November 27, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Different Retaining Wall Materials

The retaining wall of your industrial or commercial property will be one of your property’s major barriers against erosion and other issues, and it follows that it needs to be designed and built as accurately and carefully as possible. But whilst the design is one thing, your chosen material is another – and this is where the proper knowledge is crucial. Different materials will have their merits, but there are cons to various materials as well. So what should you know about different retaining wall materials for your project? Here’s your list – and their pros and cons.

  • Concrete blocks

 Concrete blocks are similar in design to Spanish architecture. One advantage of this is that it is a more accessible material to work with if you want to produce a curved wall. One con, though, is that you can only ideally use it for walls below one metre. It isn’t as strong as other materials, either.

  • Precast concrete

Precast concrete is known for its strength and versatility, and it will be more robust than other materials like concrete blocks. Keep in mind that precast concrete is different from concrete poured on-site, as on-site concrete requires a certain amount of skill to cast and form. If you want to make sure that your retaining wall is immaculate and of the highest quality, it’s best to choose precast concrete over concrete poured in place. You can, for instance, opt for a king post retaining wall, which you can have made to order from a manufacturer. It is a smooth and sleek-looking material ideal for modern themed landscapes, and it is also cheaper than other materials.

  • Stone veneer

Natural stone will vary in terms of style and colour, but it’s crucial to match it with the current architecture in your property, as it will look out-of-place otherwise. In addition, you have to pay attention to its design, which would often require the skill and qualifications of a landscape engineer or architect or contractor. However, this material can have a strong core, which you can have designed in varying heights and thicknesses, and it has a pleasing appearance.

  • Wood or timber

Wood or timber is an accessible and easily-found material, and it comes with an easy process of installation. If you install it with suitable accompanying materials and proper treatment and waterproofing, it may last for more than two decades. However, one downside to wood or timber is that it is prone to rot, and even if it may last for over two decades, it still doesn’t have as long a lifespan as other materials. Wood or timber is also more ideal for lower walls of about one metre.

Brick is known for its strength and durability, although it comes with a higher cost of labour than other materials, and it takes a longer time to construct. You also need to consider drainage accommodations. However, if the landscape and buildings in your property are traditional in theme and you have the budget for extra labour expenses, it may be a good choice.

  • Dry boulder/stone

Dry boulder or stone is the most natural wall material you can use, although it is more suitable for country or rural settings. You would also have to factor in the water flow, as water can accumulate in the wall’s interior and hamper its integrity.


Image copyright: JPConcrete.co.uk