Putting Up Panels

by Larry

Cutting and Putting Up Panels Panels are cut face up if you are using a crosscut saw. If you are using an electric bandsaw, the panels should be face down when cut. Handle panels carefully. Dry-fit the first panel to the molding, which has been nailed up. Lay it face down on a padded worktable (to prevent scratching) and dust the back with lint-free cloth. Using a notched trowel and recommended adhesive, spread adhesive over the entire back of the panel.

A trowel with 3/i6 inch notches is suggested unless otherwise specified. For waterproof seal, put adhesive or a caulking bead (as recommended by the adhesive manufacturer) into the molding grooves. Then slip the panel into position and press tightly against the wall. Apply adhesive into the groove of one of the divider moldings that has previously been fitted and set aside, and slip it into place along the panel edge. Check to see that the divider is plumb, then fasten that edge of the panel to the wall by nailing through the exposed flange on the molding strip.

Return to the panel and press it firmly against the wall, working from center outward toward edges. Repeat this after 20 minutes to ensure good contact. Remove excess adhesive as soon as possible, using a soft cloth and mineral spirits or turpentine. Install additional panels in a logical sequence, following the general procedures just discussed.

To put a prefitted panel into place when only one side is open — that is, surrounded by moldings on two sides and across the top — set the panel on the floor and bend the panel slightly, as shown. When the two opposite edges can be slipped into molding grooves along both edges, release the curved panel, and slide the panel upward into position, in the top molding groove.

Finish the job by installing base trim at the bottom of the wall. Paneling around tubs and showers. Start by turning off the water supply. Line the existing tub with a padding of news-paper and a drop cloth or tarp to avoid scratching the tub or shower floor. Be sure no foreign material is between the padding and tub bottom. Using heavy paper, make a template showing all locations of faucets, valves, shower arm, and the like. Remove faucets, soap dishes, or towel bars. Check for accuracy, then transfer the pattern to the back of a panel you have already edge-fitted to the wall. Make cut-outs for faucets, shower arm, and so on.

Dry-fit the panel to be sure of alignment, then apply adhesive to back of panel. Fill tub molding groove and other moldings with adhesive or caulking fora watertight seal. Press the panel into position. When continuing with the installation of subsequent panels be sure that panel edges, joints and moldings are well filled with adhesives, so that the installation will be watertight. Since no one set of instructions for in-stalling paneling can take into account all problems, study carefully the manufacturer's instruction booklet. Variations can be adopted once you have become familiar with characteristics of the paneling

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