METAL INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
- These instructions are meant to be a guide for most installations, under normal conditions. Please follow best practice instructions found in the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) 09300 Handbook for specific installation types.
- We always recommend dry-fitting your pattern first to think about your cuts in advance and to make sure you like the pattern. This will also help you choose which pieces go where, which is especially helpful with tiles that have a lot of variation.
- *Always use appropriate personal protective safety equipment when handling, drilling, cutting or grinding glass tile such as (but not limited to) eye, ear and hand protection.
- Before you start tiling, make sure that whatever surface the tiles are being installed to will be strong and structurally sound. Cement board, concrete or drywall is best, as these surfaces can handle the moisture of the tiling process. Plywood should be avoided, since the wood will warp with the added moisture and it will also be less waterproof, even after tiling.
- To avoid affecting the color of the tile, white thinset such as Bostik PM is strongly recommended for all installations.
- Apply as much adhesive as can be covered within 10-15 minutes.
3/16" or 1/4" square notch trowel should be used when installing our metal material and ridges should be smoothed down with the flat side of the trowel prior to fixing the tiles in the mortar bed. Tiles larger than 3x3 should be back-buttered with a thin continuous layer of the thin set applied with the flat side of the trowel.
Metal tiles are non-porous: the moisture in the setting materials cannot migrate through the metal and must evaporate slowly through the joints. All setting material, even rapidest mortars need a longer time to cure. Allow thin-set mortar to dry completely for a minimum of 72 hours prior to grouting or otherwise interfering with the fresh installation.
The best way to cut metal tiles is with a diamond wet saw. Cut the tile face up so that any lip that forms is on the back of the tile. Handle the tile carefully, as the cut metal edges can be very sharp. You may find it difficult to cut notches with a wet saw, so a miter saw fitted with a metal-cutting disc is a good tool for cutting notches and other intricate shapes.
Take care to use eye protection and to sweep up the area immediately after cutting, as metal shards can be dangerous.
Non-sanded grout that is latex or polymer modified and compliant with A118.4 should be used for our metal material. If sanded grout must be used for technical or aesthetic reasons (such as with mosaics with larger grout joints), gentle application of grout with a soft rubber float is recommended to minimize the possibility of surface scratching. A mock up or testing installation should be executed to ensure results are acceptable.
Metal cannot flex, expand or contract like some materials. This means that you must leave an expansion joint around the perimeter of the installation to help prevent the tiles from popping off the wall if the house settles or the wall moves. Leave a space of approximately 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch between the tiles and the counter, the cabinet and in corners where two walls of tile meet. Fill these gaps with a latex-based caulk, which can flex with the walls.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
. For normal care and maintenance of metal tile, wiping the surface with a damp sponge or clothe with water or a light vinegar solution is sufficient. If stronger cleaning is needed, a nonabrasive, neutral pH cleaner can be used.