Installation Details

Installation Guide for Glasbord Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) panels


These guidelines are provided in good faith to help prevent installation problems caused by common errors. The manufacturer and/or distributor of the product bears no responsibility for installation actions taken or not taken. There are many nuances of installation that are assumed to be general construction knowledge to an experienced installer; such nuances are not included in these instructions. Rather, these installation guidelines are strictly recommendations and are not intended to serve as a step-by-step, foolproof installation checklist. Selection of an experienced FRP installer is the sole responsibility of the project owner and architect. If you have any questions about installation techniques for you particular project, please call Dynamic Composite Technologies on 1800 051 100.



Skin irritation due to glass fibres may be avoided by applying a barrier cream to exposed skin areas prior to working with FRP panels.

Tools needed

Glasbord FRP panels may be cut most efficiently using a fine-tooth saw blade. Swivel-head shears may be needed for small cut-outs or trimming. Use a diamond-coated or carbide drill bit to pre-drill fastener holes. If installing with an adhesive, use a trowel with the notch pattern recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. A laminate roller should be used to obtain maximum contact between panels, adhesive, and substrate.

Materials needed

Review wall conditions section to determine appropriate fastening method.

  • Glasbord FRP Panels
  • Titebond Advanced Polymer Adhesive
  • PVC Mouldings (if applicable)
  • Sealant (fit for purpose)
  • Soap & Water for Clean-up
  • Mineral Spirits for Clean-up


Store Glasbord FRP panels on the original shipping pallet in a dry environment. Do not store other materials on top of the panels. Do not store directly on concrete or any other surface that emits moisture. Lay panels flat. Do not stand panels on edge. Store all Glasbord FRP panel products inside.


Every attempt is made to inspect panels for cosmetic and physical abnormalities prior to shipment, however all panels should be inspected for any defects prior to installation. Do not install panels of unacceptable or questionable quality. Kemlite Company, Inc. and Dynamic Composite Technologies Pty Ltd will not be responsible for installation or removal costs of unacceptable panels.

Before installation

Glasbord FRP panels, with the shipping materials and banding removed, should be allowed to acclimate to room temperature. Lay Glasbord panels flat on a solid, level, dry surface. Do not store directly on concrete or any other surface that emits moisture. All Glasbord FRP panels will expand and contract during temperature and humidity changes. Allowing the panels to acclimate to the anticipated operating room temperature and humidity conditions prior to and during installation will help ensure a successful installation. Installing Glasbord panels after the HVAC systems are in place and operational is recommended.

Wall Panel Preparation

Walls should be flat and even. Remove high spots and fill in low spots prior to beginning installation. Remove wallpaper, soluble or loose paint, and other foreign matter that may interfere with the adhesive bond. The wall substrate must be dry and free from dirt, dust, and grease.

The following wall conditions require additional preparation or installation techniques.

Uneven Surfaces

Installation over uneven surfaces will result in less than complete adhesion to the wall substrate, therefore creating the potential for air pockets to form behind the panel. High and low spots should be levelled to provide an even wall surface.

New gypsum boards or drywall

Remove all drywall dust. Tapered joints need only a fill and taped coating. A finish coat is not necessary or desirable. In addition, any extremely uneven areas should be filled.


Plywood walls should be dry and even. Warped plywood should be removed and replaced.

Painted surfaces

Remove loose paint. Adhesive will bond only to the contacting surface, so make certain that any painted areas are sufficiently cured and the paint is firmly adhered to the substrate. It may be necessary to use rivets as well as adhesive to provide adequate bond strength.

High Humidity rooms

Acclimate panels in the operating humidity conditions. Carefully follow the guidelines in this installation guide for expansion/contraction spacing and sealing. Use an adhesive that is recommended for high humidity conditions. Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s installation recommendations carefully.

Low temperature conditions

Carefully follow the guidelines in this installation guide for expansion/contraction spacing and sealing. Use an adhesive that is recommended for low temperature conditions. Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s installation recommendations carefully.

