If you want to build a retaining wall made of thin stone veneer, there are several different styles to choose from: fieldstone or round, mosaic, ledge stone, Ashlar, square + rectangle, and dimensional.
- Stone Veneer Decoration in the Retaining Wall with Irregular Cap
- Natural Limestone Veneered over the Concrete a Terraced Retaining Wall
- Thin Stone Veneer Retaining Wall with Bluestone Cap
- Natural Multicolored Stone Veneer Retaining Wall
- Natural New England Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in a Transitional Patio
- Montana Ledge Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in a Traditional Backyard
- Beige-Colored Stone Veneered Retaining and Seat Walls
- Rustic Brown Slate Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in an Asian-Style Landscape
- Bluestone Veneer and Cap in a Spa Terrace
- Real Stone Veneer Retaining Wall with Bluestone Stair Treads
- Contemporary Style Stone Veneer Retaining Wall with Built-in Benches
- Traditional Style Stone Veneer Retaining Wall Combined with Concrete Paver Driveway
- Full and Thin Ashlar Stone Veneer Retaining Wall from Buechel Stone
- Ledger Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in a Modern Style
- Pennsylvania Fieldstone Veneer Retaining Wall with Corten Steel Drainage
The names may be different from supplier to supplier, but basically, the terminology is quite common.
Veneers are available in stone and brick, either of which is perfect for a retaining wall because stone veneer retaining walls are considerably more durable than any other material.
Yet, the more popular option is stone. There are two types of stones used for the veneer process:
- Natural stone: This one is ideal for creating an old-style retaining wall. Usually, the contractors slice the stones about one inch thick. The result is, they are way easier to install. Yet, natural tones are not suitable for building blocks.
- Cast stone: This one is basically a mix of aggregate, cement, and iron-oxide pigments. The mixture is poured into molds resembling natural stone. During the manufacturing process, the color is dispersed throughout the cast stones. Cast stones are also approximately one inch thick for veneers.
For natural stone veneers, the manufacturers’ typical stones used for hardscaping are granite, slate, flagstone, and river stone.
Each type of stone has a different price; one may be more expensive than the other. Marble, for instance, is more pricey than fieldstone.
While for cast stones, the manufacturers usually mimic the aforementioned stone in their designs.
If you want to take a more detailed look, here are the 15 most splendid stone veneer retaining wall that you can mimic for your own landscape:
1. Stone Veneer Decoration in the Retaining Wall with Irregular Cap
This retaining wall is basically not fully made of stone veneer.
The stone veneer is only used as a decoration, but that doesn’t make the wall less beautiful.
This retaining wall is meant to retain the soil from the garden in the upper level.
On top of the wall, there are Boxwood, magnolia, and roses. While at the base of the wall, bushes were also planted in line to accentuate it.
According to the designer, the stone veneer for this retaining wall was carefully selected to match the veneer on the main house.
It looks formal without being too rigid. To achieve that, the curved lines style was used. Moreover, this wall is also completed with an irregular stone cap.
Usually, the cap is made of bluestone with a smooth and polished surface. However, this retaining wall indeed looks unique with its uneven texture and irregular cap.
Even though it looks unusual, basically, the entire landscape features a traditional style.
2. Natural Limestone Veneered over the Concrete a Terraced Retaining Wall
There is an elegant balcony with railings that overlooks the sunken outdoor patio.
Bordering the patio is the retaining walls plus the caps. The retaining walls were designed to create a terraced garden and to retain the soil in the upper level. Concrete walls were poured before natural limestone was veneered over the walls.
The result is the retaining walls look pretty, polished, and smooth. They feature a rough texture of stone (in this case, limestone), but they also have the strength and smooth finish of the concrete.
The plantings are meant to soften the space because we all know that concrete and stone create a hardened appearance.
If you wonder how the designer keeps water from draining into the sunken patio, the designer installed two drains that take the water away from the patio since the stone veneer is porous.
They also sloped one grade away from the patio wall’s top area.
3. Thin Stone Veneer Retaining Wall with Bluestone Cap
Even though these retaining walls look majestic, they are made of thin stone veneer, even thinner than usual stone veneer.
The high walls are meant to retain the soil from above because it seems that the main property is located on a hillside.
In order to reach the main house, there is a built-in staircase in the retaining walls, completed with bluestone treads. The bluestone is also used for a cap. Unlike the previous picture, the cap here is smooth and polished.
The stone veneer looks a lot like a stacked stone, a classic look that will never go out of style. That is why this is ideal if you’re a big fan of traditional designs.
4. Natural Multicolored Stone Veneer Retaining Wall
This multicolored stone veneer is ideal for a Mediterranean style. It is because usually, Mediterranean design features a stucco wall exterior and other soft neutral color palettes.
