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mward77095 10-16-2008 12:13 PM

Please Help - Mounting Cedar to my retaining wall
I have 2 retaining walls in my yard made of cinder block. I would like to go over the cinder block with cedar and then apply a clear, protective finish over the cedar. Any help with this would be appreciated...

What is the best way to mount the cedar without seeing large masonary nails or screws? I thought about liquid nail, but I'm afraid I would have a hard time getting the cedar back off if I need to replace any of it.

I am also concerned with the part of the cedar that would touch the ground. Would the moisture cause rapid deterioration?

Thanks for the help,


NDFARMGUY 10-16-2008 12:25 PM

One possibility might be to attach horizontal stringer boards to the cinder block with screws (tapcon) and then attach the vertical boards to them... covering up the screws in the process.

Or you could reverse the process... screwing the vertical boards to the cinder block and then using horizontal boards to cover the screws.

As for the boards rotting... my suggestion would be to treat all boards on all six sides with a good preservative before attaching any of them.

mward77095 10-16-2008 12:31 PM

Thanks. I thought about screwing treated plywood (probably pine) to the cinder block and then going over it with the cedar. What do you think?

NDFARMGUY 10-17-2008 12:05 PM

I Suspect Plywood Made For "below Grade" Would Be A Good Choice... Or Any "treated" Lumber.

Having Read Some Of The Other Responses To Your Question, I Agree That Any Wood Placed Directly Against The Cinder Block Will Be Subject To Rot. So, You Might Want To Find A Way To Space The Boards Away From The Cinder Block With Small Pieces Of Composite Or Something Like That To Allow For Airflow.
Hope This Helps

downunder 10-17-2008 05:25 PM

Are you thinking of using cedar shingles, dimensional lumber, or other? Appx what size retaining walls do you have? Cover just the vertical surface, front and top, ...?

I would maybe get some ground contact plywood and rip it into furring strips if you need that attachment structure. There is a plywood type material that is used for sign boards that is about as good as marine plywood but about 2/3 the cost. My memory is a little short but it is known as "MMF" or something similar to MDF which is used for underlayment board. I priced some about a year ago, about $60 vs $80 for marine plywood.

I have to ask why you are concerned about moisture behind the cedar next to the cinder block. IF you are watertight that should not be a problem but maybe I don't follow exactly what you are trying to do.

You can get tan colored decking screws that probably would not be very noticeable.

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