Concrete block and brick

Concrete block and brick wall surfaces are by nature uneven, and Glasbord FRP panels installed directly to these surfaces will likely develop loose spots, bulges and buckles. If a smooth-buckle free wall surface is required, the wall should be furred out with wood or metal studs or channels and covered with factory laminated panels.

An alternate method is to install gypsum board, cement board or another appropriate substrate over the furring and then install the Glasbord FRP panels according to the standard installation instructions.

Foam Insulation

An approved thermal barrier system (eg gypsum board) must be used between the Glasbord FRP panels and any foam insulation. Contact Dynamic Composite Technologies for specified foam insulation to meet local building codes and specific design requirements.

Non-Porous Surfaces

Non-porous surfaces (eg ceramic tile, glazed block, and metal panels) do not provide a good surface for adhesive bonding. If adhesive in addition to rivets is used, consult the adhesive supplier for product recommendations; a general-purpose latex-based frp adhesive will not cure properly on non-porous surfaces.

Near heat source

Glasbord FRP panels may discolour when installed behind or near a heat source which radiates temperatures exceeding 55°C (130°F), such as cookers, ovens, and deep fryers. Stainless steel is recommended for these types of areas.

Standard wall panel installation instructions

Generally, Glasbord panels can be installed using adhesive alone, fasteners alone, or a combination of adhesive and fasteners. The method used should be determined by the room and wall conditions (see the wall conditions noted above). Check your local building codes for any restrictions or guidelines regarding approved installation methods.


If adhesive is used, be sure that it is an FRP-formulated product such as Titebond Advanced Polymer which can be purchase from Dynamic Composite Technologies. Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations for trowel style (e.g., appropriate height of adhesive bead left by trowel). It is important to apply adhesive carefully and follow all directions to prevent problems that may result from using too little or too much adhesive. 100% adhesive coverage is recommended using a “crosshatch” pattern. Adhesive should extend to all edges of the panel and should be applied directly to the back of each individual Glasbord panel.


Nylon drive rivets, or corrosion resistant screws are appropriate fastener options. If rivets or fasteners are used, panels should be predrilled using a drill bit that is 1/8″ to 1/4″ larger than the fastener. During installation, holes only slightly larger than the fastener should be drilled into the substrate through the predrilled holes in the panel and prior to any adhesive application. Apply silicone sealant prior to inserting rivets or fasteners. The recommended fastening frequency is 40.64cm on centre both horizontally and vertically. Space perimeter holes at least 2.54cm to 3.81cm from panel edge when using one piece mouldings and stagger holes of abutting panels. When using two piece mouldings put perimeter holes 3.81cm to 5.08cm away from panel edge.


All Glasbord FRP panels have expansion characteristics due to changes in humidity and temperature that must be accounted for during installation with proper spacing around panel edges and around fixtures attached to the panel/wall. Adequate space must be allowed for panel expansion and contraction. For a 1.2m x 2.4m panel, a minimum gap of 6.35mm is required at the top and bottom of each panel and 3.175mm between panels. More room will be required for longer panels. It is recommended that panels do not exceed 1.2m width and 3.6m in length to aid in ease of installation and ensure a satisfactory finished installation. See the Glasbord FRP panel Expansion Joint Chart below for appropriate spacing at ceiling, floor and between panels.

Glasbord FRP
Expansion Joint Chart
Panel Size 1.2m x 2.4m 1.2m x 2.7m1.2m x 3.05m 1.2m x 3.6m
Gap at ceiling6.35mm6.35mm9.52mm9.52mm
Gap at floor6.35mm6.35mm9.52mm9.52mm
Gap between panel and
centre of 1 piece moulding
Gap between panel and
centre of 2 piece moulding
Gap between panel when
not using moulding
Gap around rivets3.17mm3.17mm4.76mm4.76mm
Gap between panels and
wall fixtures
Installation of panels over 3.65m long is not recommended.


One-piece or two-piece mouldings are available for installation with standard Glasbord wall and ceiling panels. Glasbord panels are inserted into the one-piece moulding opening, while both parts of the two piece moulding are installed on top of the panel. Glasbord panels beneath the two-piece moulding should maintain the recommended expansion spacing. Installations requiring additional abuse resistance should use the heavy-duty corners and batten strip.

