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Old 05-29-2020, 04:42 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Need input on ceramic tile for shower

Hi,
I'm debating whether to install ceramic tile in my shower/bathroom. I've read about a flexible additive to the cement/mastic, but am more concerned about cracked grout. I'm thinking of small hexagon tiles

(

FYI: my bathroom is over a wheel well.

Thanks for your advice!!! Cheers, Kathy
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:34 PM   #2
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I did it! I haven’t used it or driven it much.

You want to use the foam core tile backer board. It’s lightweight and very durable so the screws aren’t going to destroy the board and work their way out. The product I used was HydroBlock. It’s a system. They have bases and wall material, the screws with washers and urethane sealant.

You would then use a modified thinset and urethane grout.

Had I known about the stuff before I started buying I would have gotten the Hydroblock pan and Used two of the continuous drains, one on each side so That no mater which way the bus tilts it will drain.

Search for HydroBlock on YouTube and watch a couple of their videos
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:52 PM   #3
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Itís hard to photograph that small space
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:24 PM   #4
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20200516_144240.jpg

I researched it to death and even made test panels that I walked on for months before actually installing.

They make urethane and flexible grout that doesn't work well in a moving bus. They also make a silicone grout. I ordered some and came to the conclusion it was just straight silicone.
The quality of the tiles makes a huge difference also. High quality glazed porcelain is really hard to break but clay is very fragile.
The strongest test panel I made was 3/4 inch marine grade plywood with porcelain tile and straight 100% silicone. It allows the tiles to flex and absorb shock.that obviously won't work with clay tiles.
When I tried to pull a siliconed porcelain tile off it was absolutely stuck and would only come off in pieces with a hammer/chisel.
I've been walking and working on them for a year without issue.
Kind of a expensive way to go but I feel like it will survive.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:19 PM   #5
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Your tile choice caught my eye. I recently had the "pleasure" of jack hammering up the floor of one of my 70 year old shower floors to replace a cast iron P trap. I chose the same style and color tile as you. However, I found that the similar tile sold at Lowe's to be far superior in quality and about the same cost. It is a bit thicker and the edge finish is smoother.

I've done a good bit of tile work over the years so I was surprised to find a new grout that works better than any other (sanded or not) I have used. I'll include a video link below. Rent a professional tile cutting machine from Home Depot to make your cuts. It will allow you to make perfect close tolerance cuts. Just mark the tile with a permanent marker, make your cut and clean up the tile with lacquer thinner before installing. The machine seems frightening at first because you use your fingers nearly on the blade but amazingly the blade won't cut you--just the tile even if you accidentally nick yourself with the blade. I suppose one could get hurt if he tried hard enough---. Any squeegee will work to apply the grout but a "real" tile sponge will give a great finish.
Jack

Grout video:
.

Grout sponge:
https://www.homedepot.com/s/tile%2520sponge?NCNI-5.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I did it! I havenít used it or driven it much.

You want to use the foam core tile backer board. Itís lightweight and very durable so the screws arenít going to destroy the board and work their way out. The product I used was HydroBlock. Itís a system. They have bases and wall material, the screws with washers and urethane sealant.

You would then use a modified thinset and urethane grout.

Had I known about the stuff before I started buying I would have gotten the Hydroblock pan and Used two of the continuous drains, one on each side so That no mater which way the bus tilts it will drain.

Search for HydroBlock on YouTube and watch a couple of their videos
Similar to HydroBlock I have used a system called Schluter on many of the custom homes I've worked on as a project supervisor. The foam core sheets are a great replacement over using supposed water resistant drywall or cement board but the biggest factor in preventing cracking on any tile job whether on plywood or cement is to use an uncoupling membrane. This is a sheet material attached with mortar to your structure then more mortar to attach tiles, this helps prevent tile cracking as structures shrink, expand or crack.
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Similar to HydroBlock I have used a system called Schluter on many of the custom homes I've worked on as a project supervisor. The foam core sheets are a great replacement over using supposed water resistant drywall or cement board but the biggest factor in preventing cracking on any tile job whether on plywood or cement is to use an uncoupling membrane. This is a sheet material attached with mortar to your structure then more mortar to attach tiles, this helps prevent tile cracking as structures shrink, expand or crack.
The way HydroBlock is installed with those big dimples washers, the panels can move around a little like they would with bus flex, vibration and temperature variation. The screws wonít pull through and the urethane over the screw heads wonít rupture. Itís totally waterproof.

I used FlexMortar thinset

I misspoke earlier. Itís not urethane grout. I used Custom Fusion Pro. It says itís Advanced acrylic plus silicone resin.
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:38 PM   #8
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I was told to make walls that don’t flex a lot. I used 1 1/4”, .091 wall square tubing And 1 1/4” Douglas fir screwed to 1/2” ply. Then HydroBlock on the inside

This photo shows an early version with just Steel. I removed the two outer-most steel and used wood. The “isle” wall (running parallel with the bus walls) is 2x4 so I could run a vent to the roof.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:33 AM   #9
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Waterproofing and uncoupling are not the same thing. Uncoupling allows for the finished tile to be less affected by any movement in the substrate.
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Old 05-31-2020, 03:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Waterproofing and uncoupling are not the same thing. Uncoupling allows for the finished tile to be less affected by any movement in the substrate.
I donít think you understood what Iím sayin

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Old 05-31-2020, 03:15 AM   #11
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I donít think you understood what Iím sayin

Yep I understand exactly what you're sayin.
Do you?
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I was told to make walls that donít flex a lot. I used 1 1/4Ē, .091 wall square tubing And 1 1/4Ē Douglas fir screwed to 1/2Ē ply. Then HydroBlock on the inside

This photo shows an early version with just Steel. I removed the two outer-most steel and used wood. The ďisleĒ wall (running parallel with the bus walls) is 2x4 so I could run a vent to the roof.
Bulkhead wall buddies!

I think my wall would flex way too much for tile to work, though (like at least 1/4" in the middle) since it's 1"x1/8" flat bar and expanded sheet.
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