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Tutorials/Best building materials

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When building houses or other structures, it's important to choose the right materials for construction. Otherwise, you may end up having a house that can be burned down or blown up easily, or you may spend unnecessary time looking for supplies to build a house out of rare materials. This tutorial page contrasts different building materials, and additionally gives an overall view of the quality of the material.

What to look for[edit]

When picking a material to build with, there are three main considerations: Obtainability, durability, and decoration.

Obtainability[edit]

Some materials are easier to get, while others are extremely difficult. For example, in survival, making a house of cobblestone is certainly easier than making one of diamond blocks. Also to consider is the renewability of the material you would like to use. Some materials can be gained infinitely, while others must be sought in increasing distances from spawn.

Durability[edit]

The durability of a material is important, especially in PVP. The main considerations to make are hardness, blast resistance, and flammability. Maximum durability is not always necessary. If you don't expect to be attacked by players, then hardness shouldn't be a problem. If you can prevent creepers from getting close, blast resistance isn't as important. If there is no nearby lava or trees to spread fire and you aren't concerned about lightning, flammability isn't a problem either. Just remember that it is usually better to have extra durability than too little.

Decoration[edit]

Decoration blocks are a big part of enhancing your builds when you've done all that you feel you can with normal building blocks. Ultimately what looks the best is a matter of opinion, and there is no right or wrong way to decorate.

List of materials[edit]

Overworld[edit]

Material Description Pros Cons
Stone Stone is overall a fairly strong and withholding material, and is very abundant. However, cobblestone has nearly the same properties as stone. Stone must be smelted from cobblestone. If used carefully, stone can create a distinctive look.
  • Common and renewable.
  • Has a relatively high blast resistance of 6.
  • Not flammable.
Dirt Dirt is very weak, and isn't the most beautiful material to build with either. However, it is found on the surface of nearly all biomes, and can be mined up very quickly, even with a player's hand, meaning that it is suitable for beginners on their first night. It is generally not a good idea to use dirt as part of a permanent structure.
  • Very common and easy to obtain.
  • Not flammable.
  • Renewable.
  • Low blast resistance of only 0.5.
  • Has a somewhat ugly look for most styles of buildings.
  • Can easily be destroyed
  • Turns into Grass Blocks if exposed to sunlight (unless converted into Coarse Dirt), which may not be desirable
Planks Planks have a rather nice look and are inexpensive to make. Their blast resistance is lower than stone but higher than dirt. One of the main disadvantages of wood planks is that they are flammable, so don't build near lava.
  • Inexpensive and renewable.
  • Moderate blast resistance of 3.
  • Large variety of styles.
Cobblestone Cobblestone is a strong block and is easy to acquire, making it great for building houses.
  • Very common and renewable.
  • Has a relatively high blast resistance of 6.
  • Not flammable.
  • Can look ugly if not combined with other materials.
Stone Bricks Stone Bricks grants a very medieval and in some ways, militaristic feel to structures made out of it and is in many ways the ideal building material for structures meant to look medieval, militaristic and/or fortified in general, like forts and castles.
  • Obtained by crafting it from Stone (which in turn is obtained by smelting Cobblestone), making it renewable.
  • Has a good blast resistance of 6.
  • Not flammable.
  • Is somewhat expensive and time-consuming to acquire, as every batch of 4 blocks of Stone Bricks requires 4 blocks of Stone which must be smelted from Cobblestone.
    • Cracked Stone Brick requires a second round of smelting and Mossy Stone Brick requires vines, to further add to material expenses.
  • The gray texture may not be the most pleasant option for some structures.
Bricks Bricks have a very pleasant look to them and a high blast resistance. However, they are also rather expensive, even though they are renewable. They are good for buildings with a neutral yet pleasant look.
  • Has a high blast resistance of 6.
  • Has a detailed and polished look, but not a wild look, making it great for many styles of buildings.
  • Renewable.
  • Costs 4 clay balls per block, and they must be smelted, or bought from villagers, making it expensive.
Obsidian Obsidian is an extremely strong material, and takes a long time to break. Its breaking time can be a pain when building, but is great for protection against other players on multiplayer PVP servers.
  • Invincible to vanilla explosions with a blast resistance of 1,200.
  • Very hard to mine through, even with proper tools.
  • Renewable.
  • Difficult to collect and build with due to the long breaking time.
  • Not a very good-looking block; sets a rather dark mood.
  • Somewhat challenging to build with on lower brightness settings as the dark appearance of the block can make it hard to see exactly how a given block is placed.
Sand Sand is gravity-affected block that can be found in many Overworld biomes. Sand is generated in large numbers in the Desert.
  • Affected by gravity.
  • Blast resistance of 0.5.
  • Can be easy destroyed by hand.
Sandstone Sandstone looks great for certain style of homes, especially a desert-style home. It's strongly recommended to have a desert biome nearby if you want to make a building out of sandstone. It has a low blast resistance, however.
  • Fairly easy to decorate with and has several variants for different textures.
  • Easily found and mined in the desert biome.
  • Renewable.
  • Has a low blast resistance of only 0.8.
  • Easily mined through.
Terracotta Terracotta is a rather colorful block, making it good for some styles of homes. It also has a high blast resistance. However, it is rather time-consuming and expensive to acquire unless the player have access to a badlands biome.
  • Comes in many different colors, providing many variation for decoration.
  • Has a decent blast resistance of 4.2.
  • Not flammable.
  • Is expensive and time-consuming to acquire, as it requires lots of clay, smelting, and dyes, or access to a badlands biome.
  • If overused can create an overly exotic look.

