How to Build A Concrete Block Wall


Building a block wall. Building a
concrete block wall is one of the more involved building projects, requiring careful planning and a little
heavy lifting. Regardless of your skill level, a
successful result can be achieved. Every block wall, regardless of whether
it is going to be a structural wall or a non structural wall, requires a solid footing. High-strength
QUIKRETE 5000 (or Q-Max Pro) is the recommended product for footing construction because of its high strength and rapid
strength gain. Footing should be at a minimum of twice the width of the concrete
block. A typical eight by eight by 16 block
would require a 16 inch wide footing. The footing depth should extend below the
frost line. Make sure to check local building codes
for construction requirements in your area. Snap a chalk line on each side of
the block wall, as a reference line. QUIKRETE Mason Mix Type S is the
recommended mortar mix for constructing structural and non-structural block and brick walls.
This pre-blended mortar mix is extremely workable and achieves the high bond
strength required for successful project. One 80 pound bag of mason mix will lay up
to 13 standard concrete block. When preparing to place a trowel-full of
mortar, gently snap the trowel downward, to remove
any excess mortar. The proper consistency is achieved when
the wet mortar will hang on a trowel held at a 90 degree angle. Dampen the footing surface with water
and place a one-inch bed of mortar on the footing. The mortar should be workable but firm
enough to support the weight of the block. Press the first block, the corner block, into the mortar bed, to create a 3/8 inch
mortar joint. Make sure the block is level and properly aligned, before proceeding
to the next block. Then trim and remove any excess mortar.
Using the same process, set the opposite corner block. Butter
one end of the block and set it next to the corner block. Then, press the block down into the
mortar bed and against the previously laid block so that the mortar joint is 3/8
inch wide. Adjust the block so that it is flush and level. Continue this process until the first
course is completed. To start the second course, apply a thick
mortar bed along the top of the first course. At the
end of the wall, set an 8 x 8 x 8 half-block into the
mortar bed, with the smooth side facing out. This
process will create a very strong running bond pattern that ties the wall together. Use a Mason line as a guide for the remaining block.
Continue building the wall until it is complete. Once the mortar joint has become
thumbprint hard, use a jointing tool to smooth the fresh
joints and remove any excess mortar. For load-bearing walls, tie rods should be set
a minimum of six inches into the concrete footing before it is set. Rebar should be placed in every other
masonry core, to provide structural support. For masonry cores over four inches
wide, as is common with standard 8 x 8 x 16 block, QUIKRETE Core Fill Grout – Coarse should be
poured around the Rebar. For masonry cores under four inches
wide, QUIKRETE Core Fill Grout – Fine should be used.

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