Elevate Your Landscape: Retaining Walls, Landscape Walls and Seat Walls

Guide to Landscaping Walls, Retaining Walls, and Seat Walls
June 3, 2024 by
Elevate Your Landscape: Retaining Walls, Landscape Walls and Seat Walls
Zach Raymond

When it comes to enhancing outdoor spaces, walls are a subtle element that can provide a unique touch to your landscape. There are four main names for outdoor walls: Retaining Walls, Seat Walls, Landscape Walls, and Garden Walls. Understanding the differences between them can help in planning and executing effective landscaping projects. 

Landscape Walls

Natural Stone garden wall

Landscape walls, also known as garden walls or decorative walls, are primarily used to add aesthetic appeal to a garden or yard. These walls are usually lower in height, often no more than two to three feet, and they serve as a design element rather than a structural necessity. Landscape walls can delineate areas, create raised garden beds, or serve as seating walls around patios.

Landscape installation landscape wall in ohio

They are typically constructed using materials such as stone, brick, or wood, chosen for their visual appeal and harmony with the surrounding environment. The main focus of landscape walls is to enhance the beauty and functionality of an outdoor space without bearing significant loads.

Seat Walls

Seat wall patio installation

Seat Walls are primarily built with a patio as a decorative element to wall off an area. Hence the name, seat walls can be used as a seat, this is one of the biggest benefits of these walls in your landscape. Seat walls are usually built out of patio pavers but can be built using natural stone. To build a seat wall out of patio pavers we recommend Brussels Dimensional paver, this is the most commonly used paver for patio walls.

Paver Wall retaining wall and seat wall installation hardscaping

If you have a natural stone or flagstone patio and would like to keep the natural theme of your outdoor space there are smaller versions of the flagstone that you can use for a wall. At the landscape supplier Mr. Mulch, we recommend using the "medium" or "split" version of natural stone paver for your wall (look for the word medium or split in the name of our natural stone products for wall materials). Seat walls are a great addition to your paver patio or natural stone patio, they can even be used as a place to sit around the fire pit. 

Retaining Walls

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Retaining walls, on the other hand, are engineered structures designed to hold back soil and prevent erosion, especially on sloped landscapes. They are essential for creating level areas in hilly terrains, making land usable for gardening, patios, or driveways. Retaining walls must withstand significant lateral pressure from the soil they support, and their construction requires careful planning, proper drainage, and the use of durable materials like concrete, stone, or reinforced block. The height of retaining walls can vary greatly depending on the landscape and the amount of soil they need to support, often exceeding three feet.

Key Differences

The key difference lies in their primary function: Landscape Walls are for aesthetics and minor functional purposes, Retaining Walls are structural and essential for land management, and Seat Walls are connected with Patios. These distinctions affects their design, construction methods, and material choice. Retaining walls often require professional installation due to their complexity and the need for stability, whereas landscape walls can sometimes be a DIY project. 

Let us help make your landscape more beautiful, our Contractors and installation team at Outdoor Living by Mr. Mulch specialize in landscaping projects, building the types of walls mentioned above and more. Schedule a consultation here to meet with our experts and get your wall taken care of!

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