Concrete blocks have several common names, including cinder blocks and concrete masonry units. A standard concrete or cinder block has a uniform size, but the weight of the block can vary according to different factors. Concrete blocks are a vitally important tool for applications related to building.
Concrete blocks typically weigh from 25 to 35 pounds per unit, according to the Portland Cement Association. The discrepancy in weight is caused by factors such as different concentrations of the cement and other components in the block and even the plant at which the block is made. Cinder blocks made at one plant might not weigh exactly the same as those made at another plant, but one plant's cinder blocks are typically of a uniform weight because the materials used to make them are constant.
Standard concrete blocks are also known as 8-inch blocks because of their size. These blocks measure 8 inches wide by 8 inches high by 16 inches long to give them a rectangular shape. Although standard blocks have these measurements, it's possible to buy blocks that are slightly different in shape, such as blocks meant for building corners.
The key ingredients in concrete blocks are cement, sand, gravel and water. Occasionally, a manufacturer can add tints and dyes during the manufacturing process to change the color of the concrete block. Most concrete blocks are not colored, because they typically are not visible after the building project is finished.
Builders use concrete blocks for a variety of applications, including walls and fireplaces. Although you typically cannot see these blocks in your home, builders often use them during the construction of exterior walls, which are then covered. A common place to see uncovered cement blocks is in the stairwell of an apartment building, especially around the parking garage.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images