What is a Beam and Lagging Wall?

A beam and lagging wall, also called a soldier pile wall, is a type of earth retention system commonly used in the foundation building process. These walls are also used for slope stabilization and remediation in soils above the water table, and they’re favored due to their efficiency and cost effectiveness.

How Do Beam and Lagging Walls Work?

Beam and lagging walls are used to create a strong foundation for heavy structures such as buildings, bridges and roads. The piles are commonly made of steel that’s driven into the ground to help distribute the weight of the structure from the loose topsoil down to the rock below. In these cases, the walls are permanent. However, beam and lagging walls can also be used to create retaining wall systems for temporary projects, such as excavation during the construction phases.

How Are Beam and Lagging Walls Installed?

To install a beam and lagging wall, piles are forced into the ground, either by driving the piles or drilling the piles. Driving the piles is favored over drilling in situations where the soil is loose, since driving the piles into the ground compresses the surrounding soil and therefore causes greater friction. Steel piling can also be drilled into the ground using rotary boring equipment. Rotary boring is commonly used to install large diameter piles, and also when piles need to be installed in harder ground.

When installing a beam and lagging wall, the piles are installed vertically and are spaced between six and 12 feet apart from each other. This system is designed to limit the movement of the soil, which allows for increased stability.

Beam and lagging walls can be used with or without tiebacks in deep excavation sites up to 70 feet deep. If additional support is needed, bracing, anchors, tiebacks, or walers may be installed throughout the lagging.

Steel beams: wide flange, h-oile, and more

Benefits of Beam and Lagging Walls

Beam and lagging walls come with many advantages. They’re cheaper than other retaining wall systems, since installation can be done quickly and with relatively less effort. Also, the piles are highly customizable, and their materials are versatile. Versatility is valuable in a retaining wall system, since changes must sometimes be made on site. Furthermore, the simplicity of the wall design means that advanced construction techniques aren’t required for installation. (It should be noted, however, that complex deep systems in urban environments will require more expertise and experience).

Common Beam Sizes for Beam and Lagging Walls

The piles used in beam and lagging walls come in a wide range of sizes, including wide-flange and h-pile beams. The chart below outlines some of the most common.

  • W8: W8x18, W8x21, W8x24, W8x28, W8x31, W8x35, W8x40, W8x48, W8x58, W8x67

  • W10: W10x22, W10x26, W10x30, W10x33, W10x39, W10x45, W10x49, W10x54, W10x60, W10x68, W10x77, W10x88, W10x100, W10x112

  • W12: W12x26, W12x30, W12x35, W12x40, W12x45, W12x50, W12x53, W12x58 ,W12x65, W12x72, W12x79, W12x87, W12x96, W12x106, W26x120, W12x136, W12x152, W12x170, W12x190, W12x210, W12x230, W12x252

  • W14: W14x22, W14x26, W14x30, W14x34, W14x38, W14x43, W14x48, W14x53, W14x61, W14x68, W14x74, W14x82, W14x90, W14x99, W14x109, W14x120, W14x132, W14x145, W14x159, W14x176, W14x193, W14x211, W14x233, W14x257, W14x283

  • W16: W16x26, W16x31, W16x36, W16x40, W16x45, W16x50, W16x57, W16x67, W16x77, W16x89, W16x100

  • W18: W18x35, W18x40, W18x46, W18x50, W18x55, W18x60, W18x65, W18x71, W18x76, W18x86, W18x97, W18x106, W18x119, W18x130, W18x143, W18x158, W18x175, W18x192, W18x211, W18x234

  • W21: W21x44, W21x50, W21x57, W21x58, W21x55, W21x62, W21x68, W21x73, W21x83, W21x93, W21x101, W21x111, W21x122, W21x132, W21x147, W21x166, W21x182, W21x201, W21x223, W21x248, W21x275

  • W24: W24x55, W24x62, W24x68, W24x76, W24x84, W24x94, W24x103, W24x204, W24x117, W24x131, W24x146, W24x162, W24x176, W24x192, W24x207, W24x229

  • W27: W27x84, W27x94, W27x102, W27x114, W27x129, W27x146, W27x161, W27x178, W27x194

  • W30: W30x90, W30x99, W30x108, W30x116, W30x124, W30x132, W30x148

  • W33: W33x118, W33x130, W33x141, W33x152, W33x169

  • W36: W36x135, W36x150, W36x160, W36x170, W36x182, W36x194, W36x210, W36x232, W36x256

  • HP8: HP8x36

  • HP10: HP10x42, HP10x57

  • HP12: HP12x53, HP12x63, HP12x74, HP12x84, HP12x89, HP12x102, HP12x117

  • HP14: HP14x73, HP14x89, HP14x102, HP14x117

  • HP16: HP16x88, HP16x101, HP16x121, HP16x141, HP16x162, HP16x183



Eiffel Trading boasts a plethora of new, used, and surplus steel. Our inventory includes new and used wide flange beams, new and used h pile beams, used sheet pile, new and used steel plates, used pipe pile, and much more.

All of our listings are constantly being updated, but if you don’t see what you’re looking for, create a wanted listing for free.

Ready to sell your used heavy equipment or construction material? List your products today for free on Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at 1-800-541-7998 or email sales@eiffeltrading.com.