Installing Stairs

A stairway built into a segmental retaining wall adds a functional and beautiful dimension to any landscape design. Building stairs is relatively simple...SRW units are used for the side walls and risers and Universal Coping Stones, ReversaCaps, Full Caps, or Roman Pisa Coping Stones are used for treads. While stairs can be created in a number of configurations, the basic construction techniques are the same. Most stairs are 48" wide; otherwise lay them out in multiples of 12" for Stonewall and 8" for Pisa2 and Roman Pisa. You will also need to build a corner on each side of the stairs where you wish to incorporate them into the main wall. It is best to construct the corners and side walls independently of the risers. There are two methods for building stairs. They are known as the “fill” method and “cut-in” method. Although more units are required using the “fill” method, it may prove faster and easier, especially if there are a small number of steps. Simply excavate the entire stairway area straight back, then place and compact a 6" thick gravel base as a level foundation. Multiple courses of SRW units are then used to build up the risers for the number of steps you want. The rise with Stonewall will be 8", while with Pisa2/ Roman Pisa the rise will be 6". With either method, first determine the location of the stairway. Allow enough space behind the wall, as each stair will step-back 12". Usually, the corners and side walls are constructed independently of the risers.