Welcome to the installation information section of the Eden Mosaic Tile web site, here you can learn the step by step process for installing our stainless steel mosaic tile, aluminum mosaic tile and copper mosaic tile. If you follow this easy installation guide, you too can end up with a beautiful new surface covered in modern metal tile. The installation photos here show mosaic tiles being installed onto a wall stainless steel backsplash, but the exact same process apply's to installing mosaic tiles on a floor. The only difference is that the type of adhesive used to install mosaic tile on a wall or backsplash is different than the adhesive made for floor tile installation.NOTE: This is merely a how-to guide and should only be considered and informational resource. The writer and publisher of this article is not responsible for any mis-installation, misuse, errors or damaged caused by the direct or indirect use of the content in this article.
All ceramic tile stores and most big-box hardware stores such as The Home Depot, Lowe's, Rona, Home Hardware etc, will have all the items below readily available. Just ask an associate in the tile or flooring department for assistance if you can not find what you are looking for.
Prior to the final setting of the mortar / adhesive, make final adjustments to ensure the joints line up correctly.
After 24 hours, use a non abrasive nylon brush to remove excess adhesive or paper that is still on the tile. Then wipe with a damp sponge.
Prepare your grout. Using non-sanded grout for all metal/non-metal tiles with joints 0-1/8" or sanded grout for non-metal tiles with joints 1/8" to 1/2", apply grout with a rubber grout float, forcing grout into the joints until they are full. Do not use sanded grout for polished / mirror / metal tiles.
After 15 min to 1 hour (follow non-sanded grout packaging instructions), use a cheese cloth towel or moist sponge to remove excess grout from the top of the tile, avoid applying too much pressure that will wash out the grout from the joints.
After the grout has cured (typically 12-24 hours) use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe the excess grout haze off the tile. Use an industrial alcohol cleaner to remove any excess glue from the surface of steel mosaic tile.
0-24 hours after laying - no cleaning. 24 hours to 10 days. Use clean warm water and neutral PH cleaner designed for tile.
10 days and longer, a mix of sulfamic acid cleaning crystals and warm water, applied with a nylon scrub brush, following the manufacturers directions and rinsing with clean water.
NOTE: Because of the metallic nature of stainless steel tile you should ensure a qualified electrician carries out electrical work around metal tile.
NOTE: We also invite you to watch our 9-min tile installation video located on our sister site (StainlessSteelBacksplash.com).The video will show you how to install our metal tiles on a fireplace surround, however the same steps apply to any metal tile installation project. Click Here to get to our 9-min video.
Often, due to the small size of the individual pieces on the mosaic tile sheet, you can simply cut through the joints and mesh backing of the tiles on the mesh sheet and simply remove them to fit your tile sheet around an obstacle or at the end of a row. However in the case that simply removing tiles from the sheet will leave too much of a gap you will have to cut the tiles to fit.
Although it sounds difficult, cutting metal / stainless steel mosaic tile isn't really that challenging. This is due to the fact that the vast majority of metal and stainless steel tiles are actually porcelain / ceramic tiles covered with a 1-2mm stainless steel cap. If the entire tile was solid metal, cutting with regular tools, even a basic tile saw, would be very difficult or impossible. The image below shows the typical structure of a metal mosaic tile, using either a flat metal piece or a cap cover made of metal.
The best method is to use a motorized tile saw, also known as a wet saw. Because the tiles are so thin, you can often get by with a low grade, low cost tile saw available at most big box stores. These saws typically retail between $80-$100 for low use DIY versions, to close to $1000 for professional versions. Many big box stores and tool rental company's also rent tile saws, so if your doing a one-time-only project, you might consider renting a tile saw for a day to get your job done. However, we must stress that tile saws can be very dangerous, their diamond tipped blades are extremely sharp, and the size of a piece of metal mosaic tile is often quite small, and thus it requires enough comfort and skill to cut the piece of tile while maintaining your appendages!
The other option is to use a ceramic tile hand saw, also available at most local big box or tile stores. It is important to mention however that there is one tool that will likely not work for cutting metal tile, and that is a scoring tool that is typically used for cutting porcelain and ceramic. This tool works on the basis of scoring the relatively soft surface of porcelain or ceramic, however metal capped tiles don't take well to scoring, so this method usually doesn't work.
If you do not feel comfortable with these sharp, potentially harmfully tools its likely best to call a professional in to make the final cuts required to finish your tile job.
FINISHING THE EDGES OF A METAL OR GLASS MOSAIC TILE INSTALLATION
A commonly asked question is "How do I finish the edges in my mosaic tile installation?".
We actually offer two types of stainless steel border edge tiles that should work for your project. For the stainless steel bullnose liner, please click here to go to the pencil border edge product page. For the flat stainless steel liner, please click here.
Otherwise, you can use a common tile edging strip. These strips, which are shaped like an "L" provide an ideal way to terminate the tile installation at the edge. These tile edging strips can be purchased at any local big box store such as The Home Depot or Lowes, and are also available at most stores that sell tile.
Simply install the strip at the edge of your installation using the same tile mortar / adhesive that you are using for your tiles. These edging strips often are perforated on one side, this is the side that you set into the mortar, against the wall. The finished edge will be left exposed, and you will tile up to it, and then, grout up to this edge.