12 Apr

How to Lay Concrete Blocks

If you’re looking to get started on a project using concrete blocks, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to talk about how to lay concrete blocks like a professional. 

What materials will you need?

Before you can start, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got all the right tools and materials. Don’t have what you need? Don’t worry — you can get all of the necessary materials from your local Hitchcock & King branch. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Concrete blocks (of course!) – Choose the right types of concrete blocks for your project. There are various sizes and shapes available, so make sure you know the concrete blocks dimensions that are most suitable for your project.
  • Mortar – A good quality mortar mix is essential for the stability of your structure.
  • Trowel – A trusty trowel for spreading mortar and levelling the blocks.
  • Level – A spirit level to ensure your blocks are straight and level.
  • String line and stakes – To help keep your rows of blocks aligned.
  • Tape measure and a pencil – For marking and measuring.

Preparing for your project

Before you get your hands dirty, make sure you clear and level the area where you’ll be laying your concrete blocks. If you need a solid foundation, pour it and let it cure before you start.


How to lay concrete blocks: Step-by-step instructions

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to do some building. Here is the step-by-step process of how to lay concrete blocks like a true builder:

  • Mix the mortar

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix your mortar. You want it to be the consistency of peanut butter, so it’s easy to spread and holds the blocks in place.

  • Lay the first block

Spread a layer of mortar about one inch thick on the foundation or base where you’ll place the first block. Position the block and gently press it into the mortar.

  • Check for level and alignment

Use your spirit level to make sure the block is level in all directions. Adjust as needed by tapping it gently with your trowel.

  • Set up the string line

Hammer in stakes at the ends of your wall and run a string line between them. This will help you keep your rows of blocks straight and aligned.

  • Lay the next block

Spread mortar on the end of the next block and place it next to the first one. Make sure there’s a consistent joint thickness between the blocks. Check for level and alignment again.

  • Continue laying blocks

Keep laying blocks in the same manner, always checking for level and alignment. Don’t forget to use your string line as a guide.

  • Finish the row

Once you’ve finished a row, go back and fill in the vertical joints with mortar. Use your trowel to smooth the joints and remove any excess mortar.

  • Stagger the next row

As you start the next row, remember to stagger the blocks, so the vertical joints don’t line up. This helps to strengthen the wall.

  • Repeat

Keep building up your wall, following the same process until you’ve reached your desired height.

How can you strengthen concrete blocks?

To strengthen your concrete block structure, consider reinforcing it with steel bars or rebar. Vertical reinforcement can be placed in the hollow cores of the blocks, while horizontal reinforcement can be laid in the mortar joints. Once the reinforcement is in place, fill the hollow cores with concrete to create a sturdy, reinforced structure.

Find your nearest concrete supplies

Whether you’re undertaking a large commercial project or just doing a few jobs around the house, Hitchcock & King has you covered. We’re London’s leading builders merchants and we have everything you need for a job well done. From bricks to concrete lintels, get exactly what you need, when you need it. Simply contact your local London branch for swift delivery or collection. Lovely.

Find your local branch and start building.