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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello! I did a renovation a couple years ago and my contractor attached a large wood decorative panel to hide a structural column in my apartment. The panel is fixed to the column with magnets (FYI they look like the Super-Mite Heavy Duty Magnetic Catch). There are at least two sets of these magnets at the top and middle of the panel (possibly another set at the bottom but I can't see due to adjacent cabinets). The panel sits on a lip to prevent it from sliding down.

Today I noticed that from a side view, the wood panel varies in how flush it is against the column. It goes from fairly flush in the middle, to less flush as you get to the top. I've attached three photos (straight on for context, from the side, and zoomed in on one set of magnets). Is this a secure installation? My fear is the panel coming off and crashing down / causing damage when I am not home. Does the lack of flushness at the top suggest a future failure point? The panel feels snug wherever I push on it (i.e. I can't make it tighter by pushing, it feels snug - possibly it's always been like this?). Are magnets strong enough to hold a large piece of wood like this? Thanks!
Photo 1.jpg

Photo 2.jpg
Photo 3.jpeg
 

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The board may have warped slightly and that might present a hit-or-miss fix. After a couple of years, it wouldn't have warped just recently.... it likely would have been in that condition for a long time. If this is the case, then the panel is not likely to fall off.

Another possibility, since there is no play when you push on it, is that something has fallen behind the board, holding/wedging the attachment apart. Since the panel is secured with magnets, simply remove the panel and see if there is something that has fallen between the two surfaces, the "debirs" having wedged them apart. Maybe a magnet has dislodged and slid down a bit. The key idea for this, as opposed to the board warping, is that there is no play when you push on the panel. If warped, I would think there should be some detectable/obvious play when you push on it.

On second look, scrolling up and down relatively fast, the edge view seems to indicate the board has warped in its mid section.... at least in the pic view. As per an in-person view, this observation may be incorrect. A straight edge may help confirm a warpage. A wedged debris, backside, wouldn't bend a board as that.

Sonny
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Sonny. I don't see any signs of debris, so I think you are right that the board may be warped. From a side view it definitely bows in towards the middle, and it's farther out at the top (or maybe it's warped at the top rather than the middle? I can't tell). I also pushed around in different spots and I can detect a small amount of flex if I push in the middle area (less to no flex towards the top where the magnets are). Does this present an issue that requires fixing? From a front-on view, the panel looks good, so I wouldn't have noticed it but for the side view. Two more pictures of the side view below. This was installed about 2.5 years ago. Thanks!

IMG_3151.jpg
IMG_3152.jpg
 

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The panel is bowed from top to bottom. It's probably safe to leave it as is. It won't hurt to try to straighten it.... simply remove the panel and gently heat the whole of the backside with a heat gun or a hair dryer, see if that works. Don't over heat the wood, just moderate heat. Even if the bow relaxes and straightens up, it may bow again when it cools.... again, doesn't hurt to try. Otherwise, just leave it as is.

Sonny
 

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Only way to fix that iis with clips, and it still might not take the bow out...

In commercial in tge first year it's under warranty and will usually be relaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I'm at 2.5 years now so I am well out of warranty. If it's purely an aesthetic issue (and not a risk of failure / likely to get worse), I'll probably just leave it since it looks good from a front view. You have to go to the side to notice it. Is it possible that it's been that way since installation and I just hadn't noticed it? How long does something like that take to occur?
 

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A few days, a week. I've had the same problem on walk through pantry doors as wrll as large commercial doors.

Straight staying straight is hard to achieve on large doors. Many will put a back brace on but many dont like the looks of it and pass on it...

In my opinion that should have been the hinged side. This way it would have looked straight as you looked at it in the light..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just to clarify it's fixed / held on by magnets (it doesn't move or swing, it's just a decorative panel) and the magnets are on both sides. Is it going to be a problem down the road if I just leave it as it is? At this point I'd have to pay to get it replaced by the contractor.
 

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My mistake I forgot it was a loose panel.

You can get keku fasteners that will draw it tight. No need to replace the panel

You could also try "Z" clips
31LySHpR4XL._AC_.jpg
 

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Should be no problems to leave it as is. Accent the decor by hanging one of your unused neck ties on it, hide the blemish.

Sonny
 
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