to6cess, I'm currently in the process of using the wallmate system. We've finished the soffit, and I must say I am quite impressed with how professional the wallmate can make it look.
If you're looking to save time, I'm not sure if there's any time savings, by the time you cut the wallmate to size, screw/staple the wallmate to a 1/2" furring strip, stick double sided tape on two sides of the wallmate, pull the tape backing off two sides of the wallmate, and then start installing the fabric. I've never gone the tried and true method of just stapling, but my guess is that there is more upfront work with the wallmate, but that it is much easier to get it to look professional using it.
I know mcody has/is also using Wallmate, so he may have some other comments. I'm using GOM only, but he has tried it with velvet, as well as some other fabric.
i thought by going with wallmate system, you don't have to 1/2" furring strip.
Well, that depends. The Wall mate system is 1/2" thick. If you use a 1" Insul-shield or similar, you'd have to put the wall-mate on 1/2" thick firring strips. Further....You can attach the firring strips very firmly to the walls with construction glue and toggle bolts if necessary...then attach the wall-mate to the firring strips. That way, when you stretch the fabric tight, you won't pull the wall-mate off the walls.
I agree with WickedEwok that there is probably not a major time savings by using the WallMate material but that results are more predictable.
I did my whole screen wall in Fidelio black velvet with WallMate. One thing which I discovered is that since this fabric has very little stretch to it, trying to get it just right was a pain in the neck (and other body parts). I can't say whether it would have been easier or harder to get good results using a stapling technique but I will say that using a fabric that has some "give" will save you lots of time and cursing. If I had it to do over again, I would have used a stretchable velvet.
The benefits to using the wallmate seem to be:
1. You can remove or change fabric relatively easily
2. Results are consistent and look quite professional
The downsides would be:
1. More expensive than stapling
2. More prep time needed
3. Hard to use and/or impractical for smaller sections
Looks great...I use a compressor with a staple gun but you must get the pressure right as it will split the plastic fairly easily on too strong a setting. It does help speed up installation.
YOu do not have to use wallmate near the ceiling. YOu can use the same thickness of a molding and wrap the fabric around it to use near the ceiling. then use wallmate on the sides and bottom. (THis will speed up the time it takes and give a firmer grip on the top where you need it. also you will not mar the ceiling.
Use a nice mitre handsaw for clean cuts..THe thinner the fabric the more the error will show.
Be careful in choosing a material with a pattern...this will give you nightmares...
Finally..nothing looks as good as nice fabric on a wall...
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