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FAQ – Retaining Walls


Frequently Asked Questions

How high can I build a retaining wall with Anchor Wall products?
You can build a retaining wall with the Windsor wall product up to 2 ft. high. That is a total of 7 layers of wall because it is recommended that you bury one full layer of wall in the ground for stability. If you have the space you can build a terraced wall. To build a terraced wall, you first build a 2 ft. high wall, then terrace back 4 ft. and build another wall 2 ft. high for a total of 4 ft.

How high can I build a retaining wall with the Anchor Brighton Wall?
You can build a Brighton Wall retaining wall up to a height of 3 ft. without a tieback. Anything over that requires an engineer’s design using Geo Grid Fabric at various levels depending on the height and soil conditions. In fact, a Brighton wall that is properly engineered can be built to heights over 3 ft. lt is recommended that you bury one full layer of wall in the ground for stability and be sure to have an engineer’s design for any walls taller than 3 ft.

How far apart should I place my walls when building a terrace?
A general rule of thumb is to take your lower wall height and double it. This will give you the distance needed between walls. For example if your wall is 2 ft. high the next wall should be installed at least 4 ft. behind the first one to make sure that you are in solid ground to build your next wall. Then you can build your next wall another 2 ft. high. This will give you a total of 4 ft. of retaining wall. The nice thing about terracing is that it breaks up the sheerness of the wall and allows for a beautiful planting area.

Can I put Anchor Windsor Stone right on top of the ground?
Anchor Windsor stones need to be securely anchored in the ground. How deep it needs to be anchored is dependent on whether you are doing a short wall or a tall wall. A short wall is defined as any wall 3 courses or less and a tall wall as any wall 4 courses or more (remember 7 courses is the maximum recommended wall height including 1 buried course). For a short wall we recommend burying the bottom layer 1/2 (or 2 in.). On a 3-course wall this will leave you TO inches showing out of the ground. For a tall wall we recommend burying the entire bottom course (or 4 in.). On the maximum wall height of 7 courses this will leave you 24 in. showing out of the ground. By burying the first row, you have created a stable footing to support the rest of your wall and will keep movement to a minimum.

What kind of base do I need for my Anchor Windsor Stones?
While not absolutely necessary, a 1 in. bed of sand in the bottom of your trench is recommended and extremely helpful. In order for your wall to be attractive and serve it’s purpose it needs to be level. By putting a 1 in. bed of sand in the bottom of your trench you will save yourself a lot of time when using your level on the bottom row. For tall walls (4 courses or higher) you might also mix dry Portland cement in with your sand. After your wall is built, the Portland/sand mixture will draw moisture from the ground and help secure your bottom row creating somewhat of a footer.

Should I mortar the top row of my retaining wall to prevent kids from lifting or moving them?
We don’t recommend mortaring any of our wall products; these walls are designed to be mortarless. A good construction grade adhesive is recommended when you need to secure the top row to prevent kids from moving your wall pieces and is highly advised. We have found that there are several concrete adhesives that work well and most adhesives can be applied with a caulk gun. Go to your local Pavestone dealer and ask for a quality construction grade adhesive. Example: PL adhesive or Liquid Nails.

What are the advantages of having an Anchor Windsor Stone retaining wall versus using landscape timbers?
Our Anchor Windsor Stone retaining wall units come in many different colors to blend with your home’s exterior. And unlike any products made from wood which rot, warp and become insect and rodent motels, our products are made to be durable, flexible and timeless.

Can I make a cap for the Anchor Windsor Stone?
Not all distributors will carry a Windsor cap. Please check with your local retailer for availability. Most all the applications can be done without the use of a cap.

What should I use as backfill for my retaining wall?
Start your aggregate backfill once you have laid your first two courses of wall. Shovel clean draining aggregate directly behind the first 2 courses of stones, extending out about 12 inches. We recommend using All Purpose rock or pea pebbles. As a general rule, the backfill zone should extend as far behind the wall as the wall is high. For example, one foot back for a one foot high wall. Next, compact this backfill zone using a hand tamp. After each additional course of stone is laid, you need to backfill and compact again until the last course of the wall is laid. You can also use filter fabric behind your wall with your backfill to keep the fine soils from washing through the wall. In addition, use a drainpipe in high moisture areas to carry off the excess water. Getting the water away from the back of your wall is very important and filter fabric and drainpipes can help.

