Antico Elements Blog

Real Stone And Brick Or Faux

Posted on June 7, 2018

Very often our great followers, clients and supporters ask us what the differences are between “real” stone or brick and the faux versions.

Often, they include in the question a phrase like “how does your product compare to real stone and brick prices?”.
The first thing we bring up is the difference between real and cast. Many of them are not aware of the difference between a stone that has been extracted from a quarry and a stone that has been cast with the use of concrete or even gypsum.

This is an essential distinction because real stone is not affordable but cast stone is priced based on the durability and look.

We have always had one goal in mind, provide a great product at a great price.

Our brick and stone panels always look realistic because we start by crating molds from real products. For example, in the image below you can see how we order real Chicago style reclaimed brick from demolished buildings.
The parts that come out of our molds reproduce every detail of the original material.

Reclaimed-Brick

Reclaimed-Brick

Many companies only resell products and some simply take some of ours and copy them, creating a second or third generation product. It shows!
We manufacture our products in-house, so we control the quality.

There are also other products used to compare to ours.
Wall Paper
Vinyl Sheets
Printed Or Press Cardboard

We want to remind our followers of how they look:

Concrete Blocks

Concrete Blocks

Printed-Stone

Printed-Stone

Once we make our initial educational speech our customers feel a lot more informed and comfortable in making a decision.

It is also true that many of them call us or come to our showroom with a smile in their faces and then say:” do you know how long we’ve been looking for a product like yours?? ”.

For those who need a realistic-looking brick or stone accent, at an affordable price point, we are here to answer any question.

Affordable Remodeling

Posted on July 11, 2014

Remodeling can be a stressful process but that changes with the advances made in the home improvement industry. Tools and remodeling products have been evolving every generation. Saving money while remodeling is not so tricky when using the right materials and methods.

Saw blades are designed with more accuracy and sharpness. Computers now give us more exact construction methods. The handheld tool has been redesigned to have a longer list of different capabilities in order to accommodate many uses.

Chemicals are created that form stronger bonds. Alloys are being designed that are stronger than their previous counterparts. With all of the advancements being made the goal is not only to make different projects easier, but cheaper as well.

Power To The People

Products like faux stone panels enable individuals to do projects such as home renovations or business remodeling themselves. It helps make large remodeling projects affordable. Compounds like polyurethane have been improved upon over the century leading to great architectural elements that aid people in their remodeling project. It is a byproduct of the petroleum refining process and has an incredible amount of longevity. Its manufacturing process has also been upgraded so the atmosphere is not hurt by the emissions the production.

Start Of Renovation

Start Of Renovation

Polyurethane is a hardened resin which is then painted to look exactly like the architectural elements it represents.  The product comes in many different forms. They save a lot of money for people who can’t afford to remodel their homes using regular contractors and traditional construction methods.

Remodeling is an essential part of the economy helping keep the values of home in an attractive profit margin. It stimulates different sectors in manufacturing as well as labor. Polyurethane products may seem insignificant to most people that don’t know about it or have never used it but in fact it is a beacon in the home improvement industry.

It serves as a rally point for people that are ready to make their home better without diving into a series of crippling loans or credit card expenses. This product makes it possible to make anyone’s home or business into a luxurious retreat. By changing your home or business you can revolutionize it so it looks better in a fraction of the time it used to take.

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.

 

Best Brick Options

Posted on August 30, 2013

Great Alternative to Using Natural Brick.

Nobody can forget the classic design of brick. Brick has been used for centuries and it always gives the impression of traditional themes. Many houses use brick columns or walls in their home to give it a unique and cozy look. Many businesses also use brick in their spaces. Brick is a common way to create a traditional yet rustic look. For example, when someone walks into a pizza shop in Miami, Florida and they see classic brick design in the entrance and around the brick oven they feel as if they stepped into a Brooklyn, New York Pizzeria.

