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Concrete vs. Natural Stone for Your Retaining Wall in Buffalo, NY

Concrete vs. Natural Stone for Your Retaining Wall in Buffalo, NY

 

From adding structure to separating different levels of your property, retaining walls serve several purposes in the landscape. In the past, retaining walls were hardly a feature that beautified the scenery, mostly built for practical purposes. With advancements in design, modern contractors can now construct stunning retaining walls, with concrete blocks and natural stone being among the most common materials. If you are on the fence about which material to choose for your retaining walls in Buffalo, NY, here are some pros and cons to help you decide:

 

Natural Stone

Natural stone retaining walls date back centuries, offering a recognizably authentic appearance and a sense of heritage. The classic beauty and organic looks of natural stone previously couldn’t be compared to any other material. Natural stone can be found in different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, with granite, fieldstone and flagstone often being used. Such abundance in variations of natural stone offers designers a degree of creative freedom, however, stability is often a concern.

The title image features a pool patio enclosed by a Rivercrest Wall retaining wall in the Coastal Slate color option.

 

Unilock Wall Units

Unilock concrete wall units, on the other hand, don’t offer any design limitations, giving your contractor the freedom to craft a feature that will flatter your home. Regardless of whether you are adding a retaining wall to boost the curb appeal of your home, or adding structure to your patio, a Unilock retaining wall will perfectly complement both contemporary and rustic backyard designs. Lineo Dimensional Stone, for example, presents clean horizontal lines, a fine texture and rich but subtle details. This wall unit is ideal for contemporary designs, especially in the shades of Granite Blend and Midnight Charcoal, a combination that adds a distinguished touch to the outdoor color scheme.

 

A Natural Look without the Drawbacks

Unilock Rivercrest Wall mimics the look of stacked flagstone while offering the durability and flexibility of concrete. This unit impresses with its ultra-realistic textures that are cast from actual natural stone. This product comes in two color variations, Buff and Coastal Slate, and is ideal for building pillars, seat walls, and steps. With its authentic texture, Rivercrest Wall will add the striking look of natural stone to your backyard without compromising on stability or durability.  

 

Flexibility and Durability

Unilock concrete blocks are cost-effective, easy to install and low in maintenance. Manufactured with proprietary technologies, these products are sturdy and structurally consistent, offering the same timeless elegance as natural stone, but with enhanced strength, flexibility, and versatility. Natural stone can be costly and require more labor than concrete blocks. With natural stone, It is also likely that drainage will become a problem as the wall ages. Moisture tends to infiltrate the gaps between the stones, making the wall less stable and compromising its integrity. One of the biggest advantages of concrete blocks is their excellent drainage capabilities and mortar-free construction.

If you are looking for concrete blocks that will add visual interest to your landscape but serve more heavy-duty, load-bearing applications, SienaStone is the ideal choice for you. Available in five colors, these wall blocks can add warmth to the space, create balance with its neutral color options or add contrast with its cool shades. The beauty of SienaStone is in its ability to produce massive retaining walls but still offer a stylish appearance.

 

Design Considerations

With its weathered surface texture, Estate Wall will add a regal touch to your traditional, rustic or country-themed landscape. This wall unit offers primarily warm, earthy colors and an outstanding coping option.

Related read: What Goes Into the Construction of Retaining Walls in Saratoga, NY?