Solid FENIX NTM® Worktop Installation and Maintenance Guide
Technical data sheets and other relevant guidelines for FENIX® materials are available to download from the FENIX® website: www.fenixforinteriors.com.
Solid FENIX NTM® worktops aren't like any other worktops on the market. Created to stand the test of time, these durable surfaces make the perfect choice for a kitchen worktop as they require no treatment prior to fitting and no specialist equipment for installation. This guide is designed to provide you with all the information you require to install and care for your new Solid FENIX NTM® worktop, and to help you keep the surface in pristine condition. Please take the time to thoroughly read this guide before commencing installation as failure to follow it will result in invalidating your warranty.
SOLID FENIX NTM® WORKTOPS ARE SUPPLIED IN SHRINK-WRAPPED PACKAGING. DO NOT DISCARD ANY OF THE PACKAGING SUPPLIED UNTIL YOU HAVE FULLY INSPECTED YOUR WORKTOP PRIOR TO INSTALLATION FOR DAMAGES OR DEFECTS AND TO ENSURE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE RIGHT DECOR AND SPECIFICATION. AN INSTALLED WORKTOP WILL BE SEEN AS HAVING BEEN INSPECTED AND NO LIABILITY WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR ITS REMOVAL AND/OR REPLACEMENT. PLEASE REMOVE THE PROTECTIVE FILMS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WORKTOP PRIOR TO FITTING.
PLEASE RETAIN THESE INSTRUCTIONS FOR FUTURE REFERENCE.
WHENEVER CUTTING, ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK MEASUREMENTS BEFORE PROCEEDING.
To ensure the advertised size of the worktop is a completely usable section, Solid FENIX NTM® worktops may be supplied oversized in length by up to 50mm. Therefore, we recommend measuring the length of the surfaces prior to installation and cutting where required.
Solid FENIX NTM® worktops require no treatment prior to installation so we recommend they are fitted as soon as possible following delivery. Should this be impractical, we advise that your worktops are stored flat, face up and supported through their entire length. If you have more than one worktop that needs storing and wish to stack them, please ensure that the surfaces are clean and clear from any debris as there is the potential that this could cause damage through abrasion. We suggest using a layer of cardboard between boards.
DO NOT UNPACK WORKTOPS UNLESS:
- The room humidity is stable and is dry, clean and frost free.
- All carcases and cabinets are built and fully fitted/complete.
- All building dust and debris has been cleaned and cleared off site.
- All wet trades are finished and a sufficient period of time allowed for natural drying.
- Fresh plasterwork has been allowed to dry for a minimum of 6 weeks or until the plaster is dry throughout.
It is important to ensure you have sufficient manpower to safely lift and handle these worktops - a minimum of 2 people is required and the surfaces should be carried vertically along the width, never flat.
When planning the position of your Solid FENIX NTM® worktop, please note that:
- A minimum gap of 50mm is left between your surface and heat generating appliances, such as an AGA.
- A moisture barrier is advisable for fitted dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers.
- The maximum unsupported length of Solid FENIX NTM® surfaces is 250mm
- Overmount sinks must be placed a minimum of 150mm from any joint seams and at least 40mm from the front of a worktop.
Solid FENIX NTM® worktops should be fixed to base cabinets using a silicone sealant at a minimum distance of 600mm intervals. Screws are not suitable for securing these surfaces in place due to their thickness.
If you'd like to fit tiles above your Solid FENIX NTM® worktop, a small gap of at least 3mm is advisable to allow for the natural expansion of the work surface.
If holes need to be cut through the worktop, a space of at least 3mm should be included around the pipe to ensure there is room for the surface to expand and contrast. A silicone sealant can be used to fill this gap.
Solid FENIX NTM® worktops do not require any kind of edging strips. To finish edges, simply sand with a 240-grit sandpaper to soften the edge and then finish using scotch brite being careful not to sand the surface of the worktop. It is recommended that a small amount of linseed oil is applied to cut edges to achieve a smooth finish.
Cutting and Routing Solid Laminate Worktops
IMPORTANT: Before cutting worktops, double-check your measurements and ensure these are marked correctly with a pencil.
When cutting Solid FENIX NTM® worktops, you should always cut into the edge, never away from it.
Solid FENIX NTM® worktops require clean, sharp cutting tools of a good quality to ensure cuts are precise and a professional finish is achieved. When making any cuts in your surface, it is important that it is fully supported.
Cutting to Size
Note: Joint edges and final finished ends will require skimming to size when finished - please allow an additional 2 - 3mm for this.
- The surface to be used should be faced down for cutting.
- Clamp the guide in place to prevent movement when cutting.
- After cutting, dry fit the worktop to ensure no chips or gaps can be seen - repeat steps 1 and 2 if additional adjustments need to be made.
When cutting-out for hobs, sinks or other inset items, double check measurements or use a jig template - ensuring that it is clamped into position to avoid movement. Sharp cutting tools are required to ensure neat cuts. It is also important to support the worktop whilst cutting.
Cutting can be done in two different ways, depending on the visibility of the top edge of the work surface. Cuts that will be hidden (i.e. a cut-out to accommodate an overmount sink) can be started with a drill-hole in each corner of the aperture, and the rest can be cut-out using a hand-held jigsaw, router cutter (12mm or 12.7mm cutter recommended) or a circular saw with a rail guide and TCT triple chip blade.
