Steel vs. Brick: Which Material is Better for Building?

Building a commercial, agricultural, or residential building is a big project full of big decisions. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is which building material you will use.

Brick buildings used to be the gold standard, but over the years, steel buildings have risen in popularity. Cost-efficient, quick and easy to construct, and virtually indestructible are just a few major advantages of choosing steel over brick and mortar.

Steel Structures vs. Brick Structures: Deciding On Your Next Structure

Steel has become the answer for a range of residential, commercial, and agricultural building needs for good reason. Steel is affordable, eco-friendly, weather and pest-resistant, and extremely durable. When comparing brick vs steel buildings, steel is easily the answer.


From parts to construction, steel is significantly cheaper than brick. Prefab steel buildings are engineered off-site using pre-engineered parts that are already cut and measured. This work is completed off-site reducing the total labor cost. Steel is also more lightweight than brick, so it is cheaper to transport.

When it comes to construction, brick buildings must be laid brick by brick. The weather must also be just right, not dipping below 40 degrees, to work on masonry construction. As a result, the cost of erecting a brick structure is much higher than it is with steel. As an added benefit, steel buildings can be erected in a matter of days. Brick buildings can take months to construct on-site. Steel construction projects can be completed in less than half the time required for a brick project.


Steel and brick are both strong, heavy-duty materials, however, brick doesn’t have any flexibility. Steel is lightweight and flexible which comes in handy when the building is under pressure. For example, during an earthquake, steel can bend against itself without snapping or crumbling, whereas brick is so heavy and unfaltering that it can crumble or crack. And, when the weather changes, brick, and mortar will expand and contract, potentially impacting the integrity of the structure. Steel’s flexibility allows it to expand and contract with the weather without sacrificing the quality of the framework.

At the same time, steel’s flexibility makes it easy to move and make adjustments to. Whether you need to relocate or expand, you can do with steel what you can’t with brick. Steel will not break or warp when taken down, moved, or adjusted, so the materials tend to be more reliable than other building materials.

Strength and Durability

When it comes to strength and durability, steel is stronger and has a better lifetime value. Both steel and brick buildings can be engineered according to local building codes to protect against severe weather threats and climate, however, steel has some advantages that brick does not.

Brick is a porous material, so brick-and-mortar structures must be sealed to prevent water damage. Steel however, is not porous and doesn’t absorb water, as a result steel won’t rust or deteriorate over time.

Steel is famous for being one of the strongest and most long-lasting building materials on the market. It can endure regular wear and tear as well as things like extreme wind, heavy snow, compact ice, fires, and pests better than brick can.

Required Maintenance

Bricks and the mortar used to seal them can deteriorate over time. Homeowners and business owners who have brick buildings may find themselves needing to replace bricks over time or fix cracks in the mortar. Mortar can erode from moisture and precipitation. It can also crack from a lack of moisture, so the environment has to be just right to keep a brick building intact.

Steel buildings don’t see the same types of maintenance issues that brick buildings do. In fact, steel is one of the most low-maintenance building options you can choose from. Unlike brick, steel structures can pass the test of time. They won’t crack or sustain damage from moisture, and they are suitable for any climate. High-quality sealants and protective coatings can also be applied to steel buildings to protect even the smallest crevices.

With less required maintenance, you’ll save money in the long run.

Building Appearance

Steel buildings offer more customization options than brick buildings. When it comes to a masonry building, you may be able to choose the color of your bricks and mortar, but aside from that, brick buildings look very similar. Steel buildings, however, can come in a variety of colors and finishes with matching or complimenting trim.

If you prefer the reliability of steel but the classical stone appearance of masonry, you can have that with steel! Brick facade paneling can be added to your steel building to give it the appearance of your choosing.

Start Customizing Your Pre-Engineered Steel Building Today

As a leader in the steel building industry, our building experts at Titan Steel Structures are dedicated to helping you design the building you need from start to finish. With custom size options, colors, and other additions available, we can help you develop a steel structure according to your specifications. To start the process with a free custom quote, please contact us today.

Have Any Questions? Call Us Now!

We are excited to work with you to create your ideal steel structure. Give us a call and we can provide you with a quick quote. We look forward to speaking with you!