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-   -   Which retaining block size? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f16/retaining-block-size-49338/)

Tmaxx 07-21-2009 02:59 PM

Which retaining block size?
 
I am debating whether I should use the smaller retaining wall blocks (approx 25lbs - 12" wide x 6" tall x 6" deep) vs the larger retaining wall blocks (approx 80lbs apiece - 14" wide x 8" tall x 12" deep). My application will be a 24" high wall which runs about 16' and then makes a 90 degree turn and runs up hill for around 8'.
What are the tradeoffs or advantages/disadvantages of using either type of block? I want to make sure I get the right block for my application.
thanks.

concretemasonry 07-21-2009 04:21 PM

If it is a reputable walls system, go to the web site to see what the design tables say. The good sites are for Allan Block, Anchor Wall Systems, Keystone and Versalok. The units are available in almost every country through local manufacturers. The different unit may have some slightly different details, but they all work the same way. Beware of any design recommendations by some local "knock-offs". - In many ways it is like buying an American-made that may be made to low quality import specifications and could never be used on a real wall (like 40' high).

You only do it once, so do it right because Mother Nature is not forgiving.

TooledUp 07-21-2009 06:24 PM

This does not sound like it is a very big wall. I would ask a local landscape company where the block is sold. My retaining wall is probably 3' tall and I used versa lock block. It is much smaller than the block you are talking about, but I think mine is a more decorative look than maybe yours is?? Does it matter what it looks like--is it a decorative block?

Tmaxx 07-21-2009 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TooledUp (Post 305046)
This does not sound like it is a very big wall. I would ask a local landscape company where the block is sold. My retaining wall is probably 3' tall and I used versa lock block. It is much smaller than the block you are talking about, but I think mine is a more decorative look than maybe yours is?? Does it matter what it looks like--is it a decorative block?

It doesn't have to be decorative necessarily. I was looking at some blocks from our local Ace hardware. They are from Rogers block. They have both small and large retaining wall blocks.
What size are the versa lock block?
I still don't understand where it would be preferable to have small vs larger blocks.

TooledUp 07-21-2009 08:14 PM

Well they are probably approximately 8" x 6" x 6"(I did not actually take a measurement). My opinion would be that it does not matter the size. I would make the size of the block compliment the surroundings--make it proportionate to your house and the size of the wall being built. You would not want this huge block for a small wall and a not-so-spacious surroundings. By the sounds of it, it is not too big of a wall so I would go with the smaller block. I hope this makes some sense.

concretemasonry 07-21-2009 10:34 PM

Retaining wall block are not new (at least to the rest of the developed world), but they are relatively new to the consumer in the U.S.

What you are building is a simple gravity wall and it generally depends on the weight of the block and the set-back (about 3/4" per unit) to provide the stability. Once you get over 4', you are looking at something different and especially if you go over 40' with the same block.

Most local municipalities have standard deign plate that they routinely use for similar walls where there are new sidewalks and minor road alignments. Most codes do not require and permits unless it affects the drainage or land use.

I have no idea of who Rodgers Block is, but a good supplier have a lot of information on the design and construction of a retaining wall that they produce from the licensor of the system so it will last as long as you expect it to. If they do not have a product with support and full information, it is just a "knock-off" with no control standards.

The important thing is to have a good compacted base that is level. - No concrete footing is allowed and it does not have to be very deep.

Dick

jomama45 07-21-2009 10:50 PM

Tmaxx, the reason I was suggesting possibly looking into a larger block in the other thread is I was somewhat confused as to what you where doing on the shorter return wall. It sounded like you were going up an increasing elevation of 9 feet or something. I was envisioning a drastic slope up behind the 2 foot tall retaining wall. If that's the case, this isn't a simple 2 foot garden wall. If the slope is only a few degrees, that's a fairly simple project that may not require a large block. As I stated earlier, most of my experiance is with Versa-lok, which are all 12" deep. The standard unit is 6" H by 16" long & they make some smaller complimentary sizes to create a mosaic look. They also make a 1 sq. foot unit, but that is rarely, if ever used on residential work. As Dick stated, any company worth their salt will have more info available about their product than you will ever care to read. I personally only use the Versa-lok now because I like the system the best, but it very well could be overkill for your project.


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