FAQ

If your question is not listed below, please contact us.

Q: What type of adhesive should be used when installing your panels?

A: Use a high-quality construction adhesive. Either solvent-based, or Low VOC (water clean-up) is available.  There are many adhesive manufacturers, and availability may vary.

Liquid Nails products LN601, LN603, LN901, and LN903 are widely distributed. The toll-free number for Liquid Nails is 1-800-634-0015.

DAP also manufacturers a trowel-grade construction adhesive. The toll-free number for DAP is 1-800-543-3840.

For AquaTile panels, a trowel-on construction adhesive is recommended. A gallon can usually cover 2-3 panels.

Solvent-base trowelable adhesive   requires a 3/16” V-notched trowel.

Low-VOC (water clean up) trowelable adhesive requires a 1/8” V-notched trowel.

Q: Will the heat in my kitchen damage the panel?

A: For a one-piece kitchen stove/oven, there is usually a 3-4" high lip on the side that is against the wall. This would protect the wall sufficiently.

For an open drop-in range with a large pan on the back burner (worst case), there may be more heat directed against the wall, but drop-in ranges are usually spaced 2-3 inches out from the back wall. Our panels are not any less fire resistant than wallpaper, which many people use in these areas. Even regular drywall sheets have a layer of paper on both sides. DPI-paneled backsplash is resistant to normal kitchen heat; it would have to reach a temperature over 350 degrees F for an extended time to be in danger of igniting.

If you need further assurance, try taping a kitchen thermometer to the back wall right behind your biggest burner, and see what it reads when cooking on high.

Q: What type of paint should be used on the paintable panels and do they require any prep work?

A: The finish on this product is paintable, or can be left “as is.” There is no prep work necessary.

The surface is designed to accept latex, acrylic, or alkyd (solvent-based) paints. DPI prefers alkyd type paint. The best quality alkyd paints usually flow better and leave a smoother surface. We also recommend the best quality 2-1/2" or 3" brush for application, as opposed to a roller. Follow all paint manufacturers’ safety directions, especially for ventilation.

Q: Where can I find DPI panels in my area?

A: In order to tell you where you can find our products, we would need to know the specific panels you are interested in. Please complete our online contact form here and provide the panel name and item number for the panels in which you may be interested.

Once we have the panels you are interested in, we can perform a product search for your area.

Q: What is the board made of?

A: Our products are made of S2S Hardboard.

DPI’s Green Core S2S Hardboard is a remarkable product – drawing on the strength of wood while eliminating many of wood's weaknesses. Fibers are extracted from raw wood, rewoven and bound under heat and pressure by lignin, a natural adhesive found in wood. The result is a durable, tough, board completely uniform with exceptional strength. Hardboard is a true wood product – wood has been simply re-engineered to form a more versatile material with predictable properties. The absence of grain makes it equally strong in all directions, and can be easily sawn, routed, drilled or shaped.

Q: What is the flame spread rating for your panels?

A: Class III Flame Spread Rating. Flame spread 200 or less in accordance with ANSI/AHA A 135.5. Determined by ASTM E-84-91A.

Q: Can your panels be used for exterior use?

A: Our panels are intended for interior use only. We do not recommend using for exterior applications. If you choose to use our panels for an exterior application, the warranty will be void.

Q: What do you recommend to clean your panels?

A: Mild soap and water are recommended, and you can use normal liquid or spray cleaning products that contain no abrasive powders.

Do not use products like Comet, Bar Keeper's Friend or Ajax, which may contain abrasive powders. Also do not use steel wool pads, like Brillo.

Q: Can your AquaTile panels be used in a bathtub alcove?

A: Our AquaTile panels can be used in this application, if properly installed. Follow all instructions carefully; usetrowel-on adhesive to adhere panels. The backside of all panels must be completely covered. Wear safety glasses and follow all safety precautions on the adhesive can. Open fires, pilot lights, or smoking must be avoided! Ventilate the installation area with fresh air, as fumes can get strong.

