You can install Wellington panels easily using tools found in almost everyone's toolbox. To complete your project you will at least need these basic tools:
Follow steps below to install ALL Wellington faux panels, additional steps for installing River Rock panels. The panels can be installed indoors, or outdoors, on any reasonably flat surface that is clean and is in structurally sound condition.
1.) Begin your exterior design project by first by making sure that the wall you're attaching the fake stone or wood to is clean. Wipe down the surface and use a wire brush on harder surfaces. Wipe the back of the panel as well.
Acclimatize the panel to roughly the same temperature and humidity as the installation surface for about 24 hours. Do not store FauxPanels® in direct sunlight or close to heat sources prior to installation.
2.) This step shows how to use a drainage mat behind the panels in your exterior design. Roll out and apply the drainage mat to the entire exterior wall to be 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.
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.
4.) Cut into the first panel by either 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 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.
4a.) When installing River Rock, cut into the first panel by 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 horizontally and vertically.
5.) Apply a bead of glue/adhesive to the perimeter of the back of the panel, roughly an inch from the edge.
Add additional glue/adhesive to the rest of the panel back in a vertical straight line pattern with beads of glue/adhesive only 4 inches apart or less.
6.) Apply the panel to the wall. Use a slight twisting motion to ensure good contact with the glue/adhesive and the wall. Make sure the panel is level.
7.) Begin fastening the panel to the outside wall with screws all around the perimeter at roughly one foot apart or less. Additional screws should be placed 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 panel. Do not over tighten the screws.
Hint: Placing screws under protruding rocks, in crevices, or grout lines, will help conceal them and give a cleaner/more realistic look.
8.) Add adhesive to the lip of the panel where the next panel will overlap, about 1 inch away from the textured face of the panel.
9.) Add the textured caulk to the crease where the panels will meet. This is very important to ensure a weather-tight seal.
Steps 8 & 9 help maintain the integrity of the panel installation by preventing any possible flexing or separation of the product due to extreme temperature and humidity changes once the installation is complete. Use the textured caulk 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.
10.) Repeat steps 5-9 for the next panel to be installed. Place it onto the wall next to the first panel. Keep the panel level. Press the panels firmly against the wall with a slight wiggle motion to help spread the glue.
Install the panel very tightly against the first, as they may expand and contract with temperature changes. Continue repeating steps 5-9 until your first row is complete.
11.) Use a damp cloth to wipe off any excess textured caulk before it dries. A wet finger, paint brush, or other such tool can assist in smoothing and blending the caulk. Use the textured caulk to also fill in any voids, gaps, screw heads, or spaces. Click here for more details on caulking panels.
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 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 cut off at the end to use at the start of your next run or offset each row by a half sheet. This will make pattern repeats less noticeable.
12a.) When installing the River Rock panel you will not be able to offset the panel when installing one over the other due to the nature of their interlocking patterns.
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 Wellington Panels.
Stand back and admire your handiwork.
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.