Leather Tiles Instruction Guide


Barbarossa Leather Tiles are the perfect product to add character to almost any wall.
Each order of leather wall tiles is made to the order. It is important to understand this as any additional tiles ordered will be from a new dye lot and will most likely vary from the original lot. It is important to order the correct quantity in order to avoid dye lot variation. When ordering leather wall tiles, 10% must be added to the actual square footage needed for cutting and other waste factors. Also note that Barbarossa Leather does not accept any returns on unused tiles, as each order is custom made to the order.
You must read and understand these instructions completely before installing Barbarossa Leather Tiles. In the event these instructions leave unanswered questions or if you would like additional information, please contact Barbarossa Leather at 561-204-1980 prior to beginning installation. It is the responsibility of the installer to determine suitability of Barbarossa Leather Tiles for each application. Although installation is not complicated, we recommend that leather tiles be installed only by professionals accustomed to installing leather tile, cork tile or custom vinyl tile. We can also send one of our factory trained experts to do the installation.

Although we will always do our best to supply you with a perfect product, leather tiles do not come in perfect sizes. Being a natural product, leather tiles can come in slight variations of the actual size intended. This can include tiles being slightly smaller, larger, thicker or thinner. Keep in mind that the imperfection of the leather tiles is what gives them its unique beauty. If you are looking for a perfect product, leather tiles are not for you! The various colors, indentations, wrinkles and marks on the outside of a particular leather tile are all part of its natural beauty and uniqueness. Leather is a unique natural product that in no way can be replicated by man-made products. Only leather can give you a product that breathes and becomes more beautiful with age, developing a rich patina.

Material and Tools needed for Leather Tiles Installation:
• Miter or a Table Saw –
• Adhesive Options : Power Grab (loctite) – Comes in a tube and it is available in most hardware stores.
• Xacto razor knife (utility knife) and straight edge or ruler
• Caulking Gun – If you decide to use Power Grab adhesive, look for one in your local hardware store.
• Level – A four foot level or longer will be needed to help you with finding your starting point. Laser Levels are the best and can show you any unevenness of the walls.
• Carpenter’s pencil – any pencil will do, but the marks of a heavy duty carpenter’s pencil are easy to see
• Chalk line – used for installation guidelines
• Ladder – Depending on your project you may need a ladder.

Prior to Install:
Installer should inspect all material. Any defect must be reported directly to Barbarossa Leather. Should an individual piece of material be doubtful as to appearance or dimension the installer should not use the piece in question. Leather tiles are the last thing you want to install in a room renovation. Take the tiles out of their boxes and let them acclimate in the room designated for installation. ALLOW THE TILES TO ACCLIMATE OUT OF THE BOX, FANNED OUT AND ON-SITE, FOR A PERIOD OF 48- 72 HOURS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE DEPENDING ON SITE AND LOCATION. Never install tiles below 55F (12°C) or above 90F (32°C) due to humidity. Keep the doors closed during the acclimation period to maintain the room temperature. The permanent HVAC should be on and done in the environment in which it is expected to perform prior to installation.

Review and prepare substrate:
No installation is better than the substrate over which it is installed. The finished appearance and performance of the wall will be determined by the condition of the surface. The substrate must be structurally sound, rigid, smooth, flat, clean, and permanently dry. The surface should be smooth and free of dirt, waxes, polish, old adhesives, and voids. You can test the area by passing a trowel to ensure there are no protrusions. Make sure substrate is primed.
Barbarossa Leather Tiles can be applied to a number of substrates, including concrete, wood and sheetrock. The prepared substrate must be smooth, clean, dry and dust-free. Substrate most be primed. We recommend the application of Kilz water based General Purpose Latex Primer in a matching color in order to seal the substrate and limit dust and moisture variation. This is a similar process to sealing a wall when installing wallpaper.

Before Install:
Layout your pattern as you would for any tile work. We suggest that the installer spread the tiles out on the floor and allow for the possibility that they may want some of the tiles repositioned before gluing to the wall. (We recommend this due to the normal, desirable color variations of the leather tile). Chalk your lines onto the walls. Ensure you reviewed the leather tiles for color and mix and match lots when installing. Use a Laser level to find your starting point. Your starting point may be in the center of your wall, but it also may be in the corner, it is important to find a great starting point. This can depend on the project you are working on, personal or customers preference, or what will look the best. If you are working on an enclosed area, the center is a good starting point, but if you are working on an area that has an open side such as outside corner on a wall, starting there, may be the best.

1- Apply Adhesive – Power Grab works very well. Be sure to apply enough glue throughout the tile to assure proper bond. A good rule of thumb is to go around the edges to create a frame and then make an “X” connecting the corners. Make sure to install your tile exactly on your starting point and be certain it is level. Failure to do this may cause troubles installing your tiles correctly for the entire project. Once you are sure you have placed the tile in the right position, press it firmly.
2- Repeat these steps throughout the install. You can apply pressure to the tile with your hands and then follow with a rubber mallet.
3- Tile must be hit for positive contact between substrate and tile, especially at the perimeter and corners. Solid contact at the corners and edges is essential for a successful long-term installation.
4- On walls, we also recommend to go over the entire surface of the tiles with a 2 inch brass roller with significant pressure on the tiles. Once the first tile is in place, align the next tile to the edges of the first. Continue in the same fashion as above. For wall applications, apply A 2-3″ METAL J-roller on all the wall tiles in addition to the seams applying extra pressure on the seams and tile edges. The methodical application of extra pressure on the seams will ensure the adhesion to the substrate. As mentioned earlier, corners and edges generate the most problems after installation.
5- Laying your tiles in an offset brick pattern is easier to install as very often the walls are not perfectly horizontal. Laying your tiles in a straight grid pattern (like a checkerboard) will highlight any discrepancy in your wall unless it is perfectly flat – regardless of the skill level of the installer.

Cutting Tiles:
Cutting Tiles is easy, but must be done correctly. The best tool to cut leather tiles with, is a bench top band saw. 8 teeth/per inch minimum on the blade. This will give you clean cuts, without the leathers fraying at the cuts. (the bench top band saw is what we recommend for best cutting results). This is very simple to use.

If no bench top band saw is available (although they can be purchased at any local hardware store), You can also use a table saw, which is a lot more time consuming and gives you less cleaner cuts. To use a table saw, you first need to cut the top layer of leather with a razor knife and then you can cut the tile with a table saw. First mark with a pencil a straight line where your desired cut is on the leather. Then using a straight edge or ruler as a guide, cut the leather with a razor knife. Once leather is cut on the tile, you can cut tile with a table saw on the outside of the cut line on the part that is being discarded. It is important to follow this, otherwise leather will fray on your desired cut and tile could become unusable.

Maintenance of Leather Wall Tiles:
Leather walls are basically maintenance free. Leather tiles should not be waxed. Leather tiles should not be cleaned with a harsh cleaning product. Our leather wall tiles are naturally finished with an exclusive surface heat plating method that leaves the leather with an “old world patina” and then the surface is hand glazed. Leather tiles should only be wiped with a clean anti-static cloth to remove dust. Our technical department and installation experts are always available for you to consult with.

Barbarossa Leather makes no warranty or guarantee of the quality of work performed by a selected installer. Barbarossa Leather disclaims all liability for imperfect installation of its product.

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