Retaining wall pavers are a great way to edge your garden beds, making them look perfectly manicured. They’re also heavy–so make sure you’re physically strong enough for this project by testing out some bricks before starting.
Use a level to determine the slope of your yard.
Before you lay any pavers, you’ll need to determine the slope of your yard. A level is a great tool for this task, but if you don’t have one on hand, there are other ways to get the job done. If you have a shovel or rake nearby, place it across your yard and mark where its blade lands. Then measure how far down each side of the blade has sunk into the grass and compare these measurements to determine whether any part of your yard is sloped downward at all. If so, mark out an area where this slope will be built into your retaining wall design so that when it’s finished:
- The top layer of pavers will sit at ground level or slightly above
- You won’t end up with a large gap between two sets of retaining walls
Make measurements and mark the area you plan to pave.
Before you start laying pavers, measure and mark the area you plan to pave with stakes, string, and a laser level. Use this guide to make sure your lines are straight and square. If you’re using concrete pavers such as those made by Paver Products Inc., excavate the area at least 3″ below ground level so that moisture doesn’t collect beneath them. Fill in any empty gaps with sand or gravel before laying pavers so they’re level and smooth—this will help prevent puddling in rainy weather.
Use a masonry saw to cut pavers to size if necessary.
- If pavers are too large to fit the space, use a masonry saw to cut them to size.
- Once you’ve finished installing your retaining wall, compact it again with a plate compactor. This will ensure that your wall is level and stable.
- Fill in any empty gaps with sand or gravel for a smooth finish.
You should check that all paving stones are level using a long level and making sure the string line doesn’t sag anywhere before filling in any empty gaps with sand or gravel for a smooth finish
Attach paver base fabric and install the base for the retaining wall.
- Attach the base fabric to the ground
- Level with a 4-foot level
- Pound stakes into the ground with a mallet
- Pound pavers into the base fabric with a mallet
Use a plate compactor to prepare and level the base for the retaining wall.
When laying a retaining wall, you need to ensure that the base is level and compacted properly. A plate compactor should be used to compress the soil before installing pavers on top of it. This ensures that there are no air pockets beneath where you will lay pavers or have them fall from.
Place your first row of pavers and tap it down with a rubber mallet or rubber hammer.
The first row of retaining wall pavers is the most important, as it sets the foundation for your future walls. To place your first row of pavers, use a rubber mallet or rubber hammer to tap them into place. The blocks should be level and straight along their length.
If you have any problems leveling out your blocks during this step, there’s still time to correct them before moving on to installing subsequent rows of pavers—just be sure to check that all edges are still level before continuing with installation.
Set up a string line or laser level, running parallel to your first row of pavers, so you can lay the rest of your rows straight.
To ensure that your pavers are all straight, set up a string line or laser level running parallel to your first row of pavers.
Next, test the slope of your yard with a long level. The ideal length for this tool is 8′. You’ll want to take measurements at several points along the wall to get an accurate reading. Once you’ve done so, adjust your string line accordingly and continue laying out rows until you reach the end of the retaining wall area that needs pavers.
Install all horizontal rows of pavers in the same way.
Once you’ve laid the first course of pavers, it’s time to install the second course. Lay out your string line and start at one end of the wall and work your way across. Install all horizontal rows of pavers in the same way, making sure that they are level with each other and check that your string line doesn’t sag anywhere.
Compact each row separately with a plate compactor or tamper (or both) until it feels firm underfoot. If any gaps appear between pavers, fill these in with sand or gravel so they’re flush with those around them before compacting again.
Lay paving stones perpendicular to each other on top of your retaining wall bricks in order to create a tiered effect.
Lay out the pavers in rows, starting with the center and then working your way out to either side.
- For each row, lay pavers perpendicular to each other to create a tiered effect.
- Use a laser level or long level to ensure that your tiles are straight.
- Use a rubber mallet to tap down each tile until it’s flush with the bricks below it (or slightly below if you want a slight overhang).
Check that all paving stones are level, using a long level and making sure the string line doesn’t sag anywhere.
Using a long level, check that all pavers are level. If the string line sags anywhere, you’ll have to remove and replace it. Wet down sand helps it settle into gaps. Fill in empty gaps with sand or gravel and compact once more with a plate compactor. Compact your patio again with a plate compactor after installing all horizontal rows of pavers in the same way as before.
Compact your patio again with a plate compactor.
- Run the plate compactor around all of the pavers to ensure that none are loose, and that all of the joints are tight.
- Tap down any high spots in the sand before paving with a hand tamper or by placing plywood boards on top and walking on them, similar to how you might compact soil in a garden bed before laying sod or mulch over it. This will help prevent some of those problematic “high” spots from forming once you begin paving with your patio pavers later on in this process; however, if they do form after you have already paved over them then it is not too late! Just remove those pavers first by pulling them up (or chipping out) and then re-layering sand underneath each one before replacing it back into place – but hopefully this won’t happen.
- Lay broad slabs first along both sides (if applicable), making sure they’re flush against existing walls or other structures so as not to leave any gaps between them when placed next to one another later down below where foot traffic might occur frequently during normal use conditions.”
Fill in any empty gaps with sand or gravel and compact once more. If wetting down the sand helps it settle into gaps better, do that too.
Using a trowel or shovel, fill in any empty gaps with sand or gravel and compact once more. If wetting down the sand helps it settle into gaps better, do that too.
If you have leftovers after filling in all your spaces, add them to an area where you’d like some extra height (you can always level things out later). The last step is to make sure everything is completely flat and level before adding your pavers.
Retaining wall pavers are an attractive way to edge your garden beds, but they’re also heavy–so make sure you’re physically strong enough for this project by testing out some bricks before starting.
To lay retaining wall pavers, you’ll need a few things. First, you’ll need to get the right materials for your project. For instance, if you’re building a retaining wall for your garden bed at home and want it to be attractive as well as functional then laying retaining wall pavers is an excellent way to go.
You’ll also need some sort of tool for digging into the ground and cutting through roots so that you can install these pavers securely into place. If possible try using a shovel instead of digging with just your hands because this will make it faster and easier on yourself later on when it comes time to put everything together. Finally; before starting any sort of work like this always wear protective clothing such as gloves and eye protection so that nothing gets into those sensitive areas like eyes or hands while working outside in direct sunlight all day long.
The first step in any DIY project is to assess whether or not you’re up for the task. You should be physically able to move heavy pavers, so it’s a good idea to test out lifting one before starting the project. If you have any doubts about your ability, consider hiring some extra help or renting heavy duty equipment like lifters and wagons that can assist with transport and placement of stones during installation time.
Once this has all been taken care of, you’re ready to start laying your retaining wall pavers! We sincerely hope our guide helps inspire ideas and avoid pitfalls along the way as you embark on your DIY journey into landscaping excellence.