Important Sanctum specifications and installation guidelines

If you’ve considering using Sanctum screens on an upcoming project, you’ll be keen to know more about product specifications and installation options.

Sanctum screens are designed as a premium quality product for trade use and DIY installers with modest carpentry experience.  The panels are designed to create maximum impact and aesthetic appeal with a minimum of fuss,  but they are a natural product, and care is needed to ensure they are properly installed and maintained.

Sanctum screens are made from a premium quality manufactured timber product using 100% Australian plantation hardwood.

The board and manufacturing process has been proven over many decades of use, and the product has a zero carbon footprint for maximum eco-friendliness.  In addition, the natural sugars and starches are removed from the timber through the manufacturing process, making the board quite unpalatable to termites and enhancing termite resistance significantly.

As a natural timber product, there is likely to be some variation in colour and texture, and every board has its own personality, natural imperfections and and individual markings.  These contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of an installation (we are commonly told they look like steel) and will not affect the performance of the screen in any way.

When installing, you will notice one side of the screen has a finer, smoother finish – this is the face of the screen, and should be mounted facing where the screen is most likely to be seen.   the back of the screen may have the odd incidental personality mark on it.  If you are specifically after high grade, double sided screens e.g. for a room divider, please advise us at the time of ordering, and we will hand select and finish screens for your specific job.

Sanctum screens are supplied pre-finished and ready to use, with 2 coats of our premium finish to minimise leaching and protect the screens in Australia’s demanding outdoor conditions.   Sanctum screens will weather or grey like natural timber, and THE NATURAL TANNINS MAY LEACH COLOUR – particularly in the early stages of their lifespan.  They can easily be rejuvenated and look new again with another coat of oil or stain / oil.

These screens are designed to be used outdoors, and will handle full exposure to the elements, including periodic run off.  However, they are NOT SUITABLE for use in extremely wet environments, and should be installed no less than 100mm from the ground or any water source.

Sanctum screens are engineered to withstand rot, bloat or delamination for years in a normal outdoor environment and conditions, so with simple routine maintenance you can be assured your screens will stand the test of time.

Every application is different, so it is the responsibility of the installer to ensure they are properly fitted.  With appropriate upfront care and simple routine maintenance, Sanctum screens will look great for many, many years.

Mounting and framing ideas

Easy installation guidelines

Sanctum screens are very robust, and with proper installation and a little routine care, they will look great for years to come.   For maximum lifespan and durability, it is best to minimise flex of our screen/s and to protect the edges of the screens.

Like any large sheet of material (like plywood, aluminium or polycarbonate), there is some flex across the length of the sheet.   Your aim when installing is simply to remove this flex, and provide a stable, solid surface to fix to.

For vertical fixing on our large screens, we recommend fixing at minimum 600mm spacings around the full perimeter of the screen.

There are many options for securely fixing your screens, limited only by your imagination.   Here are several suggestions:

A: SIMPLY SCREW TO A SECURE FLAT SURFACE:   You can simply screw your screen in place.  However there are better, more creative options…

B: TREATED PINE:  One of the cheapest installation options is to use treated pine to make a simple frame.  We commonly use 70 x 35mm CCA treated pine, available readily from most hardware and timber merchants.  Simply cut lengths to fit the border of your screen/s, butt the corners together and add two long screws in each corner to hold them together firmly.   We normally paint the frames a dark, complementary colour.   Then simply face fix your screen/s to the frame you have built (frames are 35mm wide, screen borders are 45mm wide, so the frames are substantially hidden!).  Click here to request a simple guide.

C: REBATE (GROOVE) – If you want to achieve a picture frame type effect, you can use a router to cut a groove into your chosen timber, and then simply slide your screen into the groove.   You can mitre the corners, and completely enclose the screen for a picture frame type effect.  DIY, or we can supply screens pre-framed in rebated merbau – simply unwrap them and fix them in place.

