Introduction: Home Improvement: How to Install Metal Mosaic Wall Tiles (Stainless Steel, Aluminum, ..)
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 applies 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.
INSTALLATION TOOLS AND MATERIALS
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.
-5/32" V-notch trowel for applying mortar (other similar V-notch trowel sizes will also work).
- A rubber grout float.
- Enough stainless steel mosaic tile, aluminum mosaic tile or copper mosaic tile to cover the area that you require (it is recommended to purchase an extra 10% of metal tile quantity to account for overages).
- Enough wall or floor tile mortar / adhesive to cover the area you are going to be tiling.
- Enough grout to cover the area you are going to be tiling. Use non-sanded grout for metal or non-metal mosaic tile that has joints 0-1/8" and sanded grout only for non-metal tile with joints 1/8" to 1/2".
If your tile is a metal tile, or if it has a polished or mirror finish (not brushed) then we recommend non-sanded grout because sanded grout may scratch the finish during installation.
- A clean sponge and/or cheesecloth towel.- Two buckets, one for water and one for mixing the mortar and grout.
- A motorized tile cutter (if there are any cuts to be made around certain obstacles that can't be properly fitted simply by simply removing individual tiles from the mosaic mesh sheets).
OPTIONAL - A flat wood block (a 2x4 around 6" to 12" long works well) and a hammer!
Step 1: Prepare Your Mortar / Adhesive As Instructed on the Package. Using the Flat Side of a V-notch Trowel, Firmly Apply the Adhesive Onto the Surface.
Step 2: With the V-notched Side of the Trowel Apply Mortar / Adhesive to Establish a Proper and Uniform Depth.
Step 3: Apply the Mosaic Tile Sheets Into the Mortar / Adhesive Using Light and Even Pressure to Establish Contact.
Step 4: Apply Subsequent Sheets Lining Up the Grout Joints From One Sheet to Another.
Step 5: OPTIONAL - to Ensure Each Mosaic Sheet Is at the Same Level As the One Next to It, Lightly Tap a Wood Block on Top of the Sheets of Tile.
Step 6: After a 10-15 Minute Period, If Your Tile Is Covered in a Protective Paper Covering, Wet It a Few Times Over and Gently Peel It Off. If Your Tile Is Covered in Protective Plastic, Simply Peel the Plastic Off.
Step 7: Prior to the Final Setting of the Mortar / Adhesive, Make Final Adjustments to Ensure the Joints Line Up Correctly.
Step 8: 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.
Step 9: 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.
Step 10: 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.
You might have to repeat this process several times, depending on the level of texture the metal tile has.
Step 11: 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.
NOTE: Because of the metallic nature of stainless steel tile you should ensure a qualified electrician carries out electrical work around metal tile.
You can find more information on installation and maintenance of stainless steel, aluminum and copper tiles directly on our Website EdenMosaicTile.com, along with a large selection of metal mosaic tiles.
DISCLAIMER: 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 instructable.