Can a DIYer install the FIBO System?
Many of our clients have successfully completed DIY installations of Fibo. Doing the installation does provide the DIYer with a great sense of pride. The Fibo system is relatively easy to install, particularly if compared to laying ceramic wall tiles.
If you are thinking of doing your own installation, then ask yourself:
Do you have the tools required and do you have experience in using these tools? See FAQ ‘Tools needed to install the Fibo WPS’.
Are you confident in checking measurements, levels and plumbness as these skills are important?
Do you understand the Fibo Installation Manual?
Not wishing to dampen enthusiasm, but we wouldn’t recommend that an inexperienced DIYer attempt to install the Fibo WPS.
Printed installation instructions are included with the panels or can be downloaded from the website. There are many short instructional installation videos that we recommend to all Fibo installers.
Tools needed to install the Fibo WPS?
Minimum tool setDesirable tools
1 m spirit level- 2m spirit level & laser level
Tape measure- Square set
Fine tooth wood saw- Circular saw (timber blade) & guide track
Fine tooth hack saw or tin snips- Benchtop mitre saw (metal blade)
Screw driver - Electric drill or Impact driver
Sealant dispenser (cartridge) - Powered sealant gun
Mitre box- Vacuum cleaner
Steel file- Glass suction caps
Stanley knife or similar (won’t work with some tile effects)
Pencil or fine pen
Can installation be undertaken by my builder?
Yes, in many cases a builder or trades person is employed directly by an owner or developer to undertake a broad scope of works, which would include wall finishes. Sourcecorp can supply product either to the principle or via a builder or sub-contractor. Sourcecorp will also provide any technical assistance and support as may be required by the builder or sub-contractor. Regardless who is installing the Fibo System, we are committed to do whatever is required to give the client the best possible result.
Do you provide an installation service?
Yes we can help you with installation. In most cases Sourcecorp will use a third party contractor to undertake installation work on behalf of our clients. Or we simply allow our client and the installation contractor to make their arrangements direct. Any installer introduced by Sourcecorp will be experienced in using the Fibo WPS.
Sourcecorp primarily concentrates on product supply, compliance, logistics management and training installers.
Alternatively, Sourcecorp can arrange a quotation for you and if required, manage the installation process.
What is an accredited Fibo installer?
An important part to establishing the Fibo WPS in Australia is to have a team of competent installers. Sourcecorp has a list of builders and trades people who have direct experience and are competent in installing the Fibo WPS. We are always looking to add to this list.
As the Fibo WPS is new to Australia, Sourcecorp is developing a process that ensures Fibo installers have excellent product knowledge, have hands-on experience in installing the Fibo System and are of a standard acceptable to Sourcecorp and Fibo AS. Only tradespeople who successfully complete this process and become accredited installers will be referred or offered installation work by Sourcecorp.
Accreditation will involve product introduction, in field training and supervision (particularly on initial installations) and follow up inspections of work. Installations carried out by an Accredited Fibo Installer will be warranted.
Who can be become an accredited Fibo installer?
Anyone with carpentry trade skills, the right attitude and who is looking for a new opportunity.
To be an accredited installer requires a candidate to achieve Sourcecorp’s required level of proficiency, have a positive attitude and carry a sense of pride in their work.
While it is desirable to have carpentry experience this is not essential as Sourcecorp may be able to assist would-be installers by teaming them with an experienced hand while they develop their skills.
Contact Sourcecorp if you wish to discuss becoming an installer; we are always looking for more good people to join us.
What preparations are required to install the FIBO system?
Preparation works may include demolition, framing, roughing in plumbing and electrical, fixing windows and completing the floor and ceiling.
Vertical surfaces or studwork should be flat, plumb and dry. Although the panels are waterproof it is suggested that the floor wall junction and up to 150 mm above the floor level be sealed with a waterproofing membrane.
Fibo panels should be allowed to season for three days under the same roof that they are to be installed. All Fibo products must be inspected prior to installation to ensure there are no visible faults or defects. Should you note a product defect then contact Sourcecorp as soon as possible. Do not install any defective product.
What is the best way to install the FIBO System?
This largely depends on what substrate is available in the room.
The Fibo System is designed to be fitted directly onto the building’s stud frame work; this is the cheapest and quickest way. However, it can be just as easily fitted over existing wall sheets, such as Gyprock ®, Villaboard® or other types of cement or fibre sheeting.
As to the best form of installation:
For a new build then install directly onto the framework of the room. This will save time and money. Fibo profiles and panels are designed to be fixed in place using screws.
