Block walls make for great sides to planters, elevated gardens or retaining walls. The hardest part of installing a stackable block wall is choosing the type of blocks to use. Using a stackable block for a retaining wall needs to have additional support behind the blocks if the height of the wall will be more than 24 inches. Otherwise, the weight of the dirt will topple a stackable block wall. Installing a block wall takes only a few hours to complete.
Things You'll Need
- Cement sand
- Stackable blocks
- Rubber mallet
Dig out a trench along the path for the wall. The size of the trench needs to be as wide as the stackable blocks and 3 to 4 inches deep.
Smooth out the ground with a handheld tamper. Handheld tampers are long poles with a flat end on the base and handles on the side that are used to flatten the ground.
Pour 1 to 2 inches of cement sand into the trench. Smooth out the surface of the sand with a trowel and tamp flat. The sand needs to be level along the whole length of the wall. Use a level to verify the sand remains level along the length of the trench.
Set the first brick into place on one end of the wall. The lip on the brick needs to point down into the dirt. Tap the brick until it measures level front to back and side to side. Lay the second brick next to the first and level it out. The top of the bricks need to be flush. Repeat along the length of the wall, checking the level each time for side-to-side level and front-to-back level.
Lay the second and subsequent rows on top of the first row. Check the level as you go. Make the last level a row of caprock to give the wall a finished look.
Walls Going Up Hills
Dig the trench starting at the lowest point along the hill. Dig until the depth of the trench is deeper than the height of the stackable bricks. Keep the base of the trench level. Tamp the base of the trench smooth.
Pour the sand and tamp it flat as you did for the basic wall.
Lay the first block at the lowest point of the hill. Check for level. Install the second block adjacent to the first and continue on for the length of the first section of the trench. The last brick on the section should be submerged beneath the surface of the dirt.
Dig the next section of trench to a depth equal to the top of the first row of bricks plus two inches for sand until the depth of the trench is equal to or greater than the height of the bricks. Tamp the ground flat and add the 2 inches of sand. The sand should be level with the top of the first row of bricks. Lay a second row of bricks, starting at the beginning of the wall over the first row and extending into the second section as a first row for the second section. Repeat for each row as necessary, checking for level as you lay each brick.
Cap the wall off with caprock when complete.
- "Lowe's: Complete Home Improvement and Repair"; Don Vandervort; 2005
- Ask the Builder: Build Stackable or Segmental Retaining Walls
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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