Step 1 – Planning and Cutting

  • Pre-fit each Glasbord panel before fastening and/or adhering in place.

  • All cutting and drilling should be done prior to the application of adhesive.

  • Rivet holes should be predrilled in the panels using a bit that is 1/8″-1/4″ larger than the rivet. Plan ahead so that fasteners will not interfere with mouldings or other wall fixtures.

  • Preplan for cove or base moulding. Glasbord panels should be installed so that the base molding will not restrict normal panel movement during expansion and contraction. Cut panels 6.35mm short of where the base molding will extend; poured moulding should be in place prior to installation.

Step 2 – Attaching to wall

  • Begin installation in a corner. Mark a plumb line 48-1/8″ from the corner. In areas where several courses of panels are used (e.g., on a high wall), use vertical and horizontal lines to assure alignment.

  • Install one piece of corner moulding. Apply silicone sealant in moulding groove.

  • If using rivets – drill holes into the substrate through the predrilled holes in panel.

  • If using adhesive – apply adhesive to panel using adhesive manufacturer’s recommended trowel height to ensure good adhesion.

  • Set the first panel true with the plumb line.
  • If using adhesive for installation, roll panel with a laminate roller, beginning at the top corner nearest the moulding and rolling down and out towards the edge away from the moulding, making certain to remove all trapped air. This will aid in removing air pockets and will help to ensure a flat, fully adhered installation.

  • Install fasteners as each panel is put into place and before the next division bar or moulding strip is applied. Start fastening at top edge with installed moulding and work toward the other side. Continue installing fasteners one row at a time until fastening is complete. Apply silicone sealant beneath rivet or fastener.

  • Install one-piece division bar and caps or next moulding piece by laying down a bead of silicone in moulding groove and sliding completely onto the panel. Withdraw the moulding or division bar 1/8″ to provide proper spacing. The free edge of the molding or division bar may be tacked in place if preferred before installing the next panel.

  • Repeat the process, working in one direction around the room.
  • If fasteners are not used, a few nails may be used at the top (above the ceiling grid line) to help hold panels in place while the adhesive cures. Once the adhesive has cured, however, these nails must be removed, as they do not allow for normal panel expansion and contraction.

  • Always put silicone sealant in all moulding and around all panel edges, fasteners, and fixtures to provide a moisture-proof installation.

Step 3 – Panel installation finishing

  • Silicone sealant should be applied in all moulding and around all panel edges, fasteners, and fixtures to provide a moisture-proof installation.

  • Adhesive residue should be removed immediately.
  • Latex-based adhesive can be removed with soap and water.
  • Solvent-based adhesive may be removed with mineral spirits.
  • Adhesive residue may make panels appear stained and will collect dirt. Clean panels thoroughly prior to leaving the job site.

Ceiling panel installation instructions


    For lay-in ceiling grid systems, in order to avoid unacceptable deflection, purchase factory pre-cut ceiling panels. Wall panels may be more flexible than ceiling panels and should not be cut into ceiling panel sizes (60.96cm x 60.96cm or 60.96cm x 1219cm) at the job site.

    To install ceiling panels, lay into ceiling grid. Trim as necessary to accommodate lighting or other fixtures.

    Always leave a 3.175mm gap between panel and grid or fixture to allow for normal panel expansion and contraction.

    FRP grid systems may require specially sized ceiling panels.

    NOTE: Lay-in ceiling panels do not comply with AS4674-2004 Section 3 for food preparation areas.


    To glue up and rivet full-size panels to a solid ceiling substrate, follow the instructions for wall panel installation. To ease handling, panel size should be limited to 1.219m x 2.438m. Mechanical fasteners should always be used on ceiling installations.

