Excavate for the leveling pad. The trench should be a minimum of 21 inches wide and should be 6 inches deeper than the block.
Create a leveling pad of compacted base material that extends a minimum of 6 inches in front of an 6 inches behind the wall units. This pad should also be at least 6 inches deep after compaction.
Once the pad is compact and level, begin placing the units. Center the units on the pad. The ends of the units should be in contact. The base course must be buried below grade and should be included when calculating total wall height.
Base Course It's easiest to build the base course for a straight wall out of large Free Standing Wall units.
Building the Wall
Units can be placed in any order to form an aesthetically pleasing layout. The simplest is one that incorporates large, medium and small units. The units should be installed so the ends are in complete contact with each other. Remember to keep the wall on bond by placing units in a staggered relationship to the course beneath. Repeat this process to complete the wall. Remember to glue the top two courses and caps in place with concrete adhesive.
Ending a Wall
Split a large unit into pieces sized as needed. Do not use pieces smaller than 6 inches wide. If needed, cut the second-to-last piece and make the last piece the appropriate size. Smaller pieces should be glued into place with a concrete adhesive. After splitting the end piece, use a hammer and chisel to create a rounded appearance to match the manufactured split blocks.
Free Standing Wall Jog
Jogs are used to break up straight lines and add stability to walls. Split units as needed. Use hammer and chisel to round split faces. Glue all courses of jog with a concrete adhesive.
Structural Design Elements
Structural Design Elements must be used if a free standing wall is more than 10 feet long. Structural design elements include:
7-foot radius for 11 feet
A radius of 7 feet or less is considered a design element if it is one quarter of the circumference of the circle which would be made by that radius. (11 feet of a circle with a 7-foot radius). For a curved wall, use all three unit sizes.
When used with a free standing wall, a column increases wall stability. Placing fixtures on columns is also a great way to incorporate lighting. Columns can be located in the middle or at the end of a wall. The open space in the center of a column permits reinforcement or electrical wiring if needed. The column leveling pad should extend 6 inches beyond each column edge and be at least 6 inches deep after compaction.
Column at End of Wall
To build columns at the end of a wall, cut one column unit in half for the second, fourth and additional even numbered courses. STack column units in a rotating pattern for each course so that the bond is staggered. One column unit half is used every two courses. Glue each course of column units with a concrete adhesive. Integrate wall into column as shown to increase stability.
Wall through Column
On the first course, use complete column units to start the column and cut the wall units to fit. On the second course, cut two column units in half to fill in the corners. Continue construction by alternating courses. Glue all column courses with a concrete adhesive.
Pilaster in Running wall
Pilasters add stability and elegance to a wall. To build a pilaster, stack column units in a rotating pattern for each course. Cut wall units as indicated. Glue each course of units with the pilaster with a concrete adhesive.
Pilaster at End of Wall
To build a pilaster at the end of a wall, stack three column units as shown for the base course. For the second course, use pillar units, stacking in a rotating pattern. Glue each course of units in the pilaster with concrete adhesive.
Small Pilaster in Wall
There are times when a pilaster of a different size is needed. To build a smaller pilaster in the running wall, you will need to split a medium unit for the first course. Split the unit so that the pieces, combined with another medium unit, equal 18 inches. Place the units parallel to the wall on the prepared leveling pad. For the second course, split a large and medium unit so that they equal 18 inches. Split a second set of large and medium units to make a second 18-inch section. Insert these units perpendicular to the wall as shown. Glue all courses. Round the split ends with a hammer and chisel.
Small Pilaster at End of Wall
To build a smaller pilaster at the end of a running free standing wall, you will need to split 4 units for the first course. Split a large a small unit so they equal 18 inches. Split a second set of units to make a second 18-inch section. Insert the unit sets perpendicular to the wall on the prepared leveling pad.
For the second course, center a medium unit over the pilaster base units as shown. Split another unit so that the bond on the course below is staggered. Round the split ends with a hammer and chisel. Glue all pilaster units with a concrete adhesive.
To create a 90° corner in a straight wall, make a third side to a large unit by splitting it to the appropriate dimension. Use only large units to assure connecting units are on bond. Alternate the direction the units face with each course. Round the split ends with a hammer and chisel. Glue all corner courses with a concrete adhesive.
90° Corner at Column
Frequently, a 90° turn is made at a column. To build this column, cut one column unit per course. Stack column units in a rotating pattern for each course. Glue each course of column units with a concrete adhesive.
Add stability and a natural flow to walls with curves. While units can be turned somewhat, it may be necessary to make cuts with a concrete saw or splitter. As a rule, the smaller the units, the tighter the radius. Conversely, the larger the units, the larger the radius. Use approximately the same number of units for each course. The approximate minimum radius the system can turn, using all three pieces without cutting, is 3.75 feet measure to the outside face of the wall.
Capping a Wall
Straight Wall Caps are trapezoidal and must be laid alternatively short and long cap faces for a straight line. Always start capping from the lowest elevation.
Outside Curves Lay out the cap units side by side and cut at least every other cap to produce a uniform look. Start with the long side of the cap facing out and adjust to the radius.
Inside Curves Lay cap units side by side with the short side facing out. In most circumstances, making two cuts on one cap and then not cutting the cap on either side produces the most pleasing look.
Corners On a 90° corner wall, the corner caps need to be saw-cut to achieve a 45° mitered corner.
Stepping up Caps If a wall elevation changes, caps can be stacked where the wall steps up. Begin laying caps at the lowest elevation change and work your way back toward the previous step up. Split a cap unit to create a rough face on the exposed side. Place the half unit directly on top of the capped portion of the wall with all three split faces exposed.
Finishing After layout is complete and caps are saw-cut or split to size, carefully glue with a concrete adhesive.
There are numerous ways to cap a column. You can use cap units, single-piece units or natural stone. Here are some options.
Using an Extra-Large Cap This capping treatment requires 8 extra large trapezoidal cap units. Each unit is cut as shown. Top with the 5-inch square coupon. Use concrete adhesive to glue all pieces when cap is complete.
Using a Large Cap This capping treatment requires 8 large trapezoidal cap units. Each unit is cut as shown. Top with the 10-inch square coupon. Use concrete adhesive to glue all pieces when cap is complete.