To choose the best brick molding, decide what type of material you want to use, what kind of construction you want it to have, and how you will balance cost and durability. Different kinds of brick moldings are often quite similar with the biggest difference between them being what materials they are made of. The way that the moldings are installed is another variable. Different options for brick molding can vary a great deal in terms of how long they last and how much they cost. Balancing these two factors will be important in making the choice that is right for you.
Brick molding is commonly made out of the soft woods fir and pine. This is a frequent choice of home builders. Many new construction homes come with one of these woods. The more traditional choice for brick molding found in many older homes is hardwood. Even though new construction often comes with soft wood moldings, you can still choose to use hardwood for construction or repairs, and many consumers prefer to do so.
You can also choose to use man-made materials. The first option is PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, which is a plastic made from layers of vinyl. It provides durability and built-in waterproofing that some consumers find useful. Royal Wood is another choice. It is a combination of PVC and wood dust and provides some of the benefits of both types of materials.
Another choice to make about your brick molding is how the pieces are joined together to make the frame. Your choices will basically come down to finger jointed or not. Finger joints are notches in the ends of adjoining pieces of wood that fit together like puzzle pieces. They could appeal to you for increased strength they provide, but if you are doing the project yourself you may feel more comfortable with a plain joint.
Make sure you think about how long you want your brick molding to last and how much you are willing to pay for it. In general, soft wood is the cheapest choice followed by hardwood, Royal Wood, and then PVC. The durability of these materials corresponds to their prices with soft wood lasting only five to eight years, sturdier woods lasting 15 or more, and PVC typically holding up for 50 years or more. The right balance of cost and longevity will be determined by your budget and how often you are willing to replace or repair it.