Metal Tile Installation


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We recommend using a professional installer for installation of our metal tiles and planks. CWI Metal Tile is sandblasted on the back for excellent adhesion designed for flooring adhesive and thinset applied with an 1/8" trowel for bonding to level surfaces free of dirt and residues. Wood surfaces should be primed prior to installation. We recommend using urethane wood flooring adhesive. If using thinset, use products that are latex modified using admix, or epoxy thinsets made by Laticrete. The thickness of CWI Metal Tile closely matches most standard tile thicknesses, but may require additional floating of thinset to compensate for differences in thickness. Tile flooring commercial grade mastic may also be used. See F.A.Q.

To compensate for minor deflection (bowing) in planks, which commonly occurs in machined aluminum, weight may be applied while flooring adhesive or thinset cures.

Cutting CWI Metal Tile: If it is necessary to cut the tile or plank, use a 100 tooth count, circular carbide saw blade designed for cutting non-ferrous metal. Do not use a fiberglass reinforced abrasive cutting blade. Cut tile face up. Minor fraying of metal on underside can be sanded with 180 grit wet/dry sandpaper. We do not recommend a metal chop saw or wet saw. Apply and epoxy primer to cut edges. (Use Rustoleum 2081 light grey fast drying, sandable automobile primer for ungrounted installations to match existing primed edges). Overspray can be cleaned from tile surface with acetone. Design tiles not recommended for cutting.

Beginning the process of installation:
Establish a work area for cutting the aluminum. When cutting with a 10" carbide non-ferrous blade or band saw there will be a lot of shavings generated from the cutting process. Make sure that the cutting area is located in place away from the installation site, living areas, pets and foot traffic paths. This will prevent the shavings from being tracked in by foot. The shavings will have a static charge so they will cling to most surfaces. Wear goggles, gloves, dust mask and a long sleeve shirt or coveralls for protection from hot metal shavings and airborne particles of aluminum. Make all cuts with finished side up. If a band saw is being used, use a 14 tooth straight blade. A jig saw may also be used to make curved cuts using a metal cutting blade. Tape the finished side of the metal where cuts will be made to protect the surface from the base of the jig saw. Long straight cuts can be made on a 10" blade table saw using a carbide-tipped non-ferrous cutting blade.

Thoroughly clean the level surface to receive the metal tile or flooring. Remove any oil, moisture or dirt. Lay the metal out on the floor to establish which pieces will look best together and also to determine if any planks need to be slightly bent to allow for any floor variations. If it is necessary to bend the planks, vertically place one end of the plank on the floor and while holding the top end, push and bow the plank with your free hand until the right amount of bending has been achieved. Use masking tape to number each piece in the order of position. It is very helpful to draw a diagram of the layout corresponding to the numbers and order in which the pieces will be installed.

(Applies to Straight Brush Only) If you are installing straight brush planks there will be a directional grain and the planks will be marked with an arrow pointing towards the light grain. When you face the arrow the plank will appear lighter than it does if viewed from the opposite end, so make sure that the arrows are facing the same direction when installing.

Once your beginning point has been established draw a straight line on the floor or wall as a reference to maintain square and proper alignment. Apply the adhesive or thinset only onto the area where the first pieces will be installed. Make sure these foundational pieces are lined up with your reference line. If you are grouting*, use the appropriate size spacers. Due to the shape of some rooms it may be necessary to install half of the planks on the first day and then the balance on another day. This allows you to stand on the previously installed flooring while installing the remaining flooring. Follow the adhesive manufacturer's recommendations for drying times and make sure that the adhesive is thoroughly dry before walking on the metal flooring.
* When applying grout, do 3' x 3' sections at a time so that the bulk of the grout residue can be easily removed.

For installations requiring grout we recommend using Laticrete Latapoxy grout for the highest quality result in appearance and durability. Non-epoxy grouts may be suitable provided that a latex or acrylic additive is used. When applying grout, make sure that a smooth face professional silicone grout float is used to thoroughly fill each joint, working no more than 10 square feet at a time to allow for easy removal of residue from surface finish. Do not use a textured rubber float.

For high gloss tiles, use 3" or 4" blue masking tape on the edges of the tiles to protect the surface from scratching if you are using sand grout.

CWI Metal Tiles and Flooring can be cleaned with any non-abrasive household cleaner.

Download Installation pages 1 and 2

Flooring Care and Maintenance

® Clean the floor with any household cleaner and/or a damp cloth.
® Clean the floor using a vacuum with hard-floor attachments. Do not use vacuum cleaners with a beater bar attachment.
® Do not use steam cleaners or cleaning machines that buff the floor.
® Do not wax, polish, sand, or lacquer the floor.
® Do not use abrasive cleaners or steel wool.
® Remove stubborn stains such as adhesive, paint, asphalt, oil, etc. with mineral spirits or paint thinner.
® Place protective felt, rubber, or plastic floor protectors under chair and table legs and with other movable furnishings to help prevent scratches and scuffs.
® Walk-off mats are required at door entrances to the outside.
® Do not drag heavy furnishings or appliances across the floor without adequate protection (carpet remnants, etc.).

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