Difference Between a Wall and a Retaining Wall

One of the most common questions we get is how retaining walls are different than normal walls. Retaining walls and homes walls have many differences like materials used, location, and mainly the purpose the wall serves.  A wall is a simple structure that separates two spaces or rooms. Walls provide privacy and protection, but they can also serve as decorative elements in their own right.

A retaining wall is a structure that is built to withstand soil lateral pressure or to contain soil elements. Behind the retaining wall construction, soil filling, liquid pressure, sand, and other granular materials may also contribute to the lateral pressure. Retaining wall structures come in many forms and serve a variety of functions.

Call Dallas Retaining Walls today for a free non-obligatory call if you are thinking about installing a retaining wall in Dallas and surrounding areas.

In this post, we will discuss the difference between walls and retaining walls.

Retaining Wall Is a Special Kind of Wall That Keeps Back Soil

A retaining wall is a special kind of wall that keeps back soil or rock from a building, structure, or area. It can be made of any material and may vary in size and shape depending on the purpose it serves. In most cases, they are built with blockwork construction but some are made of concrete blocks or stone slabs as well.

Retaining walls can be used to prevent water erosion on hillsides by holding back soil masses until new vegetation grows up around them (known as “retaining”). Retaining walls also protect against erosion by preventing water runoff onto roadways during storms (i.e., flash floods).

Retaining walls have been used throughout history for many purposes including:

  • Protecting property from erosion caused by heavy rains
  • Preventing mudslides from damaging buildings nearby
  • Creating parks and green spaces
retaining wall diagram

Retaining Walls Have Many Types of Materials

Like all other walls, retaining walls can be made in different ways and of many types of materials. They are made from concrete, stone, brick or wood. They can also be made out of metal or plastic.

Retaining Walls Keep Soil or Rock From Moving or Falling


A retaining wall is a special kind of wall designed to help keep soil or rock from moving or falling down a slope. They can be made out of many different materials, but they all work in the same way: they hold back the earth by stopping it from sliding downhill.

A retaining wall is not just any old piece of dirt that you fill up with rocks and then call it your backyard’s landscaping project; there are several different types of retaining walls, each with its own unique features and advantages over others.

Retaining Walls VS Regular Walls

Retaining walls vary from regular walls in one respect: durability. Some retaining wall designs have a lifespan of up to 100 years before needing repair. All of this while being outside, exposed to the elements!

However, in general, most walls are composed of wood and drywall and can’t sustain the same amount of wear and tear as a solid concrete wall. However, normal walls may be just as robust, such as the walls that sit on top of the foundation of your home.

Interior walls are less subject to harm than retaining walls, so you won’t need to replace them as frequently.

interior walls


A retaining wall is a special kind of wall designed to help keep soil or rock from moving or falling down a slope. Like all other walls, they can be made in different ways and of many types of materials. They are often composed of wood, brick, piled stone, concrete blocks, concrete pours, or concrete blocks. The key distinction between retaining walls and regular walls is how they are built and why.