Faux brick panels are solid pieces of material designed to look like real stone or brick. These panels are typically thin and lightweight, so that they may be placed over existing home building materials, such as siding and drywall. They may be installed by professional contractors or by the homeowner personally.
The panels are made from polyurethane, a substance commonly used in the manufacturing of flexible and rigid types of foam, and also many forms of sealant. This material is both hard and lightweight, making it ideal for use inside and outside of the home. The rough exterior of faux brick panels can withstand heavy weathering elements and hard contact with different implements that may be found around the home, like a weed whacker or lawn mower. Their composite nature also makes them naturally insulating, so that they may be used over existing wood or exterior siding.
Common finishes for faux brick panels include stacked stone, river rock, slate, and natural brick. The coloring of these panels is designed to repel UV rays and maintain their color without fading for many years. Each finish is suitable for use as siding, interior decoration, or as a decorative surround for a fireplace. These panels have passed fire safety inspections and can withstand a high degree of heat. The interior of the fireplace, however, should be constructed from fire resistant materials and not from fake paneling.
Faux brick panels are relatively easy to install and small projects can be completed in one to two days. Each panel is designed to be interlocking, so that they fit together across the project area like puzzle pieces. The panels may be cut with a heavy duty utility knife so that they can be fit to the appropriate size required by the finished area. Homeowners may wish to stagger the seams of the panels as they lay additional rows to maintain the uneven and lifelike appearance of the rock or brick.
When installed on the exterior of the home, faux brick panels should be locked together tightly to prevent water or moisture from seeping between the paneling and any existing siding. Panels may be slightly overlapped during installation to create a tight seal across the surface of the project. Some paneling designed for use specifically on siding is constructed with small drainage holes present throughout the material. This allows for trapped water and moisture to escape so that mold does not grow against the house.