HDPE Sheets

Things You Need to Know About Working with HDPE Sheets.

The most used plastic sheeting internationally, High-density polyethylene (HDPE sheets) is a pretty remarkable resource. It’s used to make almost anything from walls/construction to toys.

Before starting, here are things you need to know about working with HDPE.

Fastening & cutting

  • HDPE sheets, such as 4×8 HDPE sheets, need to be fastened with a screw, plastic rivet, or nail. HDPE is strong, but luckily it’s nothing a good power drill and a steady hand can’t overcome.
  • HDPE sheets can be cut or drilled the same way you would wood.
  • HDPE sheets cannot be glued to itself or other materials as there are expansion and contraction of the material as it adjusts to temperature and its environment. If you use glue on HDPE sheets, it will break away from the plastic and not stick.

Can you paint HDPE sheets?

  • For the same reason listed above, HDPE sheets cannot be painted.
  • We will color match the sheets, you just provide the color swatch. The minimum per color is 3K lbs.

HDPE sheet attributes

  • HDPE is also very slick and slippery so avoid walking on the material and do not use it as a traffic surface unless you’ve used the appropriate safety measures.
  • You can use HDPE for many quirky uses so get creative. You can even write your ideas and project plans on your HDPE sheets like a dry erase board. 
  • Extreme temperatures will not make HDPE crack or break
  • HDPE is famous for being very rigid, but it’s not brittle. It won’t break when bent with two hands or the average tool – even if the Hulk were to give it a try.
  • If we’re making HDPE sound too rigid for your project in mind, the thinner sizes are flexible and can be worked into whichever shape or size you require. 


  • HDPE comes in solid sheets of material. It’s 100% high-density polyethylene without any fillers. 
  • Thanks to the growing sustainability movement among most industries, the market for HDPE sheets continues to grow due to it being 100% recycled, thus doing our part to “complete the loop” with fewer materials needed. 
  • There is no set use for HDPE sheets. You can use it for bird boxes to concrete forms to skateboard ramps to hog pens; It is a very universal product.

Interested in learning more about getting your specifics down for your next project using HDPE sheets?

Reach out for a conversation with a member of the Sandhill Plastics team today.


  • Daniel McMahan

    December 8, 2020 - 8:21 pm

    Looking for 1″ thick black hdpe cutting board material.

    • Sandhill Office

      December 11, 2020 - 8:57 am

      We do no manufacture 1″ plastic sheeting- sorry!
      The thickest is 5/8″ with a 25 sheet minimum.

    • Sandhill Office

      December 28, 2020 - 9:04 am

      Sorry- we do not manufacture anything that thick. We do have 1/2″ material available that works nicely.

    • Julie Urban

      April 17, 2024 - 9:05 am

      Hi I want to use this to make a fold down sailboat cockpit table. overall 30″x30″ but I will hinge 2 sides so I can fold it up. So my cuts will be 1 @ 15×30″ and [email protected]×30.

      Wondering if this warps and what thickness I should use. Was thinking 3/4″ or 1″. Lighter the better.



      • Sandhill Office

        April 22, 2024 - 1:39 pm

        You will need to make sure to allow room for expansion and contraction to happen, basically letting the plastic breathe. You will have to purchase an entire sheet and the thickest I manufacture is 1/2″
        We can cut to size you need.

  • Sue

    April 11, 2021 - 8:46 pm

    I want to install flexible/bendable milky-type sheet to tuck under the stovehood to act as protection from grease platter.What would you recommend when one needs under stovehood protection? What kind of very thin yet flexible/bendable plexi sheet would work and how many inches thin? I’d appreciated for all your help in this matter.

    • Sandhill Office

      April 12, 2021 - 9:02 am

      We sell 4′ x 8′ sheets. The thinnest I manufacture is 1/16″ thick in white or black.