Factory laminated panel installation instructions

Laminated panels may be installed following the FRP panel installation instructions. Laminated panels are commonly installed directly over a steel or wood studded wall. Stud spacing is recommended to be 40.64cm or less on centre. Stud spacing should be planned so that panel edges will occur on stud centres. Laminated panels should not be installed over C-Channel aluminium studs, as the aluminium may not be strong enough to resist any movement in the panelling should expansion or contraction occur.

  • Use the same spacing guide for panels and fasteners as listed in FRP panel installation recommendations.

  • Laminated panels may be installed without a division bar moulding, but maintain a 3.175mm space between panels. This space allows for normal expansion and should be filled with an appropriate sealant to completely seal the installation from moisture.

  • Always seal around any mouldings, fixtures or fasteners to provide moisture proof installation.

  • Laminated panels may be fastened with non-corroding nails or screws directly to wood or steel studs (minimum 25 GA.) or with nylon drive rivets to drywall, plaster, or concrete block. Install fasteners no further than 20.32cm apart around outside edges and 30.48cm apart on intermediate 40.64cm centres.

  • Put perimeter fastener holes 1.27cm to 5.08cm from panel edge depending upon width of molding being used.

  • Fastener holes in the panel should be predrilled 3.175cm larger than rivets.

  • One piece moulding is available for use with standard 7.14mm OSB laminated panels.

  • Two piece moulding or heavy-duty batten strip and corners are available for non-standard thickness. Contact Dynamic Composite Technologies for availability.

  • Appropriate sealant should be applied in all mouldings and around all panel edges, fasteners, and fixtures to provide moisture proof installation.

Car wash installation instructions

Using FRP panels that have been factory laminated to fluted polypropylene is the ideal solution for lining the interior walls of a car wash, with its high moisture environment. The expansion and contraction due to thermal changes and extended exposure to moisture can, however, cause any FRP panel product to expand. Bulging from expansion can be minimized if panels are installed properly. The key to a satisfactory installation in such a high moisture environment is to provide adequate clearance around fasteners, mouldings, pipes, and junctures so the panels are free to expand and contract. As little as 0.39mm change in length can cause bulging if there is no clearance for a panel to expand.

NOTE: Bulging of panels in a car wash installation is not cause to consider the panels defective. In general, follow the wall panel installation instructions within this guide. Additionally, the following guidelines will aid in completing a satisfactory high moisture installation.

  1. Limit panel lengths to 2.438m.
  2. Install panels vertically.
  3. Acclimate panels to the ambient temperature and moisture conditions for a minimum of 24 hours prior to installation.

  4. Install panels leaving a minimum of 2.54cm space at both the floor and ceiling junctures.

  5. Use mechanical fasteners (metal or nylon drive rivets). Always oversize the fastener holes. Do not use adhesive.

  6. Install wall-hung equipment and signs with standoffs (washers) between the substrate wall and equipment, making certain that the standoffs are thick enough to expand and contract. Drill panels 6.35mm diameter larger than the standoffs.

  7. Caulk and seal all edges to keep water from getting behind the panels.

embossed finish vs non-embossed finish

Glasbord Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic
Embossed Finish vs. Non-Embossed 
Finish Performance Review


Glasbord fiberglass reinforced plastic (frp), also referred to as glass reinforced plastic (grp), wall and ceiling panels have an embossed finish. Kemlite also has non-embossed frp products. The embossed product has been used for over 30 years worldwide and has a proven superior performance history for abrasion resistance and cleanability over non-embossed frp. While Kemlite can provide either finish for application, we believe an embossed finish will best serve the customer.

More abrasion resistance

An embossed finish has several advantages over a non-embossed finish in regards to abrasion resistance. Each “bump” on the surface face is solid resin mix. Any abrasion sustained by the panel is concentrated on the surface of the “bumps”. On a non-embossed surface, the entire face of the panel is exposed and susceptible to the abrading action. Therefore, more of the actual panel is abraded, leaving room for bacteria growth and stains. Additionally, an abrasion will also be more obvious on a non-embossed finished panel than on an embossed panel.


