Columns provide immense structural support to commercial buildings and houses, but they often act as a visual obstruction, bringing down the external appeal. That’s where PVC column wraps come to the rescue.
PVC column wraps can completely change the role of external columns in your home – from being a visual obstruction to being a part of the exterior design.
PVC column wraps are a cost-effective, quick, and ingenious way to cover pillars/posts that offer long-term protection and are virtually maintenance-free. They are easy to maintain and can be mounted over an existing wooden or aluminum post using traditional carpentry equipment. The column wraps made of PVC are light but strong, fire retardant, weather-resistant, and still paintable. They are immune to decay and pest infestations.
PVC column wraps can profoundly impact the appearance of your home, but the key is that they should be installed properly.
So let’s lay down the ground rules first.
How do we ensure that PVC column wraps are installed correctly? Here is what you need to look out for –
- Accurate fitting
- Concealed edges
- No Signs of Nails or Screw marks or Tapes
- No gaps
- Minimum installation time & effort
If you are a homeowner who is looking for some Do-It-Yourself tips on installing PVC column wraps on your own or a contractor/builder looking for valuable information on installing PVC column wraps correctly, then make sure you read on till the end to learn all the 8 steps involved in the process.
Let’s get started with this simple step-by-step guide that you can refer to while installing PVC column wraps!
Installation of Column Wraps
Here’s the complete 11 step process for installing PVC column wraps, one step at a time.
Step 1: Choose your Style
Before starting the installation, select the style of column wrap that you wish to install. Assess your interior/ exterior design and choose the kind of column wrap accordingly. PVC column wraps usually come in round and square shapes. PVC column wraps also come in various options like tapered and non-tapered. Once you decide what shape is right for you, you can determine what design will look best for your application. You can choose styles between plain, recessed, fluted, and paneled. You can select the right column shape and size depending on certain factors. These factors depend upon the exterior design of your home, the size and shape of the pillars/columns.
Step 2: Take Accurate Measurements
Start the installation process only after having the exact measurement of the height & width of the column. In the case of a square column, measure the height from the floor to the beam. And for a round column, measure the height and the circumference.
Once you have the column measurements, you can start with the cutting process.
If you’re doing this for the first time, we’d advise you to keep a little margin while cutting the column wraps to save room for making minor adjustments later, if required. Cut the wraps 2 and ¼ inches shorter than the height of the column: 2 inches for the top and the base, the ¼ inch ensures that there is space for expansion!
Step 3: Make Sure That The Inside Of The Wrap Fits Around The Column.
Make sure that the inside of a PVC column wrap fits around the wooden or concrete post. If the post is too small and there is a gap between the post and the wrap, then spacers must be used at the top and the bottom of the post to fill the gap between the column wrap and the post.
Step 4: Pre-drill and Place the Panels Together
Pre-drill and countersink all the panels on the edges correctly. Ensure that there are no open seams. Lay the panels to ensure that they fit together perfectly.
In the case of square column wraps, place the three panels together. You can skip this step for circular column wraps.
Step 5: Applying Adhesives
This step will require you to be swift. As you need to ensure that the adhesive has been applied to all four joints and the entire structural column/post before it starts curing. Solvent-based PVC glues perform well as long as they are applied quickly. Use a plastic bottle with a small, tapered nozzle applicator to squirt PVC glue into the four joints.
We recommend you not to use 2-component adhesives that are too thick. The miter corners may get fractured if you do so. PVC glues soften the joints of the column wraps, eliminating cellular PVC cracking at the wrap’s outer corners.
Step 6: Closing the Joints
If the glue has been applied to the column surround joints, wrap the structural column or post in it and bring the miter lock joint together. Before finally closing the joint, make sure the locking tongue is inserted into the groove by applying pressure by hand. Then, with a piece of scrap PVC trim and a dead blow hammer, seal the joint.
Step 7: Mounting The Column Wraps
Mount the column wraps onto the pillar. But before clamping them together, make sure that it fits appropriately with little or no gaps. In case the warps are more extended, then re-adjust the size of the column wraps by slicing it further.
Step 8: Bridging the Gaps
If there is any gap between the column and the post, you must install strips or shims between them to bridge the gap. For that, you should install thin furring strips to the structural column, about 4″ down from the top center and 4″ up from the rim. This ensures that the wrap fits securely around the structural column/post.
To ensure an even spacing around the column, shim all four sides equally so that the shimmed strips are not wider than the gap.
Step 9: Smoothen the Rough Spots
If the lock miter joint is too tight, try wrapping 320-grit sandpaper around a shim or ruler and running it through the groove to loosen it up. If possible, gently sand the outside of the lock miter joint with a sanding block and 320 grit sandpaper to smoothen any rough spots.
Step 10: Nailing The Wrap to the Post
It would be best to use stainless steel nails to pierce through the structural post’s furring strips to secure the PVC column wrap to the column.
Step 11: Install The Cap & Base At The Top And Bottom Of The Column
Fasten the base of the column to the floor using flat-headed fasteners. The fasteners should be long enough to go about a cm deep into the concrete or the wooden base underneath. The cap can now be attached on top of the column shaft and secured in place using adhesives. Use PVC-compatible sealant to fill the tiny gap between the cap, the base, and the column shaft.
There you go. We hope you find this installation guide helpful. In case you have any questions for us or would like us to add some details that we have missed out on, we’d be happy to hear from you in the comments below.
If you are still on the lookout for beautiful and high-quality PVC column wraps then, Echon’s PVC column wraps are your best bet! Our column wraps are available in stunning designs that give your columns a smooth finish and luxurious appeal!
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are based on our team’s knowledge and experience. The results from instructions provided in the blog may vary from case to case basis. We strictly advise our readers to verify all the information provided here through their sources. Echon, its employees, partners, distributors, or directors are not responsible for any consequences, good or bad, that may arise from following the instructions on this blog for an individual or a company from the USA or abroad. The information is being provided to help our readers and our community and is by no means official. We are not legally or morally liable for any damage, financial or non-financial, that may be caused by following the suggestions or information provided in our blogs.