The Best Installation Methods for PVC Wall Cladding Sheets
Installing PVC Wall Cladding sheets is one of the best ways to create a waterproof wall surface. The installation is easy and can be done by a person with a good level of DIY Skill. PVC wall cladding sheets are easy to wipe clean or wash, which is great for creating a hygienic wall surface.
Another common application of PVC Wall Cladding Sheets is for areas that get regularly covered in muck or dirt such as equestrian or dairy walls. In these applications, it is a great help to have a waterproof wall that can be regularly pressure washed.
How Do You Attach PVC Wall Cladding to a Wall?
To attach PVC wall cladding sheets to a wall there are three methods commonly used, but from the experience of seeing a lot of installations over years we would only recommend one of them;
Fixing PVC Wall Cladding to a Wall with Screws: (Not Recommended):
Using mechanical fixings such as plastic-headed nails or screws with plastic screw caps to fix PVC Wall Cladding sheets to walls is quick and easy to do. However, there are four reasons why this is not a recommended method as set out below:
- Using screws or nails to fix Wall Cladding Sheets naturally requires you to drill or nail through the waterproof sheets, which in effect punctures the waterproof membrane.
- Whilst the plastic-headed fixings may be able to seal the holes behind them, the heads become an obstruction to wiping down the PVC Cladding Sheets. Worse still, they can get knocked and the plastic heads snap off which then creates a bigger issue with waterproofing the hole behind.
- If you can imagine seeing multiple fixing heads showing across your newly installed PVC Wall cladding sheets, I think you’ll agree that they look a bit unsightly.
- Plastic Wall Cladding Sheets are naturally flexible. This means that you need to use a fixing method that attaches a high proportion of the surface area. Screw or nail fixing methods only provide spot-fixing at the various points where they are used, which means that the sheet is more likely to undulate between each fixing point.
Fixing PVC Wall Cladding to a Wall with Double Sided Adhesive Tape: (Not Recommended):
Using double-sided adhesive tape to fix PVC Wall Cladding Sheets to a wall may not seem a bad idea. However, there are a good number of things you should consider if you choose to fix wall cladding sheets this way.
- Check if the adhesive on the tape is suitable for use at the temperature that the installation will in normally be set at. For example, if it going in a cold store where the normal temperature will be very low or a kitchen where it can be mostly a hotter environment.
- It’s worth testing to see if the material in the inner layer of the adhesive tape is strong enough to hold the sheets and adhere them to the wall.
- Also check if the thickness of the adhesive tape is thin enough to not create undulations (curves, or unevenness) in the PVC wall cladding Sheets. And on the other hand, check if the adhesive tape is thick enough to bridge any undulations in the back wall you are adhering the sheets to if the wall is uneven.
Fixing PVC Wall Cladding to a Wall with Silicone or Wall Grab Adhesive: (Recommended):
We recommend using a good quality silicone or panel adhesive in a silicone gun-style tube as the quickest, easiest and most reliable method of fixing PVC Wall Cladding Sheets to a wall, and here’s why:
- There are no mechanical fixings when using high-quality silicone to fix hygienic wall cladding, so the sheet remains completely waterproof.
- There are no unsightly fixing heads visible, meaning the waterproof wall cladding sheets look great with a completely smooth flat surface.
- Using high-quality silicone (or other similar adhesives) will not one provide a bond, but also allow for some natural expansion and contraction of the PVC wall cladding sheets with temperature changes.
- Using a silicone gun means it is easy to apply thin beads of sealant in an even grid-like manner across the sheet which allows the adhesive to be applied to all areas ensuring the PVC wall cladding sheet is evenly bonded.
- The silicone beads can be applied at different thicknesses depending on the unevenness of the wall that is being clad. The malleable or liquid type of adhesive allows it to squeeze into cracks or small undulations in the wall so the surface of the wall cladding is as flat as possible.
- Using silicone will allow for slight position adjustments during installation as curing time would typically be a few hours.
What Connectors do I need for PVC Wall Cladding Installation?
This illustration show the typical connectors you will need when installing PVC Wall Cladding:
How do You Cut PVC Wall Cladding Sheets to Size
When installing PVC wall cladding sheets, it is sometimes necessary to cut the sheets. For example, this could be due to there being a window or doorway partway along the wall.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You should choose a high-quality PVC wall cladding sheet as poor-quality cheap PVC Wall Cladding can cause issues when you come to cut it.
The easiest way to cut PVC wall cladding sheets is to use a fine-tooth jigsaw. Mark a line on the PVC Wall Cladding Sheet where you want to cut. Set the Jigsaw cutting speed to a high speed and then slowly enter from the side of the sheet, following the cutting line you have drawn. Keep the Jigsaw at a high-revolution speed and move it slowly along your cutting line as going too fast can cause unnecessary chipping.
How Do You Drill Holes Through PVC Wall Cladding?
Whilst it’s best to use adhesive to fix PVC Wall Cladding sheets, there are still times when you may need to drill holes in Wall Cladding sheets. For example, conduits for electrical cables, or pipework. Additionally, if you need to jigsaw out a shape or larger areas from the middle of a sheet, then it’s a good idea to start by drilling a hole that you can then slot the jigsaw blade into.
To drill holes in PVC Wall Cladding sheets, simply use a sharp SDS drill bit. Have the drill at a high speed and make the entry speed very slow. You can also use a fine-tooth hole cutter tool where larger holes are required. Provided you use a good quality PVC Cladding Sheet then using this method should eliminate any cracking or chipping effect.
How Do You Bend PVC Wall Cladding?
Normally corners can be created in PVC hygienic wall cladding using an external corner trim or internal corner trim for wall cladding. However, it is also possible to create corners by bending the sheet. This is particularly helpful for an area where the corners are shallower or more acute than 90 degrees.
To bend hygienic PVC wall cladding sheets, you need to use a line bender that heats a straight line where you need to bend the sheet. You should follow the instructions on the line bender manufacturer for safety and best practise.
It is also possible to use other non-flame heat sources such as a hot air gun (some people have even used a hair dryer) to heat the area of the bend and then fold the sheet into position. Using an air gun makes it harder to get a neat bend, however, if you can bend the softened sheet around a sharp or distinct corner line then it works well.
Need further advice on installing PVC Wall Cladding?
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