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What are the different types of retaining walls

 Our topic today is what are the different types of retaining walls

If you're planning on doing any landscaping or construction that involves excavating, you'll likely need to build a retaining wall. But what kind of retaining wall should you build?

  • There are three main types of retaining walls : gravity walls, cantilevered walls, and mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls. Each type of retaining walls has its own advantages & disadvantages.
  • In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at each type of retaining wall and help you decide which one is right for your project.

What are the different types of retaining walls
What are the different types of retaining walls

Gravity walls.

Types of gravity retaining walls

  • The Gravity retaining walls rely on their weight for resist the lateral pressure of soil. Gravity retaining walls are typically made of concrete , stone , or earth . The base of the walls is wider than the top of walls, which provides a stable foundations & prevents the wall from toppling over . Gravity walls can be either precast or cast in place  .
  • Cast in place gravity walls are constructed on site using forms. This type of wall is poured in place and allowed to cure before being backfilled with soil . Precast gravity retaining walls are manufactured off site and then transported to the job site for installation. Advantages of precast walls include a shorter construction time and less labor costs.

Advantages of gravity walls

  • Gravity retaining walls are one of the most common types of retaining walls because they are strong and durable. They can be used in a variety of applications and can be constructed from a variety of materials. Gravity walls are also relatively easy to build, which makes them a good choice for do-it-yourself projects.
  • One advantage of gravity retaining walls is that they can be built tall without requiring additional support. Gravity walls also have good drainage properties; water flows down the face of the wall and is directed away from the structure by the sloping base.

Disadvantages of gravity walls

Although gravity walls are strong, they can still be damaged by heavy loads or seismic activity. In addition, if not properly constructed, gravity retaining walls can crack or settle over time due to pressure from the soil behind them.

Cantilevered retaining walls.

Types of cantilevered walls

  • The most common type of cantilevered retaining walls is the reinforced concrete retaining wall . This type of wall is constructed by pouring concrete into forms. The concrete is then reinforced with steel rebar or wire mesh. Once the concrete has cured, the forms are removed and the wall is left in place.
  • Another type of cantilevered wall is the masonry wall. Masonry walls are constructed using bricks, stones, or blocks held together with mortar. These walls are typically much thicker than reinforced concrete walls and are often used in commercial or industrial applications.

Advantages of cantilevered walls

  • The main advantage of a cantilevered retaining walls is that it does not require a foundation or other support structure be built underneath it. This can save a significant amount of time and money during construction.
  •  Additionally, cantilevered walls are often more aesthetically pleasing than other types of retaining walls since they do not have any visible supports.

Disadvantages of cantilevered walls

  • One disadvantage of cantilevered retaining walls is that they require skilled labor to construct properly. Reinforced concrete walls must be carefully poured and cured in order to avoid cracks and other structural problems.
  •  Masonry walls must be correctly mortared in order to maintain their stability over time. Additionally, both types of cantilevered walls can be damaged by earthquakes and other natural disasters if they are not constructed correctly.

Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls.

Types of MSE walls

  • There are three main types of MSE walls: gravity, cantilevered, and anchored. Gravity walls rely on their own weight to stand upright and are typically made from concrete or stone.
  •  Cantilevered retaining walls use steel or concrete beams that are anchored into the ground to support the wall. Anchored walls have cables or rods that are attached to the wall and extend deep into the ground for support.

Advantages of MSE walls

  • MSE walls offer a number of advantages over other types of retaining walls systems. They are very strong and can be built to any height necessary.
  •  They are also less expensive than other types of retaining walls and can be constructed quickly. In addition, MSE walls can be built using a variety of materials, including wood, steel, and concrete.

Disadvantages of MSE walls

There are a few disadvantages to using MSE walls as well. The most significant disadvantage is that they require regular maintenance in order to prevent them from collapsing. Additionally, if an MSE wall does collapse, it can cause serious damage to property and even loss of life.


  • There are different types of retaining walls , each with its own advantages & disadvantages. The type of wall you choose will depend on the specific needs of your project.
  • The Gravity walls are the most common types  of retaining walls is used. They are made from heavyweight materials like concrete or stone, and they rely on their own weight to keep them in place. Gravity walls can be either cast-in-place or pre-cast.

  • Cantilevered walls are another common type of retaining walls . They are made from lighter materials like wood or steel, and they rely on reinforcements like cables or rods to keep them in place. Cantilevered walls are less expensive than gravity walls, but they require more maintenance.

  • Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls are a newer type of retaining walls . They are made from a variety of materials, including soil, concrete, and stone. MSE walls use reinforcement systems like geogrids or geocells to keep them in place. MSE walls are typically more expensive than gravity or cantilevered walls, but they offer superior strength and durability.
  • The best way to choose the right retaining wall for your project is to consult with a professional engineer or contractor. They will be able to assess your specific needs and recommend the best solution for your particular situation.

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