Low Quality Product

Unfortunately, brick has many limitations and it is expensive to install. The material cost is not only high but also the labor cost of installing it is exorbitant. In addition, brick  forms mildew over time which has to be maintained for the correct look.  The list of problems with real brick are extensive and I could bore you with the scientific details but I will save you the time and research since I already did the leg work. So what do we do if we don’t want to lose the great appeal that brick has but we don’t want the trouble that comes with it.

Well the best option is to use faux brick because it is durable, easy to install and more cost-time effective. Imitation brick has all of the benefits and none of the disadvantages associated with brick. It gives the appearance of real brick without any of the drawbacks. Imagine that blank old looking wall in dire need of some attention thankfully, veneer brick is extremely user friendly and quick to install.

Great faux brick installation

Great faux brick installation

Whether it is a restaurant or a home, polyurethane is the answer to creating that brick look you wanted without the headache.  There are various styles of imitation brick so that way there is no end to what they can be matched with. So when looking to redecorate don't worry you can still get that great brick look without all the disadvantages of brick.

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.

Create a comfortable work space with faux stone and faux brick panels.

Posted on June 29, 2012

 

It is easy to believe that a person spends more time at work than at home. An average of about 8-10 hours a day are spent in an office or work environment. So, people naturally would like to be as comfortable as possible while completing daily tasks. There are different elements that play a role in comfort, for one an office chair and desk play a vital role in a person's comfort level at work, and also the work atmosphere must play a role as well. The theme can range from the colors of the walls, to the style of carpet designs, to open or closed cubicles and etc.

Office and restaurant faux brick applicationsA great way to impact the atmosphere of the work place is to give the area a makeover. This can be done on a very low cost budget. Some good ideas to start with are opening up the area with natural sunlight or knocking down cubicles or even dramatically changing the theme of a restaurant. Another great option would be to switch up the colors and or themes of the space. If paint jobs are out of the question because of the mess it causes, an excellent alternative with less mess would be panels of fake brick. These panels offer great detail and texture in material while also showing great designs and patterns.

Typical designs are natural stone looks but aren't limited to that, there are now more modern and industrial looks to compliment an art gallery or maybe even a construction office. The installation is key, panel placement can be done in minutes with little to no cleanup needed. Simple tools are all that's need such as screwdrivers, adhesive glues, and hammer and nails. These panels will dramatically change the energy and atmosphere of an office, which can directly improve the work output of your employees. The supervisor should start to see an improvement in production and overall energy in the work place!

 

Using faux brick to create the ultimate contemporary room!

Posted on June 1, 2012

 

Give a room or office the ultimate contemporary look while saving tons of money through the use of faux brick products. These brick products are becoming increasingly popular due to the lightweight material and easy installation along with the affordable pricing on a variety of faux stone panels designs. Contractors are starting to take notice of the high demand faux brick products as well. There are many options in the home improvement market for suitable faux brick designs and colors.

Faux brick are the perfect option to transform a plan room or space into a contemporary or traditional oasis. They can also be used to spruce up existing bricks by being installed right on top of the old bricks. When thinking of a contemporary theme, it shouldn't be limited to art galleries and industrial sites, but even in households faux brick can offer a complimentary look to an existing room. It is now easier than ever to redesign an old basement or guest room into the ultimate office or entertainment space using the faux brick. If your basement has a drab concrete floor that has seen better days, give it a make over with the addition of an accent wall of faux brick.

Adding a faux brick finish to a wall can give a living room, dining room or family room a relaxed, natural touch. Faux brick can be used on almost any surface, and can installed in seconds through the use of construction adhesives and screws. Another great option to dramatically change a room is to give your modern or contemporary fireplace a cozier look, and redo the surround in faux brick. This can dramatically change the look and theme of a room instantly!

 

Installation Instructions For Faux Brick Panels

Posted on May 16, 2012

Use this video to view the general installation guidelines for our brick panels. For more detailed instructions please read through the article below the video:

 

 

 

 

Antico Elements` great brick panels are designed to interlock on all sides to create a seamless look. They are designed for Indoor and Outdoor uses. Even though the installation is very simple, make sure to read the instructions in order to avoid problems and gaps with these types of faux brick panels.

