FAQs

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‘The Woodworker’ Magazine discusses the benefits of Button-fix

Custom Furniture Maker, Rob Thompson, discusses the benefits of Button-fix with ‘The Woodworker’ Magazine.2015

Benefits of Button-fix on Display.  Custom furniture maker, Rob Thompson has used the load-bearing and invisible qualities of Button-fix fastenings to enable the quick, clean, on-site assembly of a unique display cabinet.

An experienced product designer, previously creating the model set of Gotham City for Batman the movie and the Aston Martins and BMWs for James Bonds,  Rob Thompson diversified into furniture design alongside his film set roles.

To read the full article please click here

Rob identified Button-fix as the fastening solution to simplify his design and build process whilst looking for fastenings at SDS London 

 

 

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Secret and Secure – Phil Hall’s ‘How to Guide’ for HVP readers wanting to fit bath panels

Secret and Secure – Phil Hall’s ‘How to Guide’ for HVP readers wanting to fit bath panels

The basic premise of Button-fix is simple. Durable nylon buttons are attached to the support frame, and the mating fixes are attached to the panel. The panel is then pushed into place until the Button-fixes ‘click’, indicating a secure fastening. Patented and independently tested, Button-fix is designed to be a strong, stable and flexible solution. To read the full article please click here

 

 

 

Secret Panelling Solutions for Modern Washrooms discussed in ABCD Magazine

Secret panelling solutions for modern washrooms

Julie Freedman, Head of Sales and Marketing at Buttonfix Limited discusses in ABCD Magazine the evolution of commercial washrooms and how modern fixing solutions can provide easy access to vita pipes and fixtures for maintenance and repair….

The sleek and minimal design of modern commercial spaces means that the majority of offices, hotels, restaurants, bars and shopping centres now opt to hide elements such as piping, plumbing and even cisterns behind wall panels within a washroom environment…however there is a downside…

To read the full double page article click here

Button-fix in use at Surface Matter’s London Studio

Button-fix fastenings in use at Surface Matter’s London Studio

Using the flexibility and strength of Button-fix fastenings, Surface Matter has created a wall of interchangeable materials in its London studio.

The Surface Matter studio in London is constantly evolving; with new sample materials added and showcased every day on a large, Mondrian style, material feature wall.

Jane Campbell, marketing director at Surface Matter said: “Having previously used Button-fix on a collapsible exhibition panel that travelled across Europe, we knew that the fixings would be ideal for securing material samples to the wall.

“Making it easy to unclip and remove, replace or rearrange the panels, the Button-fix fastening system is ideal for our wall as it’s constantly updated when we’re introduced to new materials!”

You can find the full article on the Spec Finish website or by clicking here

The Evolution of Fixings- Building Talk online publication

The Evolution of Fixings – discussed within Building Talk’s online publication

Traditional fixing methods such as screws, glue and pins have improved significantly over the centuries – however, modern interior applications demand more sophisticated solutions, with innovation being the key. In this online article, Julie Freedman, Head of Sales and Marketing at Buttonfix Limited explores the evolution of fixings and modern fastening alternatives. To find out more view the full article online at www.buildingtalk.com/the-evolution-of-fixings/

Installer Magazine (February 2017 Isssue) – Making Access Easy

Installer Magazine (February 2017 Isssue)  – Making Access Easy

Julie Freedman outlines how quick and easy access to plumbing pipework can be achieved using innovative removable fastening solutions that offer a high quality finish. When installing a new bathroom suite for a client, a high quality, pristine finish is of paramount importance, with unsightly pipework and fixings ideally hidden away. Consequently, plumbing works often become concealed in hard to reach places, such as behind tiling, under the bath itself or within the walls of the room…(yet) this is not without its problems…However, there are innovative fixing solutions that offer a quick, simple installation and provide a removable option for these specific applications. To read the full article please click here

Builders Merchants News (May 2017) looks at Fasteners for a flexible future

Builders Merchants News (May 2017) looks at Fasteners for a flexible future

In June’s edition of Builders Merchants News, Julie Freedman, Head of Sales and Marketing for Button-fix addresses how companies need to address the changing needs of installers. Traditionally, the fixing options for fitting interior wall panels have been a individual preference, or the nature of the job, the choice was either adhesives for an invisible finish or screws and nails for a secure and lasting fit. Other methods could be time consuming to fit, inaccurate or take up valuable space.

