Ashburn, VA

How much do split-face blocks cost?

$3 – $5 cost per block (8”x8”x16”)
$15 – $40 average cost per square foot (installed)
$1,800 – $7,000 average cost to build a 10’ to 50’-long wall

Split-face blocks cost $15 to $40 per square foot installed for an outdoor or retaining wall, foundation, or siding. A 25’-long split-face block wall costs $1,800 to $7,000. Split-face block material prices are $3 to $6 per square foot or $2 to $7 per block for concrete or cinder units (CMU).

Get free estimates from masonry contractors near you, or view our cost guide below.

September 23, 2021

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 5 expert masonry contractors on HomeGuide.

Split-face block prices

Split-face block prices are $3 to $5 per 8”x8”x16” concrete block or $2.50 to $4.00 per 8”x8”x8” half cinder unit. CMU block delivery costs $60 to $200. Split-face blocks cost $15 to $40 per square foot for materials and installation. A 25’-long split-face block wall costs $1,800 to $7,000.

Split-face block wall cost by linear feet - chart
Split-face block wall cost by linear feet - chart

Split-face block wall cost
Linear feet 4’ tall 6’ tall 8’ tall
10’ $700 – $1,400 $1,100 – $2,100 $1,450 – $2,800
15’ $1,100 – $2,100 $1,600 – $3,150 $2,150 – $4,200
25’ $1,800 – $3,500 $2,700 – $5,250 $3,600 – $7,000
50’ $3,600 – $7,000 $5,400 – $10,500 $7,200 – $14,000
100’ $7,200 – $14,000 $10,800 – $21,000 $14,400 – $28,000
150’ $10,800 – $21,000 $16,200 – $31,500 $21,600 – $42,000
200’ $14,400 – $28,000 $21,600 – $42,000 $28,800 – $56,000

*Total cost to install. Includes foundation, concrete reinforcement, and rebar.

  • Split-face concrete blocks have one or more textured sides exposing the inner aggregates to mimic natural stone.
  • Project prices depend on the design and finishing options.
  • Split-face blocks are highly porous and need sealing or ventilation outlets.

Outdoor split-face concrete block wall
Outdoor split-face concrete block wall

Average cost to build a split-face concrete block wall

The following table shows the average cost to build a 10' to 50' long split-face block wall:

Average cost to build a split-face concrete block wall - chart
Average cost to build a split-face concrete block wall - chart

Average cost to build a split-face block wall
National average cost $3,500
Minimum cost $700
Maximum cost $14,000
Average cost range $1,800 to $7,000

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

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Split-face CMU cinder block prices

A split-face cinder block costs $1.50 to $7.00 each, depending on the size, color, manufacturer, and number of split sides. Average 8”x8”x16” split-face block prices are $3 to $5 per block.

Split-face cinder block CMU prices per block - chart
Split-face cinder block CMU prices per block - chart

Split-face CMU block prices
Size (depth x height x length) Price per block
4”x8”x16” $2.50 – $4.00
6”x8”x16” $2.75 – $4.50
8”x8”x16” $3.00 – $5.00
10”x8”x16” $3.25 – $6.00
12”x8”x16” $3.50 – $7.00
8”x8”x8” $2.50 – $4.00
4”x8”x16” (solid) $1.50 – $3.00

*Material prices only for orders with on-site collection.

Pile of split-face CMU cinder blocks
Pile of split-face CMU cinder blocks

Factors affecting the block price include:

  • Delivery – Delivery costs $60 to $200 on average, depending on the quantity and building location. Refundable pallet deposits are $15 to $35 per pallet.
  • Textures – Standard blocks come with one split side. The cost increases with more split sides for corners or double side walls.
  • Colors – Common colored aggregates are grey and tan. A wide variety of colors exists at higher prices. Unique color matching requires custom orders.
  • Types – Bond beams, corners, open ends, and solid blocks come at different price points, depending on the purpose and block supplier.
  • Weight capacity – Structural load-bearing vs. non-structural units are available. Structural units must be ASTM compliant for local building codes.

Ground-face block prices

Ground-face block prices are $6.50 to $9.00 per 8”x8”x16” block. Ground-face blocks are concrete with a semi-polished finish that is smoother than a split face. Unlike split-face blocks, ground-face blocks often have a silicone or acrylic coating to seal them.