Longer Wearing

An embossed finish is substantially better at preventing glass fiber “breakout” because the fibers are buried well below the wear surface, whereas on a non-embossed finished panel, the fibers are closer to the surface. When a non-embossed panel is abraded, these surface fibers are exposed. Once exposed, microorganisms and liquids can penetrate deep into the panel by a “wicking” action along the glass fibers, giving the panel a permanent dirty appearance and reducing sanitation. As a result, embossed panels remain sanitary and easier to clean longer than non-embossed finished panels.

Cleanability Testing

MIRINZ, an independent laboratory in New Zealand, performed a study at a meat slaughtering plant. Embossed Glasbord wall panels were located next to stainless steel and melamine plastic wall panels in several key splash and abrasion areas.

Each panel was exposed at eye-level, waist-level and knee-level to dirt, blood, excrement and various animal products. The test samples were cleaned together using the same methods and materials. Each day, for 30 days, in addition to being inspected for physical deterioration, the Glasbord was monitored by microbiological analysis along with the stainless steel and smooth plastic panels.

The conclusions of the Mirinz testing were:

Physical Deterioration
“The panels (Glasbord) were found to be clean and unstained at all times during the trial and did not show signs of visible damage.”

Microbiological Hygiene Adequacy
“Over the 4-week period, bacterial counts at all levels (eye, waist and knee) were generally within the MIRINZ guidelines and found to be no higher in bacteria counts than that of the existing cladding, stainless steel and melamine plastic panels.

“Hygiene adequacy of Kemlite (Glasbord) installed at the three site monitors over the four week period was found to be within the MIRINZ guideline, and to be no worse than that of the existing cladding. On sites contaminated by dirt and blood splash, the increase in bacteria numbers generally during the day was greater on the existing claddings than on Kemlite Glasbord.”

Embossed panels have been tested to be as cleanable as non-embossed panels and maintain an acceptable appearance longer than non-embossed panels. With over 30 years of proven performance, Kemlite strongly supports the use of embossed finished Glasbord panels over non-embossed panels for years of cleanable, durable, and sanitary life.

chemical and stain resistant testing

Glasbord chemical and stain resistant testing

General Chemical Resistance

Where exposure to a chemical will be prolonged or at elevated temperatures, tests should be performed to prove the suitability of the product for that specific use.

Product Dilute Acids
(less than 30%)
 Concentrated Acids
(30% or more)
Weak Alkalis Strong AlkalisChlorinated
Solvents Aldehydes &
Ketones Esters

Kemlite L-1062 Panel

Glasbord P Panel

Fire-X Glasbord Panel

Kemply Panel
(Surface only)

Glasbord REI Panel

G to EG to EGEG to E
Key: E=excellent; G=good, probably acceptable; F=fair, test before using; P=poor, not recommended.

Resistance to specific chemicals

General Notes:

  • Ratings are based on a combination of visual observations, and mechanical strength test results.
  • All testing was done at 25°C +/- 12.2°C. Performance ratings are not necessarily valid outside of that temperature range.
  • Test ratings are based on white material; non-white panels could show additional visual changes.
  • Test was run per Crane Kemlite product development procedure #8125: surface chemical resistance. In this procedure the chemicals are exposed to the surface of the panel for 7 days.

Ratings Key:

E (Excellent): Suitable for use in most exposure conditions.

G (Good): Probably suitable for use; testing under specific exposure conditions is suggested.

F (Fair): Possibly unsuitable for use; testing under specific exposure conditions is recommended.

P (Poor): Unsuitable for use in most exposure conditions.