This stone veneer retaining wall, even though have multicolors, basically only features brown shades.
The combination of dark and light shades of brown gives a touch of bold look to this muted landscape.
The wall is low, which is meant to retain the sloped garden. The stones are ledge stones cut in a square and rectangular shape.
There is no additional cap, but the top part of the wall was made flat and polished, so it can also be used as a bench.
5. Natural New England Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in a Transitional Patio
The curved lines of retaining walls here are made of Natural New England stone veneer in round Boston Blend style. They look fantastic in this welcoming outdoor entertaining space.
The retaining walls here are used to create a flat space for gardening space.
There are two levels, upper and lower. The upper area is bordered by a wrought iron gate. There is a stone column staircase to access the lower level.
Boston Blend Round Thin stone veneer can be seen everywhere. They are not only used for the walls but also for the columns, stair risers, and sitting walls.
Using similar material for the entire landscape will create a consistent and uniform look, which is good for a flow.
6. Montana Ledge Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in a Traditional Backyard
This traditional backyard features a lovely natural stone veneer retaining wall, which is actually a variety of Montana Ledge Stone. The stone can be purchased at Marenoako’s Rock Center in Fall City, WA.
The stone gives a color combination consisting of grays, light browns, and tans. It looks in contrast to the perennials around.
The retaining walls were constructed to create a terraced look.
Since this is a multiple-level landscape, there are step risers in the middle of the retaining walls, which are also made of similar Montana Ledge Stone, cut in rectangular and square shape.
7. Beige-Colored Stone Veneered Retaining and Seat Walls
This is another lovely terraced retaining wall and seat walls.
The stones are thin ledge stone veneer in a rectangular and square shape, but in a more polished surface than the previous picture.
These stone walls are also completed with lighting that will perfectly highlight this area at night. What a thoughtful decision.
The stone veneer retaining walls are also equipped with a bluestone cap, which is the most popular option when it comes to stone caps. The polished surface of bluestone will make a comfortable bench in a seat wall.
There are step risers in the middle of the retaining walls too. It seems that the risers and steps are not made of similar stone to the retaining wall. Yet, they complement each other nicely.
8. Rustic Brown Slate Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in an Asian-Style Landscape
In order to create an Asian landscape like this, you need brown shade slate stone as your main element.
The designer applied slate stone veneer in Rustic Brown color for the retaining walls.
The retaining walls are not only used to retain soil but also to create a terraced garden. It is because basically, this house is not located on a hillside, but the landscaper decided it would be better to have a multi-level garden.
The stone veneer retaining wall is completed with Pennsylvania bluestone caps.
The consistency look is achieved by using a similar slate stone veneer for the columns of the house’s exterior, and the bluestone caps are also equipped at the top of each column.
When combined with small trees and bushes, the brown-colored stone veneer will never fail to give you an Asian look with a touch of zen vibe.
9. Bluestone Veneer and Cap in a Spa Terrace
Usually, bluestone is only used for the cap. However, the landscaper here thought otherwise. They applied bluestone ledger stone that was cut in thin veneer.
The wall itself is around 30” tall. If you are wondering, the walls consist of a pre-cut full-range bluestone veneer in individual pieces, not a panel. They are also completed with a bluestone cap.
Using bluestone veneer with bluestone cap and bluestone floor in the spa will create a minimalist and stylish look, perfect for you who are into modern designs.
This spa terrace is also equipped with a built-in teak bench to create a contrast to the bluestone around and to serve as seating space.
The water feature in the middle of the wall enhances the entire look nicely.
10. Real Stone Veneer Retaining Wall with Bluestone Stair Treads
Retaining walls are needed to keep the soil in its place because the driveway and the garage are considerably lower than the front house.
There are steps from the driveway to the main house, which was set in the retaining wall.
When it comes to retaining walls, the landscaper used real stone veneer for the entire sides of the walls and the stair risers to match the house’s look.
The 2” thick bluestone caps cut seamlessly round in all turns are also added at the top of the retaining walls and the stair treads.
It seems that the pattern of the veneer stone is mosaic, which is more angular in shape, with a flat look on the surface.
This way, the retaining walls here seem to have less depth with a flat surface and tighter joints than round veneer.
11. Contemporary Style Stone Veneer Retaining Wall with Built-in Benches
Completing the retaining walls with built-in benches are somehow useful because the benches can be used as a seating area without bothering the wall itself.
Most of the retaining walls are completed with caps, so they can be used as seat walls. While it is not entirely wrong, it is always nicer to have a separate seating space, so you won’t block its gorgeous look.
