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Board-Formed Concrete

Board-Formed Concrete: Who among us does not have a soft spot for board-formed concrete? Anyone? If you’d raised your hand, I wouldn’t have wanted you as a friend.

So, what precisely is “board-formed concrete,” and how should it be demonstrated? Congratulations! I have the answers to all of your inquiries.

Board-Formed Concrete

Conglomerate board-formed concrete

The top image is a close-up of how I utilised board-formed concrete to texture one of my projects. Even though I had nothing to do with its construction, I must remark that it looks fantastic.

Board-formed Concrete is a method of creating patterns in concrete such that the completed product’s surface resembles wood grain. The slightly chilly appearance of concrete is softened and warmed up by imprinting the wood grain on the surface, but the building process remains obvious. Because concrete works so well as a completed material in contemporary architecture, this type of construction is becoming increasingly common.

But how can you complete your task to such a high standard? It’s not difficult; all you have to do is ask. Any reputable concrete contractor should understand what you mean. If they don’t, or if you want your board-formed concrete to resemble the one you saw, I’ll explain how we achieved it.


Making a form’s lining

On-site formwork is constructed to hold wet concrete in place while concrete walls are constructed (poured, cast, set, etc.). Plywood sheets are often utilised as forms, and wet concrete is poured directly over them. The concrete takes on the patterns of the plywood as it cures (dries). It seems to be fairly straightforward to me. Board-formed concrete may be made using the same plywood formwork, but with an additional layer of wood on the interior sides. People are pouring concrete in the background, and wood has been put to one side of the formwork on the right.

Put in a little more *BAM! (roundhouse kick to the face of your formwork!) work to create beautiful board-formed concrete. You should study how trees develop if you want to completely comprehend the strategy I use.


A tree grows a little bit more each year.

Most of us are aware that you can determine the age of a tree by counting its yearly growth rings up to the point at which it was chopped down. You may not have noticed, but did you realise that the larger rings signify winter growth and the narrower rings reflect summer growth? Winter growth rings are narrower and closer together than summer growth rings, and the wood cells that make up these rings seem denser and darker as a result of this seasonal change. The pattern in the board-formed concrete makes these rings stand out.


Sandblasting wood forms is required for board-formed concrete.

This strategy is used to make these designs stand out even more. We start with two 1 1/2-inch-thick Spruce Pine Fir pieces and cut them in half lengthwise to create four 3/4-inch-thick pieces. This procedure removes markings left by the tools used to construct the boards, as well as dings and dents that may have occurred when the boards were relocated. The next step is to sandblast the area.

In other words, you understood what I was saying. After sawing a Spruce Pine Fir, the exposed wood is cleaned with sand. The photos above and below show the guy in the green HazMat suit doing just that.

Board-Formed Concrete

Why are we even bothering?

Sandblasting wood forms is required for board-formed concrete.

A sandblasted treatment emphasises the distinction between soft and hard wood that develops in the summer and winter.


Boards of Cast Concrete

Sandblasting removes the soft sections of the wood more quickly than the hard parts. This makes the wood pattern more visible and less subtle and uneven than if we had just lined our formwork with 3/4″ cedar fence boards. A horizontal line can also be seen where the Spruce Pine Fir boards meet, and the concrete has begun to fill up the gap.


Railings made of metal on top of concrete planks

The image above is from a project I completed a few years ago. The horizontal pattern created by the way the boards were assembled was highlighted.

How much do you believe this little modification will contribute to the overall project? Have you sat down? Getting the wood, sawing it in half, sandblasting the surface, and then lining the interior of the plywood formwork would add $20 per square foot to the cost of the concrete wall in the North Texas region.

You could use fence planks instead of plywood to save money on the formwork, but that’s not the purpose. Even so, it will not look as well as the samples you saw. This strategy has only been utilised twice in the last six years since it did not work for the scope or budget of my project. However, I believe that if you select your ideas carefully and think about how to utilise it to its greatest advantage, this feature might be valuable in practically every project.


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