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Author Topic: ceramic tile ?  (Read 9851 times)

darrellguy

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ceramic tile ?
« on: July 19, 2010, 06:54:50 PM »
Had a leak in my toilet so wile replacing it I rebuilt the platform does anyone know how well ceramic tile holds up I've seen it in some newer models and wonder what keeps it from cracking with all the bumps of the road. Really don't want carpet in that area as i have three sons if you know what i mean. I am open to suggestions would like to finish the project this weekend.

Orick

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 07:11:36 PM »
It is used in more and more high end rigs but I the answer to your question is that most often, nothing keeps it from cracking.  A lot of folks have good luck with it but I've talked with others who (although they like it) experienced several cracks.  But hey, it's a small area and what's the harm in giving it a try?  Not really too much down side the way I see it.

Good luck...
Rick, Nancy, Peanut, Lola (Westies) & Bailey the Sheltie Dog
2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
Ford Explorer Toad

M1894

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 07:25:19 PM »
Another answer for the floor would be vynal tile. I've used som in the old house, and it looks just like ceramic tile. Properly put down it should ride without cracking. I bought mine at Lowes, and was considering using in the bath and kitchen area of our old coach. As long as you havea good smooth surface, it should last as long as the coach.
LEE & PEGGY
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deddy5

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 07:27:27 PM »
If you lay the tiles properly, with the correct amount of mud/adhesive under them, they shouldn't crack, as long as they are on a surface that does not "flex" a lot. What I mean is, just normal shaking of the road should not be a problem. Yes, maybe a  bone jarring ride will cause cracks, but like the other reply says, it isn't too big an area to start over.

Ghostman

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 07:53:31 PM »
I am a custom tile installer. I would not put in my trailer. I see no way of the floor not giving enough to cause cracking. You could use a acrylic or latex grout and possibly take care of the issue but I am not sure if this would work. Now that said the cracking if installed correctly would probably be minimal to where most people would not notice. If I were going to try I would use Ditra under layment  and then tile with acrylic grout. The Ditra (from Schluter innovation) will allow in plane movement and reduce cracking. The acrylic grout will also allow for movement.
Another option is Perma stone or Dura cermaic. These look like tile but are made of a composite material and are glued down. Not Thin set.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

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ArdraF

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 08:51:59 PM »
We have been very pleased with the smooth ceramic tile we ordered for our 2003 coach.  It's in the entire coach except the bedroom.  I hated the carpet in our previous motorhomes and didn't want wood or other alternatives.  The manufacturer first put down a plywood base and then laid the tile so the surface on which it was put is smooth.  We haven't had any cracked tiles in all these years and 72,000 miles.  I've started to notice some grout is starting to move away from the tiles but it's not breaking up or crumbling.  It's really quite minor and I have to look for it.  We spend most of the time in the desert where dryness causes everything to shrivel.  The motorhome grout isn't any worse than the grout we have in our stick house.  We had an excellent grout sealing so there have been no grout stains.  Can't say the same for our house - the sealing was very poor in it and it shows.  I've observed many of the motorhome manufacturers have started using a rough surface tile and I think those would gather in more dirt and be harder to keep clean.  Ours has a shiny smooth surface and wiping it up is very easy.  We've had workmen come in with grease on their shoes and it wipes right up.  I'd order the same thing again.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 08:54:18 PM by ArdraF »
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Ghostman

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 08:57:42 PM »
This is the cracking I was referring too. It usually separates from the side of the tile and not necessarily grout breaking out. It takes a lot of flex to get grout to break out. Usually tile comes lose at that point.  Most people would never notice it.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

2016 Forest River Berkshire XL
2006 modified Jeep Grand Cherokee

No need to travel the world when there is so much to see here.

Orick

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 09:00:27 PM »
I am a custom tile installer. I would not put in my trailer. I see no way of the floor not giving enough to cause cracking. You could use a acrylic or latex grout and possibly take care of the issue but I am not sure if this would work. Now that said the cracking if installed correctly would probably be minimal to where most people would not notice. If I were going to try I would use Ditra under layment  and then tile with acrylic grout. The Ditra (from Schluter innovation) will allow in plane movement and reduce cracking. The acrylic grout will also allow for movement.
Another option is Perma stone or Dura cermaic. These look like tile but are made of a composite material and are glued down. Not Thin set.

My original plan was to install tile throughout my entire coach and from the research I did this advice sounds spot on.  As what was to be an interim step, I installed Allure vinyl tile throughout my entire coach after doing all the work to level and prepare the floor.  I wanted a single level flow from front to back.  I put down the Allure because I didn't have time to tackle the ceramic (I've never done that before) and we had just begun full timing with our three dogs and the carpet had to go!  Now that we've lived with the Allure for 10 months (coupled with feedback from people who have ceramic) I'm not so sure it's interim any longer.  If anything I might eventually replace it with some of the tile knock offs on the market now that come in 16/18/20" squares. 

