What Material Should I Use for a Retaining Wall


For some, building a retaining wall is about necessity, for others it’s about achieving a certain look. Whatever the reason, choosing the right material is the crucial first step to making this investment worth the time and money. Retaining walls help to make a yard more functional but they also enhance its appearance when the right materials are paired up with your home and yard. Here, we’ll take a look at the most popular materials and offer some tips on how to choose between them.

There are a number of materials you can choose to make your retaining wall. The most common materials are wood, brick, concrete, and natural stone. These options can be seen in a variety of yards and, quite often, the decision is made based on the home’s architectural style as well as the budget, wall specifications and anticipated maintenance.


Timber Retaining Walls

Wood retaining walls give a clean and well-manicured appearance, often being compared to raised garden beds. These walls can be stained to a natural color or painted to compliment the colors of the home and garden. The timber must be maintained, however, and wood retaining walls come with the responsibility of annual maintenance and care in order to ensure they are not affected too much by the elements. This can include re-staining the timber as well as treating it with specialty stains or paints to prevent water damage and rot. The overall look of wood retaining walls fits in well with Carpenter style homes.


Brick and Concrete Retaining Walls

Both brick and concrete offer more durability when it comes to standing up to the elements, but their look isn’t as natural or flexible in terms of styling. Many brick homes use brick retaining walls as a way to bring together the home and yard. Concrete is another robust, durable and inexpensive option. Concrete comes in a number of colors and can be shaped to look smooth, sleek and modern, creating a nice pairing with ranch or similarly styled homes.


Natural Stone Retaining Walls

Stone can be used to create a natural looking retaining wall. The cost for using natural stone for your wall can be substantially higher due to installation and labor expenses but it is the top choice for rustic homes or for those who want their garden to have a more organic feel.

Creating a retaining wall out of timber, brick, concrete, or natural stone can improve the look, usability and feel of many yards and gardens. Choosing the right material means deciding what look you want for your outside space and how much you want to tie it in with the look of your existing home. Whatever you choose, be sure you understand the maintenance and care requirements so that your retaining wall will become a worthwhile feature of your landscape.

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Comments 4 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Great pics. And an article I will save, I need two retaining walls just for landscaping.

Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Glad the hub is helpful, and all the best with your retaining walls. Thanks Ericdierker!

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

These walls are very attractive. We lived in the midwest where hills were a part of almost everyone's yard. I would have loved the terraced look in mine at the time.

Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks teaches12345 :)

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