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3 Best Types of Retaining Wall Material

3 Best Types of Retaining Wall Material

The material you use for a retaining wall makes a difference. Here are three durable options from which to choose.

Retaining walls present a surprising range of materials, colors, textures, and styles. A retaining wall is a key component to the overall design of your outdoor landscape. While we could get into all the valuable uses for and the make-up of a retaining wall, it’s best to start at the base: the types of material for the wall itself. With a focus on stone, as opposed to wood/timber which can deteriorate quicker over time, we shall cover the materials of natural stone, brick, and concrete.

Natural Stone

There is a good selection of natural stone wall types from which to choose. Limestone, granite, fieldstone, and veneer stone are just a few of the options. The variety of looks one can achieve gives ample room for a creative and aesthetically-pleasing choice. Natural stone is also able to be repurposed and has a low impact on the environment. Conversely, a natural stone wall can last generations.


Brick walls are a classic choice, particularly beautiful in the context of Maryland’s historic settings. Two forms of brick retaining walls are:

Cavity Wall: A cavity wall is made up of the foundation, two walls of brick with several inches of space in between, and two steel rods connected to the top and base within the empty space. Because two layers of brick are needed for construction, the cost is higher.

Block Core Wall: A block core wall is far more common today due to lower cost and the invention of the Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU.) The CMU retaining wall is lined with whole brick on the remaining exposed surfaces, reducing cost overall. You can also use a half-brick or thin-brick veneer to reduce the amount of brick even further.


Concrete is a famously sturdy building material. It is also flexible in its aesthetic abilities in ways that not even natural stone can compete. They are yet two kinds:

Poured: Poured is the more common and potentially better choice for concrete retaining walls. Poured concrete can be styled by layering, stamping patterns, or mixing with decorative materials such as seashells.

Blocks: A wall made from concrete blocks is a sturdy and affordable way to go. You can choose an interesting texture and color, and even learn how to do it yourself.

Let Michael Bryan Landscapes Design Your Outdoor Living Space

When you work with Michael Bryan Landscapes, you are bringing your landscaping vision to life with a team of experts who are committed to the quality of their work on your home. Whether you want to design a landscape for your outdoor space, build a deck, or install a stone patio, our team of experts is ready to help you make it happen. Since 2009, we have served Maryland and Northern Virginia with a variety of landscaping, hardscaping, design, and installation services that not only keep your outdoor space looking great but working as efficiently as possible to meet the needs of your family throughout the year. If you are ready to get started with your landscaping project or service today, call us at 443-203-1951 or email us at Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for updates and weekly landscaping tips!

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019 at 2:25 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.