How to Build a Curved Brick Retaining Wall

Lead Image
  • 24-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,000-20,000
What You'll Need
Metal wire
Mixing attachment
Masonry saw

The purpose of a brick retaining wall is to keep the soil that is on an elevated and sloping surface from collapsing. Without it there the ground can erode and eventually collapse. Building a brick retaining wall that is curved is a challenge but the article that follows will explain how it’s done.

Step 1 – Area Preparation

To properly create a brick retaining wall it needs to be nestled in a trench. Determine the size of the area by first staking it out and then connect the stakes with the string. A brick retaining wall is usually 3 or 4 times wider than that of the base. If the base is 4 feet then the width should be 12 feet. You can now dig out the trench between the staked area to the thickness of one brick you’re using. Tamp the area down so that it is flat.

Step 2 – Footing

Place rebar inside the trench and then tie them together with the metal wire. The rebar helps to strengthen concrete. Mix the concrete mix using the drill with a mixing attachment until it is the consistency of peanut butter. Pour the concrete into the trench until it covers the rebar. Spread it out until it is even and then allow it to cure before continuing forward.

Step 3 – The First Row

Once the concrete has cured you can then mix the mortar and spread it over the top of the concrete with the trowel. Place the first layer of brick. Once you reach the curving areas you will need to cut the brick. Place the brick in place and draw a line using the string as a guide. You can cut the brick with the masonry saw using even pressure and a single motion. Place the bricks so they are ½-inch apart. After the first bricks are laid go back and fill these gaps with mortar. Use the trowel to make sure the mortar is packed down and when it overflows the sides; spread it over the bricks with the trowel.

Step 4 – Adding Bricks

After the first layer is finished; add a thick layer of mortar on top and begin placing the next layer of bricks. When you place bricks put them between the first layer covering the filled-in gaps. Leave the same ½-inch space and cut the bricks in the same way for the curves. Once the second layer is complete; fill in the gaps as you did previously. Continue in the same manner until the brick retaining wall is as tall as you want it to be.

Step 5 – Caps

The cap level of bricks on the brick retaining wall is important because it acts as an anchor. The cap is placed on top of the last layer just like the first. The only difference is the bricks are placed in the opposite direction. Smooth out the mortar on top and scrape off excess with a wire brush.