Tutorials/Best building materials

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When building houses, it's important to build the right materials. Otherwise, you may end up having a house that can be burned down easily and exploded easily, or you may spend tons of time to look for the supplies to build a house out of rare materials unnecessarily. 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]

See also: Tutorials/Adding beauty to constructions

Some material looks better than others when it comes to houses. Of course, it really boils down to a matter of opinion, but most people will agree that solid bedrock cubes aren't always the best design.

List of materials[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 30.
  • 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
  • Low blast resistance of only 2.5.
  • 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
Wood planks Wood 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 15.
  • 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 30.
  • Not flammable.
  • Can look ugly if not combined with other materials.
Stone Brick Stone Brick 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 30.
  • 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, as they cost a lot of clay which is not renewable. They are good for buildings with a neutral yet pleasant look.
  • Has a high blast resistance of 30.
  • Has a detailed and polished look, but not a wild look, making it great for many styles of buildings.
  • Costs 4 clay per block, and they must be smelted, 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.
  • Practically invincible to explosions with a blast resistance of 6,000.
  • Very hard to mine through, even with proper tools.
  • Renewable through nether portal bugs.
  • Difficult to collect and build with due to the long breaking time.
  • Doesn't always look the best; 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.
Sandstone Sandstone looks great for certain style of homes, especially a desert-style home. However, it has a low blast resistance and is not renewable. It's strongly recommended to have a desert biome nearby if you want to make a building out of sandstone.
  • Fairly easy to decorate with and has several variants for different textures.
  • Easily found and mined in the desert biome.
  • Not renewable.
  • Has a low blast resistance of only 4.
  • 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 you have access to a badlands biome.
  • Comes in many different colors, providing many variation for decoration.
  • Has a decent blast resistance of 21.
  • Not flammable.
  • Is expensive and time-consuming to acquire, as it requires lots of clay, smelting, and dyes.
  • If overused can create a overly exotic look.
Nether Bricks Nether Bricks are a very otherworldly- and exotic-looking building material that fits well with structures meant to look intimidating and/or eldritch.
  • Has a good blast resistance of 30.
  • Not flammable.
  • Can be obtained by smelting Netherrack, making it easy to obtain once the Nether is available.
  • Requires access to the Nether in order to be obtainable.
  • Technically not renewable.
  • Sets a somewhat dark mood in structures made from it.
Nether Quartz Nether Quartz 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- and chiseled block variants for added decoration.
  • Requires access to the Nether to be obtainable and only be obtained from Nether Quartz Ore.
  • Has a rather low blast resistance of just 4, 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 30.
  • 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.
Purpur 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, with a given structure made out of them being a trophy of sorts in itself (in Survival Mode). Aside from that, its purple hue grants a very eldritch, somewhat magical atmosphere to structures made from it.
  • Very Difficult to collect and build with as one has to access the End, kill the Ender Dragon and either find Chorus Fruit or and 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.