Installing AP Plaques


KEYHOLE HARDWARE INSTALLATION METHOD
Keyholes are generally best for mounting your plaque on a relatively surface. It can be used to install the plaque on interior and exterior walls, doors and stucco. It can be a good choice for smoother brick and stone surfaces as well. 

Keyhole mounting brackets are pre-installed on all wall mounted sign, unless otherwise specified. We include suitable screws. The keyhole method requires a relatively flat surface. For interior use, picture hanger hooks or even nails may be sufficient. Measure the distance center to center of the keyholes installed on the back of the sign. Mark that distance on the wall. Measure again and verify accuracy.  Measure twice or three times make sure you are right before you drill.  Use a level to make sure that you have the holes even. Drive the screws into the wall but leave them out a little so they can engage the keyhole mounting brackets. For the best holding power, the screw heads should be adjusted to have some contact with the keyhole unit. If they are left loose, the sign can easily be lifted off the screws. This is fine for interior, but even moderate winds could lift your plaque and send it crashing. Using adhesive is highly recommended for exterior or exposed locations; use of a polyurethane construction adhesive is likely to be the most suitable. Be certain that whatever you use is compatible with your surface. After a trial fit, put some adhesive in the keyhole bracket holes, or stronger yet, put adhesive on the wall within the borders of the sign. The keyholes and screws will hold the sign while the glue sets, making a permanent installation.



T-30 HARDWARE INSTALLATION METHOD
If you choose to mount using the T-30 deck screw option, we will supply 3-inch deck screws (4-inches long for 2 inch thick signs) with a Star-Drive head, and we will pre-drill the holes in your plaque. (Let us know if your situation requires different length screws by sending an email after placing your order or adding this in the Comments box on the Order form. Please do this within 24 hours of order placement. )

You will need a T-30 size Star Driver, and a drill bit to make a pilot hole in your wall. Size of this hole is left to you. Dense wood requires a larger hole to just engage the screw threads, while foam insulation board (not recommended) would require a smaller hole, or no pilot hole at all. Although not always necessary, you could add a little silicone or polyurethane construction adhesive to the holes before final setting of the screws.

Using the screws in masonry or brick type materials presents some other issues. Mainly the size of the pilot hole. Too large and you may not get the grip you desire (Actually, very little is required, and you could put a sliver of wood in the too-large hole and be just fine). Too small and you risk damaging the screw’s metal coating by using brute strength to seat the screw, or worse, you twist the head off of the screw. You will notice the the screws have an very aggressive thread, but in very hard materials you only need to engage a small part of the thread for an iron grip. You could experiment in an inconspicuous area. The screws that we use are called SPAX screws, and we use the 1/4 inch size. They are available from most big box home improvement stores. You might consider picking up a couple to use while you get the hole size right.

The screw heads are metal coated to match your sign. Avoid letting the Star Drive bit slip. This is best accomplished by having a large enough pilot hole drilled into your wall material. The screw should turn easily with a hand screwdriver when you are mounting your sign. Remember, Just Barely Snug, and No More!

Some care is required. Your plaque is made of High Density Sign Board. It can be dented or even break if forced. The metal coating adds a thin layer of hard material, but the plaque can be dented through the metal. Your plaque is light-weight and does not require much mechanical strength to hold it. Screws should not be over-tightened. Just a light contact with the plaque is sufficient and will avoid bending and the possibility of cracking.

If desired, or if you don’t have solid material to hold the screws, just apply polyurethane construction adhesive between the plaque and the mounting surface and use the screws to hold the plaque in place while the adhesive cures. Just be certain that you use enough adhesive to make good contact, but not so much as to leave a mess. Also be certain that the adhesive is compatible with your surface material. For additional holding power, score the back of the sign to provide more surface area. Scoring means scratching the back of the sign. You can use anything from a knife to a screw driver, to a file. Just be careful out there. Be absolutely certain to lay the sign on a soft, clean padded surface while you are doing the scoring.