To read the full article please click here

I have already fitted the Buttons; Is there a marker tool to position the Type 1 Fixes?

Yes; the Fix Marker accessory may be used to mark out the position of the Type 1 Fixes, where the Buttons have already been attached to the panel or wall. The Fix Marker may be inserted onto the Type 1 Fixes (the pins on the Fix Marker accessory fit into the Type 1 Fix holes), and the Fixes then attached to the already fitted Buttons. Ensure the Fixes are running parallel with each other, otherwise the panel will be difficult to engage and remove; if necessary, tape the Fix and Marker after confirming they are accurately set with a spirit level. Then put the panel accurately in place, before pushing firmly to mark out the position of the screws for the Type 1 Fix. It is best to start at the top of a panel and work down, marking out and attaching the top two corners of a panel first.

How do I use the load/strength test report?

For Type 1 Fixes, ‘Buttonfix strength testing report’ is available here.

The figures in the table are for four Type 1 Fixes (in a standard ‘2 x 2’ array) and are already adjusted to give a 1.4 safety factor. These figures are actually the maximum for two Fixes only; this is because theoretically, allowing for inaccurate fixing of the components, only two Fixes can be guaranteed to be loaded at one time: this applies to any size of panel, with more than 4 Fixes.

In practice, with reasonably accurate fixing, and with their inherent flexibility, the load will be shared between most of the components, and the safe loads will increase with an increase in the number of Fixes used.

As can be seen from the design tables, It is a good rule of thumb to aim to keep the ‘cantilever’ distance — that is the ‘shelf depth’ — shorter than the height between the Fixes.

How do I mark out / set out Button-fix?

On the Type 1 Fix, the two small notches at the top and bottom edge of the Fix are to help marking out: The notches may be used to mark, or line up the centreline of the Fix. By also marking out, and drawing a line through the centre of the screw holes, the centre point of the Fix may be determined, which is also the point at which the Button will sit once installed. Alternatively, to avoid the need for precise measuring of the button and fix positions, the Type 1 and Type 2 Button marker accessory tools may be used. For detailed instructions of how to mark out/set out Button-fix please see the relevant Instructions for use document under the useful information tab.

What is the safe loading?

Button-fixes are very strong, but there are too many variables to be specific about a safe loading for your individual application.

For thinner panels and low-strength materials like particle-board, the limiting factor dictating the maximum load will be the pull-out strength of the screw fixings. Therefore, the fixings used should be the largest practical, given the thickness of the substrate/panel to be mounted. Assuming that the substrates/panels are strong, the appropriate fixings are used and applied correctly, sufficient Button-fixes are used and a conservative safety margin is applied to the test data available on this site, then you should have no problems with weight loading. This will be particularly true if the panels are vertical and there is no cantilever component to the loading. However, if the panels are not vertical and/or there is a cantilever load, then you should rigorously test the application to your own satisfaction before proceeding.

For Type 1 Fixes, ‘Buttonfix strength testing report’ is available here.

Also, have a look at a typical example of the independent load testing carried out on the Type 1 Fix here.

The Type 2 Fix is ideal for applications where the emphasis is on ease of fit rather than strength. Assuming that the screws and substrate are properly matched, a vertical panel under no other loading than its own weight, fixed with four Type 2 Fixes, can safely weigh 80kg. Other configurations should always be tested by the user.
Each Type 2 Fix requires approximately 12kg force to separate the Button and Fix; this should be taken into account when designing your installation and defining your safety factors. Type 2 Fixes should only be used on vertical panels or in applications where the weight of the panel does not act to separate the fixing. In critical applications, always use the safety cord accessory.
Please note that safety cords are sold separately from the Button-fixes.

