Cinder Block or Concrete Block

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Forum topic by adampayne posted 07-02-2018 01:05 PM 809 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 851 days

07-02-2018 01:05 PM

Can anyone tell me how I might be able to tell if the blocks in my garage are cinder block or concrete block? I’d like to build a french cleat system to organize my tools and attach it directly to the block walls. However, if the blocks are cinder blocks, I may instead build out a frame wall and mount the cleats to the wall.

Any help in telling the two apart would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

8 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2131 posts in 766 days

#1 posted 07-02-2018 03:22 PM

how old is the wall in question??
when was it made and what part of the country are you in ??
and – what are you concerns of one over the other ?

I did a simple google search and many sources say that the difference is the amount
of fly ash in the cinder block – but concrete blocks also contain fly ash.
Your Answer
both have the same building strengths.



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View bondogaposis's profile


5604 posts in 2954 days

#2 posted 07-02-2018 03:25 PM

How can we tell without a picture?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1107 days

#3 posted 07-02-2018 03:53 PM

How can we tell without a picture?

- bondogaposis

He didn’t ask us to tell, he asked us how can he discern one from the other. I agree with Mr. Smith above…for all practical purposes it doesn’t matter which one of the two. Personally, if it were me I would stud out a wall so I could insulate it and then I could easily hang anything I wanted on it. I just did a french cleat thing and I have an opinion on that too…unless you are hanging up container like things that you need to move around it is a waste of time. Just bolt what you need to the wall and use it.

View rustfever's profile


781 posts in 3913 days

#4 posted 07-02-2018 11:19 PM

Usually, in the west portion of the country, the cement/cinder blocks/CMU [Cement Masonry Units] are made with hollow cells. These blocks are normally 8” x 8” x 16” and have two open cells, usually about 5” x 5”. The walls and webs are normally approximately 1.5” thick.

During construction, some or all of those cells are filled with cement and, possibly, rebar. If you can determine which cells are filled, you will be able to install structural embeds. With the structural embeds, you can then install your French cleats.

To install structural embeds, [aka wedge anchors] it will require drilling a hole thru the CMU and into the concrete filled core. Normally, you would want your structural embed need to penetrate the concrete fill about3”.
The total length of the embed must be adequate to attach your cleat, plus about 1” minimum for the nut and washer.
The embed are available in many sizes, however for your project, I would recommend using 3/8” d at a minimum.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Knockonit's profile


632 posts in 805 days

#5 posted 07-03-2018 12:34 AM

Simpson products used to make a little screen you could poke into a slightly larger hole, fill with a hardening product and and then drill or use self drillers to attach to wall, wasn’t cheap, but did allow one to attach well to an open interior cell. or one can pop block and plug it, fill the cell with mortar or equivalent and allow to dry and drill a hole. we do this a lot to put in anchor bolts, it of course isn’t the purdiest thing you would ever see.

Most codes do require a solid cell every 4 ft, so pending on the length of cleat, just might find a good location, and of coures all openings at each side, head and sill should be grouted solid

-- Living the dream

View adampayne's profile


2 posts in 851 days

#6 posted 07-03-2018 01:27 PM

Hi everyone, thanks for the info! I did go out to the garage last night and snap a few pictures of the walls

I’m also not married to the french cleat thing. The main reason I was considering it is because my garage is constantly changing. I’m slowly building up my shop and it’s not a completely dedicated space. It’s my workshop, holds the garden tools, a little bit of storage, oh yea, and the car sometimes.

It’s not a huge garage either, it’s a 1.5 car garage so everything needs to be out near the walls and up. The table saw is on wheels and gets moved to the center of the room when it’s needed.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1502 days

#7 posted 07-03-2018 01:36 PM


View Robert's profile


3599 posts in 2084 days

#8 posted 07-03-2018 01:38 PM

Looks like concrete to me.

BTW you can upload pics directly to your post on LJ.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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