Types Of Retaining Wall Materials

June 17, 2022


Retaining walls are structures used to laterally support the soil mass, allowing the soil to be retained or preserved on one side of the wall when the levels on both sides are different. Thus, retaining walls are built to hold the soil and are specially designed to support horizontal loads.

When you use retaining walls in landscaping, you need to consider aesthetic aspects in addition to their strength. Therefore, you need to balance your choices. You can hire a professional retaining wall contractor near you by doing some research.

To help you decide on a retaining wall type in a more informed way, we have curated this blog. This blog highlights all the different types of retaining walls and their benefits.

Stone Veneer

Stone veneer is a protective material that can be used in retaining walls as a decorative covering for a vertical wall. However, it barely has any retention capacity. Stone veneer is a more of an aesthetic element that requires a solid core to stand like a wall.


  • It is the best material for retaining walls. Stone structures can withstand weathering effects such as snow, rain, heat and cold.
  • It has a beautiful texture and appearance. Beautiful patterns, colors, unique shapes, and even lichens growing on rocks are some of the salient features of these materials.
  • Stone veneer is reasonably lighter in weight.

Natural Stone

A retaining wall made up of natural stone is very similar to boulder walls. The only difference is that the mass of natural stone is much smaller than a boulder. Natural stone retains all the superior qualities (tradition, strength, durability) offering more design options.


  • Natural stone looks incredibly beautiful and fits perfectly into all types of traditional rustic environments.
  • If it is constructed well, it can last for years.
  • Natural stone is one of the oldest and most reliable retaining wall materials used in grade transitions.


Limestone is a sedimentary rock. Its primary materials are aragonite and calcite. You may think that limestone is more fragile than traditional rock, but be aware that some of the world’s most durable structures, such as the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramid of Giza, are made of limestone.


  • Limestone is usually grey or yellow. They add a very classy and timeless feel to the space they occupy.
  • Limestone is weather-resistant, fireproof, and impact-resistant. It remains unaffected and does not lose its beauty or appearance.
  • The best part is that limestone retaining walls are very easy to clean and maintain. They just need a gentle brush.


Boulders are one of the oldest retaining wall materials built by experienced retaining wall contractors. They are the largest type of natural stone available, offering a variety of shapes and sizes and require less maintenance. Unlike quarry stones and manufactured modular blocks, boulders are widely available and ready to use for retaining wall construction without additional finishing. At the same time, they retain most of the positive aspects of the decorated stone and can last for a long time.


  • Boulders are perfect for all types of landscaping and rustic styles.
  • Rock retaining walls are very convenient to build. Some retaining walls can be built simply by stacking rocks.


Gabion is also a very old and traditional way to build retaining walls. The name “gabion” comes from the Italian word gabion, which means cage. They are simple cages made of steel rods or wires filled with rock/stone.

Gabion is a flexible material and is ideal for retaining walls, especially in landscaping. It looks natural and beautiful, yet flexible and stress-free. Therefore, the load of horizontal or vertical ground movement does not cause significant subsidence or landslides.


  • The gabion wall can withstand the worst heavy rains in any position.
  • Gabions are wire containers or “baskets”. Therefore, it is extremely flexible and can be very easily integrated into any type of backyard setup.
  • The gabion wall is modular. This means that each section can be easily upgraded or replaced. Also, the gaps between concrete pieces and rocks can be filled with vegetation and silt.

About Rough Rock Contracting

If you are looking for reliable land clearing services in Nanoose Bay, Rough Rock Contracting is your perfect choice. We have a unique range of services available for residential and commercial clients. Get in touch with us for more information.

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