What Are the Different Types of Retaining Walls?

A retaining wall is an artificial barrier constructed to hold back dirt and prevent it from sliding away. Soil infill, liquid pressure, sand, and other granular materials may all be behind due to the retaining wall’s construction, adding to the lateral pressure. There is a wide range of retaining wall designs suitable for certain purposes.

In this article, we’ll go over the many types of retaining walls, how they work, and their pros and cons, which can help you understand why block retaining walls in Adelaide are necessary.

Types of block retaining walls you did not know of

There are mainly four types of retaining walls, and if you choose block retaining walls in Adelaide, ensure you look for the following types. They all serve a different look to your landscape. We have mentioned every detail below so you can understand which one to choose for your home. 

  1. Vertical walls

When faced with lateral earth pressure from the soil behind them, gravity-retaining walls use their weight to resist falling and sliding. These retaining walls are often made of masonry, brick, concrete blocks, or mass cast-in-situ concrete and are the simplest and oldest kind known to man.

Because of the increased lateral earth pressures at depth, gravity retaining walls often have slanted sides and a wider base. This kind of retaining wall, thus, is easy to build and suitable for retained heights up to about 3 meters; but, any higher and these retaining structures tend to take too much space and become too heavy for the ground below, resulting in bearing capacity failure. In addition, it might cause the wall to lose its capacity to retain soil over time.

  1. Cantilevered walls that hold

Reinforced concrete is used to construct cantilever walls supported by a foundation as an L (or an inverted T). The backfill conceals the retaining wall’s stem and base slab (or footing). The vertical force behind a cantilever wall is transferred to the wall’s base, preventing the wall from collapsing due to lateral earth pressure from the same soil mass.

A retaining wall with a T-shaped base is more secure because of the pressure of the soil (and the associated vertical tension) in front of the wall. In addition, a “key” is often set into the earth at its base to prevent the foundation from slipping and collapsing.

  1. Built-in retaining walls

Embedded retaining walls go farther underground than the excavation allows so that the weight of the earth above may be balanced by the weight below. It is common practice to hold up these retaining walls internally, using the foundation slab, ground slab, intermediary floor slabs, or ground anchors installed through the wall.

Embedded retaining walls may be built in several methods, each tailored to factors like site circumstances, the degree to which the excavation must be waterproof, constructability (i.e., time, cost, and excavation technique), and required retained depth.

4. Reinforced earth or mechanically stabilized earth retaining walls

Geogrid layers are employed to stiffen the soil into a stable mass when constructing reinforced soil retaining walls, also known as mechanically stabilized earth walls. Consequently, the retaining structure’s bearing capacity and differential settlement resistance are improved.


Retaining walls are like a boxlike construction with higher ground on one side and lower ground on the other, used to contain materials like soil. The aesthetics and pressure resistance of these retaining walls built by Retaining Wall Industries place them into distinct groups, making them a great choice for landscape decoration.

James Vines

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