  • Mark

    May 5, 2021 - 2:40 pm

    If I wanted to put HDPE sheet as a wainscoting panel in a barn would I need to have plywood behind it or can it just be mounted to the studs?

    • Sandhill Office

      May 13, 2021 - 1:57 pm

      You can do either. I would suggest if you mount to the studs, you go thicker. If you have plywood and just need to line it, you can use 1/8″

  • bart smith

    August 6, 2021 - 10:24 am

    Will this work as a skateboarding surface?

    • Sandhill Office

      September 2, 2021 - 4:22 pm

      Yes we have had a few parks do this across the nation with the plastic sheeting.

      • Jason

        February 22, 2022 - 5:52 pm

        Could I stand on 1/2” sheet without it bowing in the middle? Looking for flooring that would be supported around the edges by a steel frame. (52”x70”).

      • Sandhill Office

        February 25, 2022 - 11:06 am

        No- it wouldn’t bow in the middle- sorry

  • Mike

    August 12, 2021 - 4:12 pm

    I want to use a sheet of the HDPE on the nose cone of my sons Muskie boat. Will a good fiber Glass resin stick to the sheet. I’m Fiber glassing to both plastic on the top and wood at the bottom. I’m only going to cut the piece 10″ high. Would I also use a good plywood blade to cut this product. Thanks

    • Sandhill Office

      September 2, 2021 - 4:22 pm

      That will not stick to the hdpe, sorry.

    • Scott

      August 3, 2022 - 8:52 am

      Would anti slip HDPE be good for a boat shower pan grate? 10”x19” span.

      What thickness with some holes for drainage would not Bow or flex? 3/4” or 1”?

      • Sandhill Office

        October 19, 2022 - 3:09 pm

        We do not manufacture anti slip HDPE, sorry.

  • Karen Baker

    September 7, 2021 - 1:57 pm

    When hanging hdpe is there a right or wrong side to line a building to be powerwashed

    • Sandhill Office

      September 8, 2021 - 11:31 am

      It’s strictly your preference- one side is matte and one side is glossy. It will have no impact on right or wrong way.

  • Alex

    November 29, 2021 - 8:47 am

    Can I use an HDPE sheet as a whiteboard to be used with markers?

    • Sandhill Office

      December 8, 2021 - 12:03 pm

      I am sure you can. It may absorb a bit of the color but should wipe fairly clean

  • Mason Mullock

    December 5, 2021 - 4:22 pm

    What thickness would be used for the top layer of a skateboard ramp? This would not be structural, just a nice surface on top of the structural layers of plywood. Also, what is the minimum order?

    Thank you!

    • Sandhill Office

      December 8, 2021 - 12:02 pm

      .090″ or 1/8″ would be perfect

  • Kris

    May 28, 2022 - 6:35 am

    II am making my garage a hockey shooting area. I would like to put this on the walls of my garage to protect the walls from hockey pucks. What thickness of HDPE would you recommend?

    • Sandhill Office

      June 15, 2022 - 1:14 pm

      1/2″ would be the best

  • Clarence

    July 12, 2022 - 2:16 pm

    Making a ski locker lid for my boat floor how thick do I need to support a 250lbs man 13inches wide by 37 inches long

    • Sandhill Office

      July 12, 2022 - 3:36 pm

      We sell 1/2″ but I am not sure that won’t bow with the 37″ not being supported underneath.
      If you have support, there should be no worries.

  • Walt

    July 27, 2022 - 2:48 pm

    I’m looking at HDPE as a possible plastic for a smaller tabletop on a new product I’m developing for exterior use .

    I’m thinking 3/16″ thick would be ideal. The BIG question is – can this be thermoformed/pressure formed to add some simple, shallow, circular features?

    • Sandhill Office

      October 19, 2022 - 3:10 pm

      Yes it can be thermo formed

  • Ryan

    August 3, 2022 - 1:19 pm

    I have an application that requires the use of 1.5″ square tubing functioning as joists underneath the HDPE. To support up to 300 pound static, centered load, what would you recommend for maximum spacing between joists if using 1/2″ HDPE? What about for 3/8″?

