Panel Setting Out: Installing SUPASLAT Timber Panels & SUPASLAT Aluminium Panels

This blog aims to assist installers, builders, specifiers, architects and project managers with setting out (determining the set-out points) before and during the installation of SUPASLAT Timber Panels & SUPASLAT Aluminium Panels.

Choosing set-out points

Correctly determining the set-out point is a crucial aspect of installation when using SUPASLAT timber slat panels or SUPASLAT Aluminium Slat Panels.

When specifying a SUPAWOOD product, all architectural slat panels have precise slat spacing. Hence, set-out points in one direction are to be determined by the accounting slat panel spacing and the dimensions of the installation area.

Here are some setting out suggestions on how to obtain an even joint line to all perpendicular or perimeter surfaces:

Multiple set-out points. When faced with areas with numerous set-out points, choose the most prominent door, entry or window and set your slats from the centre of that visual point. Although having multiple set-out points will result in different perimeter joint sizes, it is easy enough to calculate the range of perimeter joints - for reference with the architect.

Note: See SUPAWOOD’s recommended external corner details for the different profiles of slatted panels.

Centred set-out points. Using the centreline as the set-out point of the space is recommended when you have standard-size panels that don’t have to align with anything in particular. This approach suits slatted panels very well with equal or close to identical infill panels.

Single set-out point. Architects often specify a singular set-out point, which may align with a prominent item in the room. E.g. a column.  The best set-out point for L-shaped rooms is generally the inside corner of the L.  Note: you may have one or two surfaces with different perimeter joints. Again, this set-out method suits both aluminium slat panels and timber slat panels.

Combination. You may have a variety of the above in one room; for example, slatted panels on one side of the room may need to align with doorways, but on the other end of the room, the slatted panels can be full-size with infills.  In this case, you must set out your panels from the doorway.


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Preparation is Key for Setting Out & Installation

General Recommendations for Setting Out

  • Assumptions and lack of communication are the main reasons installers end up with wrong-size panels, framing in the incorrect position, or just a bad job with ugly perimeter details of the timber slats interior.
  • Always begin with a discussion with your Supawood Project Manager. Our Project Managers can consult you about things you may have yet to consider and may stop you from making mistakes later.
  • Keep channels of communication open with the builder and architect, subject to protocols. Don’t hesitate to ask for a meeting, confirmed details, or updated drawings.
  • If you experience any reluctance from a builder or contractor to communicate, ask them if they are prepared to risk something being done wrong.

Steps for Marking Set-out Points

  • Double-check the latest architectural plan or shop drawing to ensure you have included any particular nominated set-out point.
  • Double-check the final ceiling/ wall levels with the builder – these may even change from the plans to allow for services that take up more space than expected.
  • Mark the set-out point on site on the floor or wall precisely where it will end up. This means you may need to allow for the thickness of packing, framing, cross battens and slats against adjoining walls, perpendicular surfaces, etc., so that the slat corner, edge and centre of the panel system will end up precisely where you have marked it.
  • Ensure you have marked the set-out point so that it can’t be covered over or erased by someone. If possible, make more than one mark, e.g. mark the other corners of the first panel.

Marking Remaining Panels

SUPASLAT panels generally have concealed joints between slats, so the position of the joint parallel to the slat is not so critical.  For the joints where the end of the slat meets the end of another slat, you have three options:

  1. Set out the joint and size of the remaining panels across the rest of the ceiling or wall. (10mm end-to-end joints for SUPASLAT Timber Slat Panels, 5mm end-to-end joint for SUPASLAT Aluminium Slat Panels)
  2. Use standard-size panels with cut on-site infill panels.  SUPAWOOD can supply cut on-site panels with black Supabab to overlap into the cutting area.
  3. Install all timber slat panels and aluminium slat panels in the centre of the space, and then measure from the edge of these to determine your infill panel size.  The disadvantage of this method is that you can only order your infill panels after you have installed nearly all the centre panels, which will not suit most builders’ programs.  It is typically only used on large projects with hundreds of m2 of panels that have extended fit-out programs.

Determine Framing Position

  • Your framing must line up with the cross battens on the SUPASLAT panels. If you need anything different to this, speak to your SUPAWOOD Project Manager.
  • This means your framing will be perpendicular to the slats.
  • It also means the centres of your framing members will be the same as the centres of the cross battens on the SUPASLAT panels, which will typically vary from 500-600mm for SUPASLAT and 600-900mm for SUPASLAT Aluminium.
  • Plan where you may need to do special framing, for example, long spans underneath services, prefabricated shaped or curved framing sections, or bulkheads you will need to build. Some situations may require special panel modifications, so review these with your SUPAWOOD Project Manager.

We would love to help you with your next project. If you have a challenge right now that you would like us to help you with, please contact us here.

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Long spans required underneath large services

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