Manufactured in the British Isles
Ask Jack...
Ak Jack...

We find that the following questions are the ones which we are most frequently asked. We have provided them here, with answers, and hope they will help you. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need any further help or information. Click on one of the subjects below to find out more.

What is open backed panelling?

How do I choose the right panelling for the job?

How do I install my panelling?

How do I fit skirtings and dados?

How do I paint my panelling?

How do I handle MDF? are there any risks attached to it?

How do I deal with power points when fitting my panelling?

How do I deal with radiators which occur within my new panelling run?

How do I deal with windows that impact the top line of my panelling?

How do I set out my panelling in order to ensure symmetry given my particular wall lengths?

Would your panelling be an alternative to tiling in a bathroom?

How much will I need for a typical? hall, kitchen, bathroom, staircase, living room?

How much extra should I allow for wastage when I am ordering my panelling?

Going higher with panelling...

Framing strips...

Shelving...

What is open backed panelling?

Backed and open panelling

Unlike our Georgian reeded panelling, which is made from solid sheets of MDF, the Open Backed types literally have perforations in the shape of rectangles or squares to create the panelled look.

 

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How do I choose the right panelling for the job?

This will depend on four factors:

  • 1. The condition of the walls: If the walls are uneven or damp? use only solid panelling . If the walls are smooth, flat and dry? you can use any type of panelling.

  • 2. The need to conceal services: If there are pipes or wiring to be concealed, Use our Georgian panelling directly on studwork or any of the open backed types on plasterboard fitted to the studwork. remember to allow access panels where necessary or required under building regs.

  • 3. The proportions of the room/area and style considerations: Generally speaking, the finished room will look best if the top of the panelling run is either 1/3rd or 2/3rds of the height of the room, rather than dividing it in half. Other factors which may influence choice would include the height of fire surrounds, fitted cupboards and window sills, or the presence of existing dado rails. Style considerations would take into account the age of the property & its existing features (simple or ornate).

  • 4. Suitability for the type of room/area:

    • Georgian lends itself best to utility areas? such as kitchens, bathrooms and cloakrooms - and circulation spaces such as passages, hallways, stairways and landings.
    • Regency is better suited to larger spaces, where the larger pattern repeat can take advantage of the longer runs of wall.
    • Victorian? with its unique ability to be fitted to either dado or picture rail heights? compliments spaces particularly well such as studies and offices
    • Edwardian provides a slightly more contemporary feel than Victorian and works well in living rooms, dining rooms and other reception rooms.

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How do I install my panelling?

 

Smooth flat and dry walls? The panelling can be glued directly to the wall, using a panelling adhesive such as Gripfill. Open backed panelling only requires a thin film of adhesive for its application, so that a homogenous appearance is achieved. Use of Evo-Stik - applied with a mini roller - is one very effective method, but always check the suitability of the glue being used to the wall surface to which it is being applied. Use a pin gun or panel pins to hold panelling in place, whilst the glue sets, and then remove or hammer home afterwards.

 

Rough walls? Fix battens to walls and then fix either Georgian direct to these or dryline with plasterboard if using open backed types. On extrenal walls insulation can be placed between the battens to enhance the thermal performance of the wall.

 

Residual damp? Ensure the cause of damp has been dealt with first, and then fix as described in 3 above.

 

Where services are to be concealed? Construct studwork using a minimum of 50mm x 50mm timber, ensuring that all panel edges are fully supported. Fix panels to the studwork created using panel adhesive - use screws over sections that may require future inspection access. 


 

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How do I fit skirtings and dados?

Dado rail

Some types of skirtings have a flat edge, on top of which the panelling can sit, but most will need to be fitted after the panelling has been installed. The panelling should then be taken down to either just below the skirting line or almost down to the floor - it is always a good idea to leave a small gap here, and then fit the skirting afterwards, using panel adhesive and pins. Dado rails can be used both to finish off the top of the panelling, and also to straighten up any variations or inaccuracies in the datum line? this is done by fixing them just slightly higher than the datum and then filling.


 

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How do I paint my panelling?

Paint your panellingPrime it. Then, when dry, apply a first coat of water based eggshell paint? if the paint is thick, thin it first to ensure not to over apply to corners and grooves. Then, when dry, apply a second coat of the water based eggshell.

 

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How do I handle MDF? are there any risks attached to it?

MDF is a wood composite material, primarily softwood, bonded with a synthetic resin, which is usually formaldehyde-based. Although it has been commercially available since the 1960s, its use has become significant only in the last decade or so.

The atmosphere created by machining MDF contains a mixture of wood dust (typically 85-100% softwood for MDF manufactured in Great Britain), free formaldehyde, dust particles onto which formaldehyde is absorbed and, potentially, the resin binder itself and its derivatives.

Following extensive tests, the Working Group on the Assessment of Toxic Chemicals (WATCH) found there to be no evidence that the ill-health effects - associated with exposure arising from the machining of MDF? are any different from those associated with similar exposure arising from machining other forms of wood.

The 'machining' process, therefore, is the only time that MDF poses any kind of health risk. The reality is that once the MDF is cut and finished with sealant or paint, it is no more harmful than a tomato (weight for weight, MDF and tomatoes have the same percentage of formaldehyde content).

