Can Thin Veneer Be Installed Over Existing Brick or Block?

thin veneer over brickBrick and stone are timeless building materials that have been used for centuries in residential, commercial and other structures.

In the 1960s, it was common for homeowners and other property owners to cover unsightly brick fireplaces or unattractive interior and exterior brick walls with paint or tile on brick. Today, thin stone veneer acts as the perfect makeover to any surface.

Manufacturers offer a range of thin stone and brick veneer products for residential and commercial projects. Stone and brick veneer products are perfect for interior walls, fireplaces or facing materials for the exterior walls of entire buildings and other structures.

Installing veneer over brick gives homeowners, contractors and architects an expanded palette for their renovation or new construction projects. It increases flexibility for decorative masonry options that are cost-effective without compromising quality and aesthetics. The three options for installing veneer over brick or blocks are manufactured stone, natural stone and brick.

Manufactured Stone

Manufactured or “cultured” stone cost much less than natural thin veneer, is much lighter, but it looks like the “real thing.” The stone is made from a blend of light-weight concrete and color pigments poured in a mold and allowed to cure. The use of dyes in the process results in color variations in the product. It does require post-installation waterproofing, cleaning and maintenance.

Natural Stone Thin Veneer

Cut from the natural stone of the earth, natural thin stone veneer has an inherent variation from cultured stone. Its beauty surpasses manufactured stone and delivers a stunning finish but requires a generous budget.The natural thin veneer product is colorfast, which means it will not lose its luster and fade over time. It’s very durable and highly resistant to scratching and chipping. The material has a low water absorption rate and maintains its beauty over time.

Thin Brick Veneer

This product consists of real bricks formed from materials like clay or shale mined from the earth. It’s available in a wide range of sizes, shapes colors and textures. The brick have a thickness that ranges from 3/8 to 1-inch thick. The face sizes are similar to traditional brick, which makes it an excellent choice for a veneer over brick installation when you want to retain historic features.

The energy efficiency of thin brick veneer and natural stone makes the materials very appealing for green building projects. These products have a natural ability to help keep structures cool in the summer and radiate heat to the interior of buildings in the winter.

Styles and Colors

There are broad range of styles to choose from for stone veneers, including limestone, sandstone and quartz-based stones, fieldstone, stacked stone and river rock. You can also choose from multiple shapes such as square, rectangular or irregular.

Feel free to mix and match several products to create a distinctive and visually appealing structure at a price that is far less than other traditional masonry alternatives.


The thin veneer installation process is quicker and easier than a full veneer masonry project. The process does not require shop drawings. Many contractor and engineers like the opportunity the material offers for value engineering projects. Do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners and work crews can install more material on an hourly basis.

Whether you are a DIY homeowner, remodeling contractor or design professional, the dozens of varieties of thin veneer product gives you an abundance of options for your veneer over brick project.