Block Foundation vs. Poured Foundation

There are 2 types of foundations that you can choose from when building a home: block foundation and poured concrete foundation.

Concrete Block Foundation

This type of foundation uses hollow concrete blocks that can be reinforced with steel. Foundation failures most commonly occur as a result of poor installation or failing to realize the limitations associated with certain types of materials.

Concrete block foundation types are also made from poured concrete, but the concrete is formed into hollow bricks rather than simply poured into the foundation. The primary ingredients that are used to create concrete blocks include gravel aggregate, sand and Portland cement. These are the exact same ingredients that are used to create a standard poured concrete foundation. Unlike poured concrete foundation, the concrete block foundation is not solid through and through.

The concrete is formed into hollow bricks which are stacked together and sealed. Once the blocks are laid together, the voids inside the bricks can be filled with mortar or poured concrete with pea-sized gravel pieces. When this is done, the concrete block walls will be nearly identical to those formed with poured concrete.

Poured Concrete Foundation

A poured foundation is completely solid, rather than hollow. Just like concrete block foundation, poured foundation can be reinforced and strengthened using steel. The 3 main ingredients that go into the creation of poured concrete foundation types are Portland cement, sand and gravel aggregate.

A poured concrete foundation is completely solid because the foundation is poured directly into the foundation form rather than being poured into brick forms first. This does not necessarily make it superior—just more solid.

Gravel Size

The biggest difference between the two types of foundation is the type of gravel that is used in each of the applications. In a typical poured concrete foundation, gravel stones are as large as 3/4-inch in diameter. With concrete block styles, the gravel will never be larger than the size of a normal green pea.

When the foundation is built properly and its materials used correctly, both of these types of foundations yield the same high-quality results.