The world of concrete blocks is huge. You’ve got your smooth faced, your split faced, your scored blocks, your fluted blocks, your shot blast blocks and within all of those you’ve got double sided, single sided, corner blocks, chimney blocks, window blocks, and a whole bunch of others. It’s quite overwhelming really. But today, we’re hoping to make the concrete block world feel a little less daunting for you by breaking down the basics.
Smooth Faced Concrete Blocks
These are the most common blocks you’ll see everywhere. They’re made in molds that result in a smooth finish on all sides.
Smooth Faced Concrete Block by Crown Hill Stone Supply
Smooth faced concrete wall by Shaw Brick
House designed by Dierendonck Blancke Architecten. Photography by Filip Dujardin.
Split Faced Concrete Blocks
Split faced concrete blocks, unlike smooth faced ones, are extremely rough. Depending on how many rough sides are desired, the molds that create these ones keep the block connected but scored at the top to provide the place where a chisel will break the concrete. Once the blocks have cured they pass under a high pressure, mechanical chisel-like machine that splits the concrete and reveals the rough insides.
Single sided split concrete is made when one large smooth faced block is scored once and broken into two pieces. Double sided split concrete is made when a large piece of concrete get scored and split multiple times, resulting in multiple rough pieces all with two rough sides.
Split faced concrete block by Crown Hill Stone Supply
Split faced concrete wall via Buildipedia.
Split faced concrete wall via Buildipedia.
Inspiration from TRISTAR Brick and Block
Split Rib Concrete Blocks (also known as Fluted Concrete)
Up next are split ribbed concrete blocks, sometimes referred to as fluted concrete blocks. Similar to split faced ones, these blocks are made from splitting a large block into smaller ones, exposing a rough surface. However, the molds used to create these blocks leave spaces in between the concrete, giving it a ribbed appearance.
Fluted concrete block by Woare’s Inc.
Left photo – Fluted concrete wall | Right photo – Fluted concrete block example by TRISTAR Brick and Block.
Scored Concrete Blocks
The last kind of concrete block we’ll look at today is the scored concrete block. These blocks are similar to smooth faced ones with the exception of shallow lines on their surface. Within this category of concrete blocks there are a number of variations – you can find single scored, double scored, triple scored and so on. Single scored concrete, seen here, creates a look of square concrete blocks while adding more scores creates a more rectangular look.
Scored concrete block by Stocker Concrete
Scored concrete example by TRISTAR Brick and Block
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