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We've got a new 3000 x 3000mm partition wall that we'd like to fix birch plywood panels to. The panel size would be 800 wide, 600 high and I'm trying to figure out how to best fix them to the stud work.

Here are some visual examples:

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I've seen many visual examples on Pinterest but no explanation for how they've actually been achieved. Our builder's only suggestion has been to fix with countersunk screws and use woodfiller but he's agreed it would probably ruin the aesthetic.

I've looked at hidden fixings such as buttonfix: http://button-fix.com/ but they work out quite expensive as I'd presumably need 4 per panel for a secure fix. My only other thought is to use flush mirror fixings but not sure if that would be secure enough once we attach lights and sockets.

  • If this is a thin veneer plywood I have seen it glued to sheetrock & cement walls. I have also used very small colored head finishing nails to keep the seams from puckering. – Ed Beal Jan 15 '18 at 14:06
  • That could do it. As an alternative I've wondered if I could fix the panels on one side of the stud wall from behind and then just use plasterboard on the other side. (May be worth a separate question) – beirtipol Jan 15 '18 at 15:12
  • Most folks put the panel up right over sheetrock using a construction adhesive. With this method if / when the paneling is removed the paper on the sheetrock is torn up so it ends up being a replace both issue unless you have a lot of time to repair. – Ed Beal Jan 15 '18 at 15:23
  • Fasteners through the backside won't hold very well. The plywood is too thin. You need the head of the nail or screw holding it. – Jean-Paul Calderone Jan 15 '18 at 18:03
  • What, if anything, is between the panels forming the dark lines? – mmathis Jan 15 '18 at 18:27
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If you use 3/4" plywood and not a veneered MDF you could drill a small pilot hole for trim head screws.

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It will leave a hole about 3/16" in diameter that will need to be filled after the panels are stained/sealed. That is the best simple way to do it. Even simpler would be to use finish nails. They would leave a hole to fill of about 1/8". The lengths of thew screws or nails are entirely dependent on the material you are going through.

The joints between the panels could be done like a T&G arrangement but will cost plenty over a simple "floating tongue" or spline joint. This will control the movement between panel joints that do not fall on a stud or other suitable backing.

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Another way is going the "european hanger" way. It has no visible fasteners, but takes up space behind the panel. As much as 3/4" to as little as 3/8", maybe 1/4", depending on your budget.

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Use French cleats. One piece is affixed to the wall and the other to the back of your plywood. It forms a very solid joint, and is extremely easy to line up multiple pieces. You'll to add a similarly sized spacer to the bottom of your plywood panel to keep it from rocking. This method will add roughly 1/2" to 1" to the thickness of the wall (in addition to the plywood), but nothing will show through the front nor will there be any holes to fill.

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