Split-face block vs. concrete block cost

Split-face block prices are $3 to $5 per block. Standard concrete cinder blocks cost $1.25 to $2.50 per block. Split-face blocks have rough-cut sides. Plain concrete blocks have smooth sides but require additional finishing.

Split-face block vs. concrete cinder block cost
Type Average cost per block
Split-face block $3.00 – $5.00
Regular concrete block $1.25 – $2.50

*Material prices only. Based on an 8”x8”x16” block size.

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Split-face veneer prices

Split-face veneer prices are $4 to $22 per square foot for materials only, depending on the type and quantity. Installation prices vary according to the attachment system of either mortar-based, construction adhesive, or nailing onto sheathing boards.

Split-face veneer prices
Material Price per square foot
Travertine $6 – $16
Slate $4 – $10
Granite $11 – $22
Quartzite $4 – $10
Marble $7 – $16
Limestone $4 – $15
Faux - polyurethane or PVC $8 – $15

*Material price only.

  • Typically sold in 12”x12” panels with 4 to 15 pieces per box
  • Easy to install on existing interior or exterior walls
  • Improves home insulation

Split-face stone veneer installed for kitchen backsplash
Split-face stone veneer installed for kitchen backsplash

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Textured rock-face block installation costs

Textured rock-face concrete block installation costs $10 to $40 per square foot total, depending on the project type.

Split-face block installation cost - chart
Split-face block installation cost - chart

Textured concrete block installation prices
Project Average cost per square foot
Outdoor wall $18 – $35
Retaining wall $23 – $40
Interior walls $10 – $15
House foundation $15 – $23
Veneer siding $12 – $28

*Prices include materials and labor.

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Outdoor split-face block wall fence

A split-face block outside wall costs $70 to $280 per linear foot, or $18 to $35 per square foot installed for 4’ to 8’ tall garden walls. A 50’-long split-face block wall costs $3,600 to $14,000 on average. Total costs depend on the height, foundation, and reinforcements.

Split-face block retaining wall

A 3’ to 6’ high split-face block retaining wall costs $70 to $240 per linear foot installed or $23 to $40 per square foot, including the backfill and concrete foundation. Total costs depend on the wall size, base type, excavation method, accessibility, and required reinforcements.

Split-face CMU cinder block retaining wall surrounding backyard landscaping
Split-face CMU cinder block retaining wall surrounding backyard landscaping

Interior split-face block walls

An interior split-face block wall costs $10 to $15 per square foot installed for new constructions. Additional fees apply depending on the choice of insulation and wall finish. Interior walls use higher-quality split-face blocks with multiple rough sides that need more precise installation.

Replacing or adding a wall to existing homes costs more for:

  • The cost to remove a wall is $500 to $2,000, if it’s non-load-bearing.
  • Installing a support beam costs $100 to $400 per linear foot.
  • Hiring a structural engineer costs $300 to $1,000 for design analysis.

Split-face block house foundation

A split-face block foundation costs $10,500 to $46,000 on average or $15 to $23 per square foot. The total cost to build a split-face block house foundation depends on the structure size, excavation and grading fees, and water-proofing requirements.

Split-face block foundation types include:

  • Stem walls
  • Piers
  • Crawl spaces
  • Aboveground basements

Crawl space foundation constructed with split-face concrete blocks
Crawl space foundation constructed with split-face concrete blocks

Split-face veneer siding cost

Split-face veneer siding costs $12 to $28 per square foot installed, depending on the material, size, and location. Split-face block veneer tiles are common for kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms, fireplaces, interior walls, and exterior siding.

Compare to other siding installation costs.

Split-face stone veneer siding for house exterior
Split-face stone veneer siding for house exterior

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Cost factors to install a split-face block wall

Split-face blocks have additional labor, maintenance, and finishing costs, depending on the project type and site conditions:

Split-face block wall installation cost factors
Wall installation fees Cost per square foot*
Installation labor $11 – $18
Permit $50 – $450 each
Sealing $2 – $10
Pressure washing $0.30 – $0.50
Caulking $0.75 – $2.50
Mortar repairs $3 – $25
Painting $0.80 – $1.60
Removing old concrete-block wall $5 – $16 per linear foot
Insulation with core-filling injection foam $1.50 – $2.50
Excavation in rocky soil or for foundations deeper than 1’ $10 – $20+

*Units in per square foot unless otherwise noted.

