Options For A Brick Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a necessary addition to your landscaping if you have a sloped yard because it holds back the soil to create level spaces. As DIY Network points out, you can also incorporate retaining walls into your lifestyle as the centerpiece of beautiful outdoor living spaces. Well, in that vein, a traditional stone wall may not match your home — brick may make more sense.

Block Core Wall

An increasingly popular option for any kind of retaining wall is the block core wall, partially because it lowers the cost. With this method, contractors create a core concrete masonry unit out of concrete blocks and rebar attached to a concrete base. There is also a section behind the wall composed of gravel and a drain surrounded by landscaping fabric. The backfill goes over this drainage. To create the brick façade, contractors install a brick veneer.

Brick Veneer Options

Contractors can cover a block core wall with different veneers. Many homeowners opt for stone, but brick is an option. In fact, there are three types of brick veneers. One is to lay whole bricks against the core. The second is to use half bricks. These present the same façade, but only half the number of bricks. The third option is to use bricks that have been cut almost as thin as tiles. This is the least costly option as it uses less material and labor to apply.

Cavity Wall

The original style of brick retaining walls consists of three layers. Contractors build two layers of brick wall with a cavity in the middle — this structure also features a concrete footing base. They fill the cavity with grout or concrete. Rebar joints add structural support. Often the drainage structure is the same as the block core wall. This tends to be the more expensive option because it requires a skilled mason using more brick material.

Weeping Mortar

The standard mortar style consists of masons wiping off the excess grout between bricks to create a smooth veneer. If a side of the wall would never be seen, they often let the excess grout remain. According to Masonry of Denver, leaving the excess mortar visible and dripping down the face of the brick eventually became a popular style in the West. It's called "weeping mortar," and it's really only seen on buildings built between the 1930s and 1950s. Today, skilled masons can create the weeping mortar effect to match its use in the home or to create a focal point for your retaining wall.

Choose a brick retaining wall the complements your home and lifestyle. For more information, contact a business such as Quality Lawn & Landscape.