Cinderblocks are used in a lot of building projects and make for an invaluable component for small-scale constructions. They differ from normal concrete or brick blocks by being hollow inside, though they’re still heavy enough to be a pain to transport.
A standard cinderblock (about 8 x 8 x 16) usually falls around the 35-40 pound range – around the weight of a car battery. They deviate a bit due to factors like size, shape, or brand, but are always lighter than comparable concrete blocks. Try to minimize how many units you’ll need for the square foot area of your project.
Cinderblocks make for a mainstay in the construction business. A lot of factors go into their weight, but commonly fall around that range even across different manufacturers.
What is a Cinderblock? How Much Do They Weigh?
Cinderblocks are concrete masonry units (CMUs) commonly used to build structures. They come in different sizes and densities, courtesy of their unique manufacturers and production methods. Cinderblocks are also hollow in the middle. This allows better stacking, less overall weight, and provide a channel for metal insertions to further reinforce the structure.
Most cinderblocks usually fall around the 35-40 pound range with the standard size of 8 x 8 x 16. That’s pretty close to the weight of the average car battery (41lbs) minus the convenient handles.
There also happen to be lighter cinderblocks with modified compositions. An 8 x 8 x 16 of this sort can fall under 30 pounds. These are much easier to handle and come cheaper than normal cinderblocks.
It’s important to know that they can handle a lot less weight, and repairs for structural damages will be pricy regardless of the materials used. It’s up to you if that’s worth the tradeoff, but we’d advise going for them if your planned projects don’t have the load-bearing capacity as a concern.
Factors Affecting Deviance
The usual factor for weight differences comes around to size and dimension. Bigger blocks have more weight and stability to them. It comes at the cost of being more cumbersome to source, transport, and set. The cinderblock size will always be indicated on the purchase, so there’s no need to worry about potentially glossing over this detail.
Cinderblocks come in a lot of different forms. Stretcher blocks are the normal standard used and serve to join corners. Partition blocks are utilized to construct walls, with their width being less than their height. There are over half a dozen other named variants, but nuances and selection are best left to the construction workers and distributors.
The market has plenty of distinct cinderblock formats, all made to fit different purposes. Bring up what you’d like to build, and they should have a fair estimation of what’s needed to get it done.
The final factor is density – and by extension, composition. Cinderblocks are made from a combination of concrete and cinder, with the former slightly denser than the latter. If your supplier makes use of more ash in the mixture, it’ll reflect via a reduction in their total weight.
These shouldn’t be too problematic when making your projects. The most significant factor is ensuring that your blocks properly measure up to the allotted building space.
Cost, Quantity, and Transportation
Cinderblocks are relatively inexpensive, with standard-sized units (8 x 8 x 16) falling around two dollars apiece or less. Most sellers will incentivize bulk sales, which can save you even more. Even the high end of cinderblocks caps out at around three dollars.
The quantity needed depends on the project scale. One of the more common picks for amateur homemakers is home gardens. Small building goals can use just a dozen blocks and can be set and reinforced very quickly.
Constructs larger than that will set you back a lot more. Cinderblock walls usually run people about ten dollars per square foot of coverage, with the lump sum of the masonry alone easily falling north of $500. Further labor expenses and aesthetic finishing can set you back a whole grand.
A good rule of thumb for gauging your total CMU needs is multiplying the square foot area by 1.125. Five hundred cumulative square feet of cinderblock walls would run you about 563 individual cinderblocks, for a total of over $1000.
While you might be able to carry them on the back of a vehicle, it wouldn’t be worth the hassle. Not to mention the fact it runs the risk of the blocks dislodging and damaging your car’s interior. It’s less problematic for trucks, but still an inconvenience for notable quantities of cinderblocks.
Most concrete masonry units are stacked on pallets before being hauled to their destinations, specifically to avoid those concerns. Your supplier of choice can likely manage the troublesome transportation of your cinderblocks, and might even do so for free if you buy enough of their stock.
Cinderblocks vs Concrete Blocks
It’s easy to mix the two up, as both are standard CMU units. Not helping that is the fact these units have similar general compositions – concrete, water, and aggregate. Most guides use the terms interchangeably, but there are a few noteworthy differences worth bearing in mind.
Cinderblocks are lighter than concrete blocks due to their hollow shape. As a result, they’re also noticeably less load-bearing than comparable concrete blocks. The hollow space can be used for other purposes like gardening, so it isn’t a total disadvantage.
Cinderblocks have the edge when it comes to easier transportation and better aesthetics, but there’s a reason why concrete blocks are the main constituent for most projects regardless of scale.
Lastly, cinderblocks aren’t being mass-produced anymore. The cost difference might be negligible per unit, but it could really chip into your funds when buying in bulk.
Good DIY Plans
Cinderblocks excel in mundane projects, and one of their most popular uses have them as gardening walls or pots. The hollow gap is just the perfect size for potted plants, and the lack of thermal insulation doesn’t hamper their capability at the task.
Cinderblocks can be stacked to a respectable height manually, and the hollow channels make reinforcing them with rebar much easier for amateur homemakers. Cinderblocks excel on these kinds of small-scale plans and can be decorated or furnished for greater aesthetic appeal.
Since the project isn’t very demanding on structural integrity, lighter cinderblocks can be used without consequence. Always go for the biggest cinderblocks suited to fit your area. This means you have fewer blocks to set, which saves both time and labor.
Cinderblock weight varies but usually falls around the thirty-five-pound mark. It’d be better to focus on minimizing the number of cinderblocks needed. Most of the perks and drawbacks regarding weight don’t manifest on such small-scale outputs, but handling and expenses will always be important considerations.