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Old 02-23-2020, 10:00 AM   #1
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Tile

In the past Iíve poo pooed the use of tile saying that thereís no way it will hold up to the rigors of a hard riding bus, but Iím really hooked on the aesthetic and Iím burning a lot of cycles trying to figure this out.

Iíd like to install 1Ē mosaic tile in the bathroom. I havenít installed the walls yet, but the material I have is 1/2Ē 6 ply melamine coated plywood. This could be something else.

I decided to do a test of mosaic tile on this plywood using tile mastic in a bucket. That stuff didnít work on the melamine, so I think a different adhesive is needed. Iíve been thinking that vinyl floor adhesive, something more akin to contact cement might be the thing.

I also donít think that ordinary cementous grout is right. The dude at HD said to try the grout in a bucket because it has more latex in it.

Anyone install tile with somewhat long lasting success?

As usual your opinion is greatly valued

Thanks
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
In the past I’ve poo pooed the use of tile saying that there’s no way it will hold up to the rigors of a hard riding bus, but I’m really hooked on the aesthetic and I’m burning a lot of cycles trying to figure this out.

I’d like to install 1” mosaic tile in the bathroom. I haven’t installed the walls yet, but the material I have is 1/2” 6 ply melamine coated plywood. This could be something else.

I decided to do a test of mosaic tile on this plywood using tile mastic in a bucket. That stuff didn’t work on the melamine, so I think a different adhesive is needed. I’ve been thinking that vinyl floor adhesive, something more akin to contact cement might be the thing.

I also don’t think that ordinary cementous grout is right. The dude at HD said to try the grout in a bucket because it has more latex in it.

Anyone install tile with somewhat long lasting success?

As usual your opinion is greatly valued

Thanks

I'd rethink the melamine, personally. That stuff is made to be slippery and slidey and easy to clean. I've used it for tabletop surfaces in my woodshop (router tables, outfeed tables, etc.) for this very reason. I've spilled all kinds of glue, epoxy, etc. on it and it pops right off with a light nudge of a chisel. There might be an adhesive that would work, but I would go for something with a little more scruff to it.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:38 AM   #3
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1" ceramic tile -- is this the type held together with mesh?
If so -- how 'bout short screws to hold the mesh against the plywood, help hold the weight.

Melamine coating? I'm guessing that's a smooth surface?
The usual tile mastic works by 'gluing' the tiles rough surface to the backer boards rough surface.

I would use a different plywood -- probably 3/4" for no flex.
(Or consider a vinyl flooring that looks like mosaic tile...)

You're looking for a glue that can bond well to two dis-similar materials and act as a filler. I'm thinking some flavor of construction adhesive. Then paint over the glue to mimic the contrasting grout if the glue color doesn't work for you.

If you can make the tile panels on a horizontal surface you could do a smear of fiberglass epoxy resin and build your mosaic with gravity holding it together until the epoxy dries.

I have a similar dilemma in my 'new' house where the 'PO' used a very high quality but super fugly fake marble surround above a nice white bathtub. I'm trying to figure out how to cover the surround rather than remove it which I'm sure would destroy the wall behind it. I also am thinking tile but gluing to plastic is tough, and that's without the vibrations of a bus...
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:38 PM   #4
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I see no issue using ceramic tile as long as you use an elastic grout. The smaller the tile the less likely it will crack.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:55 PM   #5
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If you're strictly looking for Aesthetics I would consider vinyl flooring. As it has improved greatly in the recent years. A simple Google search turns up many patterns that look like realistic tile.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:57 PM   #6
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If you're strictly looking for Aesthetics I would consider vinyl flooring. As it has improved greatly in the recent years. A simple Google search turns up many patterns that look like realistic tile.
I thought about that. And vinyl plank too.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:28 PM   #7
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I see no issue using ceramic tile as long as you use an elastic grout. The smaller the tile the less likely it will crack.
Yes, but first he needs to attach the tile to the super-slick backing.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:34 PM   #8
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Yes, but first he needs to attach the tile to the super-slick backing.
Yes, I plan on knocking off the melamine with a belt sander. I would have never bought it except that it was ďcut offsĒ that left 35x80 of super stiff 6 ply furniture grade plywood for 10 bucks a sheet.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:18 AM   #9
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Yes, I plan on knocking off the melamine with a belt sander. I would have never bought it except that it was ďcut offsĒ that left 35x80 of super stiff 6 ply furniture grade plywood for 10 bucks a sheet.
I woulda bought a stack of that too!

