How Much Do Retaining Wall Blocks Weigh?

Are you thinking of adding a retaining wall to your garden? Great choice; these accents are practical and allow you to make the most out of your space. If you are the one doing the heavy lifting, you may be wondering how much the blocks of a retaining wall weigh. What kind of blocks you will use, their cost and the expected weight are essential information before starting a project. This article will break down how much your typical blocks weigh and tell you which block is best to create a retaining wall. 

The weight of retaining wall blocks depends on what style of block you are using. The average weight of these blocks is 53 pounds. Wall blocks come in a wide range of sizes. You can find blocks weighing less than 30 pounds and those over 75 pounds. 

You can see the large range of weight retaining wall blocks have to offer. It is all about finding what you prefer. Read on as we tell you the largest concrete block size and the costs you can expect for your project. 

wall blocks fortifications along a beautiful lawn. How Much Do Retaining Wall Blocks Weigh

Retaining Wall Blocks

When choosing block material for your retaining wall, there are some considerations. You will want to make this decision with some information in mind, like the purpose of the wall, your budget, and your desired style.

Drainage, height, backfill, and materials for your base are also considerations, but today, let's focus on your retaining wall blocks. 

Blocks used for retaining walls tend to be on the heavier side. This weight is responsible for holding back soil, water, and any plants that sit behind it. The weight of blocks fluctuates due to different materials that can be used and varying sizes of blocks. 

Multilevel retaining wall complex design.

You can choose blocks made of concrete, natural stone, brick, or other materials. With any choice, you need to execute thorough and proper planning with the weight of your blocks in mind.

The block weight directly affects the needs of soil preparation, loading capabilities, and time needed to complete your project. 

How Much Does A Large Concrete Block Weigh?

Large concrete blocks are most commonly used for retaining walls. They are easy to build with, accessible, and affordable. Both beginner and seasoned builders benefit from building with these blocks. 

Expect large concrete blocks to weigh about 24–53 pounds. Concrete blocks come in many designs and styles. Always double-check with your seller for the exact weight of the blocks you are purchasing. 

Concrete blocks have been designed for strength and easy assembly. Keep in mind, when building a retaining wall with large concrete blocks, you should not go over 4 feet in height. 

What Is The Largest Concrete Block Size?

Are you building a heavy-duty retaining wall? If you are planning for a tall wall holding back a large amount of weight, you will want the blocks to match the job. 

The largest concrete block size you can use for a retaining wall is 18 inches wide, 8 inches high, and typically weigh 75 pounds. These massive blocks can be found at most landscape supply yards.  

blue, recumbent, perennials growing on granite cubes retaining wall

Large blocks like these are made for much larger walls. If you plan for a wall over 4 feet high, it is important to get a professional builder involved and check your community's building regulations. 

Read more in this blog post: How To Stop Erosion Around A Retaining Wall

How Much Do Retaining Wall Blocks Cost?

Like the range of sizes, the costs of retaining wall blocks also vary. The cost of blocks will change depending on the material you are using and the size of your blocks.

There are calculators you can utilize to estimate the cost of your wall by plugging in some information, such as expected materials and the height and length of your retaining wall. 

1 ton sandstone blocks fashioned into a long retaining wall during landscaping at a new estate

On average, interlocking concrete retaining wall blocks costs about $20-$30 per square foot. Are you looking for some cheaper options?

Using cinder blocks, your expected costs go down to $10-$12 per square foot. Natural stone brings up your cost a bit, to an average of $27-$35 per square foot of blocks. 

How Much Does A Versa Lok Retaining Wall Block Weigh?

Versa Lok retaining wall blocks are high-strength and low absorption. These characteristics make the blocks resistant to damage, whether that damage is coming from the environment or during construction.

Dry-stacked and interlocked with pins, Versa Lok blocks are best used for large or heavy-duty walls as they offer more support. 

Corner view of a precast cement block retaining wall showing texture detail.

A Versa Lok retaining wall block unit is 16 inches wide, 6 inches high, and weighs about 80 pounds. You can find weathered units of Versa Lok blocks that weigh a little less, about 37 pounds per block.  

How Many Square Feet Is A Versa Lok Block?

Versa Lok blocks are stable and durable. They also offer a free-draining system as the blocks have been built without mortar, allowing water to flow through the wall joints freely.

There are many benefits to building with these interlocked blocks, and they come in fun colors such as red, hickory, and butternut. 

The face of each Versa Lok block is about 2/3 square feet. A whole pallet of these blocks is just over 19 square feet. Each block is held to the next with a unique pinning system.

This system allows for a somewhat flexible structure, as the blocks can move slightly in relation to one another without causing any damage to the retaining wall. 

Watch the video below for full descriptions of Versa Lok blocks and more:

Read more in this blog post: How To Integrate A Vertical Garden Into A Retaining Wall

What Is The Best Block To Use For A Retaining Wall?

When choosing the best block to use for your retaining wall, there are some aspects to consider. How much experience do you have a building? What are your expectations when it comes to cost? How much time do you want to dedicate to this project?

A patterned and rough looking concrete block retaining wall.

After considering these questions, you can choose the type of block that is best for you. Let's take a closer look at some block options and their pros and cons. 

Uni-lock Segmented Blocks

Uni-lock segmented blocks are strong and beautiful. They are also challenging to build and tend to be pricey. This type of block is best for large walls that are built with the help of a professional. 

Natural Stone

Utilizing natural stones for a retaining wall gives you the most natural feel. You can even handpick the stones you will use. Natural stone blocks can be more expensive when bought commercially.

Stones are one of the best solutions for natural grade transitions, but drainage can become an issue over time. The integrity of the wall can get destroyed over time due to drainage issues. 

Long retaining wall all in focus with lawn and another retaining wall in the back

Brick Blocks

Brick blocks complement traditional homes or landscapes. Bricks are durable and create a solid structure, but their small size requires more labor and time to complete the wall. 

Concrete Blocks

Concrete blocks are affordable, versatile and have become very popular among DIYers. These blocks are best for walls that are under four feet high, without engineering or skilled labor.

Concrete blocks have been associated with mid-century architecture. They offer excellent drainage and can be modified easily. One downfall is this type of block doesn't offer a natural look. 

Retaining wall next to pavement on city Street -Design conceptRetaining wall next to pavement on city Street -Design concept

Each type of block holds unique benefits. Overall, concrete blocks are best when it comes to different options within the material, costs, and workability.

Maybe you are a seasoned builder looking for a challenge. Go for it, and utilize something a little more fun like the natural stones or segmented blocks. 

Concluding Thoughts

The weight of a retaining wall block will change depending on the block's material, size, and style. Some of the largest blocks can weigh well over 75 pounds.

The diversity of blocks means you can create a custom wall that fits you and your landscape perfectly. Just like the weight, the cost of your blocks differs greatly depending on which block you are working with.

Always double-check sizes and costs with your seller to ensure you are getting what you want. We hope you found this article helpful when it comes to gathering material for your retaining wall. 

Looking for more inspiration when it comes to your landscape? Take a look at this blog post: 23 Vertical Gardening Tips That Will Take Your Green Wall To The Next Level

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