(800) 794-4727   Contact
RCP Block & Brick Logo

Landscape Retaining Walls vs Structural Retaining Walls

When shopping for retaining wall blocks at RCP Block & Brick, you will find that we use some different terminology when describing the categories of available wall block styles. Landscape retaining walls and structural retaining walls. While both styles essentially do the same thing, retain soil, there is a reason we make the distinction: Different retaining wall blocks are designed for different maximum retaining wall heights.

Landscape Retaining Wall Blocks

Landscape Retaining Walls are a category of wall block that are most often used in residential yard and garden applications. Landscape retaining wall blocks are designed for small to medium sized walls, usually up to 3 feet (some up to 6 feet with engineering). Typically, you will not need a building permit for any retaining wall up to 3 feet in height. Landscape retaining walls will include all lipped retaining wall block as well as those block styles that connect using masonry adhesive. 

Landscape Retaining Wall

Structural Retaining Wall Blocks

Structural Retaining Walls are a category of large retaining wall blocks. These are most often used in commercial, municipal, industrial, transportation/DOT, and residential applications. Structural retaining wall blocks are the ideal solution for situations that require building a retaining wall taller than 3 feet, and up to 50+ feet in height. These larger structural retaining walls will require extensive design, engineering, and permitting.

Structural Retaining Wall

This differentiation is not mutually exclusive.

Some styles of landscape retaining wall blocks can also be used in structural wall applications. Examples would include the Keystone Country Manor, Keystone Stonegate Contemporary, and Keystone Verazzo-4 Face retaining wall blocks. RCP labels all of these retaining wall blocks as “landscape retaining walls”, but they can be used to build retaining walls up to 6 feet (or higher) in height (with engineering). In fact, RCP Block & Brick provides pre-engineered retaining wall manuals for these wall styles up to 6 feet. These design manuals can help save you time and money during the permitting process.

As far as structural retaining wall blocks like the Keystone Compac III, Keystone Standard III, Keystone California Chateau, and Keystone Stone Face, these can all be used in smaller walls when you are looking for a larger retaining wall block profile for your smaller landscape wall. It should also be noted that RCP provides the same pre-engineered retaining wall manuals for these walls up to 6 feet in height.

Questions? We Can Help.

(800) 794-4727

Chula Vista . Encinitas . Escondido . Lemon Grove . Murrieta . Santee