The NextStone 4' Metal Starter Strip is sold separately.
No sealant required! The polyurethane is closed cell so it doesn't absorb any moisture............the panel interlock if installed correctly, creates a water tight installation.
Yes! The NextStone panels are non flammable and can be installed right up the metal framing of a gas or electric fireplace insert. For a wood burning fireplace, a 12" set back from the opening is recommended.
These panels are 1.5" thick.
4 Boxes of the Stacked Stone panels will be sufficient to cover 72 square feet.
The best recommended adhesive to use with NextStone panels is compatible with Polyurethane and is called PL Premium Construction Adhesive by Loctite.
The NextStone panels are screwed and interlocked into the substrate. They are an 1.5 - 1.75 inches thick so drilling into the face of the panels is a non-issue. It is recommend to screw through panels and directly into the substrate (3" screws for example) if hanging any objects such as frames or TV wall mounts.
Yes! A vapor barrier will be needed to protect to the wall from possible moisture. The panels have recessed air chambers and weep channels on the backs of them so if any water does get behind them, it will drain out. Soap scum can be cleaned with mild dish soap and soft brush. Some chose to put a clear coat on the panels and that is ok as long as it is compatible with Polyurethane and latex paint.