Ensure good ventilation and use a good quality dust mask whenever cutting MDF. Ideally do all your cutting outside - this also has the added benefit that there is less clearing up afterwards.

Please note that we only use the finest MDF available - normally this is the Medite brand made in Southern Ireland - the moisture resistant variant is the best of its type available on the market. It is easier to paint than standard MDF, because it is less absorbent.


 

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How do I deal with power points when fitting my panelling?

We would advise you to consult an electrician, but, by way of guidance, power points can be re-sited, on solid panelling, by using standard plasterboard boxes? subject of course to the amount of play in the existing wiring.

 

With open backed panelling, in most cases the sockets will fall within an open part of the panel, but otherwise relocate as the existing wiring will allow or alternatively cut the panelling to suit.

 

Good advance planning is the key to avoiding and minimising any difficulties. It is advisable to lay the panels against the walls to see how they coincide with socket positions, as a simple adjustment here or there - with the size of one panel - can usually reduce, or even eliminate altogether, the need to re-locate a socket.

 

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How do I deal with radiators which occur within my new panelling run?

The panelling will be strong enough to hold the radiator mountings? thus the mountings need refixing to the surface of the panelling - and it would be advisable to mount further battens in the area in the vicinity of those

radiator mountings.

 

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How do I deal with windows that impact the top line of my panelling?

When setting up your layout prior to fixing, careful planning will be of considerable benefit? a simple scale drawing will assist this process. Inevitably some on site cutting will be required.

 

 

 

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How do I set out my panelling in order to ensure symmetry given my particular wall lengths?

Again, careful planning and setting out is needed prior to fitting. In the case of the Georgian panelling - due to the vertical nature and small pattern repeat of the design - this is less of an issue, although care should still be taken when deciding where to place the cuts.

 

Where panelling, other than Georgian, is to be fitted, plan each length of wall separately. Because the panels can be reversed, or rotated, they can be laid out from each corner of each wall of the room to see what happens where they meet in the middle. The chances are that you will end up with an overlap. This can easily be dealt with by simply cutting down one of the panels which meet in the middle of the wall in order to create one larger (or smaller) panel in the centre of the run.

 

An alternative is to cut down the two panels on either end of the wall, so that all the panels in between are the same size. This will give you two identical but smaller panels, one at either end of the run, but again symmetry is maintained.

 

This method is also useful when dealing with very short runs of wall, of, say, a metre or less. The position of existing sockets may help to determine which of the above methods suits best.


 

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Would your panelling be an alternative to tiling in a bathroom?

Alternative to tiling

Yes, it certainly would, although we would recommend Georgian panelling for bathrooms since it does not have any ledges upon which water could sit. We would not however recommend the use of any MDF based panelling within a shower cubicle itself.

 

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How much will I need?

 

Exact quantities of panelling will depend on the actual dimensions of the rooms to be fitted, the number and size of openings, as well as the presence of projections such as chimney breasts etc. however the basic principle is to take the total linear length of the wall in metres and divide by 0.6 to get the number of panels required. Allow approx 10% extra for cutting/wastage.

How much extra should I allow for wastage when I am ordering my panelling?

This will naturally vary from case to case, and particularly, where chimney breasts and other architectural features exist, more framing strips will be required. Conversely openings, e.g doorways, and large expanses of flat wall will reduce the amount of wastage you need to allow for. There is no substitute however for a simple working drawing prior to ordering, just as usually carried out when measuring up for tiling in kitchens or bathrooms. 


 

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Going higher with panelling...

If you want your panelling to go up to a picture rail, or even full height to a cornice or ceiling itself, this is possible with our Open Short Victorian panelling. This product differs from all the others in as much that the sheets are open on two sides - in effect an "F" shape - thereby allowing the sheets to be applied both vertically and horizontally as required. Ideal for studies and offices. This look can create an impressive effect in larger hallways and passages. 


 

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Framing strips...

Framing stripThese are simply the "missing pieces" from our various panel designs (in the example shown, the left hand vertical edge of Victorian). Normally, of course, each panel uses the next as its edge, but if the run terminates before reaching a corner, one extra framing strip will be needed to complete the panel. Short Victorian, because it is capable of being used vertically and horizontally, will need framing along its bottom edge as well as the leading one. Georgian, on the other hand, needs no framing strips.

In most cases, with the exception of Short Victorian, you may not need any framing strips at all. If the panelling on each run of wall is set out from the two corners of that wall, (or from a door, window edge or wall corner) and worked back towards the middle of the run then all that is required will be a cut. (see "How do I set out my panelling..." above).

However a few framing strips may come in handy to make up gaps where cutting is not desirable. When using Short Victorian some framing strips will always be needed for the bottom edge of the run. If you are going higher with this type of panelling, you will still only need the framing strips for the first (lowest) row of panels.

Framing strips for Solid panelling are thicker, to match the depth of these panels, and so these cannot be used in conjunction with Open Backed panelling which is thinner.


 

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Shelving

There may be instances where the use of a shelf may be a useful substitute for a dado rail. If the panelling is being boxed out for services then this will probably always be the case, as the shelf acts as an ideal "lid" to close off the top of the framework? see left hand image above. However, even where the panelling is applied directly to the wall or on battens, a shelf can be made using simple brackets to support it at suitable intervals? see the second image to the right.


 

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Thankyou


Scumble Goosie