Simple Guide for Creating a Modular Retaining Wall - Western Interlock Western Interlock

Paving Stones and Retaining Wall Systems Made for the Northwest

Simple Guide for Creating a Modular Retaining Wall

Modular retaining walls are sometimes practical additions to landscape and sometimes they are simply for decoration. Whatever your reason for creating a stone retaining wall, just follow this simple guide and you will have a beautiful wall in no time.


Step 1:
The first step to building a retaining wall is to prepare a layout. To help you measure curves, lay a garden hose along the proposed path of your wall, then straighten it out and measure the length. Once you know the width of the wall, use two rods of rebar and a string to mark where the wall will go.

Step 2:
Now that the position of the wall is determined, you can begin to excavating the ground to create a trench that is approximately 12” wide and 5-6” deep. Once the trench is finished, start filling it in with ¾” minus gravel and hand tamper to 2” below the top. This will serve as the base of the wall.

Step 3:
With your gravel base now set, you can begin laying your stones or bricks. Set the bottom course of block at the desired position. Using a large rubber mallet and a level, adjust the block until it is level end to end and front to back. Set the adjacent stones in the same manner, using a string line to keep long runs straight. On a curved wall, always start in the middle of the curve and proceed out in both directions.

Step 4:
Some retaining wall blocks require mortar or adhesive between courses. Others are designed to be dry stacked. Check your installation instructions to properly install your retaining wall and remember to make sure the joints do not line up with the blocks below.

A retaining wall needs backfill behind each course to help with drainage. Backfill will crushed ¾” minus open gravel, compacting as you go, before setting the next course. Continue laying additional courses, backfilling until the desired height is achieved. A masonry saw may be needed to cut the finishing edges depending on the project.

If you need help finding the perfect stones or bricks for your retaining wall, visit the products section of our website. There you can find our line of products specifically designed for retaining walls.

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