Retaining wall is about 10' high at the highest point. I want to build a bbq island along the wall, brick oven is at the end of the island. It had to be at a 45 deg. angle because it's much deeper then the countertop.

Plan is for contractors to pour a level concrete pad to build the bbq island on, but I don't know how close the structure should be to the wall.

Too much of a gap will put the front of the island in the way of the patio door.

Current design leaves a 2.5" gap between bottom of island and wall. At the top of the island, the gap would be atleast 1 ft, because the wall isn't vertical, it slopes away from the island like all retaining walls.

But, there's no way I could finish the back of the island with 2.5" gap at the bottom. Maybe build the back of the island out of concrete block, leave it unfinished, then the remaining sides/internal structure would be metal studs, backer board and finished with stone?

Any tips or ideas?

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  • Is there a specific question you want answered ?
    – Alaska Man
    Mar 8, 2018 at 2:48
  • How far away from wall and should the unfinished back of island be concrete block?
    – dan
    Mar 8, 2018 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


Why does it have to be at a 45 degree angle? At the angle, you have a hole behind the counter where debris could get caught and become messy and a potential fire hazard. If you want the angle for aesthetic reasons, you should have a way to get back there and clean it out. As for the back side..that is up to you. If it won't be seen, then it won't matter. If you are worried about heat or something/someone getting inside it from behind, then use brick, stone, whatever. As for the floor under the oven area, pour extra concrete or use patio pavers. Its all about how it will look to you. I would also leave some room between the wall and island in case you need to repair either the island or the wall in the future.

  • The angle is because the oven is 5 foot deep and the countertop is only 2 foot deep. If it were straight the oven would stick out 3 feet farther than the countertop and I thought that would look odd.
    – dan
    Mar 8, 2018 at 22:15
  • I saw the reason in the OP, but I suggest either straight across, fill in the hole area, or pull out from the wall far enough to get behind for cleaning and repair. That odd triangle hole between the wall, the oven and the counter top, would seem just as odd as a 3' over hang.
    – Jeff Cates
    Mar 8, 2018 at 23:24

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