What Is the Difference Between a Cinder Block and a Concrete Block?

What Is the Difference Between a Cinder Block and a Concrete Block?

When it comes to construction on every level, understanding your resources and options is paramount in being able to make the best structures you can. That’s why In this blog we will answer the question ‘What is the difference between a cinder block and a concrete block?’

As an established and trusted concrete provider, PPC Concrete Products aim to provide solutions for people in the construction industry. Alongside interlocking concrete blocks, we also provide concrete barriers.

For any building project, knowing the options you can select when it comes to concrete solutions can be extremely helpful when it comes to protecting access to your project, building it, and possibly saving you money.

PPC Concrete Products is here to provide the answers you may be looking for whilst giving you an insight into the quality concrete options we supply.

The demand for construction is only increasing, on a private and industrial level. Whether your work is private, or industrial, we are here to help.

How long have cinder blocks been used for?

Cinder blocks originated in the USA and become more widely used since the 1900’s, though people at coal-burning factories had been using the ash on a smaller basis prior to 1900. They are known for their lightweight and hollow properties whilst somewhat retaining the durability of concrete.

As a result of these characteristics, cinder blocks became relatively popular at one time, though you are unlikely to find modern houses made from this material.

Benefits of cinder blocks

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Weather resistant
  • Immune to rot
  • Ideal for smaller projects
  • Fireproof

What is the difference between a cinder block and a concrete block?

What is the difference between a cinder block and a concrete block?

The difference between a cinder block and a concrete block is found in the weight difference between the two. This is due to the ingredients of both blocks, whilst cinder blocks contain coal cinders (hence the name) concrete blocks are bound with sand and/or stone, which results in the concrete block being the heavier of the two.

So how does this difference in weight affect the useability of each option? Put simply, although cinder blocks weigh less, they also have less durability due to their binder being coal cinders.

This results in concrete blocks usually being the superior option in relation to resilient structures, whereas cinderblocks may provide the same value if used right, they are better suited to DIY projects or small-scale builds.

Can I use cinder blocks and concrete blocks in the same project?

Of course, if your project is planned accordingly, and each block would be used in areas in accordance with their strengths, there is nothing to say you can’t use these blocks in conjunction with each other in certain areas.

Of course, when it comes to solely using just one, then we must again highlight that concrete blocks are generally the better option for more large-scale projects.

So now that we know concrete blocks are a better option, how can we optimise the most out of them? One simple and effective way is purposing the concrete blocks to become interlocking, reducing the need for cement to bind them together. Hence, interlocking concrete blocks.

Interlocking concrete blocks explained

Interlocking Concrete Blocks are a unique form of pre-cast concrete blocks that are designed to hold together by using pre-measured studs and recesses.​ These concrete blocks are built with unique profiles and features, which allow them to fit perfectly into each other.

What are the advantages of interlocking concrete blocks?

  • Longer lasting and more durable than a Gabion basket
  • Quicker and less hassle to install
  • No need for mortar, saving you money and time
  • No need for steel reinforcement or shuttering
  • Resistant to extreme weather conditions
  • Fire-resistant properties, mitigating the spread of fire depending on the structure
  • Little maintenance required
  • Often, no foundation is needed before installing
  • Sound resistant
  • Sustainable
  • Ability to stack upon each other
  • Flexibility in sizes
  • Appropriate for temporary and/or permanent buildings
  • Unlikely to be displaced due to the interlocking function
  • Can be moved with standard lifting equipment

Disadvantages of using interlocking concrete blocks

  • Can’t be moved without machinery
  • Can topple over if not placed on level ground

What are interlocking concrete blocks used for?

PPC Concrete Products supply interlocking concrete blocks, we can share with you what they are used for.

  • Material Storage bays
  • Blast walls
  • Salt stores
  • Crash protection
  • Push walls
  • Security barriers
  • Segregation bays i.e recycling centres
  • Retaining walls
  • Industrial buildings
  • Fire breaks
  • Counterweights
  • Roadblocks

Interlocking concrete block sizes and styles

Our team at PPC Concrete Products supplies different types of interlocking concrete blocks. Though we have a variety of options when it comes to the interlocking concrete blocks that we make.

The way our blocks are made is by having a casting of the dimensions mentioned below and depending on the option chosen, the cast is then filled with concrete. Each block has a Lifting pin anchor system embedded in the concrete at the point of casting – this is how the blocks are moved once the concrete is set.

After setting, the cast is then removed and the blocks are transported to their destination.

we offer the option for your block to be:

  • Standard Blocks
  • Flat Top Standard Blocks
  • Rock Face Block
  • Rock Face Flat Top Block

To view what these options look like, take a look at our gallery.

 Here are our size options:

  • 300 x 600 x 600
  • 600 x 600 x 600
  • 900 x 600 x 600
  • 1200 x 600 x 600
  • 1500 x 600 x 600
  • 1800 x 600 x 600
  • 400 x 800 x 800
  • 800 x 800 x 800
  • 1200 x 800 x 800
  • 1600 x 800 x 800

Half and thirds of the sizes displayed are also offered with your order if needed.

How much do interlocking concrete blocks cost?

If you are considering the cost of our interlocking concrete blocks, we encourage you to get in touch. Having a solid idea of what you intend to use the blocks for, including the space they’re going into, and how much you need will make it easier for us to give you a quote.

Understandably, the cost will be dependent on the amount required, and the sizes of the individual blocks you require.

However, if you’re still deciding whether or not to use our blocks, and would like specific questions to be answered in relation to your project, we are happy to provide all the information you need once you get in contact.

How much do interlocking concrete blocks weigh?

In regard to the weight of the blocks, it will vary from size to size, and from the concrete being used. But as an example, 1800 x 600 x 600 concrete block can weigh 1560 kg, this can fluctuate as different types of concrete have different levels of density.

Order interlocking concrete blocks today

How do you move Interlocking Concrete Blocks?

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 take a look at our FAQ.

In this article, we hope to have answered the question ‘What is the difference between a cinder block and a concrete block?’ Whilst also providing extra information in regard to construction and the benefits of our interlocking concrete blocks.

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 til 4 PM

Tel: 01706 655245

Email: info@ppcconcreteproducts.co.uk

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