Type-setting panels (or river panels, as they are also called) are long strips, mainly of the following dimensions: 125 - 300 mm wide, 2400 - 3700 mm long, 8 - 12 mm thick.
Depending on the type of intended assembly, along the long edges of the panels, a groove can be located on one side, and a ridge (spike) or joint grooves, which are arranged on both sides, on the other. In the latter case, special strips (inserts) are used to assemble the panels, connecting the grooves of adjacent panels. The inserts are necessarily included in the groove-groove panel set. It is applied either in the same color, or in contrasting or even "gold", silver.
All kinds of accessories are also produced for type-setting panels: corners, skirting boards, cornices, etc. to match the color of the panels (see fig.). They are made of plastic or fiberboard and can be glued or nailed.
The basis of typesetting wall panels can be natural wood, chipboard, fiberboard or MDF, as well as plastic.
Natural wood panels
Facing panels made of natural wood are made from solid wood of valuable species - oak, cedar, maple, alder. They can be used in living areas, hallways, offices, and, if properly installed (with a ventilation gap), in damp areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, provided that the wood panels are coated on all sides with special wax, including grooves and ridges., with which the panels are provided for ease of installation. The wax luster is absolutely waterproof, this coating repels water and is impervious to dirt, it does not crack, does not flake, does not flake off.
Currently, many manufacturers have started to produce three-layer panels. They usually consist of a top layer made of precious woods, while the rest are made of pine or spruce. The layers are glued together under high pressure and temperature. To compensate for linear deformations of wood, the layers are positioned so that the fibers in them are multidirectional. The finished multi-layer panel is coated with acrylic lacquer or "wax gloss".
Panels based on chipboard, fiberboard, MDF
In addition to natural wood, various wood materials are also used for the basis of typesetting panels, formed in a certain way from wood shavings or sawdust - chipboard, fiberboard, MDF.
Type-setting panels from HDM with special surface cladding according to the ELESGO method: \
1 - MDF;
2 - a layer of glue;
3 - paper with decor;
4 - antistatic layer with the addition of mineral particles (corundum)
In the production of these materials, in order to bond the chips together, increase the strength of the board, the service life of the panels, synthetic binders are added to the chip mass. In the past, formaldehyde resins and adhesives were generally used. But not so long ago, a new technology appeared that allows you to create products with zero formaldehyde content - using lignin (a substance that is part of wood).
Materials based on chipboard, fiberboard, MDF differ from each other mainly in operational properties.
Particleboard (chipboard) is a material that is made by hot flat or extrusion pressing of shavings or sawdust mixed with a binder. Chipboard in its properties is close to wood, but less water-resistant, has not very high strength, it crumbles quite easily during processing, does not withstand temperature and humidity changes. Chipboard-based panels cannot be used on balconies and in damp rooms. They are suitable for interior walls and ceilings in dry rooms.
Fiberboard (Fibreboard) is made from wood and other plant fibers with the addition of special compositions by hot pressing.
Panels based on fiberboard, unlike chipboard, can be used for any premises, including rooms with high humidity. They are durable, environmentally friendly, easy to clean. But it is impossible to use them in places where there is a direct hit of water.
Panels based on MDF. MDF (middle density fiberboard) is a medium-density fiberboard, an analogue of Russian fiberboard with a density of 650-850 kg / m3. The connecting element is lingin. The water resistance of MDF-based panels makes them suitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens, as indicated by the corresponding sign on the package insert ("water drop"), while they are also suitable for wet cleaning. MDF panels can withstand quite heavy loads, you can hang cabinets and paintings on them. Fireproof MDF panels are also available.
The front surface of the wood-based panels is finished either with lacquered veneer made of fine wood, or appropriately painted and melamine-coated paper. The protective lacquer layer and melamine prevent the formation of stubborn dirt and moisture penetration into the panel body, save it from exposure to ultraviolet radiation, so the panels do not fade even from direct sunlight. Both coatings do not attract dust and are considered hygienic. Drawings can be very different: wood, marble, stone, abstract, ornaments, etc.
