Step 1: Condition Panels
Check panels for color matching and quality before applying. Place panels in the room where they will be installed. Let them sit 24 hours for above-grade and 48 hours for below-grade installations.
Lay along 8' edge and stack out from the wall using shims as spacers between the panels. This exposes all four sides to the air.
Step 2: Prepare Walls
Interior Walls: Make sure that all surfaces are firm, clean and dry. Apply panels to solid walls only (not to furring strips or studs), with the exception of 1/4" and 3/16" thick panels, which may be installed directly to stud framing.
Exterior Walls or Below Grade: Use a 4-mil. or greater polyethylene vapor barrier. Use furring strips for perforated panels.
Step 3: Dry Fit Panels
If panels have a design pattern, make sure the pattern is placed in the same direction on all panels (flowers facing up, dark stripes on left side, etc.)
Above Grade: Allow 1/16" (dime thickness) between panels to the left and right – along the 8' edge. Use shims to leave 1/8" at the top and bottom of the panels.
Below Grade: Allow 1/16" (dime thickness) between panels to the left and right – along the 8' edge. Use shims to leave 1/4" gap at the top and bottom of the panels.
Bath Alcove Areas: Use 1/8" shims under the panel to allow gap for caulking. Place panels to minimize the number of vertical seams. Above bathtubs, position vertical joint on back wall 4' from showerhead.
Step 4: Cut Panels To Fit
Always start installation in the corner. Use shims at floor level (to level panel and to allow for the required space at the bottom of the panel). Place plumb lines on the wall and scribe and trim if needed to make panel edge fall on the plumb line. To reduce chipping of surface, cut panels face-up with fine-tooth handsaw, or face-down with fine-tooth portable power jigsaw or circular saw.
To cut around electrical boxes, turn off the power and unscrew the protective face plate. Run chalk lines around the box edges and carefully position the panel in its proper space. Press panel firmly over the box area, transferring the outline to the back of the panel.
Make small holes just inside corner of the outline using a power drill (drill from the back of the panel). Enlarge holes from the front and use saw to make cutout. Cutout can be up to ¼ in. (6.4mm) oversize and still be covered by the switch plate. For AquaTile panels, smooth any chipped edges with file or sandpaper so edges can be completely caulked. For extra protection, paint edges with two coats of appliance enamel.
Step 5: Adhesive Application & Panel Installation
Woodgrains, Bricks & Stones, Designer & PegPanels: Use high quality cartridge adhesive suitable for wall paneling, be it “Solvent-Based” or “Low-VOC” (contains water).
For solid walls – extrude a bead no larger than 1/4" diameter around the perimeter of the panel and in 12" vertical lines.
For studs or furring strips, extrude bead of adhesive directly to studs/furring strips.
Push panel to wall and pull back to flash.
Follow required flash times on cartridge.Follow manufacturer’s recommended safety instructions.
Additional Support: For best results use panel nails in addition to adhesive to secure woodgrain, brick and stone panels. For PegPanels, use adhesive combined with drywall screws for added strength.
AquaTile and Panelboard: Use high quality solvent-based or Low-VOC (contains water) trowel-grade tileboard or construction adhesive. Can use 6-7 tubes of 10.5 oz. cartridge adhesive per panel, if gallon trowel-grade is not available, but once extruded onto panel, must still be troweled out with appropriate notched trowel. Follow manufacturer’s recommended safety instructions. Do not nail AquaTiles or PanelBoards.
Solvent-based adhesive application: Use a 3/16" V-notched trowel held at a 45° angle, and thoroughly cover panel back with adhesive. Wait 5-10 minutes to allow adhesive to flash off (but remain tacky), then firmly press panel to wall.
Low-VOC adhesives (water-based) application: Use 1/8" V-notched trowel at
45° angle, and thoroughly cover panel back, out to edges, with adhesive. Wait 10 minutes for adhesive to flash off (but remain tacky), then firmly press to wall. Re-press panel every 15 minutes for the next hour, especially edges.
Wait 24 hours before caulking: Use only 100% silicone sealant (not siliconized acrylics) to thoroughly caulk all seams, edges around panels, around and behind all fixtures, and in between seams. For even caulking, apply low-tack removable masking tape on either side of joint. Caulk one joint at a time, and smooth with plastic spoon or fingertip while wearing protective rubber glove. Immediately remove tape after caulk joint is complete. Do not wait for caulk to cure.
Mouldings: PanelBoard joints can be caulked, or trimmed with extruded plastic mouldings. If using mouldings, squeeze a small bead of silicone caulk into moulding channel before inserting panel.
Step 6: Clean & Enjoy
Clean-up: For “Solvent-Based” adhesive, clean-up surface with a mineral spiritsdampened rag (do not use lacquer thinner). For “Low-VOC” adhesive, wipe off excess adhesive on surface with water dampened rag.
Once the installation is completed, the panels may be cleaned when needed by wiping with mild soap and water. Do not use abrasive cleaners on your new wall panels.