Stenciled Precast Concrete Wall Panels Offer the Look of Real Brick
Now it’s possible to build “brick” walls without the brick, using Superior Walls’ stencil-patterned precast concrete foundation panels.
Decorative stencils have long been used as an easy way to give concrete floors and flatwork the look of brick and stone. But a newer use for stencils, as a decorative finish for concrete wall panels, has resulted in a fast-to-erect exterior wall system that offers the look of real brick without all the labor.
Superior Walls of America, based in Holland, Pa., now offers their insulated precast concrete wall panels with traditional brick and flagstone finishes produced using plastic stencils supplied by Universal Templates, Nashua, N.H. “During casting, the stencils are laid on top of the wet concrete. Then color hardener is shaken onto the wet concrete over the stencil and troweled in by hand. Once the concrete has hardened a bit, we roll a texture roller on it to give it the appearance of real brick. Sometimes integral color is added to the concrete mix for the wall so the mortar joint looks more realistic,” says Jim Murphy, with Superior Walls of Central Virginia, Amelia, Va. He says the most popular applications for the brick-patterned walls are residential walls and foundations.
The factory-made panels are delivered to the jobsite, ready for installation. The panels are pre-insulated with Dow Styrofoam rigid insulation.
Superior Walls are insulated, precast concrete wall panels that are formed in a factory-controlled setting and delivered to the jobsite, where the panels are lifted into position with a crane and bolted together and sealed. The walls are custom designed for each project and can be built to accommodate window and door openings and accesses for wiring and plumbing. They are made using a low water-cement-ratio concrete that requires no additional dampproofing. Builders can choose from an R-5 wall system, which is insulated with a 1-inch thickness of Dow Styrofoam insulation, or an R-12.5 system fortified with 2 ½ inches of insulation. For added strength and performance, Superior Walls are made with high-strength 5000+ psi concrete and reinforced with steel rebar and polypropylene fibers.
Installation of Superior Wall panels can often be completed in a day. The walls are custom made to incorporate window and door openings and accesses for wiring and plumbing
For builders, the wall panels offer the added advantage of speedy and reliable installation. The panels permit a typical home foundation to be installed in less than a day. Stateson Homes of Blacksburg, Va., uses Superior Walls for all of their basement foundations, primarily because they create a foundation that is plumb, level, square, insulated, watertight, and warrantied, says Murphy. The walls are also a good marketing tool for attracting home buyers. “With the brick pattern, they can get the look and feel of brick without the high cost of real brick,” he says.
See this video showing the casting and stenciling of Superior Wall panels and the erection process.
For more information
Superior Walls, New Holland, Pa.
Universal Templates, Nashua, N.H.