Please read all instructions before Beginning Installation.
These guidelines are provided n good faith to help prevent installation problems caused by common errors. The manufacture and/or distributor of the product bears no responsibility for installation actions taken or not taken. There are many nuances of installation that are assumed to be general construction knowledge to an experienced installed; such nuances are not included in these instructions. Rather, these installation guidelines are strictly recommendations and are not intended to serve as step-by step, fool-proof installation checklist. Selection of an experienced FRP installer is the sole responsibility of the project owner or architect. If you have any questions about installation techniques for your particular project, please call the sales office.
When cutting or drilling FRP panels, always wear protective glasses or goggles and a mask that covers the face and mouth. Skin irritation due to the glass fibers may be avoided by applying a barrier cream to exposed skin areas prior to working with FRP panels.
FRP panels may be cut most efficiently using a fine-tooth saw blade. Swivel-head shears may be needed for small cutouts or trimming. Use a diamond-coated or carbide tipped drill bit to pre-drill fastener holes. If installing with an adhesive, use a trowel with the notch pattern recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. A laminate roller should be used to obtain maximum contact between panels, adhesive, and substrate.
Review wall conditions section to determine appropriate fastening method.
FRP latex-based adhesive
Nylon drive rivets or Non-corroding fasteners
Soap & Water for clean-up
Mineral Spirits for clean-up
Store panels on the original shipping pallet in a dry environment. Do not store other materials on top of the FRP panels. Do not store directly on concrete or any other surface that emits moisture. Lay panels flat. Do not stand panels on edge. Store all FRP panel products inside.
Every attempt is made to inspect panels for cosmetic and physical abnormalities prior to shipment, however all panels should be inspected for any defect prior to installation. Do not install panels of unacceptable or questionable quality. Manufacture and/ or Distributor will not be held responsible for installation or removal costs of unacceptable panels.
FRP panels, with the shipping material and banding removed, should be allowed to acclimate to room temperature. Lay panels flat on a solid, level, dry surface. Do not store directly on concrete or any other surface that emits moisture. All FRP panels will expand and contract during temperature and humidity changes. Allowing the panels to acclimate to the anticipated operating room temperature and humidity conditions prior or and during installation will help ensure a successful installation. Installing FRP panels after the HVAC systems are in place and operational is recommended.
Wall Panel Preparation
Wall should be flat and even. Remove high spots and fill in low spots prior to beginning installation. Remove wallpaper, soluble or loose paint, and other foreign matter that may interfere with the adhesive bond. The wall substrate must be dry and free from dirt, dust, and grease.
The following wall conditions require additional preparation or installation techniques.
Installation over uneven surfaces will result in less than complete adhesion to the wall substrate, therefore creating the potential for air pockets to form behind panel. High and low spots should be level to provide an even wall surface.
-New Gypsum Board or Drywall
Remove all drywall dust. Tapered joints need only a fill and taped coating. A finish coat is not necessary or desirable. In addition, any extremely uneven areas should be filled.
Plywood walls should be dry and even. Warped plywood should be removed and replaced.
Remove loose paint. Adhesive will bond only to the contracting surface, so make certain that any paint areas are sufficiently cured and the paint is firmly adhered to the substrate. It may be necessary to use rivets as wells as adhesive to provide adequate bond strength.
-High Humidity Rooms
Acclimate panels to the operating humidity conditions. Carefully follow the guidelines in the installation guide for expansion/contraction spacing and sealing. Use an adhesive that is recommended for high humidity conditions. Follow the adhesive manufacture’s installation recommendations carefully. A vapor barrier (e.g., 6 mil Poly sheet) may be required. Follow the architect or owner’s specifications or check your local building codes for specific requirements.
-Low Temperature Conditions
Carefully follow guidelines in this installation guide for expansion/contraction spacing and sealing. Use an adhesive that is recommended for low temperature conditions. Follow the adhesive manufacture’s installation recommendations carefully. A vapor barrier (e.g., 6 mil poly sheeting) may be required. Follow the architect or owner’s specifications or check your local building codes for specific requirements.
-Concrete Block and Brick
Concrete block and brick wall surfaces are by nature uneven, and FRP panel installed directly to these surfaces will likely develop loose spots, bulges, and buckles. If a smooth-buckle free wall surface is required, the wall should be furred out with wood or metal studs or channels and covered with factory laminated panels.
An alternate method is to install gypsum board, cement board or another appropriate substrate over the furring and then install FRP panels according tot eh standard installation instructions. If it is the owner or contractor’s preference to install FRP panels directly to a concrete block or brick all, it is recommended that the panels be installed with nylon rivets alone, without and adhesive. The rivet holes must be oversized and expansion joints provided. This will allow the panels to expand and contract under the rivet heads and will minimize but not eliminate buckles in the panels.
An approved thermal barrier system (e.g., gypsum board) must be used between the FRP panels and any foam insulation. Check your local building codes for specific requirements.
Non-porous surfaces (e.g., ceramic tile, glazed block, and metal panels) do not provide a good surface for adhesive bonding. Rivets are recommended for all installations over non-porous surfaces. If adhesive in addition to rivets is used, consult the adhesive supplier for product recommendations; a general –purpose latex-based FRP adhesive will not cure properly on non-porous surfaces.
