Using our illustrated cinder block size, shape, and dimensions chart, learn everything you need to know about cinder blocks here!
Cinder blocks are a popular building material for many projects. They are typically used when building foundations, garden walls, fire pits, retaining walls, benches and more.
While the most commonly recognized design looks like a square figure 8, there are actually many different cinder block designs, shapes and sizes. We’ve provided a chart with the different cinder block sizes, shapes, and dimensions.
Cinder Block Dimensions Chart
Note: when calculating how many cinder blocks are needed, one must take into account space for mortar in between the cinder blocks.
Cinder Block Frequently Asked Questions
When were cinder blocks invented? Who invented cinder blocks?
Cinder blocks were invented in the 1830s by an American named Harmon S. Palmer. The cinder block is one of many creations that Palmer invented throughout his career. Also among his inventions was the cinder block making machine. This machine made it possible to mass-produce cinder blocks, which helped to advance both the cinder block and construction industries. This also allowed the cinder block to become a popular and essential element for construction and building materials during the late 1900s.
Are cinder blocks waterproof?
Cinder blocks are not waterproof. They can easily leak in comparison to poured-over concrete. However, certain measures can be taken to make cinder blocks waterproof, which can increase the cinder block’s lifespan.
Can cinder blocks be recycled?
Cinder blocks can be both reused and recycled. If a cinder block seems to be in perfect condition and does not show any signs of wear and tear, it can be reused for another project. On the other hand, if a cinder block shows major signs of wear and tear and has cracks, it should not be reused. However, damaged cinder blocks can be reused in a different way: they can be crushed into gravel and mixed into cast concrete as an aggregate to create other cinder blocks to be used in construction.
How long do cinder blocks last?
A cinder block can generally last a good while. The average lifespan of a typical 8″x8″x16″ cinder block is about 100 years. However, improper handling, constant exposure to harsh conditions, and inconsistent care can lower a cinder block’s lifespan.
Can you paint cinder blocks?
Yes, you can paint cinder blocks. In fact, it is highly recommended that one uses a weather-resistant latex and acrylic paint on cinder blocks, because it prevents the cinder block from sustaining major damages. It can also give any space a pop of color!
What are cinder blocks made from?
Depending on if a cinder block is a high-density or low-density block, the components in the aggregate that make up a cinder block vary. If a cinder block is high-density, the cast concrete is mixed with an aggregate that usually contains sand and fine gravel. If a cinder block is low-density, the cast concrete is mixed with an aggregate that usually contains industrial wastes such as fly ash or bottom ash. Regardless if the cinderblock is high- or low-density, the “recipes” for both types of cinder blocks require cast concrete and an aggregate.
How are cinder blocks made?
Many might think that the creation of cinder blocks requires hard labor. This is untrue: the production of cinder blocks is easier than one may think, especially thanks to Palmer’s invention, the cinder block making machine. Depending on which type of cinder block is desired (low- or high-density), cast concrete is mixed with the ideal aggregate for the different type of cinder block.
If a high-density cinder block is desired, a sand and fine gravel aggregate is mixed with cast concrete. If a low-density cinder block is desired, a fly ash or bottom ash aggregate is mixed with cast concrete. This mixture is then transferred to the cinder block making machine, which pours the mixture into the cinder block mold. There are many variations of these molds, which can produce different cinder block sizes and shapes. The machine then compresses the mixture into the mold, which creates the easily-recognizable cinder block shape. The machine then transfers the freshly compressed cinder blocks into a storage rack that will be placed outside in the sun in order for the compressed mixture to dry and harden. Once dry and. solid, the cinder block can be used in construction and building projects, usually with mortar in between the cinder blocks.
How much do cinder blocks cost?
Those who are not familiar with construction and building materials may think that cinder blocks are expensive. It makes sense that people might think so, because cinder blocks are so large and heavy. In reality, cinder blocks are quite affordable! A typical 8″x8″x16″ cinder block costs about $1-$3 at a local hardware store. Cinder blocks can also be found for as low as $0.97.
How much do cinder blocks weigh?
The weight of a cinder block varies depending on the cinder block size and the material with which it was made. A typical 8″x8″x16″ high-density cinder block should weigh about 30-35 pounds, and a typical 8″x8″x16″ low-density cinder block can weigh roughly about 25 pounds.
Can you drill into cinder blocks? Are special drills and/or drill bits needed?
Drilling into cinder blocks can be a rather easy task, but it does require the correct tools for the job. A typical drill for wood and metal might have the power to drill through the cinder block, but it can take a few hours to complete a handful of holes. A hammer drill can make the work easier and quicker with its much more powerful motor and sharper drill bit. However, using a hammer drill on a cinder block won’t be much faster than using a wood drill. A rotary hammer drill is the perfect tool for drilling into tough cinder blocks. Also, make sure to wear the correct protective equipment!