For cuts that will be visible (i.e a cut-out for an undermount sink) it is recommended that the work surface is cut face up using a hand router.
It is important to dry fit the worktops to ensure a neat finish and good fit. Any issues should arise at this stage and can be rectified before edges are finished.
The gap between the bottom of a hob and the item below it will be decreased due to the thickness of a Solid FENIX NTM® worktop. This is not an issue for cupboards, but if an oven or draws are being fitted underneath a hob it is important to ensure that there is ample space between the items. It is not recommended to use a standard depth draw under a hob installed in a Solid FENIX NTM® worktop and for a pan draw to be fitted instead. Single ovens should always be lowered by 20-25mm.
Note: Belfast or butler sinks are not recommended for installation with a Solid FENIX NTM® worktop. If this type of sink is being used, please refer to the installation instructions from the sink manufacturer.
With fitting a sink in your Solid FENIX NTM® worktop, spreading dowels should always be used in conjunction with the sink clips to avoid screwing through the worktop (which could cause damage). For undermount sinks, a small bead of silicone should be applied to the face of the worktop around the cut out - any excess will need to be wiped away whilst wet.
When drilling through the worktop completely, a sacrificial piece of MDF should be used on the underside of the hole to prevent flaking. For holes that do not need to go through the worktop completely. It is recommended a 2-3mm gap is left to prevent cracking (i.e maximum hole depth of approximately 10mm).
For tap holes, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure moisture does not enter the tap hole - we recommend using a silicone sealant to seal the tap to the worktop to help prevent this further.
A clear 2-part epoxy resin is needed to bond two worktops together and will also work as a waterproof sealant. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure the correct ratio of hardener to adhesive is used.
As Solid FENIX NTM® worktops are supplied with a slightly softened edge - worktops can be joined as-is but this will result in a more visible connection. For a more discreet seam, a router can be used to achieve a square edge profile.
A biscuit joint is required to secure Solid FENIX NTM® worktops together, whether a straight connection is being created or a masons mitre joint for a corner being used.
- Apply masking tape along the edge of the joint.
- Mark out slot positions on the masking tape. We recommend 4 biscuits every 635/645/650mm of joint.
- Using a biscuit jointer, machine pockets to fit no. 20 biscuits. The pockets should be cut 4mm from the top face of the surface.
- Once the slot has been cut, make sure biscuits fit.
- Dry fit the two pieces to ensure a good fit - if gaps or chipping are visible, the edges will need re-skimming.
- When a neat finish has been achieved for the dry fit, clean the cut face of each worktop with industrial denatured alcohol and leave to evaporate dry.
- Apply adhesive to biscuit grooves and a small bead along the upper edge of the joint.
- Connect the two worktops in place and align the surfaces along the top edge. The worktops will need to be held in place using the suction cup method, or with hot melt blocks.
- When the worktops have been secured in place, remove excess adhesive before it hardens for a smooth joint using solvent cleaner.
For a masons mitre joint, the same steps can be undertaken after the worktop has been cut using a jig to achieve a neat finish.
NOTE: Failure to follow these installation instructions will result in the void of any product warranty.
Looking After Your Solid FENIX NTM® Worktops
Following a few easy steps will help keep your Solid FENIX NTM® worktops in the best possible condition.
It is important to remember that:
- Solid FENIX NTM® is very durable, however the surface of these worktops must never be treated with products containing abrasive substances, abrasive sponges or products such as sandpaper or steel wool.
- Products with high acidity or alkaline content should not directly touch the surface as they could stain your Solid FENIX NTM® worktops.
- When using solvents, cloths must be perfectly clean to not leave marks on the surface
- Avoid furniture polishes and wax based cleaners as they tend to form a sticky layer on the FENIX NTM® closed surface, to which dirt sticks to.
Maintaining Solid FENIX NTM® worktops
Solid FENIX NTM® worktops and accessories should be cleaned regularly but do not require special maintenance, just a damp cloth with warm water or mild detergents. Almost all normal household cleaning products or disinfectants are fine to use on the surfaces. We suggest using a sponge for regular cleaning and maintaining these worktops. All the items you need for maintaining your Solid FENIX NTM® worktop can be found in the UNIKA Super Matte Laminate Care kit.
For stubborn marks which cannot be cleaned with regular household detergents, please visit the Maintenance and Cleaning pages within the downloads section at www.fenixforinteriors.com.
Cleaning, Maintenance and Advice
PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines are for repairing micro scratches to the top face of the FENIX NTM® work surface and are not applicable to the edging strips.
If you notice a micro scratch on the surface of your Solid FENIX NTM® surface, there are two ways to treat it:
Maintenance Using an Iron
- Superficial defects caused by micro-scratches
- Place a damp sheet of kitchen roll over the area where the micro-scratch can be seen.
- Place the hot iron on the surface that needs repairing. Do not leave the iron on the surface for more than 10 seconds at a time.
- Rinse the repaired area with lukewarm water and a microfibre cloth.
- The Surface should now be healed.
Maintenance Using a Magic Sponge
- Superficial defects caused by micro-scratches
- Rub the magic sponge on the area where the superficial micro-scratch can be seen. The sponge can be used dry or slightly damp.
- The Surface should now be healed.
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