Masonry vs. Concrete: Choosing the Best Hardscape Material

Masonry vs. Concrete: Choosing the Best Hardscape Material

Who wins the battle between masonry vs. concrete? When you’re looking to add some hardscape features to your home, you might be wondering what the best materials to use are. You want something functional that’ll look great too, right?

If you’re trying to decide between masonry and concrete, we can help. With over 10 years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in Indiana design and install beautiful patios and walkways.

As with any new construction, it’s important to weigh your options. You want to know the difference between certain materials, the application process, and durability. Masonry and concrete are both quality building materials, but which one is best for you?

Advantages of Masonry and Concrete

Even though they can serve the same purpose and have some similar qualities, masonry and concrete are two different things. It’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages between the two.

Masonry

Masonry generally refers to the bricks, stones, and blocks used to structure a hardscape. They are laid in and bound together by mortar to form a highly durable structure. Some advantages of choosing masonry for your project include:

  • Design: Expert craftsmanship in bricklaying creates a beautiful, elegant design for any hardscape feature. There are different patterns that can be created with brick and masonry is a surefire way to increase your home’s appeal (which will increase your home’s value, too).
  • Long-lasting: Both masonry materials are very durable. Brick and stone are very heavy materials and when they’re set in mortar, they can withstand any weather conditions Indiana brings.
  • Non-combustible: Masonry is a fire-resistant product that can protect your home.
  • Thermal Mass: Brick has the capacity to resist temperature fluctuations. It can provide a cool, relaxing area during those long, hot summers in Indianapolis. Perfect for patio spaces!

Concrete

Concrete is a combination of three elements: cement, water, and aggregate (typically sand). It’s one of the most commonly used building materials. Some advantages of choosing concrete for your project include:

  • Versatility: Since the slurry, or liquid product before hardened concrete, is poured into molds it can be formed into virtually any shape.
  • Strength: Concrete is a very resilient and strong material. However, brick has a compressive strength two to three times higher.
  • High Water Resistance: Since concrete doesn’t absorb water, it’s often said it has a consistency close to waterproof which is good news for all those rainy days.
  • Thermal Mass: Similar to brick, concrete has the capacity to resist temperature fluctuations.

As you can see, both options are quite similar in their advantages. There’s a lot of great benefits that each material can provide. However, there are some disadvantages to know about so don’t make a decision just yet. There are only a few, but they set masonry and concrete apart from each other in a big way, which will have a big impact on your project.

Differences Between Masonry and Concrete

At this point, you might be thinking that whichever material you choose is good, and you’re right! Masonry and concrete get the job done. However, our team is very partial to masonry, and here’s why.

  • Masonry is much stronger than concrete. It can hold incredible amounts of weight equaling two to three times the amount concrete can hold. Brick tends to be a softer material than concrete, but its strength alongside our expert craftsmanship creates a durable hardscape that will last decades.
  • Pouring concrete into a mold to get the size and shape of materials you need for your project is great, but masonry is just as versatile. We design walkways and patios with any pattern homeowners choose to create stunning features. Both materials can be transformed into different designs, but concrete doesn’t have the color that will make your home pop.
  • Concrete must be poured into a mold no matter what the project is. It doesn’t matter if you’re building walkways, a patio, a wall- this first step is unavoidable. Once it’s poured, it has to set before anything further is done and can be a slow process.
  • With masonry, the process is entirely different. The bricks or stones are placed wherever you want your design right away. We apply the mortar on top and continue to the next layer, and so on until the structure is complete. It’s a much faster process. 

Compare the two while keeping in mind the size and type of your project and the time frame in which you want it done.

Masonry Services in Indianapolis

Chimney and Masonry Outfitters in Indianapolis is here to help you with all of your hardscape needs. Our team of highly skilled experts is happy to provide you with many different services. If you live in Indianapolis or the surrounding areas, we can create the perfect addition to your home needs. 

 Check out our page to see all of the services we offer, get more information, or contact us directly. View our gallery of previous work to see just what we’re capable of. Give us a call today, we want to hear from you!