What is a concrete bag wall?

The article aims to answer the question “What is a concrete bag wall?”. It also aims to address the ways it could be made and concrete bags retaining the wall’s pros and cons.

What is a concrete bag wall?

A concrete bag wall or concrete bag retaining wall is, as the name suggests, a retaining wall made up of concrete bags. It is created by stacking one unopened bag on top of the other until they form a wall. However, unlike a normal retaining wall, this one does not need bricks or stones, which are often used in such structures.

Why are concrete bag retaining walls built?

Concrete bag retaining walls are built because they are used to keep soil and other kinds of earth in place. They may be found all over the planet. A typical sight near escalators and on sloped roadways are retaining walls.

In gardens and yards, retaining walls are often used to protect soil from eroding and sliding away from the base. Retaining walls may be constructed using brick, stone, or concrete blocks, but they can be time-consuming and expensive to construct.

A retaining wall may be built by stacking 60-lb. concrete bags. Plastic bag walls may be both attractive and long-lasting, depending on how they’re constructed.

Is the choice of bag type important for making a concrete bag retaining wall?

If you’re asked what kind of concrete bag you should use to build the wall, you should know that the best option is the one that comes with a degradable bag.

That being said, there’s a good reason why this option has been deemed superior. Concrete bags are not opened when erecting retaining walls, which affects the structure.

It’s much easier to build a wall if it’s biodegradable, which makes it much easier. After all the processes are completed, you need to let the concrete bags deteriorate a little bit until they look like the retaining wall we find in the internet photos.

Is leveling of surface required for building the concrete bag retaining walls?

Yes, leveling of the surface is the most important step, so don’t miss it. Before building a retaining wall, make sure that the ground is level. If it isn’t, the construction might easily collapse in the future.

A shovel is the only piece of equipment you’ll need to complete this task. However, if the area is somewhat larger, using a shovel alone will be quite exhausting. Using a tractor would be the most efficient way to do this task. It will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Ensure that the ground is entirely level before you begin your project. This will lessen the likelihood of a subsequent collapse.

What are the advantages of concrete bag retaining walls?

  • Simple
  • Budget-friendly
  • Suitable for a DIY project
  • Concrete bag retaining walls are quite suitable for the residential needs and even something bigger, such as flood and erosion control

What are the disadvantages of concrete bag retaining walls?

  • In order to build a higher and taller retaining wall, the project requires more time and effort, involving more equipment, such as a tractor.
  • Errors in construction might lead to the wall collapsing in the future.
  • If you’ve never done it before, driving the rebars into the concrete bags might be a difficult task.

How can I make a concrete bag retaining wall myself?

You can make the concrete bag retaining walls by following the given steps below;

  • With your shovel, level the ground where you want to create your retaining wall. Tractors may be necessary if you’re trying to level a vast area or an exceedingly uneven surface.
  • First, place the first layer of concrete bags in the area where the wall is going to be built up.
  • The second layer of concrete bags should be stacked on top of the first. The second-level bags should be stacked on top of the first-level bags, alternating. In order to do this, place a second-level bag over the first-level bag’s divider. 
  • Shift the bags a half-inch to one-inch closer to the slope you’re constructing the wall around in order to strengthen the structure.
  • Repeat Step 2’s stacking method until you have five tiers of concrete bags placed on top of each other.
  • It’s best to thoroughly moisten the concrete bags with water.
  • Allow the bags to dry for 24 to 48 hours before storing them in the pantry.

What are the preparation steps for making a concrete bag retaining wall?

To complete the repair, all you need are two bags of Portland cement and a bag of hydrated mason’s lime. A hammer drill with a 1/2-inch bit and a four-pound hammer is also required, as are a few 6- and 9-inch lengths of 1/2-inch steel rebar.

Before anything else, begin by scrubbing the wall. The wall appears to be covered in algae and black mildew based on your photos. Pressure washing or a solution of oxygen bleach can be used to clean it. 

There must be a thorough cleaning of the wall before applying a thin coat of stucco as the final step in the repair process. Make sure to remove any loose material from the deep holes in the wall after being cleaned. 

Scrape as hard as you can and see if you can get anything out with your hands. A short piece of metal will be inserted into the deep holes to help cement the new concrete into place.

