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All in Good Form: The Art of Concrete Forming Systems

Information in this article has been re-printed with permission from Bud Steigmeier of Steigmeier Corp. and Dana Scott of Scott System. More information can be found, respectively at: and

These wallcap forms were made on-site from reusable wall cap forms manufactured by Stegmeier Corp. The forms come in many lengths and are attached with reusable spring steel brackets. The basic profile provides a shoulder that keeps the form from slipping while the brackets contain the form with outside pressure. The forms can be reused if rinsed and cleaned immediately after stripping.

You are probably aware of concrete's functionality - concrete is versatile, cost-effective, and can be a great way to save energy through superior insulation. Yet concrete can also be used creatively and with style. Outdoors, concrete is often formed in molds through modular forming systems to create fences and walls, form pools and paths, and to cap stairs and edges. These customizable molds allow concrete to be used in beautiful ways while also making the job easier. Take a look at these modular forming systems to add a special flair to your next hardscape project!

2: The edges of this pool were made by pool forms by Stegmeier Corp which are very versatile. The tile on the pool is set first from the highest point of the pool wall and then leveled out with sand and cement, which makes the pool level. The forms are set to the tile with double-sided tape and then attached to the deck, allowing the deck to expand and contract without disturbing the tile line.

Caps and Pool Liners

Wall caps, stepliners and pool liners can soften and protect edges and provide a finishing touch to any outdoor area. The following foam forms by Stegmeier Corp. are made of expanded polystyrene, which is very porous. This means that the vertical surface of the step, wall cap or pool form sets up earlier because the water in the concrete can "wick" away which speeds up the process. This porosity also lets the form strip cleanly without creating suction that can pull patches of the concrete surface off.

Forms like this can help with drainage, while also adding a high-quality look.

Wall Cap Forms

Wall caps protect and cover a wall. Wall Cap forms are reusable foam forms used in forming and pouring concrete caps on block walls, glass block walls, and planters. Wall Caps are lightweight and are held in place with reusable spring clamps. Wall Cap forms provide a cast-in-place solution to many precast problems.

These steps were formed ready to pour with wooded forms. The forms can be stripped the same day and finished using profile edging tools.

Step Liners

Foam Step Liners simply add shape to step overhangs. Step Liners are fastened with adhestive to the inside of formwork. Radius steps may be set using bender board or masonite siding instead of rigid wooden forms. Step Liners may be stripped and finished much earlier than conventional forms because they act as a foam cushion against concrete.

Scott Systems' Rim Snap(TM) is a type of integrally-cast thin brick for cast-in-place concrete. This product is being installed currently on two highway bridge projects: one in New Jersey and the other in Minnesota.


Formliners are panels made of a layer of concrete or cement interconnected with a layer of bricks or other decorative elements secured in cementitious material. Concrete makes great walls due to superior insulation qualities from heat to sound insulation, and formliners add an aesthetic element to the overall functionality. Many formliners are of simple patterns that often resemble brick or even wood. Yet there are bolder uses of formliners that implement creative designs onto concrete. From backyard concrete fences to highway deckings, formliners can add creativity and intricacy.

Workers at Scott System, Inc. attach liner to form for a beach retaining wall in Virginia Beach. The liner features turtles and indigenous fish.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete, also referred to as patterned concrete, is concrete that is designed to resemble many different styles and designs. Stamped concrete can be used to embellish pool decks, driveways, entries and courtyards, and patios.

This sound wall was developed from formliners manufactured by Scott System. It features unique textures including elements related to Colorado such as buffaloes, swallows, and aerial views of the states geography. Scott Systems worked with the original artists, Surface Strategies LLC and municipalities to ensure that the moulds were both feasible and true to the vision of the designers. The unique aspect of the mould-making process is the massive size of the forms, with pieces of rubber extending over 60 ft. long, so mistakes cannot be made.

Due to the wide array of patterns and coloring available, the cost varies widely according to the materials it resembles, yet the use of stamped concrete is becoming more popular and frequent. Stamped concrete is a great way to replicate expensive materials while still remaining natural, authentic, and cost-efficient.

The X-Town Interchange in Corpus Christi, TX developed from a Scott System formliner displays 2,500 square feet of indigenous fish along a two-mile stretch of highway.

Another creative use of concrete forms is the use of stamped concrete flooring, which is often color-dyed before the stamping process. Stamped concrete can be designed to resemble any style including a variety of colors, textures, and other decorative finishes. The finish can be done in slate, cobblestones, sandstone, brick, flagstone, stone, tile or a host of others. These concrete stampings were done by Southern Floor Services.

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June 18, 2019, 7:06 am PDT

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