Installing Stainless Steel Tiles is pretty straight forward and not that different from other tile installations. Beyond Tile highly recommends you read these instructions thoroughly. These instructions are provided as a general guide to most installations. Please read and understand this information before proceeding. The stainless steel is a 7mm ceramic tile body wrapped with 1mm of stainless steel creating an elegant, stylish and contemporary look. Its primary use is interior wall applications though it can be used on interior floors as well. If used on the floor this tile will wear as any metal floor tile will, showing scratches and developing a burnished appearance over time.
High Temperature installations are those defined by but not limited to backsplash areas behind cooktops or fireplace faces.
Cooktops: Maintain a minimum distance of four and a half inches between tiled surfaces and burner elements. When large cooking vessels are in use on back burners the same four and a half inch distance must be maintained. Due to expansion and contraction of the steel, flexible sealant/caulk is required in place of cement grout in critical areas noted below.
Fireplace Faces: Maintain a minimum distance of six inches from fireplace opening on all sides. Due to expansion and contraction of the steel, flexible sealant/caulk is required in place of cement grout in critical areas noted below.
Flexible sealant/caulk referred to above, shall be used anywhere tile work abuts restraining surfaces such as perimeter walls, inside corners, dissimilar floors, curbs, counters, columns, pipes, ceiling, cabinets or any projection through the tiled surface.
Floors: Interior concrete slabs require a 28 day minimum cure time. Additional truing/leveling and repair of any surface cracks may be necessary prior to installation. Cement backer board or cement mortar bed is required over interior wood sub-floors.
Stainless steel tiles are not for shower, bathroom or kitchen floors where puddles or standing water may exist.
Walls: Concrete/masonry and cement backer board can be used for both interior and exterior walls. Gypsum board may be used on interior walls.
These stainless steel tiles are all face taped for the protection of the tile finish during the course of the installation. Avoid prolonged exposure to heat or direct sunlight. This can make stripping the tape difficult and may leave adhesive residue on the surface of the tile damaging the product. Do not remove until after the final clean-up. The individual patterns pressed into the stainless steal tiles provide different effects according to how the tiles are placed. Each tile comes with a half round notch on one side of the steel facing to provide reference no the patterns direction.
Mortar: To minimize slippage and gain superior adhesion use a premium thin-set mortar modified with polymer or latex.
Eye protection should always be worn when cutting, drilling or grinding porcelain or metal tile. Stainless steel tile is challenging to cut. Cuts must be made with a wet saw and a new diamond rimmed blade designed to cut the tile. Tile should be cut face up. Miter cuts are not recommended. Care should be taken cut steel tile can have very sharp edges and burrs. These can be smoothed and dulled with a diamond hand pad, tile blade dressing stone or belt sander using silicone carbide belt.
Drilling holes through stainless steel can be accomplished with a diamond tipped core bit using a drill with low speed (250 to 300 rpm). Continually missing the tile and drill bit during cutting is necessary. Maintain only moderate pressure during this process. Allow the diamond bit to do the cutting. Again, this helps to keep friction heat low. If partitions or fixtures are to be attached with anchoring bolts, drill hole 1/8” larger to avoid stress transfer to the tile.
Stainless steel tiles require flexible sealant/caulk be used anywhere tile work abuts restraining surfaces such as perimeter walls, inside corners, dissimilar floors, curbs, counters, columns, pipes, ceilings, cabinets or any projection through the tiled surface and in compliance with the current Tile Council of America guidelines.
After installation it is recommended the tile be cleaned with a commonly accepted neutral cleaner. Some recommended products are Aqua Mix (800-366-6877) Concentrated Tile Cleaner or TEC (800-832-9023). White nylon scrub pad or cheese cloth is good for wiping off initial heavy film, finish with a clean grout sponge or slightly damp terry cloth towel preferably white as dyes may transfer to the grout joint.
Stainless steel may be cleaned with warm water and soap or a mild detergent. Rinse the surface with clean water. Wipe with a soft, clean cloth.
Do not leave detergents containing bleach in contact with the surface.
Do not leave cloths, sponges, or any other material soaked in detergents in contact with the surface.
Do not use abrasive or scratching products. Do not use brushes or steel wool.
When using products of unknown composition or potentially aggressive formulations, a small hidden area of the surface should be cleaned first to assess any change in appearance.
When cutting stainless steel slow steady pressure will achieve a smother cut.
Work small areas of 4 to 6 sqft that can be accomplished in 15 to 20 minutes. This will assure bonding mortar is fresh.
A small Dremel hand grinder is found in most hardware stores is easy to use and precise for smoothing cut edges.
After 4 to 5 cuts or if strong pressure is required, re-dress the diamond blade with an abrasive dressing stone. This will expose a fresh supply of diamonds on the blade rim and maintain consistent smooth cuts.
MK-225 Hot Dog is a thinner blade with a soft diamond rim designed for cutting hard porcelain tile. This narrower blade provides less cutting resistance. It is efficient for cutting stainless steel provided regular re-dressing of the blade is maintained. MK Diamond Products (800-845-3729)