Your Initial Guide To CMU Walls Used For Commercial Buildings

Apr 30, 2024 | Blog, Commercial Building

Do you find the block walls in schools and warehouses puzzling? Well, they are a bit different and most likely made of CMU or are called Concrete Masonry Unit walls. They are a common construction element with various applications. Let’s dive into more details about the specifics of a CMU wall and how they can be useful for us.

What Are CMU Walls?

These walls are constructed with the help of concrete blocks of cement, aggregates, and water. CMU walls show great versatility and are commonly used in construction because of their adaptability, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

Often, CMU walls act as a bearing walls for structure to provide support for vertical and horizontal loads such as flooring, arches, and roof rafters. Commonly, CMU walls are used in homes as exterior, load-bearing, landscape retaining walls, etc. They come in different sizes, with standard thicknesses from 4 to 16 inches.

Types of CMU Blocks

Here are 7 types of CMU blocks available to choose from:

  1. The Standard CMU
    It is the most common type and available in different mix designs to conform to ASTM specifications for concrete masonry units. Standard CMU is present in both light and normal weight densities. They have hundreds of sizes, special shapes, as well.
  2. Solid Concrete Blocks
    Solid blocks are used in those construction projects that do not have hollow spaces. Their presence provides structural support and is often used for load-bearing walls.
    An advantage of using solid concrete blocks is that they are available in required shapes and sizes, and the common size is 39cm x 19cm x (30cm or 20 cm or 10cm), or 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-inch units.
  3. Hollow Concrete Blocks
    These blocks come with hollow spaces that make them lighter and easier to handle compared to solid blocks. Hollow concrete blocks are suitable for non-load-bearing walls and can be filled with insulation materials to enhance energy efficiency.
  4. Smooth Faced Block
    This is the most common type used for a CMU wall with a flat and level surface on the exterior face. If your project is aimed to give a clean look for buildings, with defined corners, this one is your solution. However, it requires accuracy in installation to avoid an off-kilter appearance.
  5. Split Faced Block
    It has an uneven exterior surface that looks like hewn stone with an edge that is not square. A split faced CMU block can improve appearance and is less likely to have installation errors due to its unevenness.
  6. Burnished Finish
    Their usage requires mechanical grinding or polishing of the exterior face to provide a smooth finish. This step creates an aged patina that serves as a visual feature that looks better than smooth or split-faced blocks.
  7. Colored CMU Blocks
    Concrete can be dyed with any color you like to customize the appearance of your commercial building. Colored CMU blocks are effective when included as partial levels in a building that results in a faux wainscot or interesting patterns.

Advantages of Choosing CMU Walls

If you want your building to sustain any form of environmental wrath such as rain, heavy wind, even fire, a CMU wall can help you with that!

They are prepared from concrete blocks, making them durable and perfect for keeping your property safe. Not just external factors, CMU walls can also keep termites or other insects at bay that can spew trouble for regular wood-based buildings.

CMU walls are not merely popular for their strength; their customization has also taken a plunge. What is better than a strong foundation along with good aesthetics! Additionally, CMU walls are environment friendly too since some of the variants are made using recycled materials.

Closing Note

We understand that the initial cost might be a bit higher than wood or metal walls; however, CMU walls are built to last a lifetime and that too with minimal maintenance! Moreover, you can count on your CMU walls to save on energy bills because of their good insulation properties.

If you have more questions, get in touch with competent contractors to talk about your vision and figures. Talk to professionals at Advanced Construction and Development by dialing (936) 521-2446 to get answers to all your queries. Or, you can drop by our office in Texas for assistance.

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