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Trending in Concrete Construction: Board Form Walls!

Board form sign in front of Chenango Office

Right now, board form walls are the new trend on the rise in concrete construction. You can find these walls applied to exteriors, interiors, and everything in between. So, what are these walls, and why are they becoming so popular?

What makes a concrete wall a board form wall?

When we say “board form walls” we mean a wood grain finish on the visible portion of a wall, installed by laying forms onto setting concrete. Just like a Sandscape® finish or form finish, the board form finish only affects the surface. Wood-textured forms are usually custom ordered to fit the desired look of the project. No matter the size or shape of the wall, a board form finish is possible.


Board form walls were used on the front and sides of this water feature basin.

When deciding which type of decorative wall you want for your project, there are a few things to consider about board form options. Firstly, there will be many details to agree upon due to the versatility and customizability of these walls. Secondly, the pricing of these walls can increase by 20% depending on the customized details. And lastly, this finish works best on newly erected walls, not preexisting ones.

Customization Options:

Board form walls on red tone, curve around courtyard at botanic gardens.

Initially, it may seem like the customization options for board form walls are limited to vertical or horizontal grain directions, but these are just the beginnings of all of the possible options. At Colorado Hardscapes, we have constructed a huge variety of board form wall looks. Some of these customizable options affecting those looks include:

  • Heavy vs light-textured forms
  • Uncolored vs colored
  • Conventional mixes vs self-consolidating mixes
  • Offset vs uniform forms
  • Tightly aligned vs widely spaced forms
  • Single-use vs multi-use forms
  • Thick vs thin forms
  • Uniform/flat vs protruding/uneven wall faces

The amazing part about these walls is that they can either have a classic/rustic style or a more contemporary/original one, all determined by the combination of customizable options. Obviously, board form walls are no exception when we say, “Imagine the possibilities…”.

What to look for in a concrete installer:

There are three main things to look for while finding a quality installer for board form walls: Experience, recentness of projects, and variety of projects. Read below to see how those can affect the outcome of your project.


The basis of any guaranteed construction success is a lengthy resume. If your potential installer can provide you a list of high-quality projects, you can bet on yours being just the same. Decorative concrete is the cherry on top, meaning, it is what people see first. So, when you are choosing someone to construct your vision for a board form wall, make sure they put high attention to detail from start to finish. The proof is in the pudding.

Recentness of projects

It is important to make sure that the crew installing your board form wall has recently completed something similar to what you want done. Whether in a mock-up or on another project, make sure you see a balance of old and new work before you sign the contract. Continuing, if you notice a lack of balance in experience, that is a sign to double check the quality of their work.

Variety of projects

Since the amount of customizable options is so large, it is necessary for your potential installer to have experience and knowledge of your specified board form design. They should have confidence in your request or confidence to correct the design to make it even better.

That being said, at Colorado Hardscapes, we pride ourselves on leading our industry for all decorative concrete, including vertical applications. By visiting our Exterior Design Center, we’ll help bring your projects to life. There, we have many decorative wall mock-up samples and a wealth of information for all of your board form inquiries.

Colorado Hardscapes

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