You can probably roughen it up enough for adhesives with a wire wheel and make a lot less dust while leaving it to protect the plywood from moisture.

Considering the small space of a bus bathroom and the lighting?
My money's still on the vinyl flooring. The easy way is not wrong here...

I would say different if it was a focal point in your sitting area...
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:16 AM   #10
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We discussed many options, but the wife kept coming back to wanting subway tile in the shower.

First, I used ĺ inch exterior grade plywood, then waterproofed the plywood by coating it with, Polyester (fiberglass) resin .

Then I put up Hardi Backer Cement board, the outer walls of the bus are curved so I needed to shim the Hardi Board to get it flat.

We used FLexbond thinset, you can buy it at Home Depot, then the wife tiled it just like you would in a Brick and Mortar home.

She used Snapstone Urethane Flexible Grout.

It has been in there over a year, no sign of any cracking.

We have not driven far, only about 2000 miles, some of it over washboard dirt roads, no sign of any cracking.







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Old 02-25-2020, 11:48 AM   #11
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That looks awesome!

But..... I don't see any Red Guard........?

The ceramic tile in my first bus held up great. Dang..... I am getting old..... That tile has been going strong for almost 25 years....

I guess that you can successfully install tile in a bus.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:33 PM   #12
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I like the aesthetic of tile or stone in a bathroom, but how I plan to use my bus off-road that would never fly. So, I'm going to try a simple vinyl wrap. The realism of the images have improved night and day in the past years.Screenshot_20200225-102629_Chrome.jpg
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:11 PM   #13
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That looks awesome!

But..... I don't see any Red Guard........?

The ceramic tile in my first bus held up great. Dang..... I am getting old..... That tile has been going strong for almost 25 years....

I guess that you can successfully install tile in a bus.
What materials did you use?
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:17 PM   #14
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I like the aesthetic of tile or stone in a bathroom, but how I plan to use my bus off-road that would never fly. So, I'm going to try a simple vinyl wrap. The realism of the images have improved night and day in the past years.Attachment 41856
Wait are you saying this image is vinyl wrap?
Do you have a link to an actual product? It's what I've been looking for...

I don't mind if you "LMGTFY" as a response!
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:31 PM   #15
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Ban,

Yeah its just a high res photo printed on vinyl.

That example was actually a photo of a real wall.

There's similar mass production options like gogodecal on Amazon. Keep in mind some patterns look great in a smaller area like a bus shower wall rather than a whole house wall.

I plan on trying out some and swapping when I'm bored and want a new look.

I like this Grey stone look. It's textured but not very busy and reminds me of the outdoor showers popular south of the border. Screenshot_20200225-183025_Amazon%20Shopping.jpg
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:59 AM   #16
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I would use some Hardiebacker or Durarock. A lot plywood has coatings on it if you apply stuff to the coating ? no saying how well it will stick. Plywood also expands and contracts which is not good for mortar.

Last time I installed tile the big box store had about 8 different types of motor for.. large tile, floor tile, wall tile, etc. If you pick out the right mortar for your tile and application you will have much better odds of success
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:04 PM   #17
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I've got about 2.5 years and 15k miles on my shower and bathroom tile. It's holding up just fine, even with a pretty good vibration that I've been fighting. No cracks but the grout has suffered a bit. Lots of details here (shower pan construction and tile) and here (bathroom floor tile installation). Generally, I followed standard practices but made sure to separate/isolate the tile from the plywood floor. Used the Schluter Ditra heat system under the 18" floor tiles which further isolates from the floor and allows a good bit of 'give.'

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Old 02-26-2020, 04:39 PM   #18
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I went to Daltile today and they convinced me that this stuff called Hydro-Blok is the way to go. He says that mobile home manufacturers are using it. I plunked down the cash. Pretty pricey.
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:48 PM   #19
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The "hydro block" is a backer-board of some sort to put over your melamine coated plywood?
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:00 PM   #20
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The "hydro block" is a backer-board of some sort to put over your melamine coated plywood?
It’s lightweight, slightly flexible foam core backer.
Screwed right to 2x4s
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