10 Different Types of Retaining Walls

Jan 30, 2023 | Blog

You’ve probably seen cool marble or cement walls erected along the sidewalk. The gray cinderblock aesthetic can make public spaces stand out. After all, commercial property should also be taken care of with due diligence, right?

But did you know these tall, stonework-crafted walls are known as retaining walls? Not only that, but there are ten different types of retaining walls! From basic and gravity-defying structures to versatile, anchored versions — you have many alternatives to choose from!

And guess what? Hiring a professional commercial retaining wall contractor can double the value of your commercial property.

What Is A Retaining Wall?

A retaining wall is a rigid wall structure that is erected on top of the soil. The main purpose of retaining walls is to support the soil laterally or from the side. This is so that the ground’s surface can stay well-maintained.

Moreover, a retaining wall also keeps up with different elevation levels, stabilizing the soil on either side of its structure. Without the wall, the soil nearby would start to slide downwards, piling at the bottom. However, with the help of retaining walls, the ground can be leveled off in a steep slope format.

Types of Retaining Walls

Due to its commercial value, there are various types of retaining walls. Some of these are as mentioned below.

  1. Anchored Retaining Wall
    With the help of anchors carefully positioning the wall, anchored retaining walls can be customized with any type of front panel. They’re erected from the ground up and have additional support through anchored cables and strips dividing their weight.
  2. Cantilever Retaining Walls
    Ideal for walls above 7 meters, cantilever walls have a rigid, vertical stem inside with a strong base. Imagine an L-shaped or inverted-T-shaped foundation. This is what helps to handle all the weight, preventing the wall from toppling over.
  3. Counterfort Retaining Wall
    Built like the walls of a fort, counterfort retaining walls are similar to cantilever walls. The only difference is that they have special buttresses attached to their inside that help to resist falls and the like.
  4. Crib Retaining Wall
    Crib retaining walls are erected by attaching pre-made concrete or timber boxes. They’re known to be strong and gravitational walls since they are filled with earth backfill to prevent hydrostatic pressure from building up.
  5. Diaphragm Retaining Wall
    Built for the purpose of extremely deep excavations, diaphragm retaining walls can handle a good amount of height and load. Due to this, they’re mostly used for underground commercial purposes.
  6. Embedded Retaining Walls
    Much like their name, embedded retaining walls are deeply embedded into the ground. Their entire purpose and weight rely on the support of the natural ground underneath.
  7. Gabion Retaining Wall
    A gabion is essentially a basket filled with rocks and stones. Thus, a gabion retaining wall is created by stacking gabions on top of each other and attaching them with wire.
  8. Gravity Retaining Walls
    Gravity retaining walls are suitable for lower heights, made from stone, concrete, bricks, etc. They depend entirely on their own weight to keep them upright and prevent giving in to the pressure.
  9. Reinforced Soil Retaining Walls
    Known as one of the oldest methods, reinforced soil walls use the power of reinforcement to stand tall. When they’re constructed, gradual force is applied on the soil at the backside of the wall with the help of geotextiles.
  10. Sheet Pile Retaining Wall
    To give a modern look to retaining walls, sheet pile walls use thin sheets crafted from steel, timber, or even concrete. This helps to retain water, which is why they’re commonly used in waterfront structures.


Depending on the nature of your commercial project, you can choose from any of the different types of retaining walls. For more information on the matter, contact Advance Construction & Development at (936) 521-2446. Or, if you’d like to visit us, you can find us in Conroe at 1135 Grand Central Parkway, TX 7730, near Marcel Boulevard.


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