Installing Carlton Panels Outdoors: Basic Guidelines

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Tools and Supplies You'll Need

You can install Carlton panels easily using tools found in almost everyone's toolbox. To complete your project you will at least need these basic tools:

  1. Exterior Grade Screws - use screws that are long enough to go through the FauxPanel and firmly attach to the wall behind the FauxPanel. We recommend Deck Screws for exterior installations due to their durability, and their ability to withstand any expansion and contraction of your structure, and the normal expansion and contraction of our Fauxpanels due to ambient temperature and humidity changes.
  2. Construction Adhesive/Glue — we recommend either PL® Premium Construction Adhesive, PL® Premium Advanced 3X Construction Adhesive (which has 3x faster bonding), or Great Stuff Pro.
  3. Screw gun with the appropriate tip for the screws being used.
  4. A saw for cutting panels – a circular saw, jig saw, band saw, table saw, or hand saw, it is your preference. Any woodcutting blade normally used for cutting plywood with these saws work great and cut smooth and easy.
  5. Tape Measure
  6. Level
  7. Chalk Line (optional, but recommended)
  8. Caulking gun for applying the Adhesive/Glue and Caulk.
  9. FauxPanels® color complimenting textured caulk.
  10. Coordinating Touch-up Kit.
  11. FauxPanels® Drainage Mat (if needed, check your building code, however, we do highly recommend this if you are utilizing a House Wrap on your exterior)
  12. Staple Gun and exterior grade staples (only needed if the Drainage Mat is used)


Follow steps below to install ALL Carlton faux panels, additional steps if installing Fieldstone panels. The panels can be installed indoors, or outdoors, on any reasonably flat surface that is clean and is in structurally sound condition.

Before you start siding installation, clean and wipe down surfaces.

1.) Begin your panel installation by cleaning the surface on which the faux stone face will be attached. Wipe off the wall and use a wire brush on harder surfaces. Wipe down the back of the exterior wall panel as well.

Acclimatize the FauxPanel® to about the same temperature and humidity as the installation wall for about 24 hours. Do not store FauxPanels® in direct sunlight or close to heat sources before installing.

For DIY Projects, please check and comply with all Building Codes pertaining to your region.

2.) This step shows how to use a drainage mat behind the exterior wall panel. Roll out and apply the FauxPanel® Drainage Mat to the entire wall surface being covered. Use the adhesive/glue behind the mat and exterior-grade staples through the mat into the wall to firmly attach the mat to the wall.

NOTE: If a house wrap is used, (always check and comply with all building codes that pertain to your region if house wrap is needed) the Drainage Mat must be installed on top of the house wrap, not the other way around. ALSO, do not use adhesive, only mechanical fasteners. Make sure the fasteners are long enough to go through the House Wrap and into the structural material beneath it. The DM-3611R Drainage Mat meets the Canadian Building Codes and is required for most exterior installations done in Canada.

Check for the proper position of the panel lip to determine direction for install.

3.) Determine whether your panels will be installed from left to right or right to left. This is accomplished by looking at your panel and making sure the protruding lip is on the top. Then plan the layout of your panels to best suit your space.

Use a level to find the high point on your floor/ground. Measure up from the high point of the floor/ground and mark the wall to the height of the panel being installed. Draw a level line across the wall as a guide.

The starting panel should be cut as shown to create a more realistic appearance.

4.) Cut into the first panel by either ½, ⅓, or ¼ and not just cut off the tabs at the end. This reduces the amount of waste, ensures that the seams on the next rows will not line up and will make the install look more realistic.

Fieldstone wall coverings needs to be cut as shown to fit correctly.

4a.) When installing Fieldstone, cut into the first panel by ½, ⅓, or ¼ horizontally and vertically.

Siding installation will be made easier through correct use of glue on your panels.

5.) Apply a bead of adhesive/glue to the perimeter of the back of the exterior wall panel, roughly an inch from the edge.

Add additional adhesive/glue to the rest of the panel back in a vertical straight line pattern with the beads of adhesive/glue 4 inches apart or less

Proper glue application is key to a successful DIY project

6.) Apply the exterior wall panel to the wall. Use a slight twisting motion to ensure good contact between the adhesive/glue and the wall for proper panel installation. Make sure the panel is level.

Proper glue application is key to a successful DIY project

7.) Fasten the exterior wall panel to the wall with screws around the perimeter, keeping them roughly one foot apart or less. Place additional screws in the middle of the panel at a rate of about 1 screw per square foot. All screws should be very slightly recessed below the surface of the faux stone faux panel. Do not over tighten the screws.

Hint: Placing screws under protruding rocks, in grout lines or crevices, will hide them and provide a cleaner and more realistic look.

Careful adhesive application will ensure quality results

8.) Add glue/adhesive to the lip of the panel where the next panel will overlap, about 1 inch away from the textured face of the panel.

Textured caulk adds professional polish to a DIY project

9.) Add textured caulk to the crease where the panels butt together. This is very important to ensure a weather-tight seal.

Steps 8 & 9 help maintain the integrity of the exterior wall panel installation by preventing any possible flexing or separation of the product due to extreme temperature and humidity changes once the installation is complete. Textured caulk can be used to conceal the screw heads as well.

Note: Textured caulk should only be added to panel seams at this point in the installation. Adding caulk onto seams after panels have been glued together can cause a less realistic appearance and won’t adequately protect from moisture.

Repeat siding installation steps as necessary for the remaining panels.

10.) Repeat steps 5-9 for the next exterior wall panel to be installed. Place it onto the wall next to the first panel. Keep the panel level. Press the panels tightly against the wall with a slight wiggle motion to help spread the glue thoroughly.

Install the panel very closely against the first exterior wall panel, as they may expand and contract with temperature changes. Continue repeating steps 5-10 until the first row is complete.

Careful clean up generates good results for your DIY project

11.) Use a damp cloth to remove any excess textured caulk before it dries. A wet finger, paint brush, or other similar tool can assist in smoothing and blending the caulk. Also use the textured caulk to fill in any voids, gaps, screw heads, or spaces. Click here for more details on caulking panels.

For multiple rows, repeat these siding installation steps.

12.) If you are installing multiple rows of panels, start on the next row above the one just completed. Repeat steps 5-11 for the next row of FauxPanels® to be installed.

Note: The panels are designed to butt up to each other bottom to top. This 'shiplap' joint should be glued and caulked as described in steps 8 & 9 to ensure a tight seal and seamless look.

When you come to the end of a panel run, most often you can take the piece you originally cut off to use at the start of your next run or offset each row by a half sheet. This will make pattern repeats less noticeable.

Fieldstone wall coverings cannot be offset due to their patterns

12a.) When installing the Fieldstone panel you will not be able to offset the panel when installing one over the other due to the nature of their interlocking patterns.

Your wall coverings are now installed. Enjoy!

13.) Using the paint from the Touch-up Kit, paint the FauxPanels®, screw heads, and textured caulk as needed. Click here for more details on Touching Up Norwich Panels.

Stand back and admire your handiwork.

Important Info...

Be sure that the panels are oriented properly, the tongue portion of the panel is on top of the panel, and the groove portion of the panel is on the bottom. All joints, including miters, will need to be glued and caulked. The panels may require additional shimming and trimming for proper alignment.

Be sure to follow and obey all safety rules and recommendations set forth by tool manufacturers.

Always follow any, and all, local, state, and federal building codes. Always comply with any specified clearances set forth by the manufactures of stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and any other heat sources, as well.