A Guide to Fitting Wall Panels
As experts in wall cladding we sell a range of cladding accessories and sheet options, offering pre-cut and customised panelling to suit your project needs. We take a look at how you can install wall panels internally and externally and what you'll need to consider during installation.
There are typically a few different types of cladding dependent on your needs and the project you are working on.
- Interior PVC Cladding
- Exterior PVC Cladding
- Exterior Timber Cladding
Most commonly used across projects for retailers and commercial buildings, interior PVC cladding is a great solution for creating a stylish and modern design. Durable and maintenance-free, interior PVC cladding offers a range of finishes and colours for your style. Wash clean finishes mean they are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens and give an easy way to style your kitchen with a professional and polished finish.
Why Use Cladding?
Plaster, brick, wallpaper, and tiles. All of these are common but when decorating or refitting a room, a popular solution now is wall cladding. Offering stylish designs and colour choices, our interior wall cladding panels are perfect for covering a wall or providing a surrounding in a kitchen or bathroom, whether it’s for overall coverage or for splashbacks. PVC Cladding panels are easy to clean, require very little maintenance and provide unmatched durability.
How to Deal with Electrical Fittings
Can you use these cladding panels with wall electrical fittings in place? Yes you can. One of the trickier parts of using PVC wall cladding panels indoors is working around the electric fixtures and fittings already in place. It’s strongly recommended that you hire an electrician to oversee the fittings, in particular because you cannot place panels over the electric fixtures, for risk of causing overheating or electrocution, as well as the fact that these sockets and fixtures have to be available for maintenance and testing. Surface mounted fittings must be installed by a qualified electrician.
Which Cladding should you Choose?
It’s important to know which cladding you need for your project and we can help you find the right type. Available in various lengths and thicknesses, you can dictate what specifications you need and we can cut the panels for you. These panels can be fixed with adhesive and silicone, as opposed to fixing pins (on non-PVC panels).
There are always processes to follow when installing anything during a building project and wall cladding is no different. With these panels, there is no need to prep them or treat them beforehand, however, the preparation will be more relevant to your existing location and where you are fixing them to.
To prep your area, here are the following considerations:
- Clean the area where the panel will be attached
- Remove clutter and any obstacles in the immediate area
- Remove skirting boards and obstructive items such as railings or pictures
- Wire brush the wall and clean away any loose plaster (if the current wall is plaster)
- Discuss with an electrician and plumber to re-route pipes or wiring systems/electrical fixtures ready for the new panelling installation to avoid fouling or obstruction.
You can choose from a range of sizes and colours and you can specify your cut requirements for your project. Cut to size panels help with bespoke project work and offer flexibility and choice. One of the biggest benefits to pre-cut PVC wall cladding is the ability to wipe clean the panel surface areas, in comparison to wood cladding which requires significantly more maintenance and treatment, during and after installation.
With wood cladding you need to consider sanding the surface first, cleaning off the dust, painting and finishing the boards with two coats, wait for it to dry, then cut and fix the boards. Not only are these panels heavier than PVC but they require more treatment and are simply not as durable, for interior or external cladding.
Fitting PVC Wall Cladding
The ease of fitting PVC cladding sheets makes them more suitable than wood panels and the durability, easy clean nature and lightweight elements of PVC mean it’s the perfect option for anyone wanting to install wall cladding easily and with confidence. Our accessories help with the fixings and installation. For fitting PVC wall cladding you will need External F Sections to enable you to slip the panels into place from both sides, providing aesthetically pleasing finishes and neat installations throughout your home.
Inside corners are accessories which help fix wall cladding and these sit on inside walls to allow the sheets to butt up to the edges and enable a clean and simple finish.
Capping strips offer an accessory which provides a profile to finish open edges during cladding projects where only part of the wall is being decorated. These can be used at the bottom and top of the sheets and we stock one part and two part capping strips to give you choice when finishing your cladding installation.
Adhesive & Silicone
Adhesive gives a perfect solution for sticking PVC panels to any surface, giving a reliable and strong bond for installation. Ideal for gap filling and placing panels, our adhesive is a two-part adhesive with silicone tubes available for easy application. Pins or screws should be used to pin the panels in place whilst waiting for the adhesive to stick - it also enables consistency before the next panel is slotted in place.
Checklist for Wall Cladding Projects
There are some essential items you’ll need to perform a successful cladding project. These include:
- DIY Apron (protective clothing)
- Spirit level
- Tape measure
- Adhesive & Silicone
- DIY Knife
- Internal Corners
- External Corners
- Capping Strips
- Lint Free Cloth
- DIY Gloves
- Screws & Pins
Is PVC Wall Cladding Good For bathrooms?
PVC wall cladding is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens because of their waterproof nature and durable lifespan. It is maintenance free and easy to clean and so this makes it perfect for splashbacks and panelling in showers and bath surrounds. Easy to fit and with no discoloration, PVC wall cladding offers a quick solution and effective style and design.
What to Stick Bathroom Cladding with
Adhesive is generally the best way to fix panels straight to the wall, however, only if the surface is flat. Screws and pins are good for securing initially whilst the adhesive dries but the best thing about cladding adhesive is that it is unaffected by steam, heat and water. Inside corners and capping strips may be needed depending on the wall layout. We’d recommend that if installing in a shower cubicle, behind a shower, that you apply silicone adhesive to the panel edge before placing. This will ensure a watertight finish and protect against leaking. Seal all the way around to ensure that the installation stays secure against water damage.
Are Bathroom Wall Panels Better Than Tiles?
They are certainly an easier solution, offering watertight coverings and a lot less effort in the installation. Essentially, wall panels provide fewer parts compared with tiles where you would need potentially hundreds of individual tiles to cover a bathroom wall. With PVC wall cladding panels on the other hand, you would only need a few panels for full coverage and this in turn, would result in cheaper labour costs and shorter installation time.
Ideas for Kitchen Splashbacks
PVC wall cladding is ideal for kitchen splashbacks because of their easy-clean nature and lightweight application. The range of colours and pre-cut sizes to suit which are available, allow a modern finish and stylish design for kitchen sink surroundings and splashback walls. Liven up your kitchen environment with a choice of colours to modernise and style your home.
Wall cladding isn’t difficult to install and it is definitely one of the more popular wall fitting options, especially internally but should you have any questions about the product or concerns over installation we’d be happy to discuss further. Call us on 0116 3090124 email us here.