Brick and stone are two beautiful building materials. They can offer a great look for the outside of your home. A brick fireplace or stone retaining wall can also look incredible. However, you may be unclear about what exactly is a brick and how it differs from stone. Understanding the difference can help you make better-informed decisions about your home improvement projects.


Bricks are a man-made building material that is created to be uniform in size and shape. They are also typically a consistent color; however, this is not necessary. These building blocks were traditionally made from clay. However, today, we can make them from clay-bearing soil, sand, lime or concrete.

When you build something out of brick, the blocks are held together with mortar. Typically, they are not laid completely uniformly. Instead, the brickwork is laid in a bond, a pattern of alternating rows or courses. This helps the structure bear more weight.

In many cases, brick can be used as a facade on a concrete or other material. There is no questioning that brick is an attractive building material. Especially when a few, varied colors are laid together, it can be a very pleasing aesthetic.


Stone, on the other hand, is natural. It is less readily available as masonry stones need to be quarried rather than fired. However, many people like the look of stone because it is less even and more organic. Often, masonry stones are somewhere between a dark gray and tan. However, there are plenty of options for size, shape, and color.

Like brick, stone is usually held together with mortar. However, they are not laid in a consistent bond. Instead, each stone needs to be fit individually due to the variance. Using larger stones is usually more intensive because fitting them tends to be more challenging.

Although it is difficult to install, stone is beautiful. It creates a pleasing, organic look. It is often well worth the added effort necessary to use this building material. It can work great for facades, fireplaces, walls, floors and more.

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Now that you understand the differences between these two building materials a little more, you can start thinking about which is right for your needs. Both have a lot to offer and should be serious considerations for anyone working on a home improvement project. Learn more about the building materials available to you before you get started.