How To Install Slatwall Panels? From Cutting To Finishing Touch

How To Install Slatwall Panels
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This blog is an exclusive guide on how to install Slatwall panels. Slatwall has been around since the 1960s. They are used for displaying things in an organized way. Whether you plan to organize your garage, home, office, or retail store, a Slatwall is a good solution to store and keep your things organized. It can be fixed to an existing wall or can be freestanding. You must have seen these panels in retail stores. They use it to display their stuff.

Installing Slatwall panels can be a DIY project, provided you have worked with power tools before and possess some knowledge of installing sheet wall material. In case you don’t then it’s best to employ the services of a professional licensed contractor for installing the Slatwall panels.

If you are confident about doing the job yourself do remember to obtain the necessary building permits. Plus, it’s always good to consult a professional if you have any doubts regarding the process. For the rest, this guide will educate you on installing Slatwall panels. The FAQ section at the end will cover any other questions that may arise later.

What is Slatwall?

Slatwall is a type of wall paneling that consists of wood panels. The panels are horizontal in shape and are called slats. They have grooves or slots that are fixed in the wall. On the front of the Slatwall, there are slots where one can hang shelves, hooks, or wire baskets. If you install Slatwall hooks, you can hang stuff on them. Made from wood or fiberboard these slats come in various finishes and colors. The boards are machine made that’s why their measurements are accurate.

How to Install Slatwall Panels?

Before we start to fix the panels, some preparations are required. First, we need to order the panels and other tools. Our soundproofing wood series slat panels are outstanding for modern aesthetics. If you want a unique stone finished interior choose stone series slat panels.

Once your slat panels are delivered, look for any damages. Remember the panels are heavy and should not be stored on the floor directly. Keep the panels stacked on the skid they were delivered on. It is also necessary to let the panels acclimatize to the room temperature before installing them.

How to Install Slatwall Panels?


Second, comes the tools needed to do the job. You will require

  1. Drill gun
  2. Stud Finder
  3. 24-inch or longer Level
  4. Tape Measure
  5. Ladder Pencil
  6. Safety Glasses
  7. Screws

When it comes to the question of what type of screws will be perfect for your wall, the answer depends on the wall type. To fix panels on wood studs, you will require coarse threaded drywall screws 2 to 3 inches. For installing Slatwall on metal studs, use self-drilling drywall screws. To install Slatwall on concrete wall, one has to first fix a frame with wood studs on which the panels will fix.

Once you have all the tools ready, follow the steps explained below to install MDF Slatwall-

  1. With the help of a stud finder, find the wood studs on which you will drill the wood panels. Mark the places using a pencil.
  2. Using a level, ensure that the top corners of the panel are evenly fixed.
  3. Make sure the ends of a Slatwall panel sits on a stud. It will ensure that the panels don’t fall from the wall. For reference, an 8ft long Slatwall panel, will have both its ends sitting on studs.
  4. Once you have decided on a pattern of the panels on the wall, mark the stud location on the grooves of every panel.
  5. If you don’t have the pre-ready panels according to the size you need, you will have to cut Slatwall panels using a circular saw.
  6. Now, fix the first panel on the wall. As a safety measure, apply panel adhesive on each one before installing it.
  7. The first panel is the most important one. It has to be fixed correctly because it will be the reference point for other panels.
  8. As you go about fixing the panels, use a level to ensure that each panel is leveled.
  9. Use a 1 1/2-inch screw if you are installing directly in the stud. To install Slatwall on drywall, use a 2-inch screw.
  10. Remember not to drill the screws through the slats. Attach the slats through the grooves. Drill the screws in the grooves first, and then fix the slat onto the wall.
  11. Also, do not overtighten the screws.

do not overtighten the screws

If you plan to attach slats with aluminum inserts, follow the steps mentioned below-

  • Firstly, if you need to cut the panels to a particular size, remember to cut them with the aluminum inserts.
  • To install these, you need 2-3 inch, #6 or larger, pan head screws.
  • The installation process is the same as when you install without aluminum inserts.
  • Predrill the screws in aluminum grooves before fixing them on the stud.
  • Do not remove the inserts while installing the panels.

If you have metal studs and plan to attach a Slatwall, follow the below mentioned steps-

  1. Metal studs do not hold screws for a long duration.
  2. Therefore, it’s best to first install some wooden blocking in important places before fixing the slats.
  3. The rest of the installation process is the same.

Sometimes one has to fix a Slatwall on Concrete. This is a bit tricky and time-consuming process. Follow the steps written below-

  1. Never install slats directly onto a concrete wall. As mentioned earlier, one has to fix wooden studs or a frame on the concrete wall. Then the panels will go up on this frame.
  2. Measure the entire size of the wall from top to bottom.
  3. Now, install vertical or horizontal wooden panels using concrete fasteners.
  4. Once a wooden frame is ready, fix slats in the same way as in the above-mentioned sections.

Cutting the Slats

It’s best if you are able to get ready-made slats of the size you need. If this isn’t the situation with you then you may need to cut the panels to the size, you require.

Slat panels can be cut easily using a circular saw to make straight cuts. Always cut the panels keeping them face down.

It requires confident planning because once you cut them to a particular measurement, they can’t be altered. So, measure as many times as you want before making the final cut.

You may need to cut the Slatwall panels irregularly to fit around switchboards and electrical receptacles. To do this, use a jig saw that has a medium wood cutting blade.

The Finishing Touch

The Finishing Touch


Once the slat panels are fixed, use an edge trim to conceal any sides, top, or edges that are left unfinished. You can use wood trim and aluminum trim as well. Aluminum trim provides more durability and protection. But you need to pre-drill and install it with small screws. As a final touch, fill the nail holes with a wood filer.


  • How do you Install Slatwall Panels?

To install Slatwall panels by yourself follow the steps mentioned in the blog. The material and tools you need and the technique to follow are all mentioned above. Do watch some videos to get an idea about Slatwall installation process. A visual aid makes it easier to understand the entire process.

  • How do you fasten Slatwall?

The Best way to fasten Slatwall is to glue the wooden slats to the wall using construction adhesive. Attach the slats to the wall using a laser level. Finally, use a nail gun to firmly secure the panels on the wall.

  • How much does it cost to install a Slatwall?

Slatwall installation cost depends on your budget. Also, the quality of the material is a determining factor. If you use high quality material, it will cost you anything between $1100- $1300 to install a Slatwall. Using medium quality material; will cost you between $700- $950 to get a Slatwall. If you are on a tight budget, you can get a Slatwall up by spending $500-$575. But here you will be compromising on the quality of the material used to get a Slatwall.

  • Do you need Metal Inserts for Slatwall?

If you plan on hanging or placing heavy stuff; then yes use metal inserts while installing a Slatwall. A Slatwall without metal inserts can hold lightweight stuff only.

  • How do you hang a wood Slatwall?

To install wood Slatwall, follow the steps mentioned below-

  1. Get the necessary materials like wood, stain, screws, drill machine, measuring tape, ladder, and a pencil.
  2. Sand and paint the wood before installing it.
  3. Prepare the slats by measuring them and cutting them according to the size needed.
  4. Start installing the slat panels using a brad nailer and screws.
  5. Your wood Slatwall is ready!!


Slatwall is an amazing-looking feature. There are several colors, patterns, and designs available to make your wall look different and unique. It doesn’t cost much to convert a boring wall into an interesting one. There are several budgeted choices available too. If you planning to install Slatwall panels DIY, then make sure you are comfortable with the tools and know what you are doing. If you are the owner of a retail store don’t compromise on the look of your store. After all, the Slatwall will hold the merchandise you want to sell.

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