Z-Clip Panel Installation Tips

Tips and tricks for using Z-clips to hang architectural wall panels. February 25, 2009

I need some information on z-clips for installing HPL panels in a commercial application. What is a good source for the hardware? Are there any vendors with drawings available of the z-clips and for installation suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor A:
They come in a few thicknesses depending on the lift-off dimensions. We generally use a reveal between the panels that is the thickness of the clip so we can surface mount to hanging strips.

From contributor J:
We use monarch's they have done the math on this!

From contributor W:
I would recommend whichever product you use that you run continuous z-clips on the wall and the pre-cut, pre-drilled 2" long clips on the panels. The continuous on the wall allows for attachment to every stud and the 2" long pieces are easier on the panels.

From contributor R:

We buy boxes of plastic glazier’s shims in different thicknesses. Each thickness is a different color and we use them to shim out the continuous wall rail. This makes installation a lot easier and better looking.

From contributor A:
Are you mounting the continuous z-clip right to the wall or to a cleat that mounts to the wall? We make a web frame from MDF with all the clips on it and install those, then the panels use the same machining logic so they are just hang and go.

From contributor R:
It depends on the look, the reveal, and etc. but generally we mount the continuous z-clip directly to the wall, using laser and string lines to create a flat plane with the glaziers shims.

I would like to try the web frame idea but old habits die hard. We have done curved installations where we actually do the studs and plates out of particle board and pre-hang everything in the shop. We have also done some great installations with exposed "industrial look" fasteners, but unless you get a very cooperative GC to set accurate blocking these are as much work as concealed.