What are the Different Types of Landscape Retaining Walls?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2019
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A retaining wall is a man-made landscaping structure built to keep dirt from falling into a walkway or road. There are a few types of landscape retaining walls available. These include brick, concrete, rock, wood fence, and natural shrubs. Each type of wall has a specific role and unique characteristics. The homeowner should select the retaining wall based on the presentation he desires for the home.

A concrete retaining wall is a large concrete fabrication designed to manage dirt and water runoff from a building site. This form of retaining wall is often seen on interstate highways across the United States. The concrete walls are also used to limit noise pollution caused by traffic. Some concrete landscape retaining walls are a high as 30 feet (9.1 m) tall, which has the added benefits of privacy and protection.

Many landscape retaining walls are made from brick or stucco. These walls can be designed to match the brick and outward appearance of the home. A brick retaining wall will require significant prepping and construction time. These walls should be built by a qualified brick layer to ensure durability.

One of the most natural-looking landscape retaining walls is a rock wall. This provides a powerful-looking presentation and makes the wall appear to be natural. Rock retaining walls are most often seen in the mountain terrain because they match the surrounding area.


A shrub retaining wall is another naturally designed wall. This type of retaining wall is better for privacy than durability or strength. It is important to use shrubs with deep roots when creating this type of wall.

Many homes use landscape retaining walls as a method of separating the front and back yard of a home. This is most often seen in homes with walk-out basements. The retaining wall is used to keep the dirt away from the basement walk-out area. This ensures that ground water and any erosion will be forced away from the doorway of the home.

Boulders are another example of retaining walls. This is a landscaping idea that is most often used in driveways and roadway design. The boulders are placed in the entry way of the drive. This type of landscaping provides security from reckless driving because the boulders require tight navigation and control for entry, which causes drivers to slow down.



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