Tile Installation Recommendations

Metal Freeform

RECOMMENDED INSTALLATION
SOLISTONE Freeform Metal tiles are a new direction in architectural surface design - combining the organic look of pebbles with modern metal for an innovative mosaic tile. These spectacular tiles are created by exposing stainless steel to titanium block and nitrogen at high temperatures, resulting in beautiful colors.  The large sheets are then molded and filled with ceramic polymers. The resulting meshed interlocking tiles create a beautiful seamless surface. This collection is designed for almost any commercial and residential interior application, including walls, ceilings, water features, countertops, backsplashes and more. It is not recommended for floors, as tiles will scratch and dent underfoot. Installation of Metal Freeform Mosaic tiles should be done by qualified technicians, especially when electrical work is being done around the metal mosaic.  Special attention is required for areas where the mosaic tiles will be subject to high temperatures, such as fireplace surrounds, behind cook tops and kitchen ranges not equipped with a back guard. Metal Freeform Mosaic tiles are not recommended for high traffic floors, or any areas that may be subject to heavy impact, heavy abrasion, and areas where temperatures can exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

CURVED SURFACES
SOLISTONE Metal Freeform tiles can be installed around gently curved surfaces. Some manipulation of the tiles may be required in order to create uniformity between each sheet. This look can be achieved by replacing larger individual units with smaller ones and vice versa.

SUBSTRATES
All substrates should be firmly fixed, flat, clean, dry and free of contaminants such as dust, oil, paint, sealers etc. to ensure proper adhesion. Painted surfaces must be scuffed or sanded for the product and adhesive to bond correctly.Wet areas need special attention and require appropriate substrates, e.g. concrete, cement boards (compressed sheet), and/or treated plywood. The use of reinforced waterproof membranes is suggested.

WATERPROOF MEMBRANES
Waterproof membranes prevent leakage of water through to the sub-floor framing and/or habitable spaces below. Particular attention must be paid to: carrying the membrane up the wall, outside shower boxes, installation of bond breakers, and sealing around penetrations. It is strongly recommended that membrane systems be used in all wet areas. Some systems may involve the use of a primer.

CUTTING
Cuts can be done with a wet-saw and high quality diamond blade suitable for cutting stainless steel. For certain applications cuts may not be necessary due to the absence of straight lines in the design of the tiles themselves. When approaching a straight edge it is recommended to remove and replace pebbles individually to avoid cuts and continue the freeform look.Cutting must be performed slowly at all times to avoid the buildup of high temperatures, which could discolor the metal surface.

ADHESIVE
Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions carefully. We do not recommend one brand of adhesive over another. Please check with your local tile supply store for alternative and comparable products. The manufacturer\'s literature will explain if the adhesive product is suitable for interiors and/or exteriors, as well as walls and floors. Most thinset mortars (multi purpose and polymer modified thinsets) are adequate for installing the Metal Freeform mosaic. A cement-based adhesive is generally suitable on masonry substrates where no movement is anticipated. Where slight movement could occur through thermal or pedestrian loads, a modified cement adhesive should be used as a minimum. A 1/8” notch trowel is recommended for most applications. To make sure there is 100% coverage you can firmly press the tiles into place, do not use any hard objects to tap down the center or edges of the metal pebbles.

GROUTING
Important: Since Metal Freeform tiles are very sensitive to scratching, a modifed non-sanded grout is recommended. Installation professionals may select non-sanded grouts containing a latex additive. Different types of epoxy or gel based grouts may also be used and will prevent excessive scratching caused during the installation process.Grout should be suitable for joints up to 3/4\" in width and designed for external or internal conditions which ever may be the case. For optimum results, we recommend the repetitive use of a firm sponge. Carefully float in the grout to avoid abrasion. Separation of the grout from the tile and shrinkage can occur after grout has dried. A second application of non-sanded grout may be necessary. SEALANTS Although stainless steel tiles do not require sealant, it is recommended that some type of sealant be used in order to protect grout joints.

CARE & CLEANING
Metal tiles must be regularly cleaned and maintained to extend their life and beauty.Most dirt and stains can be cleaned with a mild detergent and soft cloth or sponge. Fingerprints, streaks and watermarks can be removed with olive oil. When using stainless steel cleaner, avoid direct contact with grout as it may discolor. Do not use abrasive cleaners, powders, scouring pads, steel wool or sandpaper. Do not let soap, bleach or other cleaning solutions set on the surface. For removing light scratches, we recommend a stainless steel polisher applied with a steel wool pad. Gently rub in a circular motion first, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.