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Comparative Materials for The Walls of House

When you imagine the house of your dreams, you probably already have in mind a more or less precise idea of the style of your future home and the materials that will compose it. But have you ever wondered if your choice is wise? Before going further, several criteria are to be taken into consideration: is this type of materials for the walls l adapted to the architecture of the house, the climate of the region, is it available in sufficient quantity near the site, meets there your budget, your ecological beliefs, etc. ?

Choosing building materials for your home is not a trivial matter. In addition, they may be different depending on the part of the house concerned. We will see the materials generally used for each of them (the walls, the frame and the roof).

To guide you in your materials for the walls choice, Materials World puts at your disposal this practical guide on the different possibilities in terms of building materials for your house with land. We have listed for you their advantages and disadvantages.

The walls of your house

The exterior materials for the walls have a determining role for your home. They not only support the building’s loads but also seal against external elements (rain, air, snow, etc.) while offering solutions in terms of insulation (thermal and/or sound).


The concrete block, also called breeze block is a molded gray building material and parallelepiped-shaped more or less hollow. It is made from aggregates, cement and sometimes bitumen and water.

The more the block of concrete will have loads to bear, the more it will be full and the heavier it will be. Its dimensions are generally 20 cm in height and 50 cm in length, with a variable thickness, here are the most common:

  • 5 cm (panel),
  • 10 cm,
  • 15 cm for a wall of splits,
  • or 20 cm (190 mm) for an external load-bearing wall.
The advantages of a concrete block materials for the walls The disadvantages of a concrete block materials for the walls
Cheap Low thermal characteristics (require an external or internal insulation lining)
Very good mechanical properties in compression Low phonic characteristics (essential insulation for collective buildings)
Regular shape
Resistant (to fire, frost, break-ins and rodents)



Cellular concrete is part of the light concrete family. It is composed of cement, lime, aluminum powder, sand, and water, plus an expansion agent that allows the formation of millions of air cells. Its autoclaving gives it stability and hardness.

It is presented in the form of large blocks to ask “thin joints”. The flatness of its faces allows it to be stuck. It is laid as for the concrete block, with cross joints.

Its cost is higher than that of the concrete block, but insofar as it provides insulation by internal or external lining, its net cost is comparable.

The benefits of a bulk block materials for the walls The disadvantages of a cellular bulk materials for the walls
Lightweight Porous (requires an external coating adapted to make it impervious to water while being permeable to the vapor contained inside the house)
Important thermal insulation Low phonic characteristics (requires additional insulation)
Regular shape The presence of aluminum powder can slow the range of wireless networks (wifi and mobile phone) and can potentially be toxic during its implementation (but without danger for the occupants)
Easy to implement Sensitive to capillary rise of water (keeps the water and dries badly)



When made primarily from mud, brick is a very good green material. Slightly more expensive than the concrete block, it is part of the materials “breathable, that is to say, it is less afraid of moisture.

There are mainly 3 forms of bricks :

  1. The classic hollow brick whose main disadvantage is that it must be mounted in the mortar, which creates thermal bridges, and it must, therefore, complement it imperatively by insulation.
  2. The honeycomb hollow brick traps air, it is a better thermal insulation than the previous but remains a bad sound insulator.
  3. The monomer brick provides the function of carrier and insulation. Its main advantage: its very good thermal inertia, which makes it a comfortable and economical material. But its cost to purchase is higher and its delicate implementation requires the intervention of specialized professionals.


Natural and healthy, wood is the ecological building material par excellence ( see for example Odyssea wooden pools in the Var ) when it comes from sustainably managed forests (FSC and PEFC labels for example). In addition to being an economical product, wood is also a good insulator and provides better hygrometric control (humidity).

Currently, it is mostly used for its aesthetics, for example on a wooden deck, a wooden garden shed ( see Shelter Kit an online store of garden shelters ) see a wooden cottage, but it remains a material noble and very competitive.

The most used species of wood are spruce, Scots pine, larch and Douglas pine. There are several types of wood construction for walls:

  • the wooden frame house (MOB) with wooden beams between which are placed insulating materials, can be accompanied by a wooden pergola.
  • the stacked solid wood house consists of solid wood walls mounted by stacking logs or planks.
  • the house in laminated solid panels involves the realization in the workshop of wall panels obtained by sticking wooden planks to each other.
The advantages of a wooden materials for the walls The disadvantages of a wooden materials for the walls
Solid (ages well, without cracks or compaction) Over time, the appearance of the exterior wood turns gray under the effect of ultraviolet light.
Resistant to moisture and fire (burns slowly in thickness) Additional thermal insulation to be expected, especially for MOBs
Ecological Medium phonic characteristics (requires complementary insulation)
Good architectural flexibility (available as prefabricated frame in workshop or in posts, beams, logs, logs assembled on site) requires a dry site, clean and low nuisance when it is implemented
Easy to implement (saving time during construction)



The metal frame is usually made of galvanized steel. It then receives different types of facade materials, such as fillers and insulators needed.

The metal is used a lot for materials for the walls when building a contemporary house.

The advantages of a steel materials for the walls The disadvantages of a steel materials for the walls
Solidity (especially anti-seismic) Low fire resistance (becomes flexible and bends under heat)
Architectural flexibility Very low thermal characteristics (absolutely requires additional insulation)
Ease of use (prefabrication in the workshop of the frame and / or assembly on site) very weak sound characteristic (requires additional insulation)
Easy to implement (short and clean yard) Can limit the range of wireless networks (wifi and mobile phone)



Green materials are fashionable not only for awareness issues but also because they reduce the energy consumption of your home. The implementation of these materials for the walls allows you to save on your monthly expenses, to obtain more easily the approvals and certifications to build a new home and to benefit from a reduction of taxes.

There are mainly 3 ecological materials used on the walls:

  1. Hemp usually intervenes in addition to the construction of a house with a wood or steel frame. It can be presented as blocks (hemp + lime) easy to assemble. Lightweight and easy to implement, it is a very good thermal and sound insulator. Hemp is also a good regulator hygrometric, biological (absorbers of CO 2 during its growth) and ecological (cold manufacturing, drying in the open air and without volatile organic compounds). Its main drawback: it is not a carrier material, its physical properties do not allow it to withstand heavy loads.
  2. The ecological concrete is a brand new concrete made from a clinker substitute from the waste of the metallurgy industry.  Ecocem offers a cement up to 60% more ecological than traditional cement.
  3. The straw is used in construction in the form of straw bales. It is often used in addition to a wooden frame. Its major advantages: excellent thermal insulation, better resistance to fire than wood and the possibility of being used as a load-bearing wall. On the other hand, it is very sensitive to humidity and must be protected from water or excess steam as soon as it is used.

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