Seat Walls

Seat walls or outdoor seating walls are a great way to make an outdoor living space more inviting and comforting.  Seat walls can be installed on top of existing surfaces like concrete or pavers, as well as on a gravel base.  We will cover how to build a seat wall with pavers or blocks, outdoor seating wall ideas, and maintenance too.

Tools Needed

Some tools you will need to complete your project:

  • Level

  • measuring tape

  • Mallet or Dead Blow Hammer

  • Marking stone or Pencil

  • Caulk Gun

  • Concrete adhesive or landscape adhesive tubes

  • Concrete saw or angle grinder with a masonry blade- possible to avoid but professionals should plan to have one

Other helpful tools that some may find useful:

  • Square

  • Angle scribe

  • String line

Gardening Tools

Seat Wall On Patio

Seat Wall.jpg

As long as the patio or surface is level and was built to hold the weight of the seat wall you could have your work cut out for you.  Uneven surfaces will require shimming or a mortar bed for the first layer if too uneven for glue.

  1. Paver patios, concrete slabs, and other hard surfaces can have imperfections or unevenness.  Be sure to check before beginning.

  2. Dry layout the footprint of your seat wall design- check blocks for levelness.  If acceptable continue to glue the first layer down

  3. The following layers of the block should overlap the seams of the previous layer

  4. Straight walls will have less cutting than curve - mark and cut blocks accordingly- check out our video on cutting

  5. Be sure to check blocks are plum and square with each other- glue at first can make the blocks slide against each other easy thus making it easy for them to get out of alignment

  6. Continue to marking and cutting capstones

  7. If you would like to see what it takes to add lighting to your seat wall check out the video here

Seat Wall On Gravel Base

Similar to retaining walls, seat walls need a strong foundation which consists of:

  • 6-inch gravel base beneath them.

  • footer extending 6 inches farther on all sides of the seat wall footprint

  • the first layer of block buried- if installing pillars it is recommended to use a treated 4x4 post-installed into the ground and a concrete footer- this adds stability to the entire wall

  • Level- front to back, side to side

  • Check to make sure the seat wall is square

 

  1. Once you have your 6 inches of gravel base in you can begin installing the base layer of the block.  Making sure the blocks are completely level- front to back, side to side, as well as block to block

  2. Mark and cut blocks to fit into your pattern- if you need help on marking and cutting, check out this video here

  3. After making sure the first layer fits together nicely- you're ready for the next layer- make sure to overlap joints

  4. Install the next layer making cuts when needed- check your cuts and proceed to glue down blocks, continuing this process till the end or time for capstones

  5. Cutting capstones should be very similar to cutting seat wall block- if you would like more info check out our blog

  6. If you would like to see what it takes to add lighting to your seat wall check out the video here

Seat wall with gravel base.jpg

Seat Wall Maintenance

Power Washing Bench

       Seat wall maintenance should be pretty easy and completed once a year for best results.  Basic maintenance involves pressure washing and possibly using a brush to scrub out dirt and organic build up.  

       Sealing can be done every 2 to 3 years to preserve the color and finish for as long as possible.  Fading is inevitable with any product that is exposed to natural elements.

        Stone and mortar seat walls will need similar maintenance requirements with the addition of mortar maintenance.  Periodically the mortar may need to be repointed.  Mortars' life expectancy is 50 to 100 years depending on environment.  Re-pointing should be done when holes in the mortar are noticeable.  Re-pointing can be done whenever one may want, perhaps one might want to restore some life in a stone/brick and mortar project.