Optional installation costs:

  • Permits – A permit costs $50 to $450 on average, depending on the wall size and location. Most walls 3’ tall or larger typically require permits.
  • Uneven terrain – Extra digging and foundation work is necessary for building on sloped or rocky ground.
  • Site access – Additional transportation fees may apply for building sites outside of the regular service area.

Labor cost to install split rough-face vs. standard concrete

Labor costs to install rough-face concrete block walls are $11 to $18 per square foot, which is $1 more per square foot than plain concrete block walls. Split-faced concrete blocks cost more because they weigh more and require extra planning with precise installation.

Split rough-face block labor cost
Block type Labor cost per square foot
Split-face concrete $11 – $18
Standard concrete cinder block $10 – $17

*Not including materials

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Split-face block wall design

These split-face block wall design choices affect the total cost:

  • Insulation – Core-filling injection foam costs $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot.
  • Drainage – Installing a French drain costs $10 to $30 per linear foot to stop foundation damage.
  • Complexity – Wall shapes with curves, multiple corners, and complex designs take more time.
  • Openings – Adding doors, windows, and gates costs more for framing openings and adding support beams.
  • Foundation – Large and load-bearing walls cost more for deeper footings.

Split-face block sealing cost

Split-face block sealing costs $2 to $10 per square foot, depending on the wall size, sealer type, and number of layers. Split-face block walls are very porous and need sealing every 3 to 7 years to prevent water from entering the wall system.

Sealing a split-face block wall exterior is a short-term leak solution. Permanently fixing block-wall leaks requires:

  • Ventilated wall caps
  • Flashing and adequate drainage
  • A multi-wythe wall with airspace inside
  • Interior moisture barrier

Cleaning and painting split-face blocks

Cleaning and painting a 25’x4’ split-face block wall costs $110 to $210 or $1.10 to $2.10 per square foot minimum for a newly built wall.

All costs that apply for highly porous and damaged block walls:

  • Pressure washing prices are $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot.
  • Caulking costs $0.75 to $2.50 per linear foot to seal joints and cracks.
  • Waterproof sealing costs $2 to $10 per square foot for highly porous block.
  • Repointing or tuckpointing costs $3 to $25 per square foot to repair old mortar joints.
  • Painting costs $0.80 to $1.60 per square foot total for two coats.

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Pros & cons of split-face blocks

Split-face concrete blocks pros and cons
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Long-lasting
  • High durability
  • Attractive appearance
  • Many colors, sizes, & types
  • Thermally efficient
  • Sound-absorbing
  • High fire resistance
  • Repels termites
  • Costs more than plain concrete blocks
  • Requires specialized installation
  • Prone to mold & interior water damage without regular application of sealants or capstone flashing

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Frequently asked questions

What is a split-face block?

A split-face block is a concrete building block with one or more rough-cut sides to imitate unpolished stone. Split-face blocks are a type of concrete masonry unit (CMU), or cinder block, made by splitting the molded concrete before it fully cures.

Where to buy split-face block

Buy split-face blocks from:

  • Home-improvement or hardware stores like Lowe's, Home Depot, or Menards
  • Masonry-construction suppliers
  • Landscaping companies
  • Building-material outlets
  • Local masonry contractors
  • Concrete block manufacturing companies
Order all blocks at the same time in one batch to ensure color uniformity.

How much does a split-face block weigh?

A standard hollow 8”x8”x16” concrete split-face block weighs 30 to 42 lbs. on average. A pallet of split-face blocks weighs 3,500 to 3,800 lbs. The weight varies according to the manufacturer and shape.

Still have questions? Ask a CMU block pro. View Pros

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Hiring a split-face concrete block installer

When hiring a contractor, use these helpful tips:

Questions to ask

  • Do you use a block sealant or moisture barrier to prevent water damage?
  • Will the mortar have a waterproofing additive?
  • Can I see photos of your past split-face block projects?
  • How long have you been doing masonry work?
  • Can I see proof of insurance, licenses, and bond guarantees?
  • How do you handle project delays?
  • Will you pull building permits and be here for site inspections?
  • How should I prepare space for the crew?
  • Are all materials, labor, and clean-up fees in this estimate? What extra fees can I expect?
  • Do you hire subcontractors, and if so, are there extra fees to manage them?
  • What does your warranty include?
  • How long will this project take?
  • What’s your payment schedule?
  • Can I get a copy of the contract before work starts?

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