Two Methods of Exterior Wall Construction – Solid Masonry and Brick Veneers

There are several methods and types of materials used in the construction of exterior walls. Among these methods are solid masonry and brick veneers. These methods have in common that they use, in a way, a similar construction material. Brick veneers are actually, solid blocks, very similar to regular bricks. They are not as thin as veneers used for cladding.

However, these two methods, solid masonry and brick veneers, have different installation techniques.

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Brick Veneer Construction Method

An exterior wall consists of several layers called “whytes”. Exterior walls made of brick veneers have the following “whytes”:

  • An exterior “whyte” made from brick veneers
  • An interior “whyte”, which support the structural load of the building made from steel frame or wooden frame – covered with insulation or wood sheathing.

The connection between the two “whytes” is made with metal rods. So actually, brick veneers is siding, it does not support the load of the building.

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                  Brick Veneer Method Advantages:

  • Very practical, aesthetic look
  • Affordable and easy to install
  • Superior and efficient insulation; the cavity between the veneer “whyte” and the frame prevents moisture and provide for further sound and thermal insulation.
  • Easy to repair
  • Water is evacuated and evaporates quickly through the weep holes.

Solid Masonry Construction Method

Solid masonry construction method consists of two or more bricklayers. Sometime the inside layer is made from cinder blocks or concrete blocks.

Every six rows, header bricks (or metal rods), anchor the two “whytes”.

These walls bear the load of the building. Therefore they are built on concrete foundation.

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Solid Masonry Method Advantages:

  • These walls are more stronger than veneer walls
  • They are stable and more resistant to storms and earthquakes.
  • Resistant to fire – solid masonry is used firewall construction.
  • They are durable and long lasting.

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