The first step when choosing materials for any project is determining what type of load the material needs to bear. For instance, if you were planning on constructing an outdoor deck made out of cedar boards, then you would know that cedar has very little resistance against rot. Therefore, you would need to add some kind of reinforcement to prevent rotting. The same goes for retaining walls. If you plan on building a wall using concrete blocks or other masonry products, then it’s important to make sure that these materials have enough strength so as not to crumble under heavy loads.

1. Concrete Block Retaining Walls

There are many benefits associated with using concrete blocks in construction projects such as retaining walls. The concrete block comes in various sizes and shapes which makes them easy to use in almost every application. It is inexpensive and durable making it ideal for commercial applications. Moreover, concrete block does not require much maintenance once installed. This means that there won’t be any additional costs involved in maintaining the structure after installation. Another benefit of using concrete blocks is their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. As long as the temperature remains below freezing point, concrete block structures remain intact. On top of all this, a concrete block is extremely versatile; it can easily blend into most architectural styles.


– Easy

– Durable

– Versatile


– Expensive

– Heavy

2. Mortar Blocks

Another common choice for retaining walls is mortar blocks. Mortar blocks come in two main varieties: dry laid and wet poured. Dry laid mortars are usually used for smaller jobs while wet poured mortars are more suitable for larger-scale projects. Wet poured mortars are generally stronger than dry-laid mortars because they contain cement which gives them extra support. They are also easier to install since they don’t require special tools like trowels. One downside of using mortar blocks is that they tend to break down over time due to exposure to water. To avoid this problem, you may opt to lay them at least one foot above ground level.


– Stronger

– Easier to Install

– Water-Resistant

– Affordable


– Break Down Over Time

– Difficult to Lay

3. Stone Slabs

A stone slab is another option for creating a strong retaining wall. Stone slabs are available in both natural and manmade forms. Natural stones include granite, limestone, sandstone, etc. Manmade stones include brick pavers, flagstones, cobblestones, etc. These stones are typically heavier than mortar blocks but less expensive. A major advantage of using stone slabs is that they provide excellent drainage properties. Since they’re porous, they allow rainwater to seep through without causing damage to surrounding areas. Additionally, stone slabs are resistant to moisture and insects making them perfect for landscaping purposes.


– Drainage Properties

– Resistance Against Moisture & Insects

– Low Maintenance Costs

– Great Value


– More Expensive Than Other Options

4. Cement Poured Masonry

Poured cement masonry is probably the strongest form of retaining wall. Cement poured masonry consists of three basic components: aggregate, Portland cement, and water. Aggregate provides weight and stability whereas Portland cement creates cohesion between aggregates. When mixed together properly, Portland cement becomes hard and solid. Once hardened, cement poured masonry resists erosion and retains soil particles making it great for landscape uses. The only drawback of using cement-poured masonry is that it requires extensive preparation before being placed on site. You’ll need to dig out an area large enough to accommodate the entire project. After digging up the earth, you’ll have to remove vegetation and debris so that the surface is smooth. Then, you’ll have to mix the cement thoroughly by adding water until it reaches the right consistency. Finally, you’ll pour the mixture onto the prepared base. This process takes several days or even weeks depending on the size of the job.


– Strongest Retaining Walls Available

– Easy Installation

– Low Cost


– Requires Extensive Preparation Before Placement

– Pouring Takes Several Days/Weeks

5. Concrete Block

Concrete block is yet another type of retaining wall material. It’s made with concrete and comes in various sizes ranging from 1-inch cubes to 4 inches squares. Blocks are commonly stacked vertically to create a sturdy structure. If you plan to use concrete blocks as part of a garden fence, make sure to choose ones that are designed specifically for fences. Some blocks are too heavy to handle easily. Also, some blocks are not compatible with other materials such as wood. For example, if you stack wooden boards next to concrete blocks, the wooden boards could split apart when exposed to extreme temperatures.


– Great Strength

– Compatible With Wood

– Good Erosion Resistant

– Highly Durable


– Heavy Weight

– Not Compatible With Wooden Boards

The Purpose Of Your Retaining Wall

There are many reasons why people choose to construct retaining walls. Some may need one for aesthetic purposes while others might require it as part of an engineering design. Whatever the reason, when choosing materials for your wall, you must first determine what its primary function will be.

For example, if you plan on using concrete blocks or bricks in order to build a retaining wall that is meant to hold back soil erosion, then you would not use wood because it does not have enough strength to withstand heavy loads. If you intend to use wood instead, then you would need to reinforce it with steel rods so that it could support large amounts of weight. The same principle applies to other construction projects such as building decks, fences, etc.

If you need a retaining wall to stop soil erosion, prevent flooding, and create a pleasing landscape, Retaining Walls Salem Oregon is the name the locals can rely on! We’ll help you choose the best type of retaining wall for your property, whether it’s a concrete block wall, a stone wall, or a precast wall. Then we’ll construct the wall according to your specifications. Retaining Walls Salem Oregon is the most trusted and most dependable professional contractor in the city. We’ve been providing quality services to homeowners and businesses for over 20 years. Call our team today, avail of your free quote, and let’s get started!