Exposed Concrete

Types of formwork for molding exposed concrete

Exposed concrete  is a growing trend in modern architecture and industrialized construction. Synonymous with avant-garde, minimalism and luxury that offers the freedom to create unique designs.

The end result of the project is particularly attractive, this being one of the main points in its favor. From infrastructure works to residential dwellings, exposed concrete  can respond to any construction challenge.

As long as the exposed concrete  manufacturing process is followed with respect and attention, the success of our project is guaranteed.

Aware of its value and contributions, its advantages, uses and decorative functions are becoming more and more extensive. Architects define it as “the skin of a building”

A skin that can be in various textures, colors and finishes.

Achieving one effect or another will depend on the type of formwork  used to mold the exposed concrete. Identifying these will allow us to decide which one fits best and to act accordingly.


Concrete is a building material that offers multiple solutions.

Each of its advantages extends to its multiple ways of being implemented. In fact, some of the benefits of its use are intensified depending on how and where it is used.

On the one hand, the most distinctive feature of this material: hardness.

Did you know that concrete, like Glassydur’s precast concrete, can withstand even the onslaught of a hurricane? Additionally, we can highlight its durability.

Exposed concrete  requires hardly any maintenance. It withstands very efficiently the inclement weather and the passage of time. As long as it is done following all the established security measures

It also provides thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as thermal conductivity.If you are looking to develop an environmentally sustainable project, exposed concrete  is the most efficient way to achieve this.

Finally, it is one of the safest materials in case of fire, it is fire-resistant. With this, there are already 7 advantages that the exposed concrete offers, but there are still many more!


Almost any surface with an impermeable quality can become a formwork. Anything from a door to a piece of cloth that is resistant could be used.

Nowadays, there is a wide range of possibilities. Choosing one type of formwork or another will depend on a series of factors which must be previously defined in the project design.

The weight of the structure or the pressure level of the concrete are some of them.

At Glassydur, our technical team is responsible for studying each design so that the formwork used meets the desired results.

Below, we will detail the most commonly used  types of formwork.

As for the range of a certain aesthetic and optimal sustainability levels, the best ones are

Wooden formworks

If we are looking for a type of formwork  that is easy to work with and economical, then we should choose wooden formwork.

Ideal for small-scale work, it can be produced with individual boards or plywood panels.

Also with Glassydur prefabricated elements  that reproduce the wood textures!

It is very important to keep in mind that the knots or imperfections in the natural wood will affect the end result. That is, they will give relief forms to our exposed concrete. Essential details should not be overlooked if this type of formwork  is chosen.

In the case of laminates or plywood, they are more adaptable.Unlike natural wood, they have a more uniform and smooth finish if that is what is desired.

However, the disadvantage of using this type of formwork  is its recycling. Although they can be reused, there is a maximum number of times. Usually between three and four times, depending on the function it served.

If used as a release agent it can be used on more occasions.

Metal formworks

If you are going to develop a large-scale project, we recommend that you use metal formwork.

To counteract their high cost, they are usually leased to third parties.

Among the advantages of using this type of formwork are the following:

  • They can be assembled and disassembled easily and in a short time
  • They are more resistant
  • They offer textures with very smooth finishes

Qualities that certainly improve the productivity of the construction process and ensure that the work meets the desired requirements. A safe and sustainable bet with little margin for error if the preliminary planning work has been carried out correctly.

Paper formworks

Although paper may appear to be an unstable or poorly guaranteed material, it is a very important type of formwork.

When a series of more complex or more sinuously shaped elements have been established in the project design, paper formwork  is the solution. For example, for pillars with a round cross-section, using cardboard we can create these curved shapes with a level of resistance similar to wood.

Compared to what can be expected from such a material, it reacts favorably to moisture in the concrete mixture.

With its development, it is no longer necessary to assemble small straight wooden segments to create complex molds. However, its reuse is rare.

Plastic formworks

For grooved slabs or surfaces that require geometrical perfection, plastic formworks. 

They can be used an infinite number of times and offer important constructive solutions. From perfectly smooth surfaces, high resistance and a good watertightness.
Moreover, thanks to their light weight, they can be used quickly and safely.

Similarly, because the concrete does not stick to the formwork, it is not necessary to use an additive to remove the formwork. So it can be reused many times.


In order to ensure optimum conservation of the exposed concrete, a number of considerations must be taken into account. Both before and during the construction process, the care and choice of materials to be used is fundamental.

While exposed concrete  is a highly resistant material, it is always exposed. Assessing the type of climate beforehand is a mandatory task in the early stages of its development.

The more detailed this information is, the better the conditioning and the less risk of damage will be. Leaks and fungus are the main factors that can damage exposed concrete. In the face of this, the use of waterproofing or anti-bacterial products is vital.

Not leaving pieces of the structure exposed to the outside is also a matter of consideration. Our exposed concrete structure should be as sealed and watertight as possible.

Only in this way will we be able to enjoy the advantages of a resistant, durable and high-performance material like Glassydur’s prefabricated products  or, in this case, exposed concrete.