Have fun with the project and good luck...
Rick, Nancy, Peanut, Lola (Westies) & Bailey the Sheltie Dog
2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
Ford Explorer Toad

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 09:05:28 PM »
We've had ceramic tile in our last two coaches, but they both had excellent rigid frames. If yours flexes some, well...

With the quality of the vinyl tiles available these days, why not go that route instead?  Pay $2-3 per tile and you can get some fine stuff, almost indistinguishable from slate or ceramic. Easy to clean, waterproof, easy to cut and install, and no worries about cracks in tile or grout.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

herd

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 11:29:48 PM »
Gary, I like your suggestion and I am looking to redo my TT floors. I have decided on vinyl and was thinking sheet vinyl until I read your reply. When you say "$2/$3 per tile," are you talking about the "peel n press" tiles or something else.

I was worried about the "peel n press" bonding well but would prefer to work with that type product as opposed to sheet vinyl, which would require pretty exact cutting and fitting. Any thoughts on the best route to pursue.
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Ghostman

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 06:48:19 AM »
Dura ceramic is a flooring tile that is made of vinyl and wood fibers it looks like ceramic tile. it can be laid and grouted or edges butted against each other. The grout is a acrylic grout that will be more pliable than traditional grout.
http://www.congoleum.com/res-products.php?product_line=duraceramic

Perma stone is another option. It is similar to dura cermaic the main difference is the grout lines are built into the tile. there is no grouting. Looks like cermaic tile also.
http://nafco.com/Products/PermaStone/tabid/303/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Both of these products should be laid on a smooth floor. usually installed over a 1/4 sheet of plywood. They are installed bby a adhesive. The adhesive is spread and let set until turns clear and then install tile. Be careful once tile is down they do not come back up.

These would be your best bet over tile. They do make some also that look lie wood floors in same products. These items would be able to be found at your local flooring store.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

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2006 modified Jeep Grand Cherokee

No need to travel the world when there is so much to see here.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 08:29:11 AM »
Good quality Armstrong or similar brand vinyl floor is available in adhesive-backed 12x12 tiles for around $3-4 per tile. It will stick fine if the floor is clean and smooth.  Lightly sand the subfloor with a coarse sandpaper, clean with a vacuum and then coat with a primer paint - that gives a clean, smooth surface for bonding. (Do the same if you use ceramic too).

There is plenty of good synthetic flooring available, but you gotta get away from the $0.99/sq ft stuff to get lasting quality and good looks.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ernie Ekberg

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 06:17:17 PM »
As Gary mentioned- stay away from the 99 cent stuff. Go to a regular retail store that has a better selection. The amount of square footage is small, thus you can get some nice material. The amount of new material out there, plus the adhesives are tremendous compared to a couple years ago.
Ernie Ekberg, Weatherford, Tx
Prevost Liberty Classic XL
www.ernieekbergflooring.net

ROUTE 66 RV

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 08:00:24 AM »
We at Route 66 RV caution our customers away from tile.  While it's being installed all over the place by RV manufacturers, cracked / chipped tiles lead to more insurance-related claims we deal with.  The problem is this: tile needs to be installed over a solid, concrete-like surface.  The only way to attain this over a wood subfloor is to screw down hardibacker (a concrete backer board used as underlayment for tile).  For floors, a 1/2" thick hardibacker is recommended universally by tile manufacturers to ensure that the tile or the thin set it cures to will not flex or bow as a result of a wood subfloor.  I have yet to see a motorhome where hardibacker is installed!  Why?  Well, as a manufacturer of these RVs, carpet is stapled to the floor instead of stretched and free-floating designed laminate is glued to the subfloor, so is it any wonder why tiles are set over plywood?  For them, the height of the hardibacker combined with tile is far too high a surface, so they give in to the demands of their customers for tile, and roll the dice.  For your coach, I wouldn't risk that fate! 

Instead, we recommend High Pressure Laminate by Wilsonart and Luxury Vinyl Tile to those in need of a hard surface option.  Unlike tile and hardwood which are extremely heavy and susceptible to all kinds of problems in a moving coach traveling from one humidity level to another, High Pressure Laminate and Luxury Vinyl Tile won't crack or buckle when installed properly.  They are made to expand and contract mildly by comparison to hardwood, and they are much less weight than any other hard surface option.

Laminate floors are free-floating, meaning they are clicked together without ever being secured to the subfloor with glue or nails.  As such, the only thing holding them in place are trim pieces (Quarter Round, End Caps, T-Moldings, Reducers, Stair Nosing, etc.).  When you bring this floor of nearly a 1/2" height up to a slideout, a reducer is needed to cap the edge of this surface.  That reducer must cup the top of that floor, increasing the height of that threshold even more.  As such, the height of the floor may in some cases restrict your ability to use laminate under the slideouts in your motorhome.

