Basics of Concrete Block Wall Installation

February 21, 2018


sakrete-logo.pngBegin straight and level for a wall that will be plumb and square

Before beginning construction, check with your local planning department to be sure you follow specifications for building walls and footers. Typically, the foundation should be twice the width of your block. Confirm this specification with your local Building Code Department. Specifications can vary by location.



Mix product according to package instructions. 

  • Begin by laying a bed of mortar on the foundation for the corner block. The mortar bed provides adhesion for the block to the block wall foundation.
  • Use a block that is flat on one end for the corner block. Push the block into the mortar or tap into place using the handle end of a trowel or hammer.
  • Check the level of the block and continue with the first course adding the interior blocks with raised ends. Be sure the first and following blocks are straight and level, otherwise the wall will not finish level and square. Typically, one end will be higher than the other for every block added. Tap the raised area into the mortar before moving to the next block placement. This method will continue throughout the build. Ensure all blocks of each course are level as you progress with the wall. 
  • Apply mortar to the raised ends of each block before setting in place.
  • Once the first course is set and level. Begin adding mortar to the top of the set block as well the block being set.
  • Continue the mortar to block process, alternating the block placement in a staggered block pattern.
  • Use a string line and line block as a guide that each course is level.



Once the blocks have been laid and the mortar is in place, strike off all excess mortar using a jointing tool. Press the tool firmly into each mortar joint to create a smooth attractive finish to your mortar joints.


—This video is provided by Sakrete, one of ProTradeCraft's advertisers. A leader in concrete and concrete-related products for 80 years, Sakrete led the way for premixed bagged concrete and was the first company to provide concrete specified for strength, not proportion, which continues today. View all of Sakrete's content