Choosing between brick and stone. Classic, charming and long-lasting — brick and stone have been the preferred building materials for homes and hardscapes.

If you’re considering masonry for your next home project, you may be wondering which material is best. Ultimately, your choice comes down to personal preference. Both brick and stone have great qualities but there are differences between the two.

Brick + Ember Outfitters of Indianapolis have the expertise and insight to guide you in your decision. We’ll tell you the similarities and differences between brick and stone, and bring you closer to choosing the best building material for your project.

What Is Brick Masonry?

Brick masonry is the systematic placement of bricks using mortar to bind them together and create a structure able to withstand a great deal of pressure. Bricks are typically made of clay and shale, but can vary to sand and lime as well. Once the materials are molded into blocks and dried, they’re fired in a kiln.

Masons can lay bricks anywhere. No matter what type of project you’re starting, a mason can come in and get right to work. It’s a versatile, simple process of lining bricks, spreading mortar on top, and starting the next layer repeatedly until the structure is built.

What Is Stone Masonry?

Stone masonry is a very similar systematic placement of stones, also using mortar to bind them together and create a structure able to withstand a great deal of pressure. Also known as stone craft, stone masonry uses natural or manufactured rocks that are cut and dressed into shape in preparation for construction.

Again, similar to brick masonry, stone masonry is a simple and versatile process of repeated lining and layering of blocks until the desired structure is built using mortar to bind the pieces together.

Natural vs Manufactured Stone

Unlike brick masonry, the stones don’t necessarily go through a manufacturing process but instead can be carefully selected on the basis of no cracks, sand holes, or cavities. The selection of natural stone is dependent on the availability and the importance of the structure. Because of this selection process, it can be more expensive than manufactured stone and difficult to obtain.

Manufactured stone is molded and colored to look like marble, granite, and other elegant natural stone. It’s often made out of concrete or a lightweight aggregate compound, which is then poured into molds, dried, and fired.

Natural stone is slightly stronger than manufactured stone and is able to withstand more weight and pressure, but the two are fairly even across the board.

However, natural stone can be heavier and less flexible in construction and manufactured stone has a tendency to lose color and fade over time making it less aesthetically pleasing. 

Difference Between Brick Masonry and Stone Masonry

Now that we’ve expanded on what brick and stone are, how do you decide? To help you choose, let’s look at the key differences between the two.


The first thing you want to know about building materials is which one will last the longest. Varying durability makes quite a difference in options based on the type of project you’re planning.

Brick masonry is incredibly strong, load-bearing construction. It can last hundreds of years; maybe even more. Bricks are also fire resistant and weather resistant. However, brick structures are not impervious. 

As mentioned, stone is a little stronger than brick. Stone masonry can last even longer than brick! Ancient stone monuments can attest to that. It’s also weather resistant, but more capable of withstanding cracks, scratches, and dents. Whether it’s manufactured or natural, stone is ultimately immovable.

Variety and Visual Appeal

The second most important question homeowners ask: how does it look? The bottom line is both options are elegant and charming and both have a wide variety of looks you can choose from.

It all depends on your personal taste. You can check out our portfolio here to see the work we’ve done in the past giving homeowners their dream hardscapes.


Manufactured brick or stone are generally around the same price. The materials are always readily available. Since natural stone is harder to come by, it tends to be a bit more expensive.

Installation costs usually follow the same rule. Natural stone can be slightly cheaper to install, but the higher cost of the materials balances it out. Neither material is superior in price.

Brick + Ember Outfitters Services

If you’re in Indianapolis or the surrounding area, B+E can guide you every step of the way in choosing the best material for your next project. Our team of experts provides the insight and comparisons you need to make your decision.

We have proven experience in supplying quality building material and services to homeowners nationwide. Whether you’re looking to build walls, patios, stairs, columns, etc. we’re here for you. If you’re ready to talk, so are we! Contact us today for more information or a free estimate! Our expertise and efficiency will make you glad you chose Brick + Ember Outfitters.