While there are many options out there in Laminate, there is only one manufacturer who has fully warranted their product in an RV.  How do we know this - because, over the past 34 years that we at Route 66 RV and Pat's RV Carpet and Flooring have been in the trade of remodeling and refurbishing RV carpet and flooring, we have consulted each major manufacturer on the market, from Pergo to Quickstep, Mohawk to Shaw, and only one brand in Wilsonart Flooring has fully stood behind their product in a motorhome setting.  The difference in their product is key!  Wilsonart manufacturers only High Pressure Laminate, while all other manufacturers utilize direct pressure constructions (such as nearly every material made by Pergo, Quick Step, Armstrong, Fabrica, Shaw, Mohawk, etc.).  The difference between the two is extraordinary in that both look and feel similar, but when isolated to their construction, they are clearly two very different products.  High pressure laminate by Wilsonart starts with a 17 mil top surface layer - the first line of defense against any spill, dropped item, etc. - and is combined with 7 other layers compressed under intense heat to ultimately equate to 3-5x thicker than typical Direct Pressure or Low Pressure Laminate. The extra thickness of HPL means extra protection for the floor and, ultimately, better performance.  As a result, Wilsonart Laminate is also the only product that now maintains an Impact Warranty for their product, beyond the normal Wear, Stain, Fade, and Water Damage warranty of 20 years to Lifetime, depending on the style.

Ultimately, while direct-pressure laminate products may look similar to High Pressure Laminate and may cost you less from time to time, the amount of pressure they can sustain, either under your slideouts or by way of a spilled item, will ultimately scratch, scuff, or crack your new floor.  As such, I would not recommend them.  And, don't be misled!  Just because someone says a warranty on one of these products is likely the same from a residence to a motorhome, they are definitely NOT one in the same, and beside Wilsonart, we have yet to find another manufacturer willing to stand behind an RV installation.

One important thing to note -- Wilsonart has just elected to close their flooring division, which will formally go into effect in November.  While we stock a considerable amount of this material, like so many flooring companies, it will no longer be offered or produced as that date nears.  Claims on the material will remain valid and considered by Wilsonart, but their decision to move on from the flooring division is an unfortunate sign of the times.  Their product is far better than anything else on the market, but with Chinese imports dominating the market with cheap, direct pressure knock offs of their products, they can't compete anymore.

So, luxury vinyl tile on the other hand could also be a great option in that it comes in both hardwood plank forms or stone-like tiles, and best of all, this low-profile floor gets glued directly to the subfloor.  As a result, you get the look you want in a durable, "softer hard surface" composed with vinyl that is low-profile enough to be installed under any slideout.  If durability is a fear - don't worry about it, as this floor is being installed now in supermarkets, malls, and other high traffic areas due to its ability to stand up to the elements.  Unlike laminate though, which rests above the surface of the floors, the only complex part about luxury vinyl is the floor prep it takes to smooth out your staple-ridden and uneven subfloor before gluing this new floor in place.  The biggest upside to this option is that unlike tile, hardwood, or laminate, this floor can easily be installed under your slideouts without having to alter the height of the slide.

Armstrong, Karndean, and Earthworks are popular Luxury Vinyl product lines, all offered with very durable surfaces.  Outside of the mere fate of Wilsonart, these floors have dominated our customer's selections for the past couple years, and for good reason - they are a bit more cost effective, less weight, and not prone to water damage.  Take a mop to this floor without fear - a prospect you wouldn't consider with laminate.

Ultimately, there is never going to be a "perfect floor" for every RV, but the right floor for your needs is out there.  Just do your homework and trust the experts.
Grant Petruzzelli
Vice President / General Manager
Route 66 RV
Route 66 RV Facebook Fan Page

Orick

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2010, 08:50:50 AM »
Thanks for the very informative tutorial Grant! 
Rick, Nancy, Peanut, Lola (Westies) & Bailey the Sheltie Dog
2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
Ford Explorer Toad

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2010, 01:34:14 PM »
While we have owned two coaches with ceramic tile floors and have had no problems, I have to agree with everything Grant said.  And when we re-did the floors in our stick house recently, we chose Armstrong Stone series laminate and luxury vinyl.  The modest amount of carpet in our coach will probably need replacing in another year of two and luxury vinyl if the way we will go there too.

Incidentally, the "stone" laminate we have in out stick house looks so much like real slate that guests have actually gotten down on the floor to feel it to be sure. Today's synthetics are amazingly real-looking if you bite the bullet and pay the price for good stuff.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

ArdraF

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Re: ceramic tile ?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2010, 06:43:22 PM »
Quote
This is the cracking I was referring too. It usually separates from the side of the tile and not necessarily grout breaking out. It takes a lot of flex to get grout to break out. Usually tile comes lose at that point.

Ghostman - I don't consider grout separation to be "cracked tile."  I've seen cracked tiles and a true cracked tile has to be replaced.  Grout that has separated a bit is an entirely separate issue in my book.  It can be ignored for a very long time because it is not unsightly and is barely noticeable.  I guess our tile was installed properly because it's taken seven years of desert living (very dry) for the grout to start separating.  I'm not going to worry about it unless it starts coming loose.  We really wanted ceramic tile and we've been quite pleased with it.

We had vinyl in an earlier motorhome and those considering it should be aware that it is noiser than other surfaces.

ArdraF

« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 06:47:21 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
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