To keep a panel flat I have used a lot of Button-fixes and the click fit is now too strong, what can I do to make it easier to fit and remove?

For Type 1 Fixes, if you remove the détente ‘ears’ using a small flat screwdriver or needle nosed pliers (See the ‘useful tips’ section under the Type 1 Fix heading in the ‘Videos’ section of the website), this will remove the ‘click’ fit, reducing the force required to install and remove the panel. If you do this, please protect your eyes, or cover the Fix with a gloved hand. If required, you can remove all of the détentes to facilitate a frequently removed vertical panel, but please be aware that there will be no force other than gravity keeping it in place.

On Type 2 Fixes, the détente force can be reduced by carefully removing a small amount of material from the détente ears using a small file or sharp knife (file or cut from both sides, retaining the angled profile of the edge); do this incrementally until the required pull-off force for the panel is achieved.

Can I lock/secure panels?

The détente will generally deter accidental displacement; if necessary an aluminium or PVC extrusion, or even a small block may be screwed into the 15mm ‘drop’ gap above the panel, to stop it being lifted.
By orienting the Fixes at 90 degrees, panels can be slid in sideways. Adjacent panels can also be mounted similarly, but of course the first panel(s) installed will effectively be locked in place, unless the subsequent panels are removed: This can be advantageous for providing security for a run of panels, requiring only the last panel installed to be secure.

Do I have to leave a gap at the top of a panel?

Not necessarily; by orienting the Type 1 Fixes at 90 degrees, panels can be slid in sideways. Adjacent panels can also be mounted similarly, but of course the first panel(s) installed will effectively be locked in place, unless the subsequent panels are removed. This can be advantageous for providing security for a run of panels, requiring only the last panel installed to be secure.
Also, Type 2 Fixes allow a direct push/pull fit without the need for any gap.

Can Button-fixes withstand shock loading?

Type 1 Fixes can carry a significant cantilever load; as a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to keep the cantilever distance, that is the shelf depth, shorter than the height between the Fixes. In most circumstances, the screws will pull out of the panel before the Button-fixes fail. Please download our load test results from the Useful Information page on this website. This should help you to specify the number of Button-fixes to use for a given load. However, we strongly recommend that you perform your own tests for your specific application and the materials that you intend to use and that you use a generous safety factor.

Type 2 Fixes are designed as a push/pull fit, and will therefore not take a cantilever load. Assuming that the screws and substrate are properly matched, a vertical panel under no other loading than its own weight, fixed with four Type 2 Fixes, can safely weigh 80kg. Other configurations should always be properly tested by the user to their satisfaction.
Each Type 2 Fix requires approximately 12kg force to separate the Button and Fix; this should be taken into account when designing your installation and defining your safety factors.
Type 2 Fixes should only be used on vertical panels or in applications where the weight of the panel does not act to separate the fixing. In critical applications for Type 2 Fixes, always use the safety cord accessory.
Please note that safety cords are sold separately from the Button-fixes.

When would I use Varianta Euroscrews in the Buttons?

Varianta Euroscrews are useful for giving good strength in thin panels, normally in particleboard. The orange Buttons are designed to accept countersunk Ø6.2mm Euroscrews for Ø5mm (0.197″) pilot holes.

For more detailed information, including screw length/panel thickness guides, please dowload the ‘Suggested Fixings for Buttonfix’ PDF from the Useful Information page.

Can the gap between panels be zero when using Type 1 Fixes?

Yes, but you will need to machine a stepped rebate for the Type 1 Fix moulding – please ensure that the Fix is not sub surface, otherwise the panel may bind up on installation. Note that if the Fixes are used on the removable panel, the screws holding the Fix will no longer go into the full panel thickness, and may have a reduced pull-out strength.

What screws or fixings should I use?

See the ‘Products’ section of the website for recommended fixings, or for more detail download the ‘Suggested Fixings for Buttonfix’ PDF from the Useful Information page.