When using the hammer drill, you’ll have to drill into the old concrete at an angle to get it out. A minimum of four inches should be drilled into the holes. Please make sure each piece of steel rebar is at least 3/4 inch from the wall’s outer face by hammering it into the wall. 

Pea gravel concrete is used to fill the large holes. I’d use three parts pea gravel, two parts medium sand, one-and-a-half parts Portland cement, and one-and-a-half parts hydrated lime. 

As a result of the lime, the mix is extremely sticky and will continue to grow crystals for years to come. Add just the right amount of water to make the mixture resemble mashed potatoes.


A concrete bag retaining wall is an intriguing project done by homeowners, professionals, and large-scale builders. As far as features go, simplicity and cost-effectiveness are the ones that get the most attention. It is very stress-free.

The fact that a concrete-bag-based retaining wall is reasonably simple to build does not mean that you can do it yourself if you aren’t convinced about it. The probable outcome that you will receive if you push yourself is the possibility for the construction to collapse so that, in the end, you merely squander all the resources.

In such a scenario, there is a proposal that we propose. It is via engaging a builder or a contractor to complete the job for you. It may cost you more money, but the investment value in it is considerably more worth considering.

Another item that we advise you to consider before creating a retaining wall from concrete is drainage. A building like this is generally erected in a sloping ground, which usually gathers rainfall.

If you do not put a suitable drainage system in the retaining wall design, after the water is gathered and big enough, it might create some cracks or perhaps break due to the great pressure from the water. 

If you do not want any of them, please carefully evaluate the choices such as granular soil, weep holes, or perforated drainage pipes, required by the retaining wall system.

Frequently asked questions: What is a concrete bag retaining wall?

How much can a pallet of concrete bags cost?

High-strength mixes, for example, will cost more than regular bags of concrete. For example, a 50-pound bag of corn would be a good example. There is a $5.40 price tag for high-strength concrete. 

Because of this, a pallet of concrete will cost around $340 plus tax, which is twice as much as the standard mix.

Can you use bags of concrete as a retaining wall?

Yes, to build a retaining wall, stack 60-lb. concrete bags together. Retaining walls made from plastic bags may be beautiful and long-lasting.

How many bags of concrete do I need for a retaining wall?

A 8-foot-long, 2-foot-high wall may be built using 25 bags. Rip Rap may be replaced with an 80 pound Sand Mix.

Can concrete bags get wet?

Yes, they do get wet. It’s not possible for any other bag of concrete or cement to be soaked. A chemical reaction happens when water is introduced to a dry concrete mix, resulting in the formation of hardened concrete. As soon as the concrete within the bag gets wet, a chemical reaction takes place and the concrete hardens and becomes worthless.

Does a concrete bag retaining wall deteriorate over time?

Yes, the concrete shrinks when it cures, resulting in fissures. This process of deformation is known as “creeping,” and occurs when concrete is exposed to water. Concrete-related calculations in building projects contain this information, so it’s not a surprise.

What is a concrete retaining wall?

Concrete retaining walls are made of concrete blocks, useful for preventing erosion, eliminating a steep slope, creating a planting space, or levelling an ideal patio area.

In addition to being simple to set up and several colour and texture options, these systems are also competitively priced. In this post, you’ll learn how to put one together in only a few hours. 

How long will a concrete retaining wall last?

A concrete retaining wall can last between fifty and one hundred years. It will be impossible for the wall to naturally move if you use a concrete foundation. How long do you think my retaining wall will hold up for me? The average life expectancy of a permanent wall construction is 50 to 100 years.

What is a poured concrete retaining wall?

There are a variety of ways to customise poured concrete retaining walls, including colour, texture and even incorporated items. Concrete retaining walls are more customizable than any other kind of wall material when placed correctly. In cases when the wall is taller than four feet, separate footings need to be laid. Cure the concrete.


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Yu, Y., Bathurst, R. J., Allen, T. M., & Nelson, R. (2016). Physical and numerical modelling of a geogrid-reinforced incremental concrete panel retaining wall. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 53(12), 1883-1901.

Matsuo, M., Kenmochi, S., & Yagi, H. (1978). Experimental study on earth pressure of retaining walls by field tests. Soils and Foundations, 18(3), 27-41.