Eleek Tile Guide

Installation Instructions

Our general installation recommendations are only a guide. Each situation will vary. Please consult a tile professional for more detailed specifications and carefully follow product installation instructions.

Suitability

Eleek cast metal tiles may be used in interior or exterior installations with the following exceptions. Because aluminum contracts and expands minutely when subjected to heat and cold, we do not recommend using Eleek tile products in installations where the tiles will be subjected to freezing temperatures and/or to temperatures over 120°f, nor do we recommend them where there will be standing water or constant moisture. Please do not cut on them.

Substrates

Eleek cast metal tiles may be installed on any stable substrate such as plywood, rock board or tile backer. For best results, do not install directly to drywall.

Setting Materials

Use mastic (thinset) to apply to rock board or tile backer. Use construction adhesive to apply to wood. Spread the setting material on the substrate with a notched trowel following the manufacturer’s directions.

Spacing

Leave even spacing between tiles when installing cast tiles. Net installation is only an option with our custom extruded tile only (see below). Tiles may be aligned with spacers to create uniform joints and then allowed to set until firm (see manufacturer’s instructions for the specific setting material you are using). Excess setting material must be cleaned from the top surface of the tile while it is still wet and as per manufacturer’s directions.

Remove excess setting material from the edges.
Install expansion joints where tile abuts restraining
surfaces and at the perimeter of the installation.

Net Installation

For our custom extruded tile, you may choose to install without space between. First lay out tiles to check how all tile edges will come together. Shim as needed to correct any seams that come together unevenly. As you lay each tile with setting material, run a bead of clear silicone along each edge that will contact another tile. Make sure the seal is complete. Install expansion joints as noted in the Spacing section above.

Cutting

All Eleek tile may be cut with a bandsaw, hacksaw, angle grinder or table saw. Tile saws are not recommended. At no time shall the fingers leave the hand (an official Eleek rule for all employees and customers).

Grouting

Make sure the setting material has become firmly set before grouting. There are many products that will work for grouting. A sanded grout that we like is TEC® Textured Caulk “Accucolor Siliconized Acrylic Latex Caulk” in Light Pewter or Standard Grey. An unsanded caulk we like is DAP Dynaflex 230 “Premium Elastomeric Latex Sealant” in Aluminum Grey. Note that the sanded caulk looks a little more like standard grout. The DAP® Dynaflex looks more like a standard caulk. Whatever you use, be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions. We recommend that you use a siliconized product for the best stain resistance and lifelong flexibility (to accommodate expansion and contraction over time).

Test carefully for color matching before committing to a particular brand and color. If you use a sanded grout, be careful not to over-apply the grout such that you have to rub the grout over the tiles extensively in order to remove the excess, which could cause surface scratching on the tiles or remove the wax finish.

When you wash the grout from the tiles, use a light touch and lots of clean water. The day after grouting, wash tiles again with clean water if needed in order to remove any remaining grout film or haze. Allow the grout to cure as per manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning. If you did not use a siliconized grout, we suggest you apply a silicone grout sealant at this point. The last step is to apply a fresh layer of wax to your tiles to protect them over time (see care of finishes for instructions).

Cleaning

Clean only as needed with any gentle, nonabrasive cleanser (such as very diluted dish soap) and a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge. Rinse well with clean water.

Maintenance

Eleek cast metal tiles come with a protective natural wax finish. This finish may need to be reapplied periodically, especially if the tiles are subject to regular use, moisture, weather, etc. It’s a quick and easy process. Please see our Care OF Finishes section.

Recycling

Should this love affair ever come to an end, Eleek tiles are 100% recyclable and would also be very much appreciated at your local building materials reuse center (or perhaps you can sell them on Craigslist.org).  Removing as much adhesive and grout as possible makes them more recyclable and lovable to the next person. Most recyclers will pay you for the aluminum. If you prefer, you can always return any Eleek product to us for recycling.

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