by Dave Veilleux, VP Business Development –
This time around I wanted to share an interesting wall decorating project that was brought to our attention in the Winter 2013 Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine. This is a fun magazine that you can subscribe to for free. The project that caught my attention may be viewed online here, Horizontal Plank Wallcovering.
This project lends a cool tech-style to a room by adding strong horizontal linear elements. However, upon further investigation we wondered, “What if we added a bit more functionality to the design?”
In the proposed design, the fine folks of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Team recommend a “U” channel, their part #55980, as the aluminum trim. These channels work fine for the intended purpose in this application – creating a visual break. However, if the DIY’er replaced the one trim strip at the top of the wall with our Wall Track, virtually the same visual effect would be achieved, but now you could hang objects (frames, awards, calendars etc.) from the wall without damaging that creative paint job. Better yet, this slight change to the project specs impacts the project cost only slightly, while bringing so much additional functionality.
Here’s how to do it.
Before we get started, review fig. 1. You will see the differences in the profile between the specified “U” Channel and our Wall Track. The large lip at the lower edge of the track is where the magic occurs. Our hanging system components, such as P-End cable and P-End rod, may be inserted into the track when you are done. They can be moved, or removed, at any time without ever having to hammer a nail into your wall. And this track is rugged! It is rated to support up to 300 lbs. – even if all the fasteners simply mount to the drywall and not the wall studs. You will also note that there is a thin spacer between the existing wall surface the Wall Track. We’ll explain more about that below.
While you are finalizing your plans, you may also consider swapping out the lowest of the “U” channel rails with the same Wall Track. In this location the Wall Track would be inverted before mounting. See fig. 2. This will allow you to span a cable between the upper and lower Wall Track with a stainless cable tensioned in place. The resulting look is very clean and engineered in appearance.
More on Tensioned Cables may be seen here.
How to proceed …
Simply follow Lowe’s directions for this project. However you will want to reduce the amount of “U” Channel you purchase by the amount you displace with Wall Track. Make certain to order Wall Track from ASHanging.com in the amount you will need. Be aware that while the “U” Channel comes in 8-foot lengths, Wall Track ships in 6-foot lengths. The track is supplied with all the mounting fasteners you will need for this project. While ordering your Wall Track, take this opportunity to go ahead and order P-End Cables, hooks and any other fittings at the same time. This will save you shipping expense.
You also need to adjust the width of the MDF strips slightly. While the “U” Channel is 0.65 inches wide, our Wall Track is 1.18 inches wide. The difference of about ½ inch needs to be collectively removed from the total width of all your strips, or, it may be easier to simply make the bottom or top strip ½ inch narrower. Make certain to account for another ½ inch if you also displace the lowest “U” Channel Wall Track. See figure 4.
Also, be aware that the steps that Lowe’s recommends you do to prepare a satin finish to the “U” Channel do NOT apply to the Wall Track from AS Hanging Systems. Our track ships with a satin finish and is overcoat protected with a hard clear anodized finish. As a result, it will not oxidize, as does raw aluminum.
Go ahead and execute all the steps in the “Prepare MDF Strips and Channels”. Referring to figure 1 again, you’ll note there’s the need to place a thin spacer behind the Wall Track. So what to use as a spacer? I searched through the Lowe’s store to find something inexpensive and easy to fabricate. It will sound odd to you, but it is a good solution. Drum roll, please … floor tiles. These are inexpensive, the perfect thickness, and easy to work. You can score them with a utility knife and straight edge – simply score and snap. When at Lowe’s purchasing your supplies, you will want to add a 12 x 12 inch Floor Tile (item #16351, this is the white tile but any color will serve this use). One tile will produce enough strips for two 6-foot lengths of Wall Track. Cost, at my location, $0.73.
The final steps in this section of preparing strips and channels would be to score and snap the tile into 1-inch wide strips. Then trim the lengths to be approximately 7.5 inches long. You will need 9 such strips per Wall Track. Cut one in half. Then turn the track face down and glue or adhere the strips to the back of the track. Since you will be using silicone in this project, go ahead and use a little for this purpose. Apply a small bead to the serrated portion of the back side of the track, then place the tile strips. Do not cover the mounting holes. See figure 3. Set these aside and perhaps place weight on the spacers so they are pressed against the track, helping them remain flat while drying.
Then proceed directly to “Paint the MDF Strips”.
Follow the “Install the Wall” steps, except where you reach the one or two locations where you will insert Wall Track in place of “U” Channel. At those locations you will want to hold the Wall Track up to the wall where it will be installed. Mark the mounting holes. At each mark, drill and insert the supplied plastic screw anchor that shipped with the Wall Track. Use the supplied fasteners to mount the track to the wall and continue with the standard project steps.
“Hang your Art”
Insert P-End cables into the upper track. Slide hanging hooks on the cables. Now you’ve designed a creative way for how to hang pictures without nails, or any other wall objects you wish to display, using cable hooks. Adjust the spacing and heights. Voila! A tech-y look with great functionality!
Another possibility to point out is that you can additionally install Wall Track for any (or all) of the other lengths of “U” channel rails as well. This will allow you to avoid sanding the “U” channels all together and ensure they will never oxidize. The hanging application remains the same, it just creates a shorter distance from the track to the object placement.
More information about hanging objects from a “hanging system” can be found by visiting www.ashanging.com or calling 866-935-6949, toll free.
What do you think of these wall hanging ideas? Are you ready to create something this bold – and purposeful? Let Lowe’s and AS Hanging Systems help you take on this fun and functional project!
If you have questions or would like to learn more about how our products can be beneficial in your project, please contact our Customer Support at email@example.com, or give us a call at 866 935-6949 (toll free) or at our local number 450 619-7999.
When you hang with AS Hanging Systems, you Hang with the Best®
About the author:
Dave Veilleux, VP Business Development
AS Hanging Systems
Mr. Veilleux has been with AS Hanging Systems for six years. He heads business development, marketing, and product development. Earlier in his career he was with a major fastener company that predominantly sold products through the DIY/home center channel.