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Installation Guidelines for FRP Panels:

Read all instructions before installation. Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics Panels should only be installed over solid wall surfaces (gypsum board, concrete board, wood, cinder block, etc.). Wall surfaces should be clean, flat, dry and smooth. Uneven wall surfaces should be corrected for best results. FRP Panels will form to the contour of the wall surface when attached. For more detailed information, click the link on the left under PDF's to print the FRP Panel Installation Instructions.

Inspection, Storage and Preparation

FRP Panels should be inspected promptly upon receipt and stored in a dry area with a temperature of 55° or more for a period of 48 hours for best results. Before installation FRP panels should be unwrapped and removed from the pallet, then carefully stacked on a flat, dry surface.


Southwest Vault Builders distributes and recommends electric metal and fiberglass shears with bi-parting blades. FRP panels should also be cut using pow er circular saws with carbide or masonry blades. FRP panels may be drilled for fastening with a metal drill bit. A masonry bit should be used w hen drilling in concrete, if required. Remember to always wear protective eye lenses when cutting fiberglass plastic panels.

Expansion & Contraction

All brands of FRP Panels will expand and contract due to changes in temperature and environment. It is important to allow a 1/8" gap at the ceiling and panel base. Allow a 1/16" gap between panels and division bars. If face mounted moldings. Allow more space for expansion and contraction of FRP panels longer than 8' and in areas with high fluctuations in temperature. Pre-drilled holes for FRP panels should be slightly larger than the diameter of fastener shank to allow for normal expansion and contraction. Note: Allow for expansion of FRP panels when installing around pipes, conduits, electrical outlets, etc.

Moldings & Sealants

The use of trim moldings and silicone sealant with FRP liner panels is recommended to achieve a moisture resistant installation. Cut moldings to size and place silicone sealant into channel of moldings during installation. Place moldings on panels before fastening, if required.

In high moisture and frequent wash down areas, silicone should be placed between moldings and floor to prevent moisture from penetrating the back of the FRP panel substrates. On cement floors, use a self-priming sealant. If no moldings are used, silicone sealant should be placed in gaps at floor, ceiling and between panels for moisture resistant installation. Remove excess silicone during installation or trim off after silicone has cured.(see above link)


In high moisture areas or certain situations, fiberglass plastic panels should be installed with non-corroding fasteners. We recommend plastic pin rivets, chrome pin rivets, on piece nylon rivets, stainless nails or screws. Fasteners should be installed to fit snug, but should not be over tightened. Carefully select the proper length and width of rivet fastener for the covered project substrate. "Nydrives" may be used to fasten FRP panels to wood, metal, drywall, concrete, insulation and more.


The use of a FRP formulated adhesive is highly recommended when installing panels to all types of substrates. We can help you find the best suited FRP adhesive for your application and then it is recommended to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Adhesive should be applied to the entire back side of the FRP panel about 1/4" (6.4 mm) thick, using the manufactures suggested size trowel. After applying adhesive, it is imperative to secure the FRP panels with an adjustable rolling tool to properly "set" the FRP panel and substrate.

Fastening/ Fastener Layout

  • First FRP panel installed should be set true with a plumb line.
  • Check plumb line during installation.
  • Do not fasten edges of FRP panels until moldings are in place.
  • FRP panel / fastener layout / solid wall:
    • Fasten FRP panel at center and work outward.
    • Fasteners based upon 16" center
    • Fasteners should be staggered on opposite FRP panel edges and next to division bar for flat seam.
    • Liner panels should be pre-drilled for fastener installation using a guide panel.

Molding Installations

  • Vinyl or aluminum moldings can be used in the above diagram.
  • Vinyl moldings should not be used for exterior applications.
  • Vinyl moldings are DA and USDA accepted. Aluminum moldings should not be used where FDA and USDA acceptance is required.
  • Cut moldings as needed for proper fit. The divider, ISC & OSC moldings may need to be cut to accommodate ceiling and base finishes.
  • Place moldings on panels before fastening edges, if required.
  • Always use moldings in high moisture areas.