Using Interlocking Concrete Blocks for a retaining wall

What Is the British Standard Block Size?

If you’re looking to incorporate building blocks in a structure you want to make, it may be daunting and even confusing to know where to begin looking. A good place to start is to understand the standard size of block and what it can be used for, to see if it is relevant to your desired build.

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘What is the British standard block size?’

At PPC Concrete Products, we are here to provide solutions for your construction needs, from the person working their own part-time project, to commercial clients, and everyone in-between.

Monthly construction output had risen an estimated by an 1.6% value in June 2023, and we would like to think our accessible concrete products had a small part to play by giving our clients easy access to reliable and easy-to-use construction solutions.

Why are blocks available in different sizes?

Do Concrete Blocks Need to Be Rendered

Blocks, especially those used in construction, can be available in a multitude of sizes for many reasons including…

  • The size of the build itself.
  • The area of the build may require the same material, but just a smaller size or specific shape.
  • Sizes of blocks can affect weight distribution
  • Sizes of blocks can affect durability.

Simply put, variety is not only going to help a provider sell more stock, but it will also provide the buyer with more options that can be relevant, and even essential to the particular build they have in construction. If blocks were only available in one size, it would limit the possibilities available to anyone undergoing a construction project.

Are blocks better than wood?

Whether it’s a concrete block or a brick, both of these trump wood when it comes to which option is better. Although wood can be cheaper, and is easier to manipulate, and easier to break, though it is harder to maintain, especially if it is exposed to the elements. In addition, wood can be destroyed by rodents and other pests. Whereas concrete and bricks can’t be chewed through.

With that being said, wood has a multitude of uses that make it applicable to almost any build, especially when building a home. So whilst certain blocks may be much more effective than wood in certain situations, wood can outperform blocks for its usability in certain areas effortlessly.

What is the British standard block size?

Is it better to use bricks or concrete blocks?

When it comes to concrete blocks, there are many options available. Even when it comes to the most commonly sold size of concrete blocks, there are further distinctions in the particular width you can buy.

A standard concrete block in Britain is measured at:

  • 440 Millimetres lengthways
  • 215 Millimetres in height
  • 100 Millimetres in width (With options ranging from 75 to 215 Millimetres).

That being said, the British standard block size may be helpful for some projects, but can be more cumbersome for undertaking other projects. Below, we will tell you more about a British made concrete block that is slowly becoming the norm for a variety of construction projects, these are our Interlocking Concrete Blocks.

Interlocking Concrete Blocks vs British standard concrete blocks

Interlocking Concrete Blocks are available in more than one size, though their standard size is 60 Centimetres in height and width, and 180 Centimetres in length. Having a bigger block means that you will require less in total to cover the same space that a standard block would cover.

Secondly, our Interlocking Concrete Blocks have the ability to create a lasting, effective hold with each other without the need for binding materials. This is achieved by the studs and recesses that are on the top and bottom of the blocks respectively. This saves money that would be spent on cement if you were using more common blocks for building.

The interlocking mechanism that our blocks provide can result in 5 blocks being stacked upon each other. Each of our blocks are 60 cm in height, with 5 stacked together this would equate to 300 cm, which is exactly 9 feet (2.74 m) & 10.11 inches (25.68 cm) high. This height is more than enough for applications such as a retaining wall and so much more.

In addition to this, our concrete blocks are made to be durable, which is why they are not hollow at all, or shaped in a way that compromises its durability, unlike a cinder block for example.

Are Interlocking Concrete Blocks cheaper than British standard blocks?

Depending on the project at hand, and the size of blocks you opt for, there could be a possibility that Interlocking Concrete Blocks can be cheaper. As having larger blocks can

cover a larger area than opting for smaller blocks.

Is it better to use blocks that need mortar?

Yes and no, blocks require mortar to be effective, whilst some don’t at all.

Some, if not most blocks or bricks, require mortar in order to achieve a lasting and efficient hold. This is partly what makes bricklaying a tedious and time-consuming process. Neglecting to use any binding materials at all will result in an unsafe structure that can collapse at any time.

However, there are blocks that do not require mortar at all. Our Interlocking Concrete Blocks being an example of this. Once the blocks are connected through their studs and recesses, they are almost impossible to dislodge without purposeful effort.

The benefit that comes with not requiring any mortar at all, is that you are saving money that would have otherwise been spent on that resource, and time that would have been spent applying it.

Do I need special equipment to handle blocks?

Is there an easier way to make a retaining wall?

Not necessarily. Of course, this is subject to the size of blocks you have, and their material. For example, large concrete blocks, due to their naturally heavy weight, would generally require the services of a machine that can safely pick up and manoeuvre around with these blocks.

If you opt for our Interlocking Concrete Blocks, you may require lifting equipment depending on the size you choose.

Aside from lifting equipment that is relative to the block’s size and material, or safe transport for the resources themselves, there isn’t any other specialist equipment you have to have when handling any kind of block.

What is a weakness of concrete blocks?

Depending on where the concrete block is used, it can be argued that the porous surface of a concrete block is a weakness. The fact that the surface is porous naturally allows water to penetrate the surface.

This may not be an issue, but if it is being used for building structures that are inhabited, that means there is a risk of mould developing in the building. However, this can be easily mitigated by purchasing the appropriate sealant and applying it after construction.

Aside from this, the durability, in addition to the heavyweight nature of a concrete block, makes it a superior option to choose depending on the build at hand.

Purchase concrete blocks today

As an established supplier all over the UK, PPC Concrete Products is always happy to help, which is why we encourage you to get in touch with any questions you may have or have a look at our FAQ.

In this blog, we hope to have provided key information on what is the British standard block size, whilst also providing additional information, including construction solutions that we offer.

Take a read of our case studies to truly understand how we have provided solutions for business in the past with the use of our interlocking concrete blocks, and ultimately, how we can help you today.

Read our blog page for more insights into our passion, construction.


The Old Gasworks,

Higginshaw Lane,




Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday – 8 AM until 4 PM

Tel: 01706 655245


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