Creating Beautiful Gravity Retaining Walls

Published on: August 1, 2014

Retaining walls are used for a variety of purposes, including both practical and aesthetic concerns. Ideally, a retaining wall should encompass both, effectively creating a level shelf on a slope or stopping erosion while adding beauty to the surrounding property. When you are striving to create a practical retaining wall, gravity or semi-gravity types are often the best choice. These combine heavy materials which use gravity to keep the wall in place. One of the best materials to ensure a gravity wall is both functional and aesthetically pleasing is natural stone.

Using Natural Stone In Retaining Walls

Although retaining walls are made from many types of materials, usually anchored under the soil to give them strength, natural stone walls use gravity to hold them in place. This gives the wall a solid foundation which can last for decades, even centuries. A true gravity wall only uses the weight of stones for steadfastness, where a semi-gravity wall will use additional reinforcements such as steel bars for stability.

Both types of natural stone walls will add beauty to any home or property. However, often the deciding factor in whether to only use gravity or gravity and reinforcement usually comes down to the retaining wall’s height. Gravity walls are usually built with a wide base, tapering up to the top, with limits on height for stability reasons. Semi-gravity retaining walls have an edge, usually constructed with steel bars, which gives the wall greater stability and allows it to be built to greater heights.

Retaining walls can be built with a variety of large, natural stones including river rocks, fieldstones and flagstones. Your local landscape supply store or quarry most likely carries several varieties, if you are planning to build the wall on your own. If you are hiring a landscaper, talk to them about the types of stones they recommend and whether a gravity or semi-gravity wall will work best for your needs.

Posted on Behalf of Birmingham Landscapers

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