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3 Different Types Of Retaining Walls

November 10, 2022


Retaining walls are structures used to hold back soil and prevent erosion. They are commonly used in landscaping, construction, and civil engineering projects. There are several types of retaining walls, but in this blog, we'll discuss the three most common types: gravity walls, cantilever walls, and anchored walls.

  1. Gravity Walls: Gravity walls are the most common type of retaining wall. As the name suggests, they rely on gravity to hold back the soil. They are typically made of concrete, stone, or masonry and are relatively inexpensive to construct. They are ideal for small to medium heights and are often used for garden walls, landscaping, and other small projects.

The key advantage of gravity walls is their simplicity. They are easy to construct, require minimal excavation, and do not require any reinforcement. However, they are not suitable for high walls or walls that are subjected to high loads, as they do not have the strength to resist large forces.

2. Cantilever Walls: Cantilever walls are another common type of retaining wall. They are designed to resist lateral pressures by using a lever arm to transfer the load to the foundation. Cantilever walls are usually made of reinforced concrete and are suitable for medium to high heights.

The key advantage of cantilever walls is their strength. They can resist large loads and are therefore suitable for larger retaining wall projects. However, they are more complex to design and construct than gravity walls, and require careful consideration of the soil and foundation conditions.

  1. Anchored Walls: Anchored walls are a type of retaining wall that uses anchors to resist the lateral pressures of the soil. Anchored walls are typically made of reinforced concrete or steel and are suitable for high retaining walls.

The key advantage of anchored walls is their ability to resist large lateral loads. They are ideal for sites with poor soil conditions, high water tables, or where the wall needs to be located close to existing structures. However, they are more complex and expensive to design and construct than other types of retaining walls.


In conclusion, the three most common types of retaining walls are gravity walls, cantilever walls, and anchored walls. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the type of wall used will depend on the height of the wall, the soil conditions, and the site requirements. When considering a retaining wall for your project, it is essential to consult with an experienced contractor to determine the most appropriate solution for your specific needs. 



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