The easiest part of installing faux stone siding is in installing plywood panels under the faux panels to create a smooth surface for the faux panels to be attached to. If you have purchased the type of faux paneling that has the tongue and groove edges, getting them installed evenly will be less of a challenge. The same is true of using wood screws to attach the paneling. If the faux panels come with pre-drilled screw holes, you'll find the job goes much faster and your panels will look more even.
(This is Part 2 of a 2 part series. To return to Part 1, click here.)
Step 1 – Preparing to Install Your First Row
The key to installing your faux panels evenly is to install the first row evenly. This row will act as a guide for all rows installed above it. So, take your time with this first row, and make sure it is level when you've finished attaching it.
Step 2 – Making Your Chalk Line
To make your first row of faux panels level, you'll need to snap a chalk line. Tap a small nail into the wall at one side of the wall near its edge. The nail should be at the exact height above the ground that the bottom of your first panel will be. Tie one end of the chalk line to the nail you've driven into the wall and pull the string to the far side of the wall. Hold your carpenters level on the string. Be careful not to put any weight on the string. Next, reposition the string so it is exactly level. Finally, snap the string to make the line on the wall.
Step 3 – Install Your First Panel Row
On the back surface of your first panel piece, apply a thick coat of construction glue. Place the piece against the wall with the bottom edge—that is, the groove edge—lined up parallel with the chalk line. Don't cover the chalk line with the panel piece, otherwise, you won't be able to tell its position. Press the glued piece firmly against the wall. When it is in place, position the level against the bottom edge of the piece to check that the piece is still level. When you know it's straight and level, secure it with screws, one at each corner of the panel. Then, apply glue to your next panel, fit the tongues and grooves of the first and second panels into place, and screw it to the wall. Use this same process to attach all the panels of the first row.
Step 4 – Install Your Second Row
When you've finished the first row and have checked it to be sure it's level, install the second row using the same procedure as you did with the first row. Use the same precautions. That is, avoid covering the chalk line, be sure your panel is level, and be sure the glued panel is pressed firmly against the wall.