Concrete blocks are the backbone of construction projects, but there are also numerous projects that you can use concrete blocks for at home. We take a look into the various types of concrete blocks and how you can create your own concrete blocks at home with concrete mixers from B&S Commercial Power.
A concrete block is a precast concrete product that is used in construction or for at-home creative projects. Concrete blocks are typically stacked on top of each other and secured with concrete mortar.
There are so many different uses for concrete blocks. They can be used for retaining walls, to create interesting entrances or exists, landscaping, benches, security barriers, pot plants, and the list continues. The type of concrete block you choose is dependent on the project you are using the concrete blocks for.
Different Types of Concrete Blocks:
We have listed the different types of concrete blocks that are useful for a wide variety of construction or at-home projects.
1) Solid Concrete Blocks:
Solid concrete blocks are large, heavy blocks of solid concrete. Solid concrete blocks will typically have a dense aggregate. They are typically used for the construction of load-bearing walls and large structures as they are strong and durable. You can make solid concrete blocks to the desired size depending on your project needs.
2) Hollow Concrete Blocks:
Hollow concrete blocks have a hollow centre in the concrete block. This is advantageous as it allows for the concrete mortar to fill the space within the concrete block. This can help insulate against moisture, sound, and heat. You can use hallow concrete blocks for any desired construction or creative project.
There are eight subtypes of hollow concrete blocks.
Stretcher Block: Stretcher blocks are very similar to hollow concrete blocks, but they have a stretcher design on the side which is used as an interconnecting concrete block at wall corners. They differ in size from standard hollow concrete blocks.
Corner Block: This concrete block is designed for use in corners of walls and has a similar stretcher design on the sides to lock into the other concrete blocks.
Pillar Block: Pillar blocks, which are also referred to as double corner blocks, are used for the construction of piers or pillars.
Partition Block: Partition blocks are the same as pillar blocks except their height is larger than their breadth. They are usually used for the construction of partition walls.
Bullnose Block: Bullnose blocks are the same as pillar blocks, except their edges are rounded.
Lintel Block: Lintel blocks, also referred to as channelled blocks, are U-shaped concrete blocks. Lintel blocks are usually used around lintel beams, which are structural beams that sit across openings in buildings to help carry the load of the structure above the opening.
Jamb Block: Jamb blocks are usually used around window openings. They will be connected to a corner block and a stretcher block.
Screen Block: Screen blocks, which are also referred to as cement breeze blocks or ventilation blocks, are decorative concrete blocks that are typically used to define spaces in outdoor areas, create privacy, or provide sun protection. These concrete blocks will come with interesting patterns hollowed out in the centre of the concrete brick. Screen blocks are purely decorative and cannot be used for load-bearing walls.
3) Aerated Autoclaved Concrete Blocks:
Aerated autoclaved concrete blocks are concrete blocks made from lime, cement, aluminium powder, quartz sand, gypsum, and water. The aerated autoclaved concrete blocks are cured in an autoclave, which is a machine that produces extreme heat and pressure which helps cure the concrete blocks quickly.
Aerated autoclaved concrete blocks are larger than standard solid concrete blocks, lighter, have great fire resistance, and are excellent for insulation. They are expensive to manufacture and are therefore an expensive concrete block option.
4) Concrete Bricks:
Concrete bricks are smaller, rectangular-shaped solid concrete blocks. They can either be made out of solid cement or concrete with selectively chosen aggregates. Concrete bricks are typically used to build walls. Using concrete bricks will take a longer construction time when compared to solid concrete blocks due to the bricks being smaller in size and requiring more labour.
5) Faced Concrete Blocks:
Faced concrete blocks refer to the three different face styles a concrete block can have.
Smooth-Faced Concrete Block: Smooth-faced concrete blocks are made in individual moulds and have a smooth surface on every face of the block.
Split-Faced Concrete Block: Split-faced concrete blocks have a rough, textured surface. Split-faced concrete blocks are made by breaking individual blocks off a larger block, which results in either one or two rough sides depending on how the block is split.
Fluted Concrete Block: Fluted concrete blocks, also referred to as split ribbed concrete blocks, are created in moulds that leave spaces in between the concrete to give it a ribbed appearance. These concrete blocks also have a rough surface as they are usually split from a large block into smaller blocks.
B&S Commercial Power Concrete Mixers:
B&S Commercial Power is a supplier of concrete mixers. We have two Baumax concrete mixers available that are perfectly suited to using to mix concrete for making concrete blocks at home.
