Gone are the days of paint and wallpaper- wall panels have become all the rage now, and not without reason. They are versatile, offer more texture and character to your space when compared to other alternatives. It also showcases your taste and craftsmanship. Although installing wall panels can be quite easy, there is a possibility of doing a sloppy job if you don’t pay attention to the details, but worry not, we’ve got you! Here is all you need to know about installing wall panels-
Planning makes perfect
This is perhaps the most important step in the entire process. You need to decide what materials to use, and what design to introduce. You must not overdo the paneling- if you are introducing a bold color or pattern, for instance, you can apply it to just one wall, or stop short of the ceiling like you would with wainscoting. There are several wall paneling designs- ones for the bedroom, wood panels for the bathroom, or even DIY! So mull your options over, and choose the best one of the lot.
There are many interior wall paneling designs and materials available in the market. They are exciting and creative, adding a distinct edge to your room. A great option would be adhesive murals- yes, you read that right! It is surely the best of both worlds- art and function. You can adapt this to your liking. They are suitable to display your company’s logo or even a stunning art piece. There can be custom made to suit your requirements. Murals are sound-dampening and prevent echoes. They are also very durable and last for a very long time.
Do your research
Figure out what your requirements are, and search for a material and design that would suit you best. For instance, acoustic foam panels are the best material for sound-proofing. You also need to estimate your budget and choose a decorative interior wall panel that fits your bill.
Measure the available area, and accurately calculate the number of materials you would need to install the paneling. Also, place importance on the aesthetic appeal and the longevity of your materials.
Be ready with all the necessary materials
Be wise, and ensure you have the necessary supplies.
You will need Furring strips, Hammer, Plumb, a coping saw, Adhesive, Putty, Nails, Marking chalk, a Drill, and Damp-proofing supplies.
Arm yourself with all these before you start with the installation.
Prepare the walls and the paneling
Next up is preparing the walls so that they go on smoothly. Make sure that the walls are as even and bump-free as possible, so that the panels fit like a glove. Once that is done, check where the studs are located, and mark their location on the wall by drawing lines.
To further secure a base to nail the paneling, attach furring strips of 1x3 or 1x4 lengths to the studs. Note that these should be attached flat and plumb so that the panels stay flat too. A ¼ inch space should be left at the top and bottom of the wall to make up for uneven joints in the floor or the ceiling. The studs should either be spaced evenly, either 16-inches or 24-inches apart. Damp proof the walls before you install the panels, to prevent long term damage.
Pro tip- Wood expands and contracts according to temperature and humidity, so let the panels rest for 2-3 days where they will be installed, to get them all warmed up for the installation.
Cut and arrange the panels
Cut the panels according to the sizes, and take them for a test run- arrange and rearrange them until you get the best possible result. Remember that there must be a ¼ inch gap between the panels and the ceiling. Check your corners, and use a coping saw to round the edges perfectly if need be.
While cutting, ensure that you accommodate any electrical outlets, windows, or other fixtures present on the wall. You can mark this area using chalk, to guide you while cutting the panels.
Install the panels
Here is the big moment- installation of the panels, either with nails or adhesive. Fix the first panel with a plumb. Trim any uneven edges. Remember to leave an inch’s gap between the panels to allow for expansion after you glue them into place. Nail the tops slightly so that they are firmly in line. The key is to nail every four inches on the ends and every 8 inches elsewhere. Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on what nails to use.
Pro tip- Make sure the adhesive is applied entirely to the side you glue on the wall so that you prevent steam and moisture finding their ways to the panels, which will inevitably invite mold.
Make the finishing touches
Now is the time to tick things off your checklist. Accommodate for electrical outlets, windows, and shape and trim the edges to perfection. If you need to replace or touch upon the molding on the floor or ceiling, get on it now. Don’t forget to finish the modeling off with wood putty.
You can also choose to whitewash your wood panels or paint them to make them look like drywall. You might have to go an extra mile, but the results are totally worth it.
Installing wall panels is not a tough job at all, even if it might seem intimidating sometimes. The key thing is to plan adequately and do your due diligence. Scour the market for options, and arrive at one that makes the most sense to you and your space. Measure and cut accurately, and install the panels carefully, without forming air pockets.