-Near Heat Sources
FRP panels may discolor when installed behind or near a heat source which radiates temperatures exceeding 130°F 955° C), such as cookers, ovens, and deep fryers. Stainless Steel is recommended for these types of areas.
Generally, FRP panels can be installed using adhesive alone, fasteners alone, or a combination of adhesive and fasteners. The method used should be determined by the room and wall conditions (see wall conditions noted above). Check with your local building codes for restrictions or guidelines regarding approved installation methods.
If adhesive is used, be sure that it is an FRP-formulated product. FRP adhesives are widely available. Follow the adhesive manufacture’s recommendations for trowel style(e.g. appropriate height of adhesive bead left by trowel). It is important to apply adhesive carefully and follow all directions to prevent problems that may result from using too little or too much adhesive. 100% adhesive coverage is recommended using a “crosshatch” pattern. Adhesive should extend to all edges of the panel and should be applied directly to the back of each individual FRP panel.
Nylon drive rivets, or corrosion resistant screws are appropriate fasteners options. If rivets or fasteners are used, panels should be predrilled using a drill bit that is 1/8” to 1/4” larger than the fastener. During installation, holes only slightly larger that the fastener should be drilled into the substrate through the predrilled holes in the panels and prior to any adhesive application. Apply silicone sealant prior to inserting rivets or fasteners.
The recommended fastening frequency is 16” on center both horizontally and vertically. Space perimeter holes at least 1” to 1-1/2” from panel edge when using on piece moldings and stagger holes of abutting panels. When using two piece moldings, put perimeter holes 1-1/2” to 2” away from panel edge.
All FRP panels have expansion characteristics due to changes in humidity and temperature that must be accounted for during installation with proper spacing around panel edges and around fixtures attached to the panel/wall. Adequate space must be allowed for panel expansion and contraction. For a 4’ X 8’ panel, a minimum gap of ¼” is required at the top and bottom of each panel and 1/8” between panels. More room will be required for longer panels. It is recommended that panels do not exceed 4’8” in width and 12’ in length to aid in ease of installation and ensure a satisfactory finished installation. See the FRP panel Expansion Joint chart for appropriate spacing at ceiling, floor, and between panels.
4’ X 8’
Gap at ceiling
Gap at Floor
Dap between panel and center of 1 piece molding
Gap between panels when using 2 piece molding
Gap Between panel when not using molding
Gap around rivets
Gap between panels and wall fixtures
One-piece and two-piece moldings are available for installation with standard FRP wall panels. Panels are inserted into the one-piece molding opening, while both parts of the two-piece molding are installed on top of the panel. Panels beneath the two-piece molding should maintain the recommended expansion spacing.
Installations requiring additional abuse resistant should use the heavy-duty corners and batten strip.
Step 1 – Planning and Cutting
- Pre-fit each panel before fastening and/or adhering in place.
- All cutting and drilling should be done prior to the application of adhesive.
- Rivet holes should be predrilled in the panels using a bit that is 1/8”- 1/4” larger than the rivet. Plan ahead so that fasteners will not interfere with moldings or other wall fixtures.
- Preplan for cove or base molding. FRP panels should be installed so that the base molding will not restrict normal panel movement during expansion and contraction. Cut panels ¼” short of where the base molding will extend; poured molding should be in place prior to installation.Step 2 - Attaching to wall
- Begin installation in a corner. Mark a plumb line 48-1/8” from the corner. In areas where several courses of panels are used (e.g., on a high wall), use vertical and horizontal lines to assure alignment.
- Install one piece of corner molding. Apply silicone sealant in molding groove.
- Is using rivets – drill holes into the substrate through the predrilled holes in panel.
- If using adhesive – apply adhesive to panel using adhesive manufacture’s recommended trowel height to ensure good adhesion.
- Set the first panel true with the plumb line.
- If using adhesive for installation, roll panel with a laminate roller, beginning at the top corner nearest the molding and rolling down and out towards the edge away from molding, making certain to remove all trapped air. This will aid in removing air pockets and will help to ensure a flat, fully adhered installation.
- Install fasteners as each panel is put into place and before the next division bar or molding strip is applied. Start fastening at top edge with installed molding and work toward the other side. Continue installing fasteners one row at a time until fastening is complete. Apply silicone sealant beneath rivet or fastener.
- Install one-piece division bar and caps or next molding piece by laying down a bead of silicon in the molding groove and sliding completely onto the panel. Withdraw the molding or division bar 1/8” to provide proper spacing. The free edge of the molding or division bar may be tacked in place if preferred before installing the next panel.
- Repeat the process, working in one direction around the room.
- If fasteners are not used, a few nails may be used at the top 9above the ceiling grid line) to help hold panels in place while the adhesive cures. Once the adhesive has cured, however, these nails must be removed, as they do not allow for normal panel expansion and contraction.
- Always put silicone sealant in all moldings and around all panel edges, fasteners, and fixtures to provide a moisture-proof installation.Step 3 – Panel Installation finishing
- Silicone sealant should be applied in all moldings and around all panel’s edges, fasteners, and fixtures to provide a moisture-proof installation.
- Adhesive residue should be removed immediately.
- Latex-based adhesive can be removed with soap and water.
- Solvent-based adhesive may be removed with mineral spirits
- Adhesive residue may make panels appear stained and will collect dirt. Clean panels thoroughly prior to leaving the jobsite.