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How to Stack Cinder Blocks

Brandy Alexander

The use of cinder blocks in wall assemblies is quite common, and with good reason. Manufactured cinder blocks are an extremely effective building material for use in the building of strong, solid, long-lasting walls. Proper stacking of these blocks is essential to ensure the longevity of your wall.

This alternating pattern of bricks is what gives a wall its strength.

By following a few key guidelines and utilizing some commonly-found building materials, you can create a strong, sturdy wall.

  1. Lay a bed of mortar along the foundation where you plan to build your wall using the trowel. Ensure that the foundation ring is level, using your spirit level, before laying any mortar.

  2. Place the first row of cinder blocks end-to-end along your foundation ring, ensuring that there is an even amount of mortar for them to sit on, about 3/4-inch deep. Do not place any mortar between adjacent blocks, as these gaps will be filled later.

  3. Apply another layer of mortar, using the trowel, on top of this row of bricks. Use the same amount of mortar as was applied on the foundation ring.

  4. Stack the second row of bricks on top of the first, alternating each brick so that the middle of the brick on the second row lines up vertically with the gap between the two blocks of the first row.

  5. Repeat these steps until the desired wall height is attained.

  6. Place a length of reinforcing bar through each of the two recesses in each brick on the upper wall edge. These reinforcing bars should be as long as the wall is high, and will easily fit through the recesses in all the bricks through the wall and will sit on the foundation ring.

  7. Fill these recesses containing one reinforcing bar each with concrete to finalize and strengthen the wall.

  8. Allow the wall and concrete to cure for at least one week.

  9. Tip

    Check the wall for accuracy using the spirit level periodically to avoid any mistakes before they become permanent.


    Build the wall one story high at a time, allowing each story one week to cure before building any higher.