Contractors today have a wider choice inmetal fl ooring than at any other time in history. Recent technological advances have brought stainless-steel and aluminum fl ooring products to market with great success. A range of rich colors and decorative metal choices offers many options, from subtle and sophisticated to bold and brash statements. Various installation options allow temporary or permanent systems. And of course, nothing else can match the performance characteristics of real commercial-grade metals used as fl ooring. In a Snap XFloor, manufactured by Pittsburgh-based diamondLife, is a unique interlocking tile system that simply snaps into place. No glues, no toxic fumes, no mess. Commercialgrade metals such as stainless steel and aluminum diamond plate (or tread plate) are fl ame-laminated in a proprietary process to a copolymer base, creating a 1/2-inch- (13-mm-) thick tile that can hold up to 25 tons (23 metric tons) evenly distributed. Each 12- by 12-inch
(305- by 305-mm) tile has 28 locking points in a loop-and-hook confi guration that allows tiles to interlock. Sloped border tiles create a fi nished edging. XFloor can lie over any base fl ooring and stays in place under its own weight. Cleaning is easy by mopping, hosing or power-washing. Tile fi t is tight, but should moisture pass through any gaps, built-in channels on the bottom of the tiles allow liquids to fl ow away or evaporate. Although XFloor works best on relatively fl at base fl oors, there are slight hinges between tiles, allowing some variations in base fl oor fl atness. Any large variations should be removed. There is no need to clean or prep the base fl oor. XFloor lies on top of just about any substrate, including grass. Among XFloor’s stunning characteristics is the range of rich, anodized colors. Patterns and shapes can be created with ease-and as easily as the fl oor snaps into place, so too can it be snapped out. The interlocking feature allows the fl oor to be changed as often as you change your mind-and of course, the fl oor is totally portable so you never have to leave it behind. Durability Another revolutionary metal fl ooring product from diamondLife is MaxTile TX, a metal fl oor or wall tile in your choice of commercial-grade stainless steel or aluminum. It installs via trowel using traditional tile adhesive. The applications are endless, from small spaces to large galleys, for protection and beautifi cation. Each tile is approximately 1/16-inch (1.6-mm) thick and comes in numerous sizes, ranging from 12 by 12 inches to 48 by 96 inches (1,219 by 2,438 mm). A variety of anodized colors offers multiple design options. The base fl oor should be clean and dry before installation. Concrete base fl oors work best, but other fl oor types are permissible. Like XFloor, cleaning MaxTile is a simple matter of running a mop, a hose or a power washer over it. Tiles are installed fl ush against one another, so gaps between them are nonexistent. Individual tiles can be cut with standard jig, circular or band saws using a sheet metal blade. Durability is also a standard benefi t, as metal is tougher than ceramic, porcelain, marble, granite, wood, carpet and other traditional fl ooring surfaces. Finally, MaxTile also can be used on walls to create breathtaking wainscoting. Uses XFloor and MaxTile Flooring systems have been used successfully in commercial kitchens for anti-skid purposes; offi ce spaces for durability; auto dealerships to highlight a show vehicle; automobile service stations for toughness; retail stores to draw attention to an area; home garages for appearance; airplane hangars for load handling; and race trailers for ruggedness. If your next project involves fl ooring, consider using metal. It has come a long way since the days of rickety sheet metal. Anil Gupta is a brand manager at Pittsburghbased diamondLife. For more information, visit www.diamondlifegear.com.