How to build a block wall
Follow these expert tips on how to build a block wall .
Ensure solid footing. Footings should be a minimum of twice the width of the concrete block (i.e., a typical 8 x 8 x 16 block would require a 16-inch wide footing) and extend below the frost line. Check local building codes for construction requirements in your area.
Lay out the block, making sure to leave a 3/8 inch gap between the blocks to allow for the vertical mortar joints (i.e., a typical 8 x 8 x 16 block is actually 15-5/8 inches long and 7-5/8 inches high to accommodate the mortar joint).
Snap a chalk line on each side of the block wall as a reference line.
Mix the mortar. QUIKRETE pre-blended Mason Mix Type S is recommended because it achieves the high bond strengths required for a successful project. QUIKRETE Mason Mix Type S is a contractor grade mortar mix designed for laying brick, concrete masonry units and stone. Mason Mix is a pre-blended, sanded product that can be used for both structural and non-structural applications.
Dampen the footing surface with water and place a 1-inch bed of mortar on the footing. Furrow the mortar bed using the tip of the trowel to create a “v” to help distribute the mortar evenly. The mortar should be workable but firm enough to support the weight of the block.
Butter the inside end of the first block and then press the block into the mortar bed to create a 3/8 inch mortar joint.
Trim and remove any excess mortar.
Using the same process, set the opposite corner block.
Repeat steps 6 and 7, adjusting the blocks to be flush and level. Continue this process until the first course is completed.
To set the next course of block, apply a 1-inch thick mortar bed along the top of the first course.
At the end of the wall, set an 8 x 8 x 16 half block into the mortar bed with the smooth side facing out.
Using a mason’s line as a guide for the remaining block, continue building the wall until it is complete.
Once the mortar joints have become “thumbprint” hard, use a jointing tool to smooth the fresh joints and remove any excess mortar.
For more information on how to build a block wall , visit www.quikrete.com.