How to Install Concrete Retaining Walls
A step-by-step guide to pouring concrete walls
Prized for their strength and versatility, concrete retaining walls require precise construction methods. With this high level of technicality comes incredible versatility. Poured concrete retaining walls can be colored, textured, accented with embedded objects and much more. When installed properly, concrete offers much more room for customization than any other retaining wall material.
Here are the steps Tom Ralston, owner of Tom Ralston Concrete in Santa Cruz, CA, follows when pouring a retaining wall:
Decorative options for concrete walls:
Transforming a Hillside Tom Ralston Concrete used cast concrete walls to transform this hillside into a beautiful and usable space. These walls were designed to have sweeping curves and integral lighting. The surface of the walls was hard troweled and colored with an Alcantar Nutmeg Color hardener to create a variegated look. To preserve the structural integrity and decorative finish, a cementitious waterproofing was installed to back of the wall where it contacts dirt.
Layered Concrete Retaining WallThis wall, created by Ron Odell's Custom Concrete, is over one hundred feet in length, more than a foot wide and took three truckloads of concrete to pour. To achieve the layered look light gray concrete was poured in the bottom of the forms and then sprinkled with rocks and other natural debris which was followed with dark gray concrete. This process was repeated until the forms were completely filled.
Learn More: Redefining the Retaining Wall
Terracing a Hillside with ConcreteA forty foot grade made retaining walls necessary for this property. Victor Amador, of Soft Concrete, formed the walls himself and poured them in place. He approached the walls from the mindset of a sculptor, creating pleasing curves and even pockets that serve as planters. The walls were textured with an Italian slate stamp and painted to match the house.
See the rest of this project: Concrete Pathways & Textured Concrete Walls Create the Perfect Garden
Poured Wall with EmbedsThe low retaining wall surrounding this patio is far from ordinary. Hundreds of rocks and stones found on site, as well as local seashells, were embedded randomly to enhance the freeform organic design. Portions of the wall were polished, while the areas with protruding stones were left alone. The top of the wall features a ribbon of glass aggregates.