C Color change

NT Not tested

ChemicalPanelsSanigridGeneral Comments
Acetic Acid, concentratedEE
Acetic Acid, 5%EE
Ammonium Hydroxide, concentratedECCaused Sanigrid to turn yellow
Ammonium Hydroxide, 10% C CCaused both to turn yellow
AnilineCCaused both to turn red
Bleach SolutionCECaused panel to turn yellow
Citric Acid, 10%ECCaused Sanigrid to turn yellow
Detergent SolutionCECaused panels to turn yellow
Distilled WaterEE
Ethyl AcetateE
Ethyl Alcohol, 95%CNTCaused panels to turn yellow
Ethyl Alcohol, 50%NT
Hydrochloric Acid, 10%EE
Hydrogen Peroxide, 3%CECaused panels to turn yellow
Lactic Acid, 10%EE
Mineral OilEGSanigrid absorbed some oil
Nitric Acid, 40%ECSanigrid turned slight yellow/blue
Nitric Acid, 10%ECSanigrid turned slight yellow/blue
Oleic AcidEGSanigrid absorbed some oil
Olive oilESanigrid absorbed some oil
Potassium lodide Solution, 10%EGSanigrid turned red
Soap SolutionEC
Sodium Chloride Solution, 10%ECaused panels to turn yellow
Sodium Chloride Solution, 60%PE
Sodium Hydroxide Solution, 10%PECaused panels to turn yellow
Sodium Hydroxide Solution, 1%PECasued panels to turn yellow
Sodium Hypochlorite Solution, 4-6%EE
Sulfuric Acid, 30%NT
Sulfuric Acid, 3%E
TolueneECaused panels to turn yellow
Transformer OilNTSanigrid absorbed some oil
 Note: This test data included surface tests for Glasbord-P with Surfaseal, Fire-X Glasbord with Surfaseal, Kemlite L1062, Glasbord REI, and Sanigrid.

¹Mechanical properties were not strongly affected.

Stain resistance to food and miscellaneous products

Stain resistance of Glasbord-P with Surfaseal, Kemlite L-1062, Glasbord-REI is very similar.

 Stain  Surface Change
ASTM D2299¹
50°C, 16 Hours
ASTM D1308²
25°C -30°C, 24 Hours

Blood (beef)

Brown Shoe Polish




Oil (crankcase)

Potatoes (white)

Red Cabbage


Tomato Acid





















Key: Unaffected = wipes off easily with damp cloth and mild soap; no color or surface change

Superficial = stain removed easily with water and/or mild abrasive

Considerable = stain not completely removable

1) ASTM D2299 tests stain resistance of applied coating

2) ASTM D1308 tests stain resistance of a product’s natural surface

Glasbord warranty

Glasbord Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic Panels 

10 Year Limited Warranty


Glasbord and Fire-X Glasbord®  fiberglass reinforced polyester building panels as manufactured by KemliteCompany, Inc., P.O. Box 2429, Joliet, IL 60434 are warranted for a period of ten (10) years from the date of purchase to be free from substantial defects in materials and workmanship. This warranty is extended only to original purchases from authorized dealers and/or distributors and is non-transferable.

Panels covered under this warranty are warranted for a period of ten (10) years from date of purchase to:

  1. Be free from substantial defects in material and workmanship.
  2. Not rot, rust, corrode, develop structural surface cracks or require painting or refinishing.

Kemlite Company will at its option, upon documentation and verification of failure, repair or replace the panels, without charge, the above referenced product if it fails due to the above defects. This warranty does not include labor costs or miscellaneous costs for removal and/or replacement.

This warranty applies only to panels stored, applied, installed and used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and technical bulletins and with recognized standards of construction. This Warranty does not cover defects caused by:

  1. Improper installation (non-conformance with recognized standards of construction). Failure due to any adhesive, caulk or other accessory.
  2. Damage (not resulting from defects) while in possession of the Customer.
  3. Unreasonable use (including failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance). Normal pigmentation fading or abnormal fading due to exposure to ultraviolet rays. Damage or loss due to acts of God, improper storage, catastrophic events such as fire, hurricane, and flood.

Kemlite Company, Inc. disclaims any warranty, expressed or implied, which is not contained herein, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Kemlite Company, Inc. shall not be liable for consequential, incidental or punitive damages. This warranty is the sole warranty provided for and with Kemlite Company, Inc. Glasbord fiberglass panels and replaces all previous warranties.

To present a claim under this Warranty, purchaser must send all information to:
Kemlite Company, Inc.
Attention: Customer Service Department
P.O. Box 2429
Joliet, IL 60434