The limiting factor dictating the maximum load is, in most cases, the pull-out load of the fixing screws and the strength of the materials being mounted. Therefore, the fixings used should be the largest practical, given the thickness of the panel to be mounted. For Type 1 Fixes on thin panels, Varianta Euroscrews (CSK Ø6.2mm for Ø5mm pilot holes) are recommended.

Can I glue or bond the Fix?

Where a very thin panel is to be mounted, or where the panel material does not accept screw fixings, bonding the Fix is a potential option. There are a number of Epoxy or polyurethane adhesives suitable for bonding glass filled Nylon PA6; the precise adhesive and strength will depend on the panel material to be bonded. If you use a bonding system, you will need to avoid getting glue inside the Fix cavity or the Button will not fit. You will also need to jig the Fixes so that they have sufficient pressure applied to them and do not move during curing. Please experiment for your particular application and satisfy yourself of the appropriate use of glues, materials, strength etc.

Can I use machine screws?

Yes; the lime green countersunk screw Button will accept an M5 countersunk screw. The rebated Fix will accept M4 countersunk screws, while the surface-mounted Fix will accept M4 pan head screws, ideally with washers, or for maximum strength M5 pan head screws, although they are a tight push fit in the fixing holes.

Can I space off the Buttons?

Yes, generally using M5 x 25 steel ‘penny’ washers; however, if the Buttons/Fixes are binding due to angular misalignment, it is best to use washers that are within the ‘footprint’ of the Button (i.e. Ø18mm or less, for example part number 1000750000VR here) which will allow more angular tolerance. Bear in mind that spacing off the Buttons will increase the bending forces on the button fixing and reduce its weight carrying capacity.

How do I use Button-fixes on bath panels?

If you use the Type 1 Button-fixes sideways you can use one panel to master the other. Usually, the longer panel will cover up the shorter one. Correct dimensioning will depend on site measurements. Please see the  Videos  page.

Alternatively, you could use Type 2 Fixes to give a direct push-on fit.

How many Button-fixes do I need per panel?

If the load is purely in the vertical plane, then four Button-fixes will usually be sufficient to carry the load of most timber based panels that one person can lift. However, in order to keep the panel flat you may wish to use more Button-fixes. As a rough guide, placing Button-fixes on 600mm is usually good practice but it will very much depend on your particular application.

For more detailed loading information on Type 1 Fixes, please see the ‘Buttonfix strength test report’ on the Useful Information page.

The Type 2 Fix is ideal for applications where the emphasis is on ease of fit rather than strength. Assuming that the screws and substrate are properly matched, a vertical panel under no other loading than it’s own weight, fixed with four Type 2 Fixes, can safely weigh 80kg. Other configurations should always be tested by the user.
Each Type 2 Fix requires approximately 12kg force to separate the Button and Fix; this should be taken into account when designing your installation and defining your safety factors.
Type 2 Fixes should only be used on vertical panels or in applications where the weight of the panel does not act to separate the fixing. In critical applications for Type 2 Fixes, always use the safety cord accessory.

Can I fix Button-fixes to metal structures?

You can use Ø4.8mm pop rivets, with washers to protect the plastic of the Fixes, and/or self tapping screws, but you will need to satisfy yourself of the fixing type and loadings by thoroughly testing the application. Recessing the Fixes into sheet material or tube would be possible, but would require machining with appropriate equipment.

How do I remove panels?

If the surface of the panel is smooth and air tight, use suction panel lifting pads and lift in the direction of the Button-fixes (usually vertical but sideways mounting is possible). If the surface is too rough or corrugated for the vacuum pads to grip, depending on the configuration and weight of your panels, you can either hand lift from the bottom of the panel or use a door lifting lever under the bottom edge. Please be aware of health and safety issues when lifting heavy loads.

To ease the removal of a panel, it is possible to remove the détente ‘ears’ on the Fix using a small flat screwdriver or needle nosed pliers, this will remove the ‘click’ fit, reducing the force required to install and remove the panel. If you do this, please protect your eyes, or cover the Fix with a gloved hand. If required, you can remove all of the détentes to facilitate a frequently removed vertical panel, but please be aware that there will be no force other than gravity keeping it in place. Please see ‘useful tips’ under ‘Type 1 Fix’ in the Videos page.

