FRP FAQ

Sep 30th 2020

Have a question about FRP panels? Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions, from how to install your FRP panels, all the way to how to clean them, and everything in between. If you are thinking about installing FRP, but have no idea what you need to know, start here, and use these questions as a building block for your future project.

How do I install FRP?

Before you install your paneling, you will want to measure the wall, and using that measurement, talk to your FRP vendor to decide how many panels you need to purchase. First, measure the wall’s length and width, and then calculate the area. When you have the area total, then divide that number by the total width of FRP panels to determine how many you may need.

(Tip: If you’re unsure about the math, approach your vendor with at least the length and the width, and they can help you from there.)

After you have the panels, you’ll want to trim them to fit, and cut openings for any fixtures. Then, you’ll need to cut your corner molding to the height of the wall, apply a bead of caulk down the middle of it, and press it firmly into the corner.

Using your trowel, apply FRP adhesive to the back side of the first panel, and insert it into the corner molding. Finally, install more FRP molding along the top to finish it off, and smooth the panels with a laminate roller to remove air bubbles.

What is FRP made of?

FRP stands for Fiber Reinforced Plastic. It’s a composite material made of polymer and reinforced with fibers made of glass, carbon, aramid, or basalt. The polymer itself is usually an epoxy, vinyl ester, or polyester thermosetting plastic.

You can usually find them in the construction, automotive, aerospace, marine, and hospitality industries.

What type of adhesives do I use?

The kind of adhesive you want to use depends on the type of substrate you’re applying the panels to.

For an incredibly flat surfaces, like painted drywall or wood, the best adhesive to use is a water-based mastic adhesive. For anything that isn’t completely flat, like a tiled surface in a bathroom, or a rough concrete wall, you’re going to be going with an oil-based adhesive. For either adhesive, you’re going to want an FRP adhesive trowel.

Panels can also be attached via rivet fasteners, which require holes being drilled into the substrate before application.

In the interests of maximum waterproofing, all FRP panels ought to be sealed at the trim with silicone caulk.

What kind of substrates can I apply FRP panels to?

FRP panels can be installed to almost any substrate, as long as it is dry and sturdy.

The reason for this is that FRP traps moisture behind it, so if moisture needs to escape from the substrate, then the FRP will not allow it to dry, and cause mold, mildew, and other costly damage.

It’s this versatility that makes FRP one of the most valuable choices you can make for your construction needs in just about any industry. If there isn’t humidity that needs to escape the wall, you can put FRP on it.

Do FRP panels expand?

Yes, they do.

Due to natural changes in temperature and humidity, FRP panels contract and expand with the changing weather. When installing the panels, it is important to leave adequate space for them to do so, or else you will risk the panels bowing outward and warping.

About 1/8th of an inch of space is recommended between panels, and a small gap of 1/4th of an inch at the floor and ceiling.

How do I clean FRP panels?

FRP panels are relatively easy to clean!

Before you take any steps towards cleaning, prepare the area you’re cleaning. Grab any supplies and make sure they’re nearby, and move any furniture that might be flush against your FRP wall. Then, just mix one part liquid soap to two parts water, and stir it up with a clean sponge. (Any soap will do, but we suggest Dawn dishwashing soap, because it cuts through any grime particularly quick. Great for any surface, but if your FRP is anywhere where grease buildup is an issue, like a restaurant kitchen, this soap works particularly well.)

Using this mixture, take a sponge or a scrub brush and scrub until clean. Then, take a clean, damp cloth, and wipe it over the panel to polish away any remaining residue. Repeat for every panel, and then dry the panels with a cloth or towel.

Did we answer your questions? Hopefully so, but if not, please feel free to reach out to us here [link to your contact page] . Remember, our number one piece of advice is to reach out to a professional before beginning any project, so that each project can reach its maximum potential and avoid any expensive mistakes!