Simon

Retaining Wall Enthusiast. Working with Landscaping and Retaining Walls for the past 5 years.

How To Choose the Right Material For Your Retaining Wall

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Are you starting to build your retaining wall soon? Are you still undecided on which material to use? We understand! Choosing a material for your retaining wall is not that easy. Designing a retaining wall should be left to the professionals. A lot of planning and considerations are needed to build a retaining wall that will last for years.

You have to consider certain factors that will affect your retaining wall. 

  • Weather condition
  • Foundation and soil characteristics
  • Moisture in your area
  • Drainage system

Here are the most common materials that are used for retaining walls. For your convenience, we will discuss the pros and cons of each material.

5 Common Materials Used For Retaining Walls

Concrete Blocks

Concrete blocks are artificially produced. Concrete walls are designed to remain strong even when pressure is applied. 

Pros

  • Durable – Concrete can last for 100 years
  • Design Options – you can choose from different sizes and shapes, it can also be used to create curves
  • Easy to Maintain – does not require intensive cleaning
  • Environment Friendly – they are non-toxic and do not emit dangerous chemicals

Cons

  • Height – concrete blocks can only be used for retaining walls that are not above four feet
  • Hard to Repair or Replace – it will be troublesome to dismount the concrete wall


Bricks

Brick is one of the traditional building materials. 

Pros

  • Low Maintenance – the colour does not fade easily
  • Weather and Fire Resistant – bricks can combat extreme weather conditions and they are not combustible

Cons

  • Cost – bricks are one of the expensive outdoor materials
  • Heavy – bricks are heavy materials
  • Limitations of Colours – compared to other materials, brick does not offer a variety of colours


Wood

Wood enhances your curb’s appeal. It is easy to install and affordable. The downside is wood can get easily damaged by water. 

Pros

  • Natural Look – they can blend easily into any landscape design
  • Cost – wooden walls are cost-effective
  • Easy to Install –  they are easy to install and ideal for a DIY project
  • Lightweight – easy to dismantle and move around

Cons

  • Longevity – wood has the shortest lifespan on our list
  • Wood rots – if exposed to water, wood can rot easily
  • Strength – wood is not recommended for more complex projects
  • Termites – if not properly maintained, pests can damage the wood


Natural Stone

Natural stones are strong and durable. You can also have a lot of design options to choose from.

Pros

  • Eye-catching – stones are naturally appealing 
  • Flexible – stones can fit any situation – no need for mortar 
  • Durable – natural stone is one of the oldest and most reliable building material

Cons

  • Price –  stones are considered as one of the most expensive materials
  • Drainage – natural stone doesn’t have a good drainage
  • Weight – stones are heavy, therefore it is a labour-intensive process


Timber

Timber looks like wood but they are not the same. Timber wood has been processed and cut in different sizes. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Appealing
  • Easy to Install 

Cons

  • Wood Rots – water exposure can lead to rotting
  • Termites – just like wood, timber can get termites too 

More to explorer

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