentum in the market once developers started to introduce more unique units. The variety and diversification offered helped stimulate sales because nobody likes to get an exact copy when purchasing their home. This highlighted a great marketing tool; customize your mobile homes and they will sell faster.

faux stone siding

 

Mobile homes can be a little repetitive in the design so many mobile homeowners and developers are always looking for a way to improve or customize their home. Many people may have heard this phrase from their spouse, “But I wanted a brick house, or at least a nice stone looking house.” Many people like the mobility of mobile homes but hate the monotonous design or the plain skirting at the bottom of their trailer.

Sometimes retirees like to move down south from the northern areas of the United States in order to get out of that cold weather. The houses in the northern states of the US have many brick and traditional stone designs. This means that many of them are used to that look and get disappointed when they move into their mobile home community.

After Stone Cladding

After Stone Cladding

Now many mobile homeowners can be empowered to be unique and bring back that traditional design element that they may miss from older neighborhoods. Brick and stone veneer panels create an ambiance that doesn’t ever go out of fashion because not only do they help make your mobile home look like a castle, they increase the value of the home and the neighborhood itself.

The most important thing to remember when using these panels is that mobility is not a problem because the panels are detachable meaning that you can remove them and take them with you if you simply use screws.

Once you want to leave you can just unscrew the panels and go. All you would really need to do is screw them in with three inch screws which isn't a problem for this style of material. These kind of projects would be impossible to do with natural stone and they would be entirely more expensive.

Here are some great removable siding panels:  www.anticoelements.com/content/13-faux-stone-siding

Try to take note of where you put the screws because after installation and touch up they will be virtually invisible after installation. The trend of using faux stone panels has taken hold and soon many mobile home communities will employ the use of veneer panels in order to customize and accentuate their home.

Stone cladding! Word press!

Imitation Brick Helps Staging and Display Companies

Posted on September 3, 2013
Faux Brick Display

Faux Brick Display

Creating the perfect display or set takes and attention to detail and the right materials. Display companies do not have time to waste so everything that they do has to be fast. Brick takes a long time to lay and mortar so display or staging companies use to be stuck with limited options if their project called for a brick look. Now these companies have found a great way around that dilemma by using imitation or faux brick. By utilizing this product they can quickly build their project using imitation brick panels without losing time or money.  Many movie companies and the set designers have the need to create whole fake houses or buildings sometimes. This need creates a huge demand for imitation brick and stone because it is so easy to build with and it is fast to setup and take down. As you can see above the display called for a brick style and it came out looking great.

Many restaurants or bars tend to use the brick style in order to give the New York or Chicago traditional style.  People don't even notice the difference when they sit down. The panels are so textured and real that most of the bar's customers will never find out. Many big name restaurants such as Carrabas and Olive Garden have employed faux brick in their bars in order to help create a comfy atmosphere.

Reusable faux stone panels for a bar

Reusable faux stone panels in a new bar

  The main advantage of using this product is the speed and flexibility it offers to help move the project along quickly. Many set directors and staging companies love this product because it helps them win over their clients. Restaurant and bar owners both love using faux brick style to accent their business in order to make their clients happy. Staging companies have also adopted this product as a great way to enhance their projects. So relax and do not worry about the deadline because this product will help get it done on time.

 

Do You Want To Cover Concrete Foundations With Faux Brick Or Stone? No Problem.

Posted on August 15, 2013

The use of formed concrete foundations or prefab and insulated walls are simply the standard in today’s construction world. After all, have you seen anyone build a foundation with stone or cinder blocks lately? We didn’t think so. Nobody today is willing to spend the money necessary to build the foundation with a material that provides a better finished look, right away.

Before Stone Cladding

Before Stone Cladding

Most of the homes you see today have an exposed concrete foundation that either looks like rough concrete or that has a brick pattern which undoubtedly looks fake.

What can you do in this situation?

Painting those walls is just going to make a very small cosmetic improvement. Many who are not aware of other solutions ahve also used vinyl siding, with the results we all see around us. What you really are left with is covering the concrete foundation with realistic faux stone, rocks or brick. You have already spent a considerable amount of money to build the house and the foundation so, most likely, you will want to find an affordable faux stone cladding solution.

Available stone cladding options.

1- Paint. As mentioned this provides a visually small improvement but it’s definitely affordable.

2- You could look into applying a layer of textured stucco. This wouldn’t clearly work where the foundation has a brick pattern. The stucco will follow those fake grout lines and show what is behind it. It is also not that affordable as the foundation has to be prepared and the stucco must be applied with a trowel, which is labor-intensive.

After Stone Cladding

After Stone Cladding

3- Some companies who normally install this type of cladding are used to cast stone, which is made of heavy concrete mixes. They say it is a lighter alternative to real stone or brick but it is still quite heavy nonetheless. Stucco cannot be applied directly to the concrete as well, particularly if it has been already painted. In most cases you will need to install a layer of plywood or flat boards on which to glue block by block.

4- Use a light weight faux stone that solves a wide range of hurdles. When using faux rock and stone panels you will bypass the biggest obstacle of the project; the preparation of the concrete wall.
This material will also remove the constant need to fix peeling and dark moldy spots.
Faux stone panels are usually less than two inches thick so they integrate well with siding materials above the foundation level. The size and look of the stones are very different so you are not stuck with just one pattern and color.
As you know, concrete is one of the worst insulating materials and it transmits the outside temperatures to the inside of the wall. This is mostly the reason why basements are so cold. Using a layer of faux stone, the one made of resins that provide an R4 or R5 insulation factor, will protect you for extreme temperatures.
Paint, stucco or cast stone will not do that therefore the saving in using faux rocks also shows up in your heating and cooling bills.

Stone below siding

Stone below siding

Another great article on how to use faux stone as siding is here:
http://www.anticoelements.com/blog/just-in-stacked-stone-panels-to-reface-a-home-facade/

Let's not forget one of the most important advantages and that is the savings in labor costs.

For an example of how easy it is to install these panels make sure to visit our Installation Pages.
http://www.anticoelements.com/blog/installation-pages/

One thing these faux stone panels are great for is the skirting of a mobile home or raised home. If you have an open space below the foundation of your home there is a very simple solution. House skirting with panels of stone. All you have to do is create a simple frame with vertical strips and glue/screw the faux stone on them. It will look like a real and solid stone wall.