    • Sandhill Office

      October 19, 2022 - 3:09 pm

      Maybe 16″ ???? I am not sure HDPE sheets are ok for this b/c they may end up sagging at some point if not properly supported.

  • Tom D

    August 27, 2022 - 2:58 pm

    I am restoring an antique automobile and need a flexible tack strip 3/8” by 1/2” by 72” long to tack the upholstery to.
    Will the hdpe hold nails and staples for upholstery?

    • Sandhill Office

      October 19, 2022 - 3:08 pm


  • Will Gilliam

    September 25, 2022 - 6:11 am

    Considering to use this for an agritourism farm slide, any idea if the matte side or the glossy side is slicker? Would assume that it would be glossy, but just to the touch it feels if matte might be slicker, – any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Sandhill Office

      October 19, 2022 - 2:57 pm

      Either side will work just fine 🙂

  • Ryan

    October 11, 2022 - 7:59 pm

    How can I add texture or raised traction spots to an HDPE sheet, so that it can be walked on safer without being so slippery, or drive equipment across it?

    • Sandhill Office

      October 19, 2022 - 2:56 pm

      The smooth plastic is always going to be slippery, I do however, sell a ground protection mat with a raised diamond pattern. Check it out on the website- it’s called access mat.

  • Rob Wyatt

    October 18, 2022 - 10:53 am

    If I am building a house boat and want to use 4×8 sheets as walls, would HDPE be a good choice? I’d like to make the walls function as two-way mirrors, reflecting the exterior light.

    • Sandhill Office

      October 19, 2022 - 2:55 pm

      I am not sure how your set up is. Are you screwing the plastic into studs? Are you wanting the plastic to act as a two way mirror?

  • Paul Ardesch

    November 7, 2023 - 5:36 pm

    Hello. You said it can’t be painted. What about the use of plastic primers? I am sure they use HDPE in car bumpers and the like.

    • Sandhill Office

      April 22, 2024 - 1:43 pm

      They quite possibly use HDPE in bumpers, but it is stress relieved so it won’t expand and contract. Those are paintable.
      The HDPE we manufacture is not stress relieved and not able to be painted.

  • Julia Deffner

    November 17, 2023 - 3:13 pm

    I want to bend an HDPE tube into a cylindrical shape (approximate diameter of 1.5 inches). I would like it to be as rigid as possible but still be able to bend it into this shape. Is this possible and what thickness do you recommend?

    • Sandhill Office

      April 22, 2024 - 1:42 pm

      Our plastic is too rigid to be able to make a bend that small in diameter, sorry.

  • Tom

    November 20, 2023 - 10:17 pm

    I would like to bend the sheet into a large diameter tube as a Christmas decoration and put led lights inside it. Would 1/16th be the proper thickness to allow the circular bend and would that thickness diffuse the light well?

    • Sandhill Office

      April 22, 2024 - 1:41 pm

      The plastic is not translucent, sorry. It is opaque.

  • John Ballew

    January 6, 2024 - 9:34 pm

    I’m planning on making a faring for my ford transit roof rack. Rough dimensions are 75”x12”. What thickness would be best for this use?

    • Sandhill Office

      April 22, 2024 - 1:40 pm

      We manufacture 1/16″ up to 1/4″ that is bendable to make the faring. If you want something more rigid, go thicker. We manufacture up to 1/2″ thick.

  • Leroy

    February 10, 2024 - 8:46 am

    I’m thinking about buying this product to put on a 5 1/2 x 12“ glue lamb. My beam is 70feet long if I make my joints tight will it expand and retract?

    • Sandhill Office

      February 27, 2024 - 10:11 am

      You are not able to glue this plastic, as there is expansion and contraction that will take place. Thank you for asking!

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