How do I build my Anchor Windsor Stone wall alongga grade change?
The first step is to dig a trench at least l2 in. wide and 6 in. deep. No matter where the trench is it needs to be 12 in. wide and 6 inches deep, even up a slope. Next step, prepare your base materials by mixing 1 part Portland cement with 6 parts sand dry. The best method for mixing is to use a wheelbarrow and spade as your mixing area. Make sure that the sand and Portland Cement are very well mixed then shovel approximately 2 in. into your trench, dry.

You are now ready to start laying your Anchor Windsor wall stones in the trench. The starting point will be your lowest point on your wall. Using a torpedo level and mini-sledgehammer place your first stone and level it. You will need to level the stone from side to side and front to back. Continue this process until your grade starts to change and you are unable to place another stone and level it with your level. When you reach this point, go back to your starting point and begin your second course. Once you reach the point where you left off with the previous course, use your mixture of Portland Cement and sand to till in your base this will bring the base level to your second course. Repeat this process until you have leveled your entire wall into your grade change.

Since the trench is 6 in. deep, you will not be able to see the mixture you used to fill in the gaps and it will look like you “killed off” each course into your grade change. It will make for a precise and level project that is quick and surprisingly easy.

Why do I use landscape fabric behind my retaining wall? 
The landscape fabric serves as a filter to keep small soil particles from working their way through the wall when moisture is present. Remember that any material used as a barrier behind your wall must allow moisture to come through so it can help prevent your wall from failing.

How do I create a 90-degree inside corner with the Anchor Windsor Wall?
Follow these steps to build an Anchor Brighton Wall 90-degree inside corner.

Step 1
To create an inside 90-degree corner, begin by placing a stone at the corner. Then lay a second stone perpendicular to the first and continue laying out the rest of the base course working from the corner out. Make sure to construct the base course according to the standard site prep and installation procedures described in the Wall Brocure.

Step 2
On the second course, place all stones on bond along one side of the corner. Adhere the stone in place at the corner with a concrete adhesive. Once the second course of one wall is established, beg in the second course of the adjacent wall. Split units may be required on this wall to maintain running bond.

Step 3
Stone placement in the corner should alternate direction with each succeeding course. Follow the same procedure for the other retaining wall products.

How do I create a 90-degree outside corner with the Anchor Brighton Wall?
Follow these steps to build an Anchor Brighton Wall 90-degree outside corner.

Step 1
To build an outside 90-degree corner, begin by placing a half stone at the corner. Remove the lip so that the stone lays flat.

Step 2 
Begin the second course with another half stone. Place the second and third stones on either side of the corner stone. Once the corner stone is in position, adhere the stone in place with a concrete adhesive.

Step 3
Continue to alternate the corner stone placement with each course and always use a concrete adhesive. Use split stones as necessary to maintain running bond. Follow the same procedure for other retaining wall products.

How do you build steps with Pavestone products?
Step building is an art. lt is reserved for the professional paver installer or mason and should not be entered into without serious research. lt is very time consuming and there is no room for error. Here is a simplistic view of how this is done.

Step 1
Dig a basin into the slope of your grade change approximately lb in. deep and about l2 in. wider than the planned width of the steps. Only dig 3 in. below grade at the lowest point of the steps (the base of the first riser).TIP: Build your paver proiects for the steps out. Fill the bottom of the basin with 3 in. of very thick concrete. Place three rows of Rumbled Wall on the mixture to the desired with. Anchor Windsor Stone® can be used but each void between the stones would have to be filled with mortar.Step 2
Mortar set three rows of Holland Stone pavers on the surface of the Rumbled Wall in the soldier course pattern. Be certain that you have pre-designed the width so the pavers modulate to the wall stones.

Step 3
Add two more perfectly level rows of Rumbled Wall behind this first row in the same configuration as your initial layer of Rumbled Wall.

Step 4
Mortar set the Holland Stones just like you did in Step #2.

Step 5
This can be repeated to attain almost any height. When you’ve completed your top step begin your paver project from the last row of soldier course Holland Stone outward.




Contact PavePro Today: 972-266-2123


We make sure to work closely with our clients, helping them select the style, color and design of paver that matches their preferences. Our retaining walls also add a touch of beauty and functionality to any outdoor area. They can prevent unwanted erosion and soil build up, adding value and durability to your landscaping. We will make sure to build your wall with the highest quality of materials and workmanship.


For more than 10 years, PavePro has been supplying the finest hardscapes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If you would like a free estimate, please do not hesitate to contact us at (972) 266-2123.


PavePro has 3 offices in the Dallas and Fort Worth area to serve you. We provide free paver estimates and custom paver installation to all of the DFW area including Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Keller, Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Coppell, Irving, Las Colinas, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, The Colony, Frisco, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Park Cities, University Park and more.


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