When are plastic formliners used?

Plastic liners are principally used as a cost effective alternative when an architectural finish is desired. Plastic may also be used when there is no need for a high reuse formliner or when large portions of a project are needed to be poured at the same time. In general this type of formliner comes in a 4’ x 10’ plastic sheet and can be also produced up to a 5’x12’ size for custom applications.

Plastic liners are created by vacuum forming flat plastic sheets onto a mold's surface. While our thermoforming process renders excellent detail, it is limited to the plastic's properties.



There are 2 type of plastic materials: polystyrene and ABS

Polystyrene or styrene (STY)

Polystyrene or styrene is most commonly used on projects that are small, cut up, or where the concrete needs to be poured in areas one time. This formliner is SINGLE use, not reusable.


ABS is used for projects that require multiple pours of the same formliner. It can be reused up-to 10 times.

Styrene (STY)

Single use
Low SqFt cost
Backing may be required
1 person can handle a sheet of STY plastic
No plywood embedment
Thermoformed plastic sheet
White color


Up to 10 reuses
Approximately 50% more expensive than STY
Backing may be required
1 person can handle a sheet of ABS plastic
No plywood embedment
Thermoformed plastic sheet
Gray color




What is a plastic formliner and how is it used in construction?

A plastic formliner is a type of formwork material that is used to create textured or patterned surfaces on concrete. It is made of durable plastic and is designed to be single use and reusable. Plastic formliners are placed inside the formwork or molds before pouring concrete, and they impart the desired texture or pattern to the finished concrete surface.

What are the advantages of using plastic formliners?

Using plastic formliners in construction offers several advantages. They are lightweight, easy to handle, and can be easily cut or trimmed to fit various formwork shapes and sizes. Plastic formliners are also durable and reusable, which makes them a cost-effective choice for projects requiring repetitive textured or patterned surfaces. Additionally, they provide consistent and uniform results, ensuring high-quality finishes.

What types of textures and patterns are available with plastic formliners?

Custom Rock offers a wide range of textures and patterns for plastic formliners. Some popular options include stone, brick, wood grain, tile, and custom designs. These patterns can be used to create various architectural features, such as walls, columns, facades, and more. Plastic formliners provide versatility in design, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic for your project.

How do I install plastic formliners?

Installing plastic formliners is a straightforward process. The formliners are secured inside the formwork or molds, ensuring they are properly aligned and attached. Then, concrete is poured into the formwork, allowing it to take the shape and texture of the formliner. After the concrete has cured, the formwork is removed, revealing the textured or patterned surface created by the plastic formliner.

Can plastic formliners be used for both vertical and horizontal applications?

No, plastic formliners can only be used for vertical applications. They are commonly used to create textured or patterned surfaces on walls, columns, beams, and other vertical elements. While plastic liners can be poured horizontally, such as tilt-up applications, they cannot be used to stamp horizontal surfaces such as floors, paving, and countertops.

How many times can plastic formliners be reused?

Plastic formliners are designed to be for single and reusable applications. The number of times a plastic formliner can be reused depends on various factors, including the specific product, the care taken during handling and cleaning, and the conditions under which it is used. With proper maintenance and handling, plastic formliners can be used for multiple projects, making them a cost-effective choice for construction applications.

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