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How to Install Melamine Paneling

Sal Marco

Melamine paneling is a thin plastic wall covering. Manufacturers mold melamine to resemble tile or stone with imprinted designs or leave it smooth and shiny. Melamine requires a flat and stable surface for adhesion. An uneven surface will cause melamine to crack with pressure or force. Melamine is a material very similar to laminates used on countertops. It is an easy-to-maintain surface and does not require special care. Melamine is prone to scratching, and melting will occur if exposed to high heat.

Step 1

Repair holes, cracks, depressions and popped nails on the bare wall. Sand down high spots to create a level surface. Unrepaired damage will become a weak spot on the melamine panel and will be subject to breaking or cracking.

Step 2

Create a paper template of the coverage area with heavyweight paper. Place the paper over the surface and trace the space with a pencil. Cut the paper template out with scissors.

Step 3

Lay down several sheets of newspaper or heavyweight paper on an even, level surface.

Step 4

Place the melamine on top of the paper with the good side down.

Step 5

Place the paper template over the panel and secure it in place with masking tape.

Step 6

Trace around the template, creating a guideline for cutting.

Step 7

Cut along the line with a utility knife. Use a metal straightedge to guide long, straight cuts.

Step 8

Apply construction adhesive around the perimeter of the panel beginning 1 inch from the edge. Apply dime-sized dots of construction adhesive every 2 to 3 inches, covering the entire panel.

Step 9

Place the panel up against the wall and press into place. Use a rag to press and smooth over the entire surface of the panel while pushing into the wall. This will remove air bubbles and ensure firm adhesion. Continue to cut, apply adhesive and press melamine onto the walls until the panels cover the space.