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Caring for Metals Tile and Trims

January 27, 2010

Caring for Metals Tile and Trims

Our metals are the jewelry of the room. Rope Listellos, Liners, Frames, Wall strip-all individually cast and finished.

Metal tiles in Stainless Steel Brushed Tile, Copper Antique, are perfect finish for your tile project

Copper Tile

Copper tiles are made from  solid copper – Over time they will exhibit the natural oxidizing hues for which copper is famous.

Copper tile is not suitable for exterior use

Copper tile can be used for both wall and floor

Each batch of Copper Antique will vary depending on the weather or more the chemical reaction, during the antique process, of individual lots of sheet copper.

Stainless Steel Tile

Stainless steel Tiles are both suitable for interior and exterior

Stainless Steel Tiles can be used for both wall and floor


Cleaning with damp soft cloth or soapy water and sponge if required.

Acid or corrosive solutions not recommended.

Stone Borders that contain Copper Accents

Copper will patina (darken/oxidize) over time. Topical coatings usually don’t stick to metal products. To slow the aging process, if desired, one can apply a light coat of a high quality Carnauba auto paste wax to the surface of the copper.

(NOTE: Abrasives are very common in auto waxes. Make sure there are no abrasives in the wax selected to protect your copper).

Metal Tile Side View Specification

Metal tiles in Stainless Steel Brushed Tile, Copper Antique, are perfect finish for your tile project

Specification (Stainless Steel Grade 304)

( N / mm2 ) Tensile Strength
( N / mm ) Yield Strength
( % ) Elongation
HV 200 max
520 min
205 min
40 min
158 – 160
676 – 693
264 – 281
62 – 66

Specification (Ceramic Tile Base )

Acid resistance
10% HCL ( V/V ) ( 24h )
Grade B
Alkali resistance
10% KOH ( M/V ) ( 24h )
Grade A
Water absorption
< 0.5 %
+- 7.3
+- 1.2%
-1.2 -0.4


Real Metal tiles can be used to enhance the exterior or interior of any building, and they will bring a new vitality and beauty to any decor. Use them in the kitchen, bonded to walls for back splashes, counter tops, tables, desks, ceilings, to border a floor or as accents. Although ceramic tile manufacturers have tried, the glow and feel of real metal cannot be duplicated. The durability required by commercial use makes Real Metal Tiles the best choice for any application.


Real Metal Tiles do not have a clear coat on the standard line of tile. This allows stainless steel tiles to be vigorously cleaned without special care. Copper tiles are processed with a grained or buffed finish on the surface. The surface is an orange-gold color, but it will rapidly oxidize creating a rich monochromatic patina. The original color can be easily maintained by applying a copper cleaner or you may let the copper surface age naturally to a beautiful natural patina finish. Zinc tiles processed with a mill finish can be easily grained for a desired brush finish and may be cleaned without special care. Metal patina copper tiles have a clear coat to protect the finish. Care should be taken when cleaning the surface.


Installations where maintenance requires any scouring or significant quantities of water or cleaners must include caulking or sealant between tiles. This action will prevent the maintenance liquids from affecting the adherence of the tiles to the substrate. For decorative or areas not requiring scouring to clean, no caulk is required. For areas that require scouring but have no food contact, we recommend Siliconized Acrylic Latex Caulk. This can be either sanded or non-sanded. For areas that will have food contact and require scouring, we recommend Dow Corning 748 RTV Sealant. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Metal Tiles can be cut, however you will lose the finished beveled edge. Utilize tile spacers between tiles to make a layout fill an appropriate area. Tile spacers come in 1/16, 1/8, and 3/16 inch sizes. It is recommended that you design your installation to avoid cutting tiles by using tile spacers or frame and filler strips. (Contact us if you need help.) On large jobs, custom filler strips can be fabricated to fit your needs.

Metal Tiles are best cut using a standard tile wet saw, or by drilling a ½” inch hole in the tile and using a band saw. Other cutting tools include water jet or punching. Tiles can be shaped with a belt or barrel sander. Edges can be finished with a metal file or sandpaper. Holes can be drilled using a high-speed drill or hole saw. Holes should only be drilled to allow penetrations such as for pipes or conduit, and never for fixture or attachment. DO NOT use tile cutters designed to score and break tiles.