Nether[edit]

Material Description Pros Cons
Netherrack Netherrack is an easily-destroyed rock-like block found in the Nether.
  • Very easy to break.
  • Low blast resistance of 0.4
  • Can look ugly if not combined with other materials.
  • Not renewable ‌[Java Edition only]
Nether Bricks Nether Bricks are a very otherworldly- and exotic-looking building material that fits well with structures meant to look intimidating and/or sinister.
  • Has a good blast resistance of 6.
  • Not flammable.
  • Can be obtained by smelting netherrack, making it easy to obtain once the Nether is available.
  • Renewable via bartering.
  • Requires access to the Nether in order to be obtainable.
  • Sets a somewhat dark mood in structures made from it.
Basalt Basalt is block which is generated in basalt deltas and soul sand valleys. Basalt can be made by lava flowing into a space that is on top of soul soil and next to blue ice. The flowing lava is replaced with basalt.
  • Renewable.
  • Not flammable.
  • Easy to obtain when player finds a basalt deltas.
  • Blast resistance of 4.2.
  • Can look ugly if not combined with other materials.
  • Don't have stairs, slabs and wall variants.
Block of Quartz Quartz Block bears a striking similarity to Ancient Greek architecture and is a good option for buildings meant to look "philosophical", "civilized" or otherwise very clean in appearance.
  • Looks quite gorgeous with its clean white texture and sets itself apart from most other building materials.
  • In addition to the full block, stairs and slabs, also has pillar-, brick, and chiseled block variants for added decoration.
  • Hard or expensive to obtain in large quantities, as it must either be mined in the Nether, bought from villagers, or bartered from piglins.
  • Has a rather low blast resistance of just 0.8, making it a poor material for building fortified structures.
    • This caveat can be partially bypassed with Nether Quartz Slabs which have a blast resistance of 6.
  • The striking white texture is somewhat unnatural and does not necessarily work well with structures meant to look natural.
    • Sticks out very blatantly within most biomes.
Blackstone Blackstone is a black stone block found in the Nether. It has many smooth and brick variants. It works well for builds meant to look dark or evil.
  • Renewable via bartering.
  • Not flammable.
  • High blast resistance.
  • Easy to obtain, especially in Basalt Deltas.
  • Many variants.
  • Gives builds a very dark look, which may make it hard to see without lighting.
  • Sticks out blatantly in most biomes.
  • Only obtainable in the Nether.
Nether wood The Nether variant of wood. Similar to building with planks, but they are not flammable.
  • Inexpensive and renewable.
  • Moderate blast resistance of 3.
  • Large variety of styles.
  • Non-flammable.
  • Require a source of bone meal to farm.
  • Easily broken by hand.

The End[edit]

Material Description Pros Cons
End Stone End stone is a block that appears in The End, makes up all of the solid ground that exists in that dimension. End stone can be easily destroyed by any pickaxe. The 16 end stone blocks under the edge of the exit portal are replaced when the ender dragon is respawned, and again when it is killed.
  • Has a very high blast resistance of 9.
  • Renewable.
  • Not flammable.
  • Easy to obtain when the End is available.
  • Cannot be picked up by enderman and cannot be destroyed by the ender dragon.
  • Requires access to the End in order to be obtainable.
  • Can look ugly if not combined with other materials.
End Stone Bricks End stone bricks are decorative blocks made from end stone.
  • Easy to obtain
  • Renewable
  • Not flammable
  • Has a very high blast resistance of 9.
Purpur Block Purpur blocks are some of the hardest blocks to obtain in Survival Mode and, alongside end stone and end stone bricks, can be seen as end-game building materials. Aside from that, its purple hue grants a somewhat magical atmosphere to structures made from it.
  • Very difficult to collect and build with as one must access the End, kill the ender dragon and either find chorus Fruit or an End city.
  • Looks somewhat out of place within the Overworld.
  • Chorus Plant farming can be a bit of a complicated affair due to the unusual growth patterns.