Melamine coated panels can be cleaned using mild detergents. It is not recommended to wet the lacquer coating abundantly; it is usually wiped with a slightly damp cloth or sponge. Stubborn stains from melamine or varnished surfaces can be removed with a mild solvent. In this case, do not use abrasives or strong solvents.
There are also panels with an antistatic layer with the addition of mineral particles (corundum), which gives the surface not only an optical effect, but also increases their wear resistance (for example, the ELESGO method - HDM company).
The panels can also be finished with textiles or high quality paper or vinyl wallpaper, which are glued to the panels with a special glue. Such decorative panels provide good heat and sound insulation, improve room acoustics (as they have the ability to absorb and damp sound).
Panels from leading manufacturers are characterized by color stability and repeatability. Moreover, the panels differ not only in color and texture, among the range presented, you can choose the length and profile of the panels. Using panels "groove-comb" (panels with enlarged jointing), you can decorate the interior in an original way without much effort and professional skills. Groove-and-groove panels (panels with independent jointing) require more careful installation, but a wide variety of decorative elements and planks gives more freedom in interior design creativity. The multi-colored paneling looks stylish and unusual. A completely new trend is the rounded edging on all four sides, allowing for exceptional harmony in the design.
The panels are attached to the crate with special brackets (clamps), which are screwed on from their back side. There are two main classic ways to install typesetting panels. The first is the connection with a hidden plug-in layout (in this case, the panels are attached close to each other). The second is the connection with a visible plug-in layout (there is a small gap between the panels). The installation of panels with intermediate decorative strips and the so-called combined with horizontal, vertical and inclined arrangement of panels is also popular.
It should be remembered that if heavy equipment needs to be hung on a wall lined with panels, then it will have to be fixed with long screws either to the crate or directly to the main wall.
On the Russian market, typesetting panels based on chipboard, fiberboard and MDF are represented by the following companies: SOYUZ (Russia), ATEX (Germany), CLASSEN (Germany), HDM (Germany), KOSCHE (Germany), KRONOSPAN (Poland) and others.
Composite plastic panels are volumetric plates with a honeycomb longitudinal internal structure, due to which they have high sound and heat insulating properties. Standard panel sizes: length - from 2500 to 6000 mm, width - 100-300 mm, thickness - 8-12 mm.
Panels are made of rigid PVC (polyvinyl chloride) with a minimum inclusion of softener, do not contain cadmium and asbestos and have many advantages. They are durable, non-flammable, have 100% moisture resistance and are very easy to care for, they meet the most stringent hygiene requirements, so they can be used to decorate household premises, toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and even showers without any problems (they are not afraid even direct contact with water).
Certain types of panels allow a temperature range of application from - 40 to 115 ° С, but most are not recommended for use with temperature fluctuations above 20 ° С.
From the front side of the plastic panel, a decorative pattern is applied to the smooth surface by special printing methods. Coloring is most often monochromatic, "wood-like" or natural stone. It is protected from moisture, ultraviolet radiation and damage with a layer of matte or glossy varnish. The varnish is antistatic (does not attract dust).
Install plastic panels on the batten or directly on the wall (if the wall is flat and dry enough) using silicone or neoprene acrylic adhesive.
Plastic panels are easy to cut both lengthwise and across, so there are no problems with fitting dimensions during installation.
The panels are connected to each other according to the "groove-comb" or "groove-groove" principle. In the first type of connection, the panels are tightly joined to each other, forming a single pattern. This type of connection is used in rooms with increased hygiene requirements. In the second case, the jointing may not match the color of the panels, or even be mirrored. Inserts can be embossed and flat.
On the Russian market there are plastic panels produced by both Russian and Western companies: GPS LD (Russia), REAS (Russia), RBK (Russia), BLANCOPLAST (Germany), DECEUNINСK (Belgium), DECOFORM (Belgium), GROSFILLEX (France), VENTA (Belgium), VOX (Poland), WAVIN (Holland) and others.