Chicago-Red
Chicago-Red

Before installations:
Always try to keep the panels leveled. The walls should be dry and free of dust. We strongly suggest the use of the fasteners and plenty of adhesive where the panels and lips overlap.
Important: When using the product outdoor make sure to store the panels in a cool area before installing them. If they are left in a hot place it may cause a small degree of shrinkage when the temperature outside drops.

Tools needed: ( same as wood cutting tools )

• Measuring tape and pencil
• Table saw, circular saw, miter saw,  jig saw etc. You can use any blade designed for wood. Our material is very friendly.
• Nails or screws ( exterior grade if used outdoor and masonry screws for brick, concrete etc)
• Nail set
• Hammer (or screw driver/drill if using screws)
• Level
• Framing square
• Chalk line
• Construction adhesive, E.G: Liquid Nails, PL, etc.
• Safety Glasses

Our products can be installed Indoor and Outdoor, directly over framing, drywall, brick or concrete.
-For indoor all you need is adhesive, caulking and wood screws or long staples/finish nails.
-For outdoor you might need an outdoor grade adhesive and galvanized screws. Some caulking may be needed.
-For brick, concrete, cinder blocks and similar you will need masonry screws, like "Tapcons".

Installing parts:

Installing Faux Brick - Click To Enlarge

It is always a good idea to temporarily lay out the faux brick panels around the project to plan which / how faux brick panels will be cut and which will not.

We recommend that you install the panels from right to left unless you plan to use corner pieces ( see below ). For better results marks some horizontal chalk lines on the wall to keep your panels leveled.
Position the panels so that the horizontal lip is at the top and the horizontal notch at the bottom.
To start, the right side of the first panel should be trimmed, removing the fingers and creating a straight edge.

Cut the right fingers of the first panel - Click To Enlarge

Apply a few lines of adhesive in the back and where the panels overlap / interlock and fasten the panel to the wall using screws, nails or long brad nails. We suggest using at least 8-10 screws per panel.

Apply Adhesive - Click To Enlarge

Continue with the rest of the panels of the first row. If the faux brick panels terminate against another wall, simply cut the panel to size. The exposed edges will be hidden by the next wall. It is always better to mark your dimensions in the back of the panels.

If you have an outside corner wall and need to wrap around it with our faux brick, you have at least 2 options. Using our Corners or Mitering the panels' cuts.

1- Use our Faux Brick Corners.

Faux Brick Corner
Using Our Faux Brick Corners - Click To Enlarge

When using the Outside Brick Corners we suggest starting the installation from one of the corners, and not from left to right on a wall, as mentioned at the top of this page.
Installing the left side will be easy. Installing panels on the right side of the corner will require lifting the previous panel a bit to squeeze the next one in. Not a big problem.

When using multiple corners you will notice that at one side of the wall you will interlock panel-to-corner easily and on the opposite side some "jig-sawing" will be necessary. In this case you should not install all the corners first. See Image below.

Trace the fingers of the corner on the panel - Click To Enlarge

To accomplish this, simply cut the last panel on that wall straight with the corner of the wall.
Place the corner on top of the panel and trace the fingers of the corner on the panel with a pencil.
Remove the corner and with a jig saw create the matching fingers on the panel so that the two parts will interlock.

Now you may install the last panel and this corner piece. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the flat "lip" on the panel or corner that is not getting cut, to create a flat and even seam.

On the other side of this corner you can simply interlock your next panel, the "fingers" will match without having to make custom cuts.
Repeat this method for each corner, where panels are installed between corners.

2- Create a mitered corner with a panel. For more on this type of cuts see: How To Create A Mitered Corner

You can use a faux brick panel to wrap around a corner.

Mitering a corner
Cut a panel at 45 degrees - Click To Enlarge

One important note: Always use the two pieces of one panel for the left and right side of the corner so that the brick will match at the tip.

