Retaining Wall Materials
Retaining walls are commonly used to level out and retain sloped properties. A retaining wall can help to give a property more of a vertical character. They are also used to retain soil, control erosion and create decorative elements on a property. Functional retaining walls which are built are typically designed for structural purposes. These walls should be engineered and designed by professional as reinforcement components are required. Decorative walls below 1 meter in height can be designed and built by handy homeowners as they do not require structural components.
Retaining walls which are implemented into landscaping design can help to enhance other components of the landscaping such as water features, plants, flowers and trees. There is a vast array of materials which can be used to construct a retaining wall. Materials should be chosen to best suit the application.
Choosing the Right Materials
Choosing the right materials for the retaining wall application is simple. Visualizing the end result will help homeowners to choose the right material by thinking up what they wish the wall to look like. Considering the surrounding materials such as house materials and other existing walls around the home can also help to choose the right material. Structural applications require a material which is high density, long lasting, durable and enhanced with reinforcement components. Decorative walls can be built with almost any type of wall material depending on the homeowners design preferences. Also consider the installation requirements of all materials.
Types of Materials
There is a wide variety of many different retaining wall materials. The most important and most common factor all retaining wall materials have is that they are enhance with resistance to; fire, water damage, impact resistance etc. Proper drainage is also important for the wall material.
Wood and Timber
Timber is one of the more common materials used to construct retaining walls throughout landscaping and around properties. Timber is available in treated and enhanced types to ensure that the material will not rot, be infested with termites and bugs. Timber is a relatively simple product to install and work with. This wall material can be painted or left in its natural state. One of the beauties of timbers and woods is that some types have a natural resistance to termites, rot and other common wood occurrences. Ensuring that the timber used for the retaining wall is properly treated will help lead to a long lasting application whether it is for functional or decorative purposes.
Concrete Blocks or Units
Concrete blocks or units are also a common retaining wall material which has been used for many years. This material is available in a wide variety of designs, types, shapes, colors and textures. Concrete blocks are light weight and suitable for structural or decorative applications. It is also a low cost material which is easy to work with and install. There are many different types of concrete blocks including; interlocking, hollow, solid and half hollow. They are also made in high density and low density styles. Homeowners can customize concrete blocks to best suit the applications requirements.
Stone blocks are made from a Portland cement mixture therefore they are a man made material. They are produced in shapes, designs and textures which replicate natural stone materials. Stone is most commonly used in applications where a mortar is not required and the dry stack method is used. Most stone applications look just like natural stone walls but at a lower price. This is a great alternate material for natural stone.
Natural Stone Blocks
Natural stone blocks are the most expensive wall material. This material has a very unique and stylish outlook which is hardly matched by any other. Natural stones are available in blocks, units, irregular and regular shapes making them highly versatile for all types of applications.