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Old 09-20-2021, 02:32 PM   #1
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Porcelain tiles in shower - should I worry about cracking?

Skoolie Fam!
Curious of everyone's opinion on tile size, and material, in the skoolie shower. I've read everyone's forums on using tile, enough to trust that I can indeed use it in the shower. (Danjo's beautiful shower ).
It also seems users have had luck with larger floor tile.

My wife and I want to use an 11x13 porcelain tile - tile is so damn expensive, our options are pretty limited and we're having trouble finding something we like Here is the tile we have in mind for the walls

Do you think a tile that large will hold up to the bus movement? Do you think ceramic tile have any advantages over porcelain?

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Old 09-20-2021, 03:04 PM   #2
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Use a rubberized grout.
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Old 09-20-2021, 03:07 PM   #3
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Use a rubberized grout.
Thank you o1marc! That is what I was thinking also - as long as the tiles adhere to the surface properly, using a rubberized / flexible grout should give them enough "wiggle room" to not crack & chip against each other with the good bus vibrations.

I guess worst-case scenario, if a crack develops I could seal the crack with thinset and/or epoxy and keep on rollin'

The tile we like is just too good for the price vs. white hexagon tiles.
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Old 09-20-2021, 03:12 PM   #4
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Hello Bear
Yes Danjo has set the bar pretty darn high for a skoolie shower, actually any shower. I don't believe porcelain or ceramic will make a difference in bonding, I think the size, mortar type and use of a membrane will all affect bonding. Also mosaics with a backing mesh would help.
I personally wouldn't risk using a large size tile in a moving vehicle. You can reduce the risk of cracking by using a product like Kerdi Board and an uncoupling membrane as well.
Good luck
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:50 PM   #5
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Hello Bear
Yes Danjo has set the bar pretty darn high for a skoolie shower, actually any shower. I don't believe porcelain or ceramic will make a difference in bonding, I think the size, mortar type and use of a membrane will all affect bonding. Also mosaics with a backing mesh would help.
I personally wouldn't risk using a large size tile in a moving vehicle. You can reduce the risk of cracking by using a product like Kerdi Board and an uncoupling membrane as well.
Good luck
I'm planning on Shluter Kerdi Waterproof Membrane over the Mapei coated plywood, attaching Kerdi membrane with premixed thinset (I don't want to mess up the ratio mixing myself)

I wanted to use the webbed mosiac style tile fist, but the cost is so damn high. Averaging around $8/sqft for webbed tile sheets, that would make my shower over $500. I know that this is a major part of the living experience, but feel like I should be able to pull off a beautiful, functional shower for less $ on tile.
In a perfect world I would use the Kerdi backer board, but it is $130 for a 4x8 sheet, putting me at $260 for backer board alone
Add the rest of the materials and tile on that and I'm looking at a nicer bathroom in the skoolie than in my house!
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:53 PM   #6
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Quick PS.
My original plan was the GoBoard from JohnS Manville - Lowes had it listed on their website forever but when it came time for me to buy they have it on permanent backorder, many of the comments stating they never carried it in the first place.

I cant find any distributor for GoBoard, or anything similar, in my area - leaving Kerdi Board as the only option and my wallet running for the hills.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:54 PM   #7
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I used the foam core tile backer stuff, flexibond thin set and urethane grout. Thousands of miles now with no signs of cracking
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:34 PM   #8
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Just got home yesterday from a 3200km trip around southern British Columbia with a slight detour through Alberta. Many rough mountain roads and a bunch of off road site seeing detours. Haven’t got my shower tile done yet but the kitchen/pantry beat the challenge. My tile is stainless capped ceramic mosaic on a Kerdi membrane over plywood with an un sanded grout. No separation at all even with some ditching contact that was hard enough to push the front bumper up into the body panel. 06485E72-0FBA-46F6-8932-7FB4BA771905.jpg
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Just got home yesterday from a 3200km trip around southern British Columbia with a slight detour through Alberta. Many rough mountain roads and a bunch of off road site seeing detours. Haven’t got my shower tile done yet but the kitchen/pantry beat the challenge. My tile is stainless capped ceramic mosaic on a Kerdi membrane over plywood with an un sanded grout. No separation at all even with some ditching contact that was hard enough to push the front bumper up into the body panel. Attachment 61396
That’s a good looking kitchen
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:20 PM   #10
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I used HydroBlock board. Similar to Schluter. I saw some of the cheaper stuff at Lowe’s, but I didn’t spend a lot of time with it since I was already done with that.

Having a sturdy flex-free wall is important. I way overdid it. I think you could get away with a 2x2 framed wall (I ripped mine to 1 1/4” thick to clear the window frame), with 1/2” ply on the outside and backer on the tile surface.

The foam core backer gets screwed with these big fender washers with a12” spacing, sealed on the edge at with urethane sealant.

I did not do this but wish I had: use the HydroBlock or Schluter system with the foam pan and install a linear drain at both ends so no matter which way the bus leans it will drain. Use the Oatey (actually a subsidiary) ABS linear drain. You could potentially use the Schluter Kerdi membrane over foam for the floor and tile on that.

