Planning to pour some concrete, but you don’t know what to use as a form board? Or maybe you’re thinking of the texture you want it to leave?
If you’re new to concrete forming, you might be even wondering what sort of board is used for making forms. The short answer is, quite many as it depends a lot on the project and the size of the pour.
The act of making a form is to make something that the concrete can be used for casting concrete. It’s a mold, made out of wood.
That being said, any wood that can hold the pressure that comes from the weight of poured concrete will do. Usually, for big pours, it is something 2 inches thick, but sometimes that’s not needed.
The same goes for how wide the boards are. Some projects could use 2×6 while others need 2×12. Obviously, the bigger the pour is, the wider pieces of wood we want to use to avoid unnecessary joints.
There are quite many articles on this site already and this post acts as a little gateway to them. So I’ll be linking the correct articles from here so you can find them easily.
Board formed concrete retaining wall
There is a guide on this site for making a DIY board-formed concrete retaining wall. This is mentioned here because out of all concrete walls, this is something most readers who come by this article could be doing.
Pouring house walls is best left for professionals as the concrete type needs to be correct strength and rebar should be calculated to get everything out of reinforcement.
For how to build concrete forms for retaining wall, check the guide on the link. It’s something that can be built to hold the soil on the ground in place. So if you plan on having multiple ground layers or your house is built on a hill, it might be a good summer project for you.
There is even recycled concrete retaining wall guide here.
How to build wood concrete forms
The beginning of every concrete project is building forms if it’s not about fixing concrete. Even then it might involve building forms like missing pieces of concrete steps.
There is more about concrete forming on this site and here is a link here as well for a more detailed article. To keep it simple here, building forms you need to mark the area where you will be building them.
If you wonder how to build curved concrete forms that can be achieved with plywood or hardboard that is thin enough to bend. You can use it for outdoors landscaping like edging or even for making a little bit bigger pours when supported properly.
After that, you prepare the base. If it’s ground, some removing of soil is needed. If you’re building on top of concrete, you might need to attach some wood to build forms from.
Now it’s a matter of what kind of forms you’re building. If it’s wood board forms, you need to make the sides by attaching the boards to something. After the sides are built you need to place them so that concrete can be poured in between.
I recommend reading about the forming from the specified article. Most often you want the whole thing well planned out before you start building.
Building concrete wall forms
Concrete wall forms are a little bit different. Most often we don’t want the board texture here as indoors and even outdoors, the texture is not wanted. It can be cool basement look, but for the living room? It might not be to everyone’s tastes.
Most often the concrete wall forms are made out of plywood. It’s level and it’s easy to attach to something like a vertical 2×4 plank that’s there to support the plywood so it won’t give in to pressure like a wood water balloon.
The walls also need some support from both sides as you can imagine there is lots of weight coming in when the concrete is poured.
Board formed concrete texture
The surface left after pouring of concrete will have the texture of the boards on it. It’s actually so popular there exists board formed concrete panels these days.
It’s a good way to fake buildings made in different times. There were times when those surfaces were rendered so people couldn’t see the form texture and times when it was left like that.
Depending on taste, I think there is some rough beauty on board formed concrete wall detail. If you like cement materials, there is also cement fiber boards on the market.
Board formed concrete fireplace
There is a guide on the concrete fireplace surround here. Something like a precast concrete fireplace surround can be a nice way to decorate your room with the fireplace. These can be designed in many ways and light concrete mixes like glass fiber reinforced concrete make it possible to build them in decorative ways.
If you’re inventive, you can even plan a concrete fireplace DIY project. Just know what the concrete can and cannot be used on. It serves as a good surrounding for the fireplace as it takes longer to warm and releases the heat slowly.
It might not be the best near-fire thought as it can make some concrete crumble. It would need a special layer or some bricks placed on the fireplace that would protect the concrete from direct touch.
There’s a lot when it comes to using form board for concrete pours and different places where these can be applied. For regular DIY concrete guys and girls, it will be enough to work with small forms and you don’t have to be too involved with math.
For making house walls that support structures and floors it’s best to refer to professionals unless you’re one yourself. For outside structures like driveways, curbing and patios, these can be done with low risk if you carefully study them.
Pouring concrete itself is quite simple and fun even, but it’s good to know what kind of strength and capacity the end result has. You don’t want to park a truck in too thin a driveway only to have it crack.
After that being said, I still hope that more people will find concrete decoration and some DIY spirit so we can have more concrete art to be appreciated.