Freeport, FL 850-267-0010
Ferndale, WA 360-312-8052

What’s The Best Material For Your New Retaining Wall?

by Emily Durgan | Fri, Apr 25, 2014

retaining wall sandestin panama city beach floridaYou want to add an attractive wall around your raised garden bed. Maybe you’re sick and tired of mowing a slope. Perhaps you want to terrace a deeply sloping yard to create outdoor rooms and garden beds. But how?

You need retaining walls. There are lots of reasons you might choose to install retaining walls in your landscape. But there are also lots of options when it comes to how you create a retaining wall. Here’s a look at some of them — and how to weigh which is right for yours. 

Which material will be the best one for your landscape’s retaining wall? The answer to that question is…it depends.

Where To Start

On what, you ask? Several things. For instance:

The wall’s intended function. Will the wall actually be required to prevent erosion on a sloped area of your property or is it meant to be purely decorative?

Your home’s style and your aesthetic. Is your home a brick rancher? A stone colonial? A log cabin? You’ll want to choose a material that is compatible with the style and look of your home and that complements both. Naturally, you’ll also want to choose a material that you find visually appealing.

Your budget. What’s the longest lasting, most attractive material that you can afford to install or have installed? Do you have the know-how and physical ability to plan and construct the wall properly yourself or will you need to hire a professional? (Note: You should hire an engineer to do the plans for any wall that will be more than 4 feet tall.)

4 Great Retaining Wall Materials

Retaining walls can give your landscape design a whole new look.

retaining wall sandestin panama city beach floridaWood

Wood complements rustic style homes (and other styles as well, but it’s particularly attractive with home styles that incorporate wood timbers.) It’s also a good choice when the budget is limited. It’s easy to incorporate angles and steps using wood timbers. Just be sure to choose timbers that are rated for ground contact and seal any cut ends to prevent rotting. Wood is not nearly as long lasting as stone or concrete but can typically be expected to last for a decade or two before needing replacement.

Stone And Natural Fieldstone

Manufactured stone blocks and natural fieldstone are attractive and well suited to many home styles. They are very long lasting and come in regular or irregular shapes, giving you interesting options and allowing you flexibility in selecting the appearance of your finished wall. Manufactured stone is less expensive than natural stone, but both are more expensive than other options.


Brick is durable and resistant to weather and pests. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style and that looks tremendous with traditional homes in particular.

Interlocking Concrete Blocks

Interlocking concrete blocks are long lasting and come in a variety of styles and colors, allowing homeowners to make selections that complement their homes, whatever style of home they may have.

They are designed for strength, and are fairly fast and easy to assemble. Price-wise, they are more expensive than wood, but less expensive than other options and their durability more than makes up for the difference in cost over wood timbers.

Must-Have Material: Professional Installers!

Not sure which material is right for your particular retaining wall application? GreenEarth can offer advice to set you on the right path. And if you’re ready to start building, the landscape professionals at GreenEarth Landscape Services can help you construct the perfect retaining wall for your Florida panhandle landscape.

Call our Panama City Beach office at 850-236-1959, or our Santa Rosa Beach office at 850-267-0010. You can also fill out our contact form, and we'll get in touch with you.


free landscape planning guide from GreenEarth


Image credit: wood grain

Subscribe Now

Additional Reading