8 Surprising Uses for Cinder Blocks

August 26, 2014
Cement blocks, commonly used to strengthen and insulate a building, are usually covered up. Left bare, they can also offer a minimalist variation on the traditional red brick theme.
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  A Pittsburgh home nods to the city’s industrial heritage with a welded-steel staircase that runs along a dark gray cinder-block wall.  Photo by: Livia CoronaCourtesy of: Livia Corona

    A Pittsburgh home nods to the city’s industrial heritage with a welded-steel staircase that runs along a dark gray cinder-block wall.

    Photo by: Livia Corona

    Courtesy of: Livia Corona

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  A large cinder-block fireplace rests half-in, half-out of the dining room in a renovated midcentury house in Los Angeles.  Photo by: Spencer Lowell

    A large cinder-block fireplace rests half-in, half-out of the dining room in a renovated midcentury house in Los Angeles.

    Photo by: Spencer Lowell

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  Twelve-inch-thick concrete blocks were used in an Austin home for their cost-saving and insulating properties; they were left bare for their simple and subtle geometry.  Photo by: Misty Keasler

    Twelve-inch-thick concrete blocks were used in an Austin home for their cost-saving and insulating properties; they were left bare for their simple and subtle geometry.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  The cement-block facade of a home in Montara, California mimics the walls that surround the property and complements other industrial materials used in the building.  Photo by: Noah Webb

    The cement-block facade of a home in Montara, California mimics the walls that surround the property and complements other industrial materials used in the building.

    Photo by: Noah Webb

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  The wood-clad second story of a sustainable Austin home rests upon a cement-block lower level, the perfect surface for creeping green ivy.  Photo by: Brent Humphreys

    The wood-clad second story of a sustainable Austin home rests upon a cement-block lower level, the perfect surface for creeping green ivy.

    Photo by: Brent Humphreys

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  A wall of concrete blocks protectively insulates a Los Angeles property from the busy road.  Photo by: Catherine Ledner

    A wall of concrete blocks protectively insulates a Los Angeles property from the busy road.

    Photo by: Catherine Ledner

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  In Alaska, a concrete courtyard encased in cinder-block walls stands in stark contrast to the surrounding wilderness.  Photo by: Kamil Bialous

    In Alaska, a concrete courtyard encased in cinder-block walls stands in stark contrast to the surrounding wilderness.

    Photo by: Kamil Bialous

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  A concrete-block fireplace makes the deck of a Knoxville home an inviting destination on brisk nights.  Photo by: Hollis BennettCourtesy of: Hollis Bennett

    A concrete-block fireplace makes the deck of a Knoxville home an inviting destination on brisk nights.

    Photo by: Hollis Bennett

    Courtesy of: Hollis Bennett

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