Hanging Curved Veneer Panels to a Curved Wall

Advice on how to adapt Z-clip hardware to a curved wall panel situation. July 8, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
We are producing 4" by 4" by 3/4" thick veneered wall panels that will be attached to the wall with z-clips. However, the wall curves in the middle of the run and the radius of curve is about 36". We're not sure if z-clips will work with the curved panels, as the strips on the wall will be curved, the clips on the back of the panel will not be. Does anyone have any ideas of installing these curved panels without fasteners showing from the front?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor B:
The only way I've found that works is using 1/4" MDF french cleating. That's to temporarily hold them while the liquid nails bonds.

From contributor F:
I'm going to assume you mean 4'x4' panels right? Two thoughts that come to mind. First you could try flexing the z-clip material to the curve. The thinner stuff is pretty flexible, though a 36" radius is tight, so you would have to test it out. You would have to use a single length on the back of the panel as opposed to the short clips which won't curve at all.

Second, you could try cutting your material into very narrow, say 1" or so pieces and using more of them. The shorter width may allow the panel to still slip on. Lastly, if you need enough of them you could look into whether a local metal shop could run them through a bender for you to get the z-clip shaped to the curve. Not sure how difficult it would be due to the shape, but I'd bet there's a way to do it.

From contributor G:
I assume you mean the radius is in plan? The panel clips will not work. I would forget about attaching the curved piece to the wall and just draw bolt the curved piece to the adjacent pieces and put the corner and the adjacent pieces on to panel clips as one piece or something to that effect.

From contributor T:
Panel clips will work just fine when done correctly. Have lengths rolled to match the back of the panel so that it can be mounted to the wall. Using a full length will allow you to make up for odd spaced blocking in the wall. Mount individual clips securely to the back of the panel and mount on wall. It's really that simple and it will work.

From contributor M:
Chances are if the wall is sheet rock on metal stud it will not be true and a z-clip will need packing. I agree to have the metal rolled, you should supply MDF template to the metal shop to roll to. The other option is to glue this panel to the wall to hold in place while glue dries and bend around some half inch material and screw off each side and wedge tight.

From contributor N:
How about using your form and lay up a few 1/8" strips of MDF or poplar to the curve and make those into french cleats? Obviously the radius will be off the thickness of the layup, but it should not make any difference. I would not liquid nail/glue them to the wall, you’re asking for trouble.

From Contributor C:
Back in my commercial days we used mustang mold (french aluminum cleat) to hang panels, glazing shims as spacers and a few dots of silicone on the back to keep the panels from shifting. The radius in the photo is large but as another has suggested bending the mustang mold may work for a tighter radius.

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