Keep in mind the weight of tile, backer, mortar and grout adds up. I’m guessing 4-6 pounds per square foot depending on the tile. I used those little glass tiles 1/8” thick to save weight.
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Old 10-02-2021, 08:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
I used HydroBlock board. Similar to Schluter. I saw some of the cheaper stuff at Lowe’s, but I didn’t spend a lot of time with it since I was already done with that.

Having a sturdy flex-free wall is important. I way overdid it. I think you could get away with a 2x2 framed wall (I ripped mine to 1 1/4” thick to clear the window frame), with 1/2” ply on the outside and backer on the tile surface.

The foam core backer gets screwed with these big fender washers with a12” spacing, sealed on the edge at with urethane sealant.

I did not do this but wish I had: use the HydroBlock or Schluter system with the foam pan and install a linear drain at both ends so no matter which way the bus leans it will drain. Use the Oatey (actually a subsidiary) ABS linear drain. You could potentially use the Schluter Kerdi membrane over foam for the floor and tile on that.

Keep in mind the weight of tile, backer, mortar and grout adds up. I’m guessing 4-6 pounds per square foot depending on the tile. I used those little glass tiles 1/8” thick to save weight.
I couldn't find any of the foam tile backer board you used, that was my original plan. I framed the walls with 2x3s and then OSB facing (I know I know, not the most ideal, but lightweight and not breaking the bank.)
I attached the OSB with screws and adhesive, then costed it with 3 coats of Redgard. Putting the schluter membrane over that with a mudbed floor.
TIiles will ad a ton of weight for sure, but the wife insists on no plastic and no corrugated metal walls. . . So we're doing tile baby!
I think the bus can handle the weight, I just hope the tile stays on the wall
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Old 10-05-2021, 12:49 PM   #12
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Hey guys - follow up question.
Now that I've got all of my materials and tile - how much is this weight going to impact bus performance??
I'm at about 400lbs of tile, mortar and grout...

My u laden weight is 15k lbs, gvwr 29k lbs... rear axle 19k front axle 10k, so... I think the bus should be ok, but it still seems like a ton of weight in one small space -probably the most concentrated weight aside from my water tank, mounted above the rear axle.
Shower is going above rear axle as well, partially covering the wheel well..

Just a thought, maybe I'm being paranoid. Going to get the bus weighed with everything in it next week just to be safe.

Thanks for the input as always, yall always help with my stress levels haha.
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bear Gerschafer View Post
Hey guys - follow up question.
Now that I've got all of my materials and tile - how much is this weight going to impact bus performance??
I'm at about 400lbs of tile, mortar and grout...

My u laden weight is 15k lbs, gvwr 29k lbs... rear axle 19k front axle 10k, so... I think the bus should be ok, but it still seems like a ton of weight in one small space -probably the most concentrated weight aside from my water tank, mounted above the rear axle.
Shower is going above rear axle as well, partially covering the wheel well..

Just a thought, maybe I'm being paranoid. Going to get the bus weighed with everything in it next week just to be safe.

Thanks for the input as always, yall always help with my stress levels haha.
How much would 3 students affect performance? Zero
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:47 PM   #14
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How much would 3 students affect performance? Zero
Thank you for the quick reply Marc, that was my thought!
If I'm doing my math correctly, unladen weight of 15k and gvwr or 29k, I could load up 14k lbs into the bus before I max out the axles / suspension. And that was with factory floors, walls, seats, etc.

Really interested to take her out to a scale just to see where we are at. I'll keep yall posted.
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Old 10-05-2021, 04:43 PM   #15
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Thank you for the quick reply Marc, that was my thought!
If I'm doing my math correctly, unladen weight of 15k and gvwr or 29k, I could load up 14k lbs into the bus before I max out the axles / suspension. And that was with factory floors, walls, seats, etc.

Really interested to take her out to a scale just to see where we are at. I'll keep yall posted.
Most city refuse dumps have scales as well as metal scrap yards.
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Old 10-05-2021, 05:56 PM   #16
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You can find Cat Scales close by on the internet. $12 where I am
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Old 10-05-2021, 05:56 PM   #17
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I didnt even think of that! I was planning to hit a local truck stop, I think there is one near me with a scale..
But I do have a ton of metal to recycle from this bus, maybe I'll make a 2 for 1 trip to the crap yard.
Thanks for the tip!!
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Old 10-05-2021, 07:24 PM   #18
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I didnt even think of that! I was planning to hit a local truck stop, I think there is one near me with a scale..
But I do have a ton of metal to recycle from this bus, maybe I'll make a 2 for 1 trip to the crap yard.
Thanks for the tip!!
That way you'll get paid to weigh the bus.
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Old 10-05-2021, 09:31 PM   #19
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Damn the torpedos!

Put what you want!

Mine:

IMG_0964.jpg

This is midship on my 31’ pusher.
I’m at 23000 lbs and rated for 31K (20&11).

Peace
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Old 10-05-2021, 10:02 PM   #20
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Damn the torpedos!

Put what you want!

Mine:

Attachment 61727

This is midship on my 31’ pusher.
I’m at 23000 lbs and rated for 31K (20&11).

Peace
Amazing bathroom! Love the full tub - next bus for sure.
Is that a factory ac/heater above the tub or did you put that in?
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