D: REVEAL – If you want your frame to be seen, you can make a reveal (an edge to mount against).  Effectively you are adding a second frame inside the first.   This gives you a very upmarket result, and totally protects the edges / borders of the screens – great for gates and high visibility feature panels.

E: BEADINGTo fix screens in a cavity e.g. a square-set hole in the a gyprock wall, or between large posts, you can simply add a small moulding / beading around the perimeter of the cavity.   Simply slide your screen in, then add another beading to the other side to hold the screen in place.

F: STAND-OFFS:  One of the best features of our screens is the shadowing they throw.  To maximise this effect, simply mount the screen off the wall / board behind, so that some space is created.  We can supply decorative spacers called stand-offs.   These include a spacer (either 12mm diameter/ 40mm long, or 18mm diameter/25mm long), and a decorative cap.  Simply screw the spacer into the wall, then drill through the screen and hand screw the decorative cap in place.   Quick, easy and awesome looking –  standoffs provide an excellent fixing option.  We can supply stand-offs to fit your screens perfectly – don’t forget to ask for these with your order.


In addition to these DIY options, Sanctum also supplies a range of pre-fabricated and custom aluminium frames, which allow you to achieve amazing results virtually instantly.  Click here for more details.

How to install and maintain your Sanctum screens

The following comments provide simple installation and maintenance guidelines.  If you have any questions, or your application falls outside of these guidelines, please talk with Sanctum screens, your local supplier or a trade professional.

  • Sanctum screens are provided in a range of standard sizes for easy fitting.  Our 1200 x 600mm screens typically weigh around 4.5 – 5kg each, while our 2400 x 1200mm panels weigh around 20kg.  All Sanctum timber screens and panels are 8.5 – 9mm thick, for easy fitting into a 10mm routed channel or aluminium channel if required.
  • Panels can be handled and installed using standard woodworking tools.  They can be cut to size using a hand or power saw, and nailed, screwed or glued.  Ideally complete all cutting and drilling prior to installation, and apply appropriate protective coatings to all raw surfaces. 
  • As a natural product, timber expands or contracts during different weather conditions.  Therefore we recommend a gap of at least 2mm be allowed between screens to allow for natural movement.
  • Sanctum screens are NOT A STRUCTURAL PRODUCT and should not be used for load bearing or reinforcement.  All installation should be onto an appropriate frame or backing.
  • We recommend our screens are secured around all perimeters to a frame or backing at minimum 300mm centres, with fastenings no less than 12mm from the edge of the screen.  If preferred, the screens can be glued to the frames and clamped until cured, using a high grade, waterproof builder’s adhesive.   On our larger panels, we recommend no greater span than 600mm between fastenings to a frame or backing.
  • Sanctum screens are supplied pre-finished and ready to install as standard, and are pre-coated with two coats of our premium finish to highlight the panel’s natural colour, maximise durability and make installation as easy as possible.  Choose from brown, chocolate (a deep, dark brown), or black / charcoal based coatings.  While our timber is highly durable, and will naturally weather to a silvery colour over time, we recommend re-coating unpainted panels every 18 months or so with a quality decking product.
  • By special order, we can supply panels pre-sanded and ready for you to oil, stain / oil, or prime and paint.   There are many amazing coatings available, and this gives you the freedom to create the exact effect you want.   However, our coating holds paint well and offers an extra layer of protection to your screens, so in most applications, we simply recommend purchasing our standard screens and painting over them if required. 
  • On request, we can also professionally prime and spray paint your panels in your nominated colour, and supply them ready to install.
  • All sawn or trimmed edges or screw holes should be oiled or primed using solvent based or acrylic tannin resistant wood primer or decking oils.
  • While Santum screens are guaranteed to offer many years of natural good looks, we recommend that you check the fitment and condition of your screens at least annually – reaffix any loose fastenings and recoat any weathered surfaces with your chosen coating.    For naturally finished boards, we recommend that you apply at least one coat of a high quality decking oil (or equivalent painted coating) to all surfaces of the screens at least every 36 months.  This will significantly enhance the lifespan of your screens.