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Redi-rock International

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How to build a retaining wall using Rockwood block.   Basics on constructing a simple retaining wall.

For the complete installation guide click here.

Getting Started

Step 1 - Base Course Preparation

Beginning at a point of the wall’s lowest elevation, excavate a trench down the length of the wall that will accommodate at least 6" of base material and 6" of block embedment.  As a rule of thumb, for every 8" to 10" of wall height, 1" of block should be buried with at least a minimum of 6" base course embedment. Step the trench up or down with respect to adjacent grade.  The width of the trench for a Classic 6, Classic 8 or Classic Colonial wall should be a minimum of 24", while the trench width for a Legend wall should be a minimum of 34". Based on the type of application and what is retained, the depth of the leveling pad may vary. If necessary, consult with an engineer.  After excavating the native soil and prior to adding base

material, remove loose material from the trench and compact.


Step 2 - Leveling Pad Installation

Place and compact a minimum of 6" base material to 95% Standard Proctor. Verify that the base is level with a transit or hand level. Be aware that the base material (commonly referred to as road base or base aggregate) will vary from region to region.


Step 3 - Base Course Installation

The base course will consist of base block. Use a string line behind the tail of the block for alignment on straight wall applications.  All blocks should rest firmly on the pad and be centered to allow 6" of base material in front and 6" behind the base block.  Level each block, side-to-side, front-to-back and across

three full blocks with a hand level. A rubber mallet may be used to level and align the blocks.


Step 4 - Core and Drainage Fill

Place 3/4" to 1" clean aggregate (crushed rock) within the cores and a minimum of 12" behind the blocks. This creates a drainage zone and the Stone Columns that help to unify and maximize the performance of the wall.


Step 5 - Successive Course Installation

Prior to adding successive courses, the top of each block needs to be clean and free of foreign material. Center the block and pull it forward until the Anchor Bar abuts the two blocks below it. Place core and drainage fill as in Step 4. Place the backfill material behind the drainage rock in maximum of 8" lifts and compact to 95% Standard Proctor. Repeat this process for each successive course.  Large compaction or construction equipment should be kept a minimum of 3’ from the back of the wall. This 3’ area should be compacted with a vibratory plate compactor.

 Revised: May 3, 2011, crt