Keep 1/8" gap at bottom between panels and top edge of tub, and 1/8" gap at ceiling. Use 1/16" gap at panel inside corner joints. After adhesive cures, a minimum of 24 hours, fill with 100% silicone caulk at bottom, all other panel joints, perimeter edges, and around any holes.

Of course our panels are a wood substrate, and only as waterproof as the finish. If the finish is scratched through, moisture will penetrate the substrate and eventually cause a coating failure.

Q: Can your panels be used as a ceiling?

A: Our products are not intended for use as a ceiling and we do not recommend or carry the warranty for that type of installation.

Q: What needs to be done to finish the seams?

A: Woodgrains- Where panel’s edges meet, we recommend a dime’s width gap.  Prior to installing panels, on the wall where this gap will be, a thin stripe can be painted, to match the color of the panel edge.  Once installed, it helps blend the seams.

Designers - Where coordinated Seam Tape is available, this offers a good solution.  Otherwise, painting the wall a similar color to the panel (where the seam occurs) will help blend it in.

Smooth Panels - Matching silicone caulk can be used in seams.  Or extruded trim moldings can be used, (with a small bead of silicone caulk in the molding channel, before inserting the panel.)

AquaTile - Matching silicone caulk is recommended. (*First painting any cut, or exposed edges a color to match the panel, will help.  Allow paint to thoroughly dry before applying caulk.)

Earthstones - Matching silicone caulk is recommended. Painting the wall a similar color to the panel (where the seam occurs) will help blend it in.

Q: Why can I not get the product I want at the stores listed on your website?

A: Each retailer chooses which panels they will stock. This means that not all stores carry all of our panels. If you are having trouble finding a panel, please contact us.

Q: Can panels be cut to special sizes?

A: Our panels come in 4′x8′ sheets and some are available in wainscot. We are unable to provide custom sizes.

Q: Is your hardboard tempered on both sides?

A:Premium hardboard is always tempered on both sides. Service-grade hardboard can be tempered on one or two sides.

Q: What size are the holes on your perforated hardboard?

A: Holes on 1/8″ pegboard are 3/16″ in diameter and 1″ on center

Holes on 1/4″ & 3/16″ pegboard are 9/32″ in diameter and 1″ on center

Q: Can your brick and stone products be installed around a fireplace or wood-burning stove?

A: Your local building code inspector or fire marshal can determine whether or not the material will pass code for special installation situations. Building codes vary among different state, cities, etc. Your own local officials can better answer the specific requirements for your area after you provide class and rating information to them.

Generally speaking, the hardboard should be installed two feet from a fireplace or freestanding fireplace. You should always follow the instructions from the manufacturer of the fireplace or wood-burning stove. The hardboard is combustible material and is not heat resistant or fire proof.

Q: What should I use to fix any scratches on your AquaTile panels?

A: White enamel appliance paint is recommended to protect the panels from moisture.  If the scratch is down to the brown board, wood filler may need to be used first. You may also brush on clear polyurethane over small scratches

Q: Can I use moldings to finish the seams of your AquaTile Panels?

A: With our AquaTile there is a caliper variance between the grout area and the face of the tiles. With the caliper (panels thickness) when using molding it allows for moisture to build up under the molding causing faster delamination of the panels. You get a much better seal with 100% silicone caulk. IF A GE SILICONE  CAULK IS USED, USE GE SILICONE I. DO NOT USE GE SILICONE II. DISCOLORATION MAY OCCUR.

Q: How do I fix scratches, dings, or scuffs on DPI panels?

A: Try obtaining some acrylic artist colors in the same color range (white or off-white) from a craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Put some of the paint on a plastic lid, like from a coffee can. Add a couple drops of water to thin it out. Mix it well.

On a scrap piece, experiment with a small brush, or paper towel, or rag that was dipped in the paint mixture.

Try using a “dry brush” method, whereby you dip your brush or rag. Then dab that on a paper towel to get rid of most of the paint.

Once applied to the panel, you may have to wipe the paint off even more, to get the effect.  And it may need 2 or 3 passes like this.

To get the exact color of paint, we recommend taking a scrap of panel to the paint store.  Buy the 3 shades closest to that color.  Mix as needed.