There are advantages and disadvantages to every product out there, for the price you are willing to pay and for the design of the product. We have all heard the term you get what you pay for, and that is a fact, if you buy super cheap you will have to buy again soon after, so in the long run you spend more and you have time wasted to re-do the project. The advantages of a product or service need to be investigated thoroughly, every company wants you to buy from them; not every company will stand by their product or service.
These wall decorating panels are probably very different from what you’ve known, specified, or used in the past. They come in a variety of formats; pre-made panels, modular panel systems, site-fabricated systems, baffles, clouds, privacy panels, carrel, etc. All formats feature the floating-fabric design.
This system incorporates a track which frames the chosen substrate in high-impact plastic; you can use any substrate or core that you want, as long as it’s the same size as the track, either one inch or half-inch. The selected fabric or outer covering is stretched across the surface of the panel and inserted into the tracks tight-fitting jaws which hold the fabric tight, concealing the edge of the fabric in a hidden channel.
Why is this worth writing about?
• Crush proof edges – The track or frame is manufactured from high-impact plastic.
Wrapped fiberglass panel edges crush easily. Those edges are dipped in a resin material (that typically contain VOCs) to provide modest durability-but not a significant crush resistance.
• Floating-fabric design – Because the fabric covering is held tightly in place by the track’s jaws, it is able to float freely across the face of the panel (not glued to the face like wrapped panels.)
This results in a number of advantages including a self-healing surface and no glue no VOCs.
When glue is used to apply the fabric to the substrate, the look of the boards is really nice, but unfortunately if you tack or use a nail and you remove said tack or nail the hole is visible and it cannot be repaired only replaced.
• Visible damage is virtually eliminated – Dents, dings, crush marks, and depressions occur almost immediately after the installation of a fabric wrapped panel or on painted surfaces. They occur in this floating-fabric system too, but you’ll never see them because they are hidden behind the tightly stretched free-floating fabric cover. You can pound on these panels with a hammer and they will remain unblemished. Don’t get me wrong, there is damage from using a hammer you just can’t see it. If the fabric becomes damaged it’s easily replaced without replacing the entire wall system.
• Avoid vertical (visual) joint lines – Wrapped panels are limited in size to the size of the substrate, up to no more than 4′ x 10′. This requires them to be oriented vertically in most rooms. That’s a lot of joint lines and you can’t orient the panels horizontally without even more joint lines. With the modular floating-fabric panels, the more desirable horizontal layout is easily achieved, you can still use the vertical layout if you wish but it’s not the only option. This design supports monolithic panels up to 8′ x 180′ without a single joint. The panels come in sizes anyone can handle; you install them side by side and roll the fabric into the track, without cutting the fabric. Now your wall looks like walls and not a bunch of panels.
• Changeable and Sustainable – Both, and at the same time. Because the fabric is held in the track and not glued down, there is no need to remove the entire panel or wall system to repair it or to make a design change. Just pull the fabric from the track’s jaws and replace it. The track and the substrate remain on the wall. This will save you time, save you money and send fewer perfectly good construction materials to the land fill. Most of the fabrics are themselves recyclable.
(Side Note: Being responsible for our plant is important and should always be considered in a design or remodel project.)
• Conform to any architectural feature – The site-fabricated system can be installed easily not only on walls, but on ceilings, soffits, in alcoves and more. Virtually any architectural detail can be accommodated, and in most cases without seams. Moreover, the site-fabricated system will adjust to varying dimensions and out-of-plumb or out-of-square conditions for a perfect final finish with no unsightly gaps.
• Significantly reduced maintenance costs – The floating-fabric system is much more durable than a painted surface. It just simply doesn’t show the wear.
Why paint again?
In fact, why paint at all?
In new construction or remodeling, just tape the drywall joints and install the site-fabricated system. No need to mud the joints, texture, or even paint the walls. This system reduces both construction and subsequent maintenance costs.