Finished Mitered Corner - Click To Enlarge

The same steps may be followed to create an Inside Corner. The only difference is that the panel needs to be cut with the opposite angle, as in the image below:

Cutting at 45 degrees to make an inside turn
Cutting at 45 degrees to make an inside turn
Continue installing brick panels on the next wall
Continue installing brick panels on the next wall

When installing multiple rows of panels make sure to start the second and every other row, with half panel so that the seams will be staggered and you be able to use more of the left-over pieces. This is a great way to hide the seams since they will not all line up in the same vertical line.

In cases where you stop the installation of the panels in the middle of a wall or at a corner there are a few options available to cover the exposed material at the edge:
1- Use our Door And Window Trim to install right where the panel gets cut

2- Cut the end of the panel at 45 degrees and then miter cut a triangle piece from a left over panel to create a return. You may follow the instruction on How To Create A Return. See also the image below.

Create A Return
How To Create A Return

3- Some customers sand and file the cut edges and shape them as the end of a real brick. They apply some textured caulk and paint it with our Touch-Up kits. This last step takes a little time to complete.

For the top edge of the panels, we have a really nice Ledge Trim that is meant to nicely sit on top of a panel.

For exterior application we suggest caulking the edges where water could penetrate.

For light-colored panels (especially white) we strongly suggest applying a heavy amount of caulking in all joints. When the caulk dries paint it over with the same paint used on the panels. We do offer touch-up paint.

Caulk Joints if they are visible.
Caulk joints if they are visible.

Enjoy!

.

Feel free to request additions and modification to these instructions. Send us a comment by clicking here to email info@anticoelements.com.
Thanks!

Faux Brick For Residential And Commercial Uses

Posted on May 6, 2012

It is quite amazing to see the versatility that some products have. This is especially true for our Faux Brick used in this great commercial project. Let's face it, we all know how expensive it is to use real brick for small, large or medium projects.

For once, finding a contractor that will come out just to give you an estimate is a difficult and often stressful undertaking. Many wait a long time just to be presented with a pricy estimate that they can't really afford. This is because using real brick instead of faux brick requires a lot of work in the wall preparation. A great list of faux brick panels is HERE Moving the material before the installation is not an easy step either. Real brick is very heavy on it's own.

When you add the weight of the material plus the substrate preparation, which often includes a wire mash or concrete sheeting, in many cases the wall structure is not adequate anymore.

When looking at this undergoing project for a Pizza Restaurant we can see how incredibly realistic the faux brick is. New photos coming soon.

Uses of faux brick for commercial and residential

This particular customer just installed the brick panels directly on drywall. He didn't have to worry about the footing or reinforcing the studs. These faux brick go up very quickly and they can wrap around corners with an incredible ease. Most customers just run the the panels on a tables saw to create a mitered corner and make the faux brick look like a natural corner brick. No mortar or thin set was used!

It is often difficult to express how advantageous it is to use faux brick versus real brick. One has to really touch, feel and install this product to understand completely.

Visit our catalog for our beautiful and affordable faux brick panels and accessories.

Presenting The Amazing Faux Brick.

Posted on April 28, 2012

The first thing that comes to mind to most people, when seeing the words faux brick, is faux paint and maybe painting a brick pattern on a wall. This is because for decades there were really a couple of options to create a brick look.

You could either use full brick, brick veneer, or thin brick and maybe go toward the faux painting route. The first options was usually the one homeowner discarded quickly. Installing real brick is not a job for weekenders or inexperienced brick layers. It is a heavy job and quite messy.
Painting a brick pattern on a wall can take a long time to master and by the time you get to that point the walls already finished do not really look like what you had envisioned in the beginning.

The reason why faux brick in the form of wall panels are becoming so incredibly popular is that it avoids all the above.Panels of imitation brickThe advantages are not only for homeowners but for builders alike. These faux brick are not just some fake looking panel, they actually incredibly realistic. So why not use a cheaper product, one that anyone can install quickly and achieve the same result?

It might be a concept hard to grasp because such revolutionary product has not been seen until the past few years. All people need to do is order a sample from Antico Elements to see how real they look. Ideally you want to get samples from other sources to compare and realize that Antico's quality is higher and at the best faux brick price. Also let's not forget that not every store offering faux brick can honestly say they are Made In USA.