Choosing The Right Retaining Wall MaterialChoosing The Right Retaining Wall Material

For home and business owners of all kinds, deciding how to build and keep up a retaining wall, or a wall used to hold back soil, can be a bit of a challenge. Indeed, things such as location, weather, and the materials used can literally make or break your retainer wall. Are you seeking information about the best materials to use for your retaining wall? Keep reading.

Concrete Blocks

Perfect for creating curved walls and walls under 4-feet tall, concrete blocks are an excellent option for those who are looking to build smaller walls with a bit of style. However, the lack of footings may affect the strength of the wall over time.

Stone Veneers

A great option for creating an array of styles and looks, stone veneers make for a solid wall of various heights and thicknesses. Best used by a professional, these walls are great looking and durable, but must be well designed by an architect or contractor you can trust.

Poured Concrete

For an option that is stronger than a concrete wall, with more versatility, poured concrete might be your best bet. Nevertheless, keep in mind that concrete can be difficult to work with, so a fair level of skill is required. Moreover, the form of these walls has to be nearly perfect in order to avoid waves or bulging in the future.


One of the strongest and most durable materials to use to build walls and structures of all kinds, installing a brick retaining wall is labor intensive and requires specific accommodations for drainage. As long as the wall is built and maintained properly, this wall will last for a very long time.


Although it is easy to use and install, building a retaining wall made of wood can prove to be a bad move if not properly maintained. Recommended for walls standing at 4-feet or lower, with waterproofing and other preservatives, these walls can last for 20 years or more.

Dry Stone/ Boulders

A great option for a country, colonial, or English style gardens, retaining walls built with dry stone are considered one of the most organic options. Nevertheless, without proper maintenance, the possibility of an excess of water accumulating can destroy the integrity of the wall over time.


Lastly, walls built with gabion are highly complementary to coastal as well as riverside homes. A green alternative to other materials, building a wall with gabion is one of the easiest methods as it requires no special skill and moves with the earth over time.

Overall, deciding which material to build your retaining wall from doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply follow this short guide and you are well on your way to building a great retaining wall!

  1. Thank you for the help. I am hoping to add a retaining wall to my yard sometime soon. I would love to make it out of stone. Do you think that stone is a durable, quality solution for a retaining wall?

  2. Retaining walls are great for some homes. They can add a whole other layer to your home. I had no idea that you could build them out of wood. I thought you could only build them with stone.

  3. Brick is probably the material that I have been looking into the most. This is the most durable and I like the different colors that it can bring to a yard. Do you know what the repair process would be if this type of retaining wall was damaged? This might be an important factor for me to consider. Thank you!

  4. I have always loved the look of retaining walls in a landscape, and was wondering how you would choose the material for them. It’s interesting that concrete blocks are actually good for curved walls. I would have thought they would be hard because they are more rectangular. Thanks for the information.

  5. I love the way wood looks, and it can add such a natural and traditional feel. Wood would be perfect for a retaining wall if you maintain it properly. That way, you can have they amazing style of wood, and you won’t have to worry about it rotting or having some other sort of problem with it.

  6. I would love to go with wood for my retaining wall! Wood has so much character to it, and it also adds a traditional and natural look to anything! It will never go out of style and you won’t get bored of it! Then you won’t have to spend money every few years to change the look of the wall.

  7. My wife and I were told that we need a retaining wall build in our backyard to help avoid potential soil problems in the future. I thought the article did a good job highlighting the benefits of specific building materials to help us understand what could be good for our situation. We definitely want something that will last for a long time, and the article mentions brick will last as long as the wall is built and maintained properly. I think brick would also go well with the design of our house.

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