Can I fix to plasterboard?

For maximum strength on plasterboard, fixing through to studs or noggings is best. If this is not practical, direct fixing onto the plasterboard is possible, but the maximum loadings must be reduced significantly.
The next best option is to attach the Fix to the plasterboard using expanding metal fittings, such as Rawl M5 Interset sleeve fixings. These have the advantage of being demountable, as well as having a good load capacity.

If necessary, and if maximum load is not so critical, the Button may be fixed to the plasterboard; Interset fixings may be used for fixing the buttons, but the standard pan head M5 screw will need to be substituted with a countersunk M5 screw of a suitable length. Alternatively for fixing the Buttons, fixings such as the Rawl ‘4ALL’ universal plug (Ø8mm for a Ø5mm screw) may be used. Using a Ø30mm M5 penny washer under the button helps spread the load.

Can I fix panels directly to plaster, brick or concrete wall using Button-fixes?

In these circumstances we recommend fixing levelled battens to the wall first. If this is not possible, please be aware that the wall may not be flat, and you may need to use washers to both space the Buttons off the wall for levelling, and to keep them parallel to the panel: although there is a degree of flexibility and tolerance in Button-fix, misalignment of the Buttons and Fixes may cause binding, and difficulties in engaging or removing the panels.

Can I use Button-fix to fix glass panels?

You can’t attach them directly, however, you could bond the glass, using mirror adhesive, to MDF or plywood backing panels with the Button-fix fittings installed in the usual way. Download our test data from the Useful information page on this website and check that the weight of your panel is within safe limits.

Why is my panel binding up / too tight / difficult to install / remove, using Type 1 Fixes?

This is unusual if the substrates are parallel, in plane and of good quality. However, there are a number of possible reasons for panels binding up:
1) Inaccuracies in positioning of the buttons and fixes:
If the Fixes are ‘face-fixed’ they can be loosened slightly, before temporarily mounting the removable panel, to allow the tolerance in the Fix slots to align the Fixes to the Buttons: The panel should then be removed and the Fixes screwed up tight.
2) Buttons/Fixes out of plane/not flat in relation to one another: If this occurs the Buttonfixes will try to force the panel to conform, causing extra load and friction.
The buttons may be spaced off using suitable washers, to alleviate planar inaccuracies (e.g. for example part number 1000750000VR here )
3) Buttons/Fixes out of angular alignment; i.e. the Button and its mating Fix are not parallel, causing extra interference and friction.
Ensure Buttons are aligned with the Fixes.
The buttons may be spaced off using suitable washers, (e.g. for example part number 1000750000VR here ) to help alleviate angular inaccuracies (Please note that spacing off in this manner doesn’t correct angular disparities, but it does reduce interference between panel/mounting surface and the Fix.
4) If the Buttons are mounted to a particularly soft material, e.g. softwood, and some softer plywood/blockboard, they can ‘sink’ into the surface in an unpredictable fashion, causing both planar and angular inaccuracies. In this event, using a large steel washer to spread the load will help: eg M5 x 25 steel ‘penny’ washer.
5) Large number of Fixes causing excessive détente force:
If you remove the détente ‘ears’ on the Fix using a small flat screwdriver or needle nosed pliers, this will remove the ‘click’ fit, reducing the force required to install and remove the panel. If you do this, please protect your eyes, or cover the Fix with a gloved hand. If required, you can remove all of the détentes to facilitate a frequently removed vertical panel, but please be aware that there will be no force other than gravity keeping it in place. Please see the section headed ‘Useful tips’ under ‘Type 1 Fix’ in the Videos page.
6) Wrong screws causing binding of the Button and Fix:
Ensure that the screw fixings used are not too large; the countersunk screws used on the rebated Fix and the Button should not protrude above the countersink recess. See Videos page for recommended screw sizes, or for more details on fixings, please dowload the ‘Suggested Fixings for Buttonfix’ PDF from the Useful Information page.

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