The entryway of a home with hardwood floors and a gray accent wall utilizing Nichiha Empire Block.
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5 Examples of a Lightweight Alternative to Concrete Wall Panels

With a contemporary look and an abundance of variation, there’s a lot that building designers can do with exterior concrete wall panels. While traditional concrete panel walls had a fairly limited range of colors and styles, today’s options are more extensive, thanks to alternative materials that offer fresh textures and longer-lasting color.

Crafting the Concrete Wall Panel Aesthetic

Exterior concrete wall panels create a distinct aesthetic that feels modern, urban-chic and established. Because of the sophisticated and sometimes stately appearance of traditional concrete wall panels, this aesthetic is commonly used for commercial buildings, upscale lofts, private apartment complexes and luxury homes.

While the aesthetic itself has a timeless allure, the construction techniques have certainly changed over the years. Builders now prefer alternative materials over traditional concrete, recommending precast concrete wall panels and faux concrete wall panels as modern options to consider. 

A Modern Alternative to Traditional Concrete Wall Panels

Why the shift away from traditional concrete? Modern materials simply offer better benefits. For one, faux concrete wall panels are extremely lightweight, making transport and installation easier overall. But don’t think that lightweight concrete wall panels are less durable — it’s quite the contrary. In fact, fiber cement wall panels are built with a unique composition of cement, sand and cellulose fibers, effectively enhancing strength and durability overall.

Another advantage of fiber cement wall panels is that they provide better weather resistance and protection from the elements than traditional concrete wall panels. They even have a built-in rainscreen that takes care of moisture management. With performance engineering, these faux concrete wall panels are resistant to warping, rotting and pests.

Furthermore, a plethora of design possibilities are available with lightweight concrete wall panels made from fiber cement. Wood, concrete, brick — you can get all of these appearances with fiber cement panels, and the color selection is impressive. For this reason, designers have been able to extend the reach of traditional concrete wall panels and use stylistic variations to add character to residential buildings, restaurants, community centers, hotels and more. The options are endless!

Take a look at some of the amazing exterior designs that can be crafted from faux concrete wall panels made from fiber cement.

1. Dark Slabs with Distinct Texture

The top corner of a building with dark gray concrete style fiber cement siding surrounds a large window.

The rich brown tone of this exterior is boosted by its textured surface, which adds incredible depth to the overall design. Crafted to look like wet concrete with subtle highlights and intentional color variation, this attractive industrial style has a gorgeous appearance.

2. Gray Block & Panel Design

The exterior of a modern-style office building with gray fiber cement block panels surrounding tall windows and a wooden wall.

Crafted from faux concrete wall panels in multiple sizes, this exterior resembles a traditional design approach that captures the attractive look of concrete. The difference, however, can be found in the ease of installation, faster construction time and longer-lasting appearance of the exterior. These details make a big difference — especially when embracing a traditional cement-inspired aesthetic.

3. Light Gray Block with Bold Color and Signage

The exterior of a school building with gray fiber cement siding accented with sections of blue and yellow signage and railings.

For community centers, sports arenas or any place where people gather, bold color contrast can help create an energetic mood that translates the function of the building. Light gray block is a fantastic backdrop for eye-catching colors and accent features. Though it resembles classic concrete, the faux concrete wall panels provide enhanced durability to last and maintain their original appearance!

4. Color Clarity and Clean Lines

This modern home with Nichiha’s fiber-cement siding has a pool in the backyard with two pool chairs.

Unlike traditional concrete wall panels, modern alternatives provide the chic color selection and range needed to create amazing residential exteriors that look and feel like home. Neutral colors like this are a popular choice for creating a sophisticated feel.

A Hyatt Place hotel utilizing a mixture of gray and red brick Nichiha fiber cement siding.

Commercial properties, like hotels and campus buildings, also benefit from the color clarity and clean design quality possible with fiber cement wall panels, which look great with stainless steel, glass, and wood finishes. Unique color contrast can create distinct character and easy brand recognition, as is apparent for this commercial property.

5. Natural Finish with Modern Twist

The front of a Branded Barrel store utilizing gray and cedar fiber cement siding. Black lamps illuminated the logo.

Concrete-style block with a natural finish goes very easily with wood-style accents and other organic design features. For commercial properties, this familiar aesthetic can feel welcoming and relaxed while still expressing an on-trend style.

The entryway of a home with hardwood floors and a gray accent wall utilizing Nichiha Empire Block.

Transitional spaces and interior design schemes can also incorporate faux concrete wall panels to create a gorgeous effect. The panels are lightweight and easy to install, so they’re a fantastic choice for exterior and interior designs alike. Plus, they bring a unique stylistic charm that’s fun to work with!

Find the Best Concrete Wall Alternative with Nichiha

Instead of relying on outdated concrete solutions, rely on the transformative, reliable products from Nichiha — our Concrete Series is the perfect solution to getting a durable, stylish and long-lasting wall design, suitable for both interior and exterior uses. 

To explore modern faux concrete wall panels that are built for long-lasting beauty, strength and style, contact our team today!

Categories: Design
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