Most technicians do not recommend you starting a row of panels along a wall or using a wall as a guide because often times walls are not exactly parallel and can cause an unattractive misalignment.
If a project is finished with misaligned materials it is time consuming to correct.
Before beginning installation, it is a great practice to measure the wall at each end of the room and then make a mark at the center of the wall.
Utilizing a "snap chalk line" really helps.
Next, measure the adjacent walls, find the center and snap a second chalk line here.
You will then have a chalked "T" section, which marks the center of the room.
Depending on the size of the panels your installing, they may align with the chalk lines or a measured distance from the centerline, which can easily be done with a tape measure.
Install a row of panels along the length of the room.
It is most important for your first row to be aligned correctly as this will make it easy to align the following panels.
Most technicians install the second row on one side of the center line row of panels, then one on the other side, then one on the other side and so on working your way towards the outer areas of the wall or ceiling.
According to technicians, this method has been much easier and more accurate than that of working from one side to the other.
Always install all of your main panels first leaving about the last 6 to 10 in.
of area to be covered by the filler panels.
2) Filler Panel: Filler panels are then used to cover the outer areas that the main panels did not.
You will need to cut your filler panels to size.
If you can install the main panels so that there is only about 1 ft.
or less of uncovered area, that's perfect.
The filler panel is to be slightly tucked under the edge of the main panel.
Once you reach the desired location for the filler panel, nail the perimeter of the main panel while also nailing through the filler panel.
If you are using a molding strip, the filler panel does not have to be tucked under the main panel.
Just make sure the gap between the main and filler panel is not larger than the molding strip.
Obviously, the purpose of the molding strip is to cover gaps.
3) Cornice: Measure down the wall the depth of the cornice that you will be using.
Snap a chalk-line to determine the bottom of the cornice along the wall.
Start nailing from one corner to the other wall.
Miters can be cut by hand, or a power miter box using an abrasive disk.
The cornice has a finished edge providing you visual guide as to which end is to be placed against the wall.
Install a cone-head nail or paneling nail into the beaded edge every 6 ".
The cornice is to be installed over the field or filler panels depending on whether or not you used filler panels.
4) Molding: The last and easiest step is installing the molding strip.
Place the beads of the molding over the beaded edge of the field panels.
This will keep the panels straight and aligned.