Retaining Wall Installation


Retaining walls under 4′ high are usually built as a gravity wall, where the weight and set-back of the units provide resistance.

  • Excavate a trench about 12″ deep by 24″ wide for the length of the wall. Compact the subgrade soil thoroughly and line excavated area with landscape fabric.
  • Fill trench with 1 1/2″ processed gravel or 3/4″ crusher run base material and firmly compact in 2-3″ layers until base is 6″ thick.
  • Place and level the first course of wall units on the base.
  • Place perforated pipe behind the wall for drainage and backfill with 3/4″ crushed stone.
  • Place successive courses by stacking wall units on top of the row below, staggering joints as you go.
  • Depending on the style wall, units will connect and automatically step back with pins or a tongue and groove.
  • Backfill with 3/4″ crushed stone behind each course and compact.
  • Finish the wall by attaching coping units with Ideal’s SRW adhesive.



Walls 4′ and higher, terraced walls, sites with weak or wet soils, slopes and other loading conditions, such as a driveway above the wall, require special consideration. These are reinforced walls that are built using other construction techniques, including the use of geogrid and we recommend using a soils engineer and a professional contractor for these situations. Be sure to play it safe and contact your Pavers by Ideal® Dealer for more information on building your wall.


Ancestral, Old Boston Wall and GravityStone retaining walls, pillars, and free-standing walls require different construction methods. Please see our wall guides for more information on installation.