Retaining wall - tinted concrete or bricks?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by totalnoob, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. totalnoob

    totalnoob New Member

    Hi All, I am having 3 retaining walls erected in my garden which is on a steep slope. The dimensions of these three walls are going to be nearly identical - each at around 1.25 Meter high X 9 Meter wide.

    Below is the look I am trying to achieve. The below are textured concrete blocks giving the look of limestone. I like the beige setting as this would match the Indian Sandstone paving.

    retaiting wall 2.JPG retaiting wall.JPG Tasmans-Limestone-2-Copy.jpg

    As far as I understand, I see that there two ways to achiever this look 1. Use Buff Bricks or 2. Use textured concrete blocks such as above. I have been trying to find such blocks but haven't found something like this anywhere. Budget wise - concrete blocks will be cheaper for material and also slightly cheaper for labor as I understand. If I can't get hold of something like this, what is the opinion here about tinting the normal concrete blocks in beige?

    Can you please also advise if there are any other ways to get the look and feel I am trying to achieve and whether I am thinking in completely the wrong way about this.

    Thanks you very much.

    Link where I found the above images
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Marshalls Marshalite Pitch Faced, Stonemarket Avant Garde Walling,there are others, not cheap.

    You don't say what your soil is like,but I would lay 100mm dense concrete block flat,then face with wall blocks,also need to sort some form of drainage behind walls.

    Other option is to use 100mm blocks laid flat, then render wall with a decorative colour through render.
  3. totalnoob

    totalnoob New Member

    KIAB - thanks for replying.

    I will take a look at the options you have provided.

    I don't know exactly what type of soil I have but if it helps, right now there are two retaining walls of brick holding the slope. These are quite old and the reason why I want to have three new ones now is because I want to level the slope and make flower beds. So the soil is suitable for raising the walls if that's what you were trying to imply.

    A landscaper that came around to take a look advised against rendering the concrete blocks. His reasoning was that any slight movement in the structure will lead to the rendering cracking.
  4. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    Hmm, landscaper advising on rendering

    With a lot of the movement in walls is down to an initially flawed design or poor implementation of it. Even if you had fitted really expensive sandstone blocks without specially designed footings and backfill they would move and crack.

    My initial thoughts were a good quality render installed by a specialist firm. Alternatively you could fit something like travetine tiles to the wall

    However, the first place to start is with a groudworks / structural engineer whom will specify the foundation, back fill, drainage requirements.
  5. totalnoob

    totalnoob New Member

    Thank you Sospan.
    So rendering is an option if done with proper planning.

    At this stage, I am leaning towards actually spending more money and doing it properly with buff bricks.

    Any opinions on tinting the concrete blocks? This would be cheaper but not sure if this is something common in the UK and suitable for the weather.

    Thanks, Ray

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