For renovation works, then the best type of installation will depend on whether existing walls are being maintained or removed. If the substrate is sound, then the Fibo System can be glued and screwed to the wall.
The installation instructions show various methods for fixing the Fibo System. Sourcecorp will always be available to discuss any type of project.
Can the FIBO system be installed onto Gyproc, fibre cement sheet or other wall sheeting products?
Yes, the Fibo System can be fitted directly onto existing or new wall sheeting. We would always recommend mechanical fixing, using screws, in the first instance. However, should this not be possible or practical and, provided your walls are sound and straight, you can use adhesive to install the Fibo System.
Can the Fibo system be installed over existing wall tiles?
Yes, panels can be fixed to an existing tiled wall to provide a fast and cost effective update. That stated, it is important that the underlying tiles are sound, and the wall is properly prepared.
First check for any bulging, loose or ‘drummy’ tiles. A drummy tile can be detected by gently tapping the centre of a tile with a solid object. If the tile sounds hollow (drum-like) when tapped, then it means the adhesive holding the tile to the wall is compromised. The tiled wall should also be assessed for moisture behind the tiles and any mould infestation. If the tiled surface displays any of the issues noted above, then these need to be resolved before installing the Fibo System.
If the tiled surface is sound, then preparation before installing the Fibo system consists of:
Removing any fixtures;
Roughing up the tile surface to provide a key for the adhesive;
Thoroughly cleaning the tiles and removing any defective or soiled sealant; and
Ensuring the tiles and substrate are completely dry.
Sourcecorp recommends Soudal High Tack adhesive for fixing panels over tiled walls.
Is a waterproof membrane required?
The Fibo panel is waterproof and therefore does not need any backing sheet or a waterproof membrane. It is however recommended that when the floor is being waterproofed that the membrane be extended up the wall from the floor/wall junction by 100 – 150mm.
If using a vinyl sheet on the floor then by coving the sheet up the wall by 50mm higher than the base of the panel, then no membrane is required.
What are the best adhesives & sealants to use with Fibo?
We recommend using a high tensile strength waterproof adhesive such as Soudal ‘Fix All’ with Fibo panels. This is available from Sourcecorp and can also be purchased from most Mitre 10 stores. One 290ml tube of Fix All should be enough to fix two standard panels. Fix All is not volatile, almost odourless and safe to use indoors.
A hybrid polymer waterproof sealant should be used to seal all joints and edges and we recommend ‘Fibo Seal’ or Soudal ‘Soudaseal 215LM’. This is available from Sourcecorp in white or grey to match panel or grout-line colours.
The above products are flexible, almost odourless and will create a good bond to the laminate of the panel. Using this product should reduce the need for maintenance or replacement of the sealant.
We do not advise using silicone as the sealant because it does not bond as well to the laminate and can degrade quickly increasing replacement intervals.
MSDS for the above products can be found on our web site.
Can a niche be installed?
This is a popular request and several clients have installed a niche within the panels. This has been done by using a preformed niche, which can be purchased from tile suppliers or retail outlets like Bunnings, Mitre 10 or Tradelink. The panel cut out is then used as the backing of the niche to match the wall panel. Aluminium profiles can be used to frame the niche and assist in waterproofing (if required) at the point where the niche connects to the external face of the panel.
Sourcecorp and Fibo are currently developing an inhouse niche that works specifically with the wall panels.
Can wall mounted fixtures be fixed to the Fibo Panel?
Yes, fixing hardware items to Fibo is very easy and fast.
Other than pre-drilling a small pilot hole, items can be fixed using a wood screw. Fixing items onto Fibo wall panels takes away the concern of cracking a tile.
Items such as towel rails, toilet roll holders, shower shelves and robe hooks don’t need any backing support. With a decent wood screw the panels will hold these types of fixings.
It is recommended that additional noggins or studs be added to support heavy items such as wall mounted (free-standing) washbasins or grab rails given these are designed to support significant weight.
When screwing through the laminate surface, ensure that all fixtures are sealed where screws penetrate the panel.
Other than panel installation can you help with other works?
That largely depends on the nature of the work.
We receive a lot of requests from people wanting to undertake a renovation of a room in their house. In some cases, these people have not engaged their own builder to co-ordinate the works because they are still at the planning stage. Sourcecorp is building an accredited list of independent Fibo installers with each installer having a differing range of trade skills. The degree that each can undertake extra works will depend on their availability due to other projects they are committed to do and the requirements of the project. Sourcecorp is happy to provide contact details of our installers and leave any discussions regarding the scope of works to the client and the installer.