- Baumax BS360L Concrete Mixer with Baumax RX200 Keyway Engine.
- Baumax 500L Concrete Mixer with Baumax RX200 Keyway Engine.
The two Baumax concrete mixers have different drum sizes. The variety is to ensure that you can find concrete mixers suited to the scale of your project. All the Baumax concrete mixers have similar mixing speeds which timeously produce excellent concrete so that you can stay on track with your project’s timeline.
We have selected Baumax concrete mixers because Baumax is a reputable and trustworthy brand. This is to ensure that when you purchase concrete mixers from B&S Commercial Power, you receive a robust machine that will be an investment for your business or home use.
The Baumax concrete mixers produce perfectly homogenised concrete. It is critical for any concrete project, whether you are laying a slab or creating concrete blocks, to have fully mixed concrete. This avoids any pockets of cement, air, or water that could result in cracks or failures.
The Baumax concrete mixers are an affordable option for homeowners who are looking to do concrete projects at home. You get to enjoy the speed, quality, and longevity of a Baumax concrete mixer without breaking the budget.
Using Your Concrete Mixers to Create Concrete Blocks:
Baumax concrete mixers are perfectly suited to any concrete project. We are going to take a look at how you can use your concrete mixers to create concrete blocks for at-home use.
Firstly, you need to get all your supplies.
Concrete Mixers: Select one of the B&S Commercial Power concrete mixers that will suit the scale of your concrete block project. Using concrete mixers will save you time, effort, and energy, and allow you to get straight to the fun part of making your concrete blocks.
Concrete Materials: You will need to purchase cement and aggregates for your concrete blocks. The type of aggregates you choose will depend on the type of concrete block you are making.
Concrete Block Mould: Select the concrete block mould that will produce a concrete block in the shape you require for your project. You can purchase concrete moulds that are designed according to the different types of concrete blocks. There are also numerous online tutorials on how to make your own simple concrete block moulds should you prefer this option.
Plastic Sheeting: You need plastic sheeting to place your concrete block moulds on to catch any concrete mess and to cover your concrete blocks while they cure.
Shovel: Select either a hand-sized concrete shovel or a large shovel depending on the number of concrete blocks you are making.
Compacting Tool: You can use any spare item in your home, such as a piece of wood, to compact the concrete in the mould. Make sure the item you choose will fit in the design of your concrete mould.
Trowel: Use a concrete trowel to achieve a smooth surface on your concrete block.
How to Make a Concrete Block:
We have created a quick step-by-step guide to making your own concrete blocks at home with your concrete mixers.
Lay Out Concrete Moulds: Place your concrete moulds on your plastic sheeting in a ventilated and covered area.
Make Concrete: Place your concrete materials in the correct ratio specific to the type of concrete block you are making in the concrete mixers and begin the mixing process.
Transfer Concrete: Once your concrete mixer’s mixing cycle is complete and your concrete is perfectly combined, tip the concrete into a wheelbarrow and transport it to your laid-out concrete block moulds.
Place Concrete in Concrete Mould: Using your shovel, scoop your concrete into your concrete mould. If you are planning on making a reinforced concrete block, you would add your internal reinforcement at this stage.
Compact Concrete: Use your selected tool to tightly compact the concrete in your concrete mould.
Smooth Surface: Once your concrete is completely compacted in your concrete mould, use the trowel to remove excess concrete and create a smooth surface.
Cover with Plastic Sheeting: Cover your concrete block with the plastic sheeting and allow the concrete block to cure.
Remove Concrete Block: Once your concrete block is cured and set, you can remove it from your mould and start using your concrete block for your project.
About BS Commercial Power:
B&S Commercial Power is a supplier of a wide range of power tools which range from concrete mixers to brushcutters to chainsaws. We are perfectly equipped to supply all your power tool needs for commercial use or DIY projects at home.
Many of our power tools are imported from internationally recognised power tool brands. This is to provide you with easy access to these high-performance branded power tools. We also manufacture numerous power tools so that you always have wide access to the power tools you require.
B&S Commercial Power is a Cape Town-based company. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into our store to explore our range or discuss your power tool needs with any of our friendly B&S Commercial Power team.
If you are located in another South African province or neighbouring African country, you are still able to access our high-quality power tools thanks to our delivery system. You can also email or phone us to receive personalised advice on your power tool requirements.
At B&S Commercial Power, we strive to ensure that everyone has access to our exceptional range of power tools and professional advice.
Select the best type of concrete block suited to your construction or home project and make your own concrete blocks with B&S Commercial Power concrete mixers.