Looking quite like a concrete block, you've probably wondered the differences between them and a cinder block. Aside from the material used to produce these blocks, they also differ in weight and size. We've researched about this topic and in this post, we'll share with you the standard cinder block sizes and the weights in which they come in.
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Cinder blocks are used for different projects and needs, and they all vary in weight. Here are the standard sizes and weights of cinder blocks that you might encounter:
- 4 inch: 15 to 26 pounds
- 6 inch: 28 to 32 pounds
- 8 inch: 35 to 40 pounds
- 10 inch: 43 to 55 pounds
- 12 inch: 58 to 62 pounds
- 16 inch: 65 to 72 pounds
Learning about cinder blocks and what they are generally used for can be a bit surprising. Fortunately, we've listed down all the dimensions and weight details of cinder blocks. Keep scrolling as we also talk about their major differences with concrete blocks and how much it would cost you if you used them.
How much does a cinder block weigh?
A building brick made of small cinders (hence the name) mixed with sand and cement, cinder blocks were once used as building materials for garden walls, retaining walls, and other similar projects. They are lighter in weight, which is one of the reasons why it isn't as strong as the more solid concrete blocks.
In the early 1900s, Francis Straub discovered that cinders which were a product of coal-fired plants could be used as an aggregate for concrete to create building blocks. This is the beginning of the creation of cinder blocks which helped recycle the coal waste from the plants.
Unfortunately, cinder blocks are not mass-produced for more than 50 years since most construction projects prefer concrete blocks because of their stability. Nevertheless, there are occasions when you might be able to stumble upon some cinder blocks that you can use for less structurally stressed projects.
What is the difference between cinder blocks and concrete blocks?
Visually, cinder blocks and concrete blocks look very similar. They are practically indistinguishable which is why the term has been used interchangeably, but the materials used to make them greatly vary. Here are the differences between cinder blocks and concrete blocks.
Cinder blocks are made of small cinders and concrete, and they are light because of the number of aggregate components versus other materials. They are a lot weaker and are not very load-bearing, which is one of the most important factors in building blocks. These blocks are also generally cheaper because cinders are mostly recycled waste material.
One of the biggest issues with cinder blocks is that they are prone to bowing and buckling. This often requires cinder block projects to undergo a lot of repairs and reinforcing so it becomes quite costly. It does not have significant tensile strength, so these blocks are not preferred if you need the project to be very structurally sound.
Concrete blocks are building blocks made of cement, sand, gravel, and water. These blocks are quite heavy and cumbersome, but they are one of the most preferred building blocks by many structural engineers because of their strength. Concrete blocks are a lot stronger than cinder blocks, which is why it has replaced the former in many projects.
When it comes to load-bearing, concrete blocks can stand up to pressure and has high tensile strength. Used with the proper reinforcement and masonry practices, concrete blocks can be used on foundations, walls, and other projects that require building blocks.
These blocks are long-lasting and durable, which are quite expensive to produce because of the materials made to make them strong. However, this offsets the cost needed to maintain and repair them because concrete blocks do not need to be repaired unless very heavily damaged.
How much does a cinder block cost?
Cinder blocks are a lot cheaper than concrete blocks because of the materials used to create them. While it was a lot cheaper before to get cinder blocks, the lack of mass production and some restrictions on the use of cinder blocks have raised the prices a little bit.
The average cost of a cinder block is about $1 to $5 each, and you might even find capstones to be priced at about $0.95 per piece. To create a wall purely made of cinder blocks, you'll only need about $15 to $30 per square foot, and this already includes materials and labor.
However, material pricing generally changes from time to time, so the cost of cinder blocks and labor costs may vary.
Can I still find cinder blocks?
While cinder blocks haven't been mass-produced since WW2 ended, you can still find some masons produce small batches of cinder blocks. The reason for cinder blocks stopping production is because of their weaker strength and the steady decline of cinders used for the blocks.
However, if you go to the hardware or construction store and look for cinder blocks, you might find yourself looking at hollow concrete blocks. This is because old cinder blocks are prohibited from building codes due to their poor load-bearing performance.
Where can I use cinder blocks?
Despite their poor performance in load-bearing for foundations and walls, cinder blocks can still be used in a variety of uses. If you ever find yourself with some cinder blocks, or you are looking to work on a project that doesn't require it to be very structurally sound, cinder blocks are great options to use.
Cinder blocks are great to use as added reinforcement material when creating an outdoor grill for your home. Since grills do not carry too much load, cinder blocks are also great to use with fire and heat. They are also a lot cheaper than bricks or concrete blocks, which can definitely lessen the costs for you when building your own outdoor grill.
2. Garden Beds
If you're into planting and keeping the gardens and lawns neat, cinder blocks are great materials to use for your garden beds. They take very little preparation and you can build them right on top of the grass, and with cinder blocks a lot lighter than your standard concrete blocks, you'll be able to build that raised garden bed in no time.
3. Outdoor Fireplace
Making an outdoor fireplace can be quite pricey, but you can work cinder blocks together with firebricks to create that perfect outdoor fireplace in your yard. You can also use cinder blocks as an added material to use for firepits and other similar projects in your home.
4. Plant containers
If not for construction, cinder blocks are great to use as plant containers. They are relatively lighter, but they are stable and your plant roots won't break the structure of the cinder blocks. For homes that are going for more of an industrial vibe, cinder blocks as plant containers will definitely fit right in.
Some homeowners also like using cinder blocks as creative containers for their succulents and other small plants. You also wouldn't have any problem with cinder blocks being used with plants because they are well-draining and very solid.
Cinder blocks might not be the perfect choice for walls and foundations, but if you are looking to build a place to keep your stuff in, cinder blocks might be the thing that you need. Build multiple storage spaces for your garden, shed, kitchen, or other areas with the use of cinder blocks.
As an alternative, you can even use cinder blocks as firewood storage for your outdoor kitchen or fireplace. Just stick some metal poles or wooden stakes on the cinder block holes, place the firewood in between, and voilà! You've got your own firewood storage made.
While cinder blocks are not widely produced anymore, you may find that you can still use them for smaller, more temporary projects. They are still relatively cheaper than concrete blocks and they still do well despite the lack of strength and durability that concrete blocks possess.
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