It is a combination of materials including wall panels, aluminium profiles and sealants and the process for installing these together. The Fibo System is designed to create a robust and waterproof decorative wall finish.
The panels are a composite of three sheets that are bonded together with a thermosetting glue under pressure:
High pressure laminate (HPL) is the décor outward face of the panel. HPL is sheets of decorative ‘Kraft Paper’ impregnated with liquid resin. The paper and resin are bonded with heat and as the name suggests under high pressure to create a very hard surface.
Plywood forms the core of the panel. Fibo plywood is a specially developed 7-layer WBP (Water and Boil Proof) birch plywood; commonly known as Marine Ply. Marine Ply is designed to handle moist conditions and resist fungal attack.
On the back of the panel is a laminate vapour barrier.
It’s a patented tongue and groove system invented and developed by Fibo AS in Norway; the patent reference is WO/2006/083175 ‘A Method of Machining Fibre Boards’. Fibo wall panels have an Aqualock tongue and groove machined into the long sides of each panel. The tongue is designed to lock into groove to create a near seamless and watertight joint. The Aqualock also makes joining panels together easy and prevents separation as the panels expand and contract.
Fibo developed a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine capable of milling (cutting away) the top layers of the High-Pressure Laminate (HPL). HPL used by Fibo consists of nine layers of Kraft Paper, from which Fibo can mill the top two, to create an indentation that resembles a grout line. The milling process does not affect the panel’s waterproofing properties.
The CNC machine creates many different tile configurations and ‘grout line’ widths. Standard grout line widths are 1.8, 2.5 and 3.5 mm.
By varying the Kraft Paper colour beneath the top finish layer of the HPL, either a white or grey ‘grout effect’ can be produced.
Fibo is further developing the capabilities of their CNC milling technology and has created some free form effects. This is not a standard product line, so speak to Sourcecorp if you require further details.
Fibo panels are constructed using marine grade plywood and, providing all exposed plywood edges are fully sealed with a recommended polymer sealant and fitted correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, the panels are guaranteed to be waterproof.
Panels are supplied in shrink-wrapped plastic with a set of installation instructions included in each pack. There are two panels per pack with each standard sized pack weighing 26 kg. Single panels can also be ordered.
The short answer is yes, mould and mildew cannot penetrate the Fibo panel surface.
But that doesn’t mean that mould and mildew won’t develop on the panel.
To provide a more detailed response, it is important to note that mildew and mould are much the same thing in that they are both fungi:
Mildew is grey or white, almost powdery looking; whilst
Mould is generally black or green but can also be orange, brown pink or purple.
It’s a simple fact that bathrooms and other areas exposed to moisture will become grimy and dull. Grime accumulates over time when the scum formed from the mixture of soap and body oils dries out (also called ‘Soap Scum’). Grime is a food source that when combined with a moist, humid and dark environment create ideal conditions for fungi to thrive. Fungi spreads by releasing spores (seeds), expanding outward. When a fungi spore finds a suitable environment, its roots will penetrate porous and semi-porous surfaces like grout. Here lies the problem, while the top of the fungi can be removed the roots are left behind causing discolouration of the penetrated material.
Fortunately, Fibo panels don’t suffer this problem because the fungi spores can’t penetrate the laminate surface. While grime, mildew and moulds may accumulate on the panel’s surface they can’t penetrate the laminate surface, making Fibo panels very easy and quick to clean.