SURFACE PREPARATION: All surfaces must be clean and free of dust, grease, sealants and foreign matter. Porous substrates such as drywall and concrete block should be sealed by using Super-Tek Dry-Seal or equivalent.

XT-2000 ADHESIVE: Use directly from container. Do not thin-out adhesive with water or solvents. (See separate Data Sheet for product description and technical specifications).

PRECAUTIONS: Synthetic latex can be irritating. Avoid contact with skin – in case of contact, wash thoroughly with water. For eyes, get prompt medical attention. Provide adequate ventilation. Keep out of reach of children.

APPLICATION: Apply to wall surface using 1/8″ deep saw tooth “V” notched trowel.Be sure to cover 100% of the surface area. It is crucial that the adhesive, tile, room, and walls be at a controlled temperature of at least 60F for the entire period beginning 24 hours before application until 48 hours after the application has been completed. (For further information, see detailed instructions on package.) Allow Adhesive to set for 20 to 30 minutes before installing tile.

NOTE: When cutting the tiles with a wet saw be sure that the metal face is up. CLEANING: Wash Real Metal Tiles and tools immediately with water. Cured adhesive may be removed with ordinary paint remover (mineral spirits).

MAINTENANCE: Adhesive is permanent and maintenance-free. Adhesive must not be exposed to excessive moisture or cleaners when maintaining the tiles. (See caulk-grouting method section above for prevention methods) Damaged tiles may be replaced by mechanically removing cured adhesive. Re-apply adhesive and new tiles in normal manner.


Caulk the tile using a Siliconized Acrylic Latex Caulk that is sanded for appearance of true grout. Non-sanded caulk can also be used for a smooth appearance of the grout.

(1) Apply Siliconized Acrylic Latex Caulk with a Caulk-Gun. Cut the dispensing tip of the caulk tube at a 45 degree angle and place in the caulk gun. Dispense caulk in the “V” grove of the tile, filling grove completely to the surface of the tile. Remove any large deposits of the caulk with your finger.

(2) Sponge immediately after sealant application. Using a damp tile sponge, wipe the caulk at a 45 degree angle to the tiles, using very little pressure. Rinse sponge after every stroke. Continue to sponge until only a slight glaze is left on the tile and there is no grout on the tile surface. NOTE: Be very gentle with the tile sponge when using sanded caulk to avoid scratching the tile surface.

(3) Let the caulk set up for at least 12 hours, then brake the glaze with a non abrasive pan scrubber and sponge clean.

(4) If the sealant sets up during installation, it can be smoothed and removed from the tile surface using a fine grade scouring pad.

DO NOT use abrasive cleaners, powders, heavy scouring pads, steel wool, sandpaper, etc. to remove grout haze or damage to the tile surface will result.


(1) DO make certain that porous substrates such as drywall and concrete block are painted or sealed using Super-Tek’s Dry Seal before applying adhesive. Newly sealed walls should be dry to the touch before installing tiles. (See special instructions for installing over non-porous substrates.)

(2) DO allow tile material and XT-2000 Adhesive to stabilize at room temperature (at least 60F) for 24 hours before installation.

(3) DO be sure that the room temperature and humidity are controlled at the time of installation. The temperature should be between 60F and 80F and the relative humidity no more than 65%. These conditions must be maintained for at least 24 hours after installation, in order to allow the adhesive to cure properly.

(4) DO wipe the surfaces of both the tile and the substrate with a damp cloth immediately before installation to remove any dust or foreign material.

(5) DO apply XT-2000 Adhesive to the wall surface only. It is not necessary to apply adhesive to the tile.

(6) DO spread the adhesive evenly with a notched trowel only, making certain to cover 100% of the surface area using a 1/8″ deep V-notched trowel.

