What is a Retaining Wall?


Have you ever noticed walls in garden spaces? Those walls are called retaining walls, and that’s what we are going to explore today. From what is a retaining wall and how to build a retaining wall, you’ll find everything in this piece. So let’s get into the ins and outs of retaining walls.

What Is a Retaining Wall?

Retaining walls are often found in garden landscapes. They are structured and designed to withstand the pressure of soil and retain soil minerals. Retaining walls prevent the soil from sliding or eroding.

Strict measures must be taken while building a retaining wall as it will be holding back the lateral pressure of soil, sand, water, etc.

Now you have got a grip on the concept of retaining walls, it’s time to explore some common types of retaining walls.

Common Types of Retaining Walls

Gravity Retaining Walls

Gravity retaining walls depend on their own weight to eliminate the setbacks of soil, water, and earth pressure. Commonly, gravity retaining walls are large in size, and they are created with concrete, stone, or even brick masonry as they counter pressure with the help of gravity.

The height of a gravity retaining wall is somewhere around 3 meters. Some popular sub-types of gravity retaining walls are crib, gabions, and bin retaining walls.

Reinforced Retaining Walls

Reinforced retaining walls use reinforcement to give strength and power to their structure. Sub-types of the reinforced retaining walls are concrete cantilever, counter-fort/buttressed, precast forecast, and pre-stressed retaining walls. Concrete cantilever retaining walls make use of a wall connected to a foundation (filled with back-fill), while counter-fort retaining walls are backed with wall and base slabs.

Hybrid Systems Retaining Walls

Last and certainly not least are the hybrid systems retaining walls. Both mass and reinforcement support these types of retaining walls to attain stability.

Mechanically Stabilized Earth Retaining Walls

MSE or mechanically stabilized earth retaining walls are supported by selected fills and held together by other reinforcement materials like plastic meshes and metallic strips. Some common umbrella-types of MSE retaining walls are panel, concrete block, and temporary earth retaining walls.


Common Materials to Build a Retaining Wall


Simple gravity retaining walls can be made with the help of wood. Although wood is an inexpensive material to build a retaining wall, its lifespan is shorter than others. Wood, however, is an ideal choice if you are just looking to test how to build a retaining wall project on the internet.

Stones, Rocks and Boulders

Stones, rocks, and boulders are also some of the essential components to build gravity retaining walls. These components are often used to create basic, beautiful, and eye-catching retaining walls.

Veneers, Bricks and Flagstones

Veneers, bricks, and flagstones are the bare essentials in every advanced retaining wall. They provide the necessary core strength to face-off pressure in any given climate or weather forecast.

Concrete Blocks

Last but not least, concrete blocks are also excellent starter materials to build a strong retaining wall. Concrete blocks are readily available in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and this makes them one of the most used materials to build a retaining wall.

Let us know in the comment section about the retaining wall you are looking forward to building. And feel free to share a thing or two about your experience.

If you’re interested in more landscaping advice or services, reach out to Stoeckig Landscape Group at 770-831-1790.