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Using thin brick panels creates more design opportunities for contractors and architects
Using thin brick panels creates more design opportunities for contractors and architects
December 5, 2014 7:00 AM CST

Veneer revolution

Thin brick panels


Thin brick creates attractive brick exteriors without the cost and weight disadvantages of traditional brick masonry. New advances in thin brick panels such as the patented Old Mill Thin Brick System add to the advantages of thin brick, making it more versatile, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Contractors and architects should look into the benefits offered by the Old Mill thin brick panel system to create visually appealing exteriors for commercial and residential structures.

The Old Mill Thin Brick System consists of high density polystyrene panels that connect to the substrate with a fastener system or Old Mill adhesive. Once the panels are connected to the walls, thin bricks are joined to the panels with the help of convenient brick alignment guides. The panels provide a quick and easy way to create thin brick veneers on any surface.

Using thin brick panels creates more design opportunities for contractors and architects. With the Old Mill thin brick system, architects and contractors can create columns, cornices, reliefs and other features. Thin brick panel systems can help with aesthetic challenges created by irregular walls, as the panels can be sanded or rasped to create a uniformly flat exterior. Thin brick panels also require no brick ties or ledges, another key design advantage.

According to Garrick Hunsaker, president and CEO of Old Mill Brick, a Bluffdale, Utah-based company, thin brick panels are gaining popularity for mixed commercial and residential use as architects and contractors learn more about the versatility, cost savings and environmental benefits offered by this remarkable building material. “There’s more architectural options you can do with it and it’s green,” Hunsaker said.

Energy efficient

Environmental regulations continue to evolve, setting the bar ever higher for contractors in terms of energy efficiency and other factors. The Old Mill Thin Brick System helps contractors meet increased energy efficiency standards mandated by the government and industry standards. On average, structures outfitted with Old Mill Thin Brick System panels can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills each year.

The Old Mill panel systems create strong air and thermal barriers, preventing drafts and heat dissipation that can reduce buildings’ energy efficiency. Contractors using thin brick panels made by Old Mill can achieve insulation values between R-7 and R-22, allowing them to achieve a wide variety of energy efficiency standards they may be asked to meet.

Thin brick’s weight also helps to reduce its environmental impact as a building material. Thin brick is less expensive to transport than traditional masonry, thus requiring less fuel and creating fewer carbon emissions. Industry experts estimate transporting thin bricks requires five times less travel than moving full brick.


Labor is a major cost factor for contractors, cutting into often thin profit margins. Thin brick panels can help reduce those costs, as they can be installed more quickly than full masonry and traditional thin brick. Installing thin brick panels does not require the advanced skill set that traditional masonry does, allowing contractors to save money by hiring less skilled labor. The brick alignment guides at the face of the panel insure straight lines with increased speed of installation.

The Old Mill Thin Brick System also saves contractors thanks to the water channels incorporated into its design, removing the need for drainage mats or other costly drainage systems.


The Old Mill Thin Brick System is built for the long haul. Old Mill warranties its product and the panel system is designed to withstand a variety of environmental conditions. The panels have sheer strength of over 1,000 lb. per foot and they are designed with water channels for drainage which helps prevent moisture damage.

For contractors seeking a cost-effective and eco-friendly means of creating aesthetically pleasing exteriors, the Old Mill Thin Brick system fits the bill.

Originally published in Masonry magazine.

About the Author

Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at

To learn more about the patented Old Mill Thin Brick System and Old Mill’s Brickweb product, visit


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