Retaining Wall Materials: What is a veneer retaining wall?

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Are you looking for a wonderful new addition to your landscape? Why not add a veneer retaining wall to boost its appeal? Not only will you have an eye-catching lawn, but a properly designed wall can certainly assist with the soil erosion issues in your property.

What does a veneer retaining wall mean?





“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.”  – Charles Eames

A veneer is a type of material that is often used to increase the appeal of a concrete retaining wall. Since concrete can appear to be boring and cheap looking for some owners, they opt to make use of a material that looks expensive and aesthetically pleasing instead.

This is why veneers are popular. Since it replicates the look of natural stones or bricks that are extremely expensive to get, they are a cheaper alternative compared to getting a wall constructed using purely natural stone.

How do you install a veneer on a retaining wall?

In its essence, veneers serve as an outer covering to an already existing retaining wall. In most cases, these walls are often made of concrete blocks or poured concrete to serve as the base. Afterward, the veneer is installed on the surface of the walls to make it appear like it is made of beautiful stone or brick.

There are many reasons why veneers are a good option that property owners choose. Aside from saving valuable resources, using natural stone or veneer on an entire structure may not be plausible because of design limitations. Because of this, veneers are used so that the overall safety and durability of the retaining wall will not be compromised in the long run.

If you already have a retaining wall and want to revamp its look, installing veneers will be a great idea. However, you need to make sure that your structure is still stable. To do this, it would be best to have it inspected by a professional contractor first. Or else, you may be spending money on beautifying a wall that will just fail in a few years.

Veneer options for your retaining wall

There are many veneer designs that you can choose from for your retaining wall. Depending on your preference, you can choose between the following:

Natural Stones

These materials are real stones that have not usually been altered or added with other synthetic materials. Instead, they are just sliced off thinly to make it easier to transport for commercial use. Property owners who value traditional appeal mostly prefer using natural stone for their walls. According to This Old House, stone walls can even serve as a “patio or garden border and extra backyard seating.” (1)

Unfortunately, when it comes to design limits, natural stone may be too heavy or too complicated to install and use for heavier retaining walls. Also, since natural stones are not added with any pigmentation, having a professional install it in a way that will complement its real colors may be essential.

Cast Stones

Also known as manufactured stones, cast stones are materials that have been created using a mixture mostly made of cement, aggregates, and pigments. Just like with real stones, cast stones are then sliced for an easier transportation and installation process. Since cast stones are manufactured, they can be curated in a way that will make them look like real, natural stones, saving owners a lot of money.

Is installing a veneer retaining wall expensive?

There are many factors that will determine the costs of having a retaining wall installed. Some of these are:

Natural stone veneer retaining walls

Natural stones are durable. Compared to cast stones, real stones’ colors last longer and are much more appealing to look at even if years pass. Unfortunately, they can be quite expensive at $15.00 to $30.00 per square foot.

Cast stone veneer retaining walls

Compared to natural stones, cast stones are a little brittle and will fade as time passes. However, they are more cost-friendly at $5 to $10 per square foot.

The dimensions of the wall

The expenses you need to pay overall will of course depend on the dimensions of your retaining wall. The shorter it is, the less equipment and tools are needed to have them installed. On the other hand, the taller your wall is, you will also need to equip more reinforcement and an appropriate drainage system to make your retaining wall last longer.

The complexity of the project

As mentioned earlier, installing natural stones may be more expensive since they need to be carefully arranged to be more appealing. Of course, since they are real stones that are not manufactured with pigments to make them more seamless, natural stones would need a trained eye to install which would cost more in labor fees.

Veneer retaining wall installation services in Raleigh

Installing a veneer retaining wall does not only require experience, but also high-quality craftsmanship.

Whether you need brick, concrete, or stone veneer walls, your retaining wall would look its best if installed by the professionals. No matter what design, material, and type of wall you need, you can rest assured that our team of expert contractors will always be here to assist you.

For estimates, do not hesitate to call us today. Even if you are still looking around, we will be happy to be of service to your soon-to-be retaining wall project.


  1. 4 Tips for Building Stone Walls in Your Yard | This Old House

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