There are a multitude of options when deciding how to finish interior and exterior walls. In regards to the exterior, Concrete Masonry Units, CMU’s or cinder blocks are a very common building material. After all they are inexpensive, uniformly shaped, hollow by design and relatively easy to install. The use of CMU’s is a simple alternative to forming and pouring a concrete wall to support a structure, retain soil or otherwise have a need to build a stable, vertical wall.
With that said, there are drawbacks when using CMU’s and it is staring you right in the face…it’s ugly. So what options do you have? Several and they vary by finished product, durability and of course cost.
The least expensive way is to paint the wall. Paint will definitely help in the appearance but at the end of the day, it still looks like a CMU block wall and requires, at a minimum, retouching every two years. Another option is stucco which can be purchased as a color or can be painted over but again, this finish requires regular maintenance.
Probably the most expensive route is to layer and cover the wall with a thin version of brick, tile or stone. Depending on material, skill level of the installer and budget, a layer of masonry can be beautiful and long lasting.
There is, however a fourth option and it is one we found when attending a trade show in Germany. Takasho, from Japan, provides an aluminum panel that is digitally printed and textured with a 10 year warranty for interior and exterior applications. Like the commercial says… “I put that s*** on everything!” The product, called Ever Art Board, comes in 80 flavors ranging from wood to stone to metal and it is nothing short of AMAZING! Simply cut to fit, apply a bead of construction adhesive to the back and place it on the wall. The boards come in 3’ x 8’ panels and edges can be trimmed out with provided profiles for a clean look. This is definitely a DIY project and takes no time to install and best yet, it is very affordable.
Takasho also offers a line of aluminum profiles (1×2, 1×3, 4×4 etc.) to replace wood with all the matching hardware using the same digital print and textured material. The Ever Art family of products will never warp, rot, split or otherwise fail in performance like wood.