Move over concrete—there’s a new and better floating foundation.
When they first hit the market, concrete blocks seemed like the greatest thing since sliced bread. They were easily accessible and saved time compared to digging holes and pouring and curing concrete for foundations of freestanding outdoor projects. But now there’s a new product on the block that’s an easier, faster, and better way to create above-ground decks, platforms, and projects—the CAMO® BLOCK™.
While both concrete deck blocks and CAMO BLOCK are suitable for low-profile structures less than 30 in. tall, one is called the better floating foundation for a reason. We put the CAMO BLOCK head-to-head with old concrete blocks to see how they stack up and help you decide what to use for your next project.
Weight and Size
Concrete blocks are around 40 pounds each, so they’re good for getting a workout in, but all that heavy lifting may hurt your back. CAMO BLOCK, on the other hand, is heavy-duty without being heavy. It’s 18X lighter than concrete blocks, weighing in at 2.16 pounds.
Just because concrete blocks are heavier doesn’t mean they’re stronger. Thanks to its wide footprint that disperses weight and provides stability, each CAMO BLOCK is load-rated to support 1800 pounds, while concrete blocks are load-rated to 1700 pounds.
When it comes to portability, BLOCK wins hands down. Have you ever tried to stack a couple of concrete blocks? Or have you had to make return trips to the store to break up a load of concrete blocks on your truck? That’s not the case with CAMO BLOCK, which nests together for easy transport. You could even have a stack of CAMO BLOCK sitting in the passenger seat of a car if you wanted.
Installing Deck Blocks
We’ve already established that CAMO BLOCK is lightweight, so it’s easy to unload and move around the job site. Concrete blocks? Not so much. It’ll take more time and stress on your body to place them.
You must install CAMO BLOCK and concrete blocks on stable, packed ground. However, with the CAMO BLOCK, if the ground is level and undisturbed, you can simply remove grass and loose soil and place the BLOCK. But for the best practice installation that ensures proper drainage and a better-built deck, remove a couple of inches of topsoil, fill and compact the paver base until it’s level, then set BLOCK. If you’re using concrete blocks, you’ll also want proper drainage beneath each block to slow deterioration and prolong its life.
CAMO BLOCK is ready to use as is. They are precision-molded to fit standard lumber specifications, including 4×4 posts, 6×6 posts, 2×4, 2×6, and 2×8 wood joists, and 2 in. metal joists. Nothing about a concrete block screams precision, so you’ll spend time chipping out slots or shimming joists to get your lumber to fit. Additionally, if you’re using posts with concrete blocks, you’ll want to secure them to the pier blocks using post anchors, which is another step BLOCK doesn’t require.
Check out the BLOCK installation guide if you want more in-depth information about using BLOCK on your project. The guide covers everything from spacing, and the do’s and don’ts to step-by-step instructions for various decking projects.
Your outdoor project will be exposed to some elements. Luckily, BLOCK is made from Polyolefin, which will not chip or crack, even in cold weather, and is UV-protected so that they won’t fade. Plus, BLOCK has vents to drain water away from joists and posts and prevent moisture buildup, rot, and mold, where concrete blocks absorb moisture, crack, and crumble.
In addition to being durable, BLOCK is also a sustainable choice. They are made from a recycled material that can also be recycled at the end of its life. That’s better than hauling old concrete blocks to the dump.
Regarding price, CAMO BLOCK is marginally more expensive than a concrete block—we’re talking dollars and cents. But you will not kill your body hefting them into your car, you can make one trip with all the BLOCKS you need without taxing your vehicle, and you will save time installing them. As if you need more to say BLOCK is worth it, maybe knowing you built a better deck and having a 30 year warranty will do the trick.
In the deck block stack up, there’s one clear winner. Whether you’re building a floating deck, rooftop deck, pool deck, landing, walkway, shed, or dog house, there’s no better floating foundation than the CAMO BLOCK.