Choosing the Right Retaining Wall Materials for Your Project

bay area retaining walls landscaping design

Retaining Walls in the Bay Area Come In Many Shapes and Sizes

Retaining walls in the Bay Area are a great way to define your outdoor space to add more levels and to prevent erosion. With so many materials available to build retaining walls, it can be difficult to choose the right one for aesthetics and functionality. Retaining walls need to be engineered to do their job of holding back the earth. Here are four common materials for retaining walls with the pros and cons of each.


Wood is a popular material in gardens for hardscaping elements because it’s easy to handle and looks nice amid the plants and earth. You can cut wood into any shape required for your retaining wall. It’s affordable and biodegradable. That said, wood decays over time. It may not be sturdy enough for some retaining walls because it can’t handle as much weight as other materials.


Brick is another commonly used material by hardscape designers in the Bay Area. It’s a durable material and when installed correctly, it will last a long time and have the strength to handle the weight behind the earth of retaining walls. You should have a professional install a brick retaining wall. Fixing a broken brick retaining wall may be complicated though.


Stone is another popular material for hardscaping elements. Retaining walls need to be carefully engineered to do their job, so you will need someone who knows what they’re doing. Cutting stone for retaining walls is a job for an expert. Using stone gives you so many design options for your garden that it can be quite visually appealing. However, it may take time to build a retaining wall from stone.

Concrete blocks or poured concrete make great retaining walls, provided the wall is designed to have enough strength to hold back the earth. Concrete is a sturdy material that is cost-effective. The biggest drawback is that it doesn’t always have the character of brick, stone, or wood. It can look stark. Concrete isn’t the most comfortable material to sit on in the summer, so it may not do double duty as a bench.

Best Hardscapes and Retaining Walls in the Bay Area

Looking for options for your home? Ask Viking Pavers, decks and patio installers in the Bay Area, about the options they suggest in your outdoor space.