The terraced retaining walls seem to be made of ledge stone veneer, judging by its long and thin piece. Ledge stone never fails to mimic the style of stacking flat stone, which is often used in a contemporary design.
If you want to achieve a contemporary design with a more affordable alternative, it is recommended to use ledge stone veneer instead. Ledge stone is also easy to fit without mortar showing in the joints.
The gray caps appear to be made of painted wood, similar to the benches. The landscaper seemed to use a similar material and color for the bench and the caps to create a flowing contrast to the ledge stone veneer around.
12. Traditional Style Stone Veneer Retaining Wall Combined with Concrete Paver Driveway
This is the look of the entrance of the main house. It features a stone veneer retaining wall completed with a concrete paver driveway, a cobblestone border, and a mahogany staircase.
All the elements deliver a traditional look for this side yard landscaping.
The stone veneer is sawn veneer in mosaic style. It has a different height to accommodate the staircase.
The retaining wall near the staircase is higher than the other part. It is obviously used to keep the soil in the upper level of the house stay in its place.
The white pine, Periwinkle, Azalea, Red Twig Dogwood, Inkberry, and Copper Beech are there to soften the hard look combination of stone and wood in this landscape.
13. Full and Thin Ashlar Stone Veneer Retaining Wall from Buechel Stone
This stunning retaining wall is made of full and thin Ashlar stone from Buechel Stone’s Fond du Lac Country Squire.
You can’t deny how gorgeous this blend of stone is, how perfect they tie everything together, creating a lovely traditional style.
If you haven’t heard, the Ashlar veneer stone is basically similar to the ledge stone in shape, but it is slightly larger.
More often than not, the landscaper uses a mix of ledge stone and Ashlar to attain a more authentic-looking mix of sizes.
The stone type is Dolomitic Limestone in Arctic Tones color.
The bluestone caps are added, and they blend seamlessly to the limestone veneer around. Its gray shade delivers a warm appearance, similar to the house’s exterior.
14. Ledger Stone Veneer Retaining Wall in a Modern Style
This is another example of a ledge stone veneer retaining wall, but in a modern style, thanks to the bluestone patio around.
The wall is useful to retain a small amount of soil in the upper level of the landscape.
In order to keep everything low-key, the landscaper planted low water and low light plantings like Agave attenuate, Sedum “Angelina”, and Echeveria imbricata.
Even though it is not a terraced retaining wall, this wall also has a different height. The upper level is meant to be a patio.
Since there are step risers installed in the middle, the retaining wall should be constructed lower, following the shape of the steps.
There are smooth and polished caps, that seem to be made of bluestone. Since there is no seating wall visible here, the flat-surface caps can be used as seating space, especially those that are on the higher retaining wall.
The brick-shade stone in rectangular cut complements the gray caps beautifully.
15. Pennsylvania Fieldstone Veneer Retaining Wall with Corten Steel Drainage
This retaining wall is unique because it is combined with Corten steel drainage used to collect rainwater. The wall is Pennsylvania fieldstone veneer.
Even though basically this retaining wall features a fieldstone veneer, which is a veneer style in round-shaped and medium-sized, there are also some stones in a rectangular shape.
Combining ledge stone (rectangular and square) with fieldstone (round) will give you more depth and character. The idea here is to mimic the natural New England fieldstone.
The retaining wall is used to retain the soil of the upper garden.
Basically, there is no sloped area on this property. It is not located on a hillside too. However, the landscaper decided to create a multi-level ground, so the collected water could serve as a waterfall decoration in this landscape.
Similar to the previous picture, this wall is also completed with caps that are cut in smaller rectangular shapes than the usual caps.
The caps, the Corten steel drainage, the dark metal wall, and the horizontal wood siding in this landscape create a totally modern appearance.
Actually, combining several elements in one place will make it look too crowded and a bit overwhelming. However, with proper placement and decoration, steel, stone, metal, and wood can be mixed perfectly in unison.
So, what do you think about the stone veneer retaining wall above?
From those pictures, we can conclude that the lay pattern of the stone veneer is various. You can choose that fits your preference.
Fieldstones and river stones, for example, are round. The contractors lay them in a scattered pattern to achieve a polished and pretty look.
On the other hand, Ledge stone has a rectangular or square pattern, so the contractors lay them like bricks. Ashlar is a bigger version of Ledge stone. You can ask your contractor to use dimensional installation to make some stones jut farther than the others.
Keep in mind that the retaining wall must work within the rest of your hardscaping and landscaping.
If you have any, the veneer should complement or match the hardscaping nearby. If not, opt for a veneer keeping with your house’s style. Otherwise, simply select the stone that adds visual interest to your house’s exterior entirely.