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Frequently Asked Questions: Magpanel MGO - Installation

Frequently asked questions about Magpanel MGO installation

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We do not provide installation services but have no fear as there are many high-quality contractors in your state and the majority will be eager to provide a free estimate over the phone or in the comfort of your own home.  We recommend that you check out our helpful article titled 7 Tips For Choosing A Floor Installer.

Ceilings: For ceilings where the board will be fastened by screw to light gauge steel or wood use 8mm or thicker. Use a thicker board if planning to countersink the screw head. For drop down ceilings using MgO as panels, use 2mm or 6mm.

Walls: For most walls a board that is 10mm to 12mm is common. For walls requiring greater fire and impact resistance use a board that is 15mm to 20mm thick.

For walls that have continuous backing, cement, or rigid insulation, a thinner board can be used. This is important when weight is a concern. For example, trailer homes have used 6mm as fully supported wall covering boards.

For applications where more strength is needed - such as sports courts - or where sound reduction is needed, use a thicker board at 20mm.

Finish MagPanel® with most products such as paint, stucco, synthetic stucco, wallpaper, plaster, stone, tile, brick and much more. The strong adhesion properties of MagPanel® also make it a perfect product for Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS), Exterior Insulated Finish Systems (EIFS) and interior wall systems using fabrics.

To finish MagPanel® MgO Panels after installation, begin with a primer. This is required because MagPanel® panels are alkaline in nature. We recommend using a primer that is suitable for concrete or masonry. There are a few popular brands of paint which react molecularly with the cement in MagPanel® forming a UV highly resistant coating that will last for years. Acrylic stucco topcoats or polymer modified cement base coats can also be used and individually applied to the board. Test the topcoats and paints prior to completing the entire project. To properly test the bonding capability of the topcoat, brush on or spray a small area of the MagPanel® with paint, let the board dry and cure. Then make an X with a sharp razor knife, apply masking tape over the cut and press firmly and rip it off like a band-aid. If the paint stays on the board, this indicates the paint and board have a successful bond.

When installing panels, leave a 3 to 6mm wide gap between the panels. Control the depth of the gap using polyethylene backer rods to the point where the width is greater than the joint depth. Use non-shrinking, paintable caulk applied with a caulk gun, then smooth off excess caulk using a little water and your finger or a caulk smoothing tool. Add a coat of primer when the caulk is cured. After priming, apply a thin coat of spackle or gypsum mud to remove any joint telegraphing. The outside corners of the boards can be glued, sanded or routed smooth and flush and filled with caulk, plaster or grout. Use glue on the inside corners of the boards or butt joint with a bead of painter’s caulk.

The outside corners of the joints can be butted together and then sanded smooth. For a bull nose finish, corners can be routed or mitered. Adding a corner bead of caulk is optional. MgO bonds well to itself, metal, wood and other materials. Apply adhesive to the corner board joints using using ChemLink M1 or a moisture cure urethane adhesive. Review the caulking chart for other tested products.

A few things can cause micro cracking in magnesium oxide boards such as structure movement caused by force from wind or earthquake. Or the structure may expand caused by thermo graphic or hydrometric expansion. The frame used under the boards may change: wood will shrink when dried and metal expands when heated. MagPanel®s shrink during curing and drying to ambient humidity and will have some movement due to thermal or moisture changes. Micro-cracking becomes a negligible issue because most interiors maintain relatively even temperatures.

To address and/or prevent micro-cracking, follow a few precautionary steps. First, before installation, allow the boards to acclimate in the structure where they will be used. Leave a small space between boards and apply a non-shrinking caulking followed by a primer coat of paint. Apply spackle or plaster to hide any imperfections. Finish by using a paint designed to prevent moisture absorption. Isolate joints from the structure by splicing with strips of scrap MgO Board or metal clips to keep the joints between studs.

To fasten MagPanel® panels, use corrosion resistant fasteners. Add extra support by applying a barrier coat of epoxy, ceramic or a similar adhesive. Drywall screws that have a stainless steel or phosphoric coating also work well with MagPanel® panels. For easiest installation, choose screws with self-counter boring heads. Alternatively, use gun nails when applying to both wood and light gauge steel framing with the appropriate pins or nails.

To finish MagPanel® joints, use any top-quality joint compound. Check with the manufacturer of the product to ensure it is compatible with MagPanel®. Use finely ground hydraulic cement fillers such as RapidSet One Pass to establish industrial strength joints. Additionally, urethanes bond well to MagPanel® panels. If using tape and mud is a preference, choose a self-adhesive fiberglass tape and a mud or plaster suitable for moist environments. Most lightweight pre-mixed mud does not like moisture and MagPanel® MgO Panels can have moisture, but they will eventually equalize with the structure.

MagPanel® MgO Panels bond well to itself, metal, expanded polystyrene, wood, and laminates using ChemLink M1 or another moisture cured urethane adhesive.

For optimal results cutting MagPanel® panels, use a thin carbide circular saw or worm drive saw. Rout the edges using carbide tooling. If the construction project is a large project, consider using a diamond bit. MagPanel® panels can be scored with a razor blade and snapped apart from the smooth side. This method does not provide as clean an edge and will require more finishing work. To prevent micro cracking with cuts, glue all corners together.

MagPanel® can be stored easily indoors. It is highly resistant to moisture, and humidity making it easy to store. MagPanel® should be stored inside in a cool dry place - as with any sheet building material. To protect the edges and corners, carry boards on their side. Stack boards flat on dunnage, loose wood, matting or other material and not directly on the ground. Do not allow MagPanel® to bow. Do not stack any other materials on top of MagPanel®. Before installing MagPanel® acclimate the panels for 48 hours in the room where they will be installed.

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