(7) DO allow XT-2000 Adhesive to dry for approximately 20-30 minutes before installing tile. It is best to allow the adhesive to start becoming firm to the touch. This increases the initial tack. The use of electric fans is recommended to quicken drying.

(8) DO immediately remove excess wet adhesive from tile with a damp cloth. Once adhesive has dried, mineral spirits are required for cleanup. Keep trowel grooves clean while working. Clean trowel frequently.


(1) Don’t thin out XT-2000 Adhesive with water or solvents.

(2) Don’t apply adhesive with a roller or brush. Use the correct trowel and technique as described above.

(3) Don’t install Metal Tiles if the temperature and humidity are not controlled. The temperature must be between 60F and 80F and the humidity less than 65% for the period from 24 hours before installation until 24 hours after installation. The adhesive must remain in contact with the tile while it is curing. Significant temperature changes can cause the adhesive to shrink and lose contact.

IMPORTANT: Using an insufficient amount of adhesive is the cause of most installation problems.


These instructions are for installing Tiles over a non-porous substrate such as painted metal, stainless steel, high pressure laminate or other rigid plastic, glazed block, etc. Follow the above instructions for installing Metal Tiles over wallboard and other porous substrates but make the following adjustments :

(1) After applying the XT-2000 Adhesive to the non-porous substrate allow the adhesive to dry for a minimum of one hour, but no longer than three hours. XT-2000 is a water-based formulation and cures as the water evaporates or is absorbed by the substrate. Drying time will be affected by the relative humidity in the work area.

(2) It is essential that the adhesive be firm to the touch and not transfer off the substrate onto one’s fingers when touched before the tile can be applied.

(3) The change in appearance of the adhesive from white to clear signifies the optimum time for adhering the tile. To decrease drying time in humid conditions increase air circulation with the use of electric fans.


(1) New drywall and drywall taping compound (joint compound) must be sealed before applying XT-2000 adhesive. This is necessary in order to control the rate of absorption of moisture from the water-based XT-2000 mastic adhesive. Also, if the drywall is not sealed, the paper may separate from the gypsum subsurface when adjusting the tile during installation.

(2) Previously painted drywall and joint compound do not normally need to be sealed prior to applying XT-2000 adhesive unless they have been freshly painted with a polyvinyl acetate latex (PVAc) based paint or if there is new joint compound. Most new joint compounds, and many low-cost paints and sealants, are made with PVAc. This ingredient may react with the moisture in XT-2000, causing an unstable substrate to which the tile will not adhere.

(3) Surfaces which may contain PVAc compounds must be resealed or repainted with an acrylic latex or styrene-butadiene rubber latex (SBR) product, or some other latex based product that will not soften or re-emulsify and that the manufacturer warrants it is compatible with water-based adhesives.

(4) Super-Tek Products, Inc. manufactures a compatible sealer (Dry Seal) specifically engineered for applying XT-2000 Adhesive over new drywall and joint compound. Dry Seal will not soften, moisten, or re-emulsify. It also improves adhesion and provides a smooth dry surface ready for installation in less than 24 hours.


Real Metal wall tile and trim will easily maintain their rich appearance with simple routine care. In general, cleaning with a damp cloth or sponge and solution of warm water and dish-washing detergent is sufficient.

– Stainless Steel may be cleaned using stainless steel cleaner, or may be aggressively cleaned using a scouring pad.

– Copper may be cleaned and or polished using any of the copper and brass cleaners commonly found in any hardware or food store.

– Do Not use copper and brass cleaners on Zinc or Copper that has a patina finish–use only soap and water.

PLEASE NOTE: For easier handling during installation, protective plastic-film on face of each tile should be left on until the tiles are firmly thin-set onto the tile area. For brushed stainless mosaic tiles, please peel small part (corner/edge) of the protective film to check the grain direction of the metal tiles before tiling.


This information is offered as a guideline. No warranty is implied. For best results, hire a tile installer experienced in the application of mesh mounted glass mosaic tile.

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The post Caring for Metals Tile and Trims first appeared on Flooring Supply Shop Blog.

One thought on “Caring for Metals Tile and Trims

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