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Old 02-25-2004, 03:48 PM   #1
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I am new to the forum & have found some great info. on this site.I am about 3/4 done building a 28ft motorhome on a 1999 fld120 chassis with a 470hp Detroit.I would really like to use ceramic tile in the bathroom & the living area but i am worried about possible cracking of the grout.I was wondering if anyone has used tile before & is there a specaial grout I can use,maybe something silicone based.Any info. would be appreciated.
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Old 02-25-2004, 06:08 PM   #2
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polartuner -

Use to own a tile & marble company, so have a few ideas on this.

First, if you where a customer of mine I would say don't use it. As the chassis tweaks it is going to cause problems with the tile cracking at some point. We had a customer who had custom tile in 3 bathrooms ($85 per 4"x4" tile) in a 65' Sea Ray with (2)12V twin turbo cats hooked to KAAMA drives. We replaced tile everytime the water was 4 plus footers, because he could not lay off the throttles.

But if you have to have it here are some things you can do to hopefully limit the potential for problems.

Not sure of your under layment, but if you can fit it in (not sure of the surrounding materials and their heights) include metal lathe stapled then fill with planicrete witch is a highly flexible self leveling product. I would even consider modifying it with a acrylic additive, which will give it more flexibility. I would use this instead of a sheet of luan or thin plywood if you have to build up to meet up with carpet or wood.

Use a good glue to adhere the tile, this is good and flexible. And then use a good quality grout (mapai or equal) and use solid acrylic additive instead of water. This will give the grout alot of flexibility and less chance for it to crack or chunk out.

Just some ideas.

Bill

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FLD 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:21 PM   #3
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Hey Polartuner,
Tiling is definitely possible. I did it in the bathroom of my showhauler and have not had any cracks at all. You have to do it a certain way, though. First, start off with 3/4 plywood that's screwed down very well. Then put down either 1/4" durrock, hardie backerboard or wonderboard. Make sure that you set it in thinset using the recommended notched trowel and screw it down every 8 inches around the perimeter as well as the field. Then thinset your tiles and grout. That's about it. I would choose tiles that are no larger than about an 8x8 just to be safe. Conventional motorhome manufacturers have been using ceramic tiles and have also used granite and marble tiles also. Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2004, 06:46 PM   #4
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Polartuner, recent advancements in setting materials and grouts make this easily possible. Follow the hardee board/plywood install and use Laticrete 317 thinset mixed with super fleeible 333 additive. The grout you will want is Spectralock also by Laticrete. It provides a non-cracking, flexable epoxy, stain free grout. It is a very easy to use product and I have personnaly seen 2x2 tile, installed as stated above, on a 5/8 inch plywood 24" x 12" with 2 1" blocks on the ends be able to withstand flex of 1" without cracking of the grout or tile coming loose from the board.
I use these products every day and feel they are some of the best materials out there. I would install tile in a coach without hesitation.
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Old 10-12-2004, 09:07 PM   #5
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.....I love the look of tile/ease of maintenance...BUT it's too cold on my old feet in the morning and if I fall it is a disaster-at almost 60-I don't bounce anymore.....geof
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:17 PM   #6
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geof,
We were looking at a new NRC conversion the other day at the dealer that had under the floor heat and granite 12" tile and granite countertops throughout.. etc. etc. etc... as well as aquahot heating .. they said it had electric heat under the floor but I don't see why the aquahot couldn't do a good job using the comerically available liquid circulation field under the tile... now all you need to do is use that playground ground cover they sell..(made from recycled tires) to help you bounce back up..LOL.. CUL
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:50 PM   #7
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.....I have installed radiant Floor heating in commercial garages so the mechanics don't freeze to death and I'm sold on it myself....It is the most comfortable floor to work on when you are on a creeper working on a truck-and it's instant heat located where you are after the door is closed to the outside in the winter.......I'm a little skeptable about the plastic hoses that circulate the heating fluid because of the vibration over time.....all and all I'm excited about the use of modern HVAC products used in a motorhome insteadof the standard propane furnaces used in most rigs....what Im not excited is the use of solar panels as they just aren't as practical as they need to be.....the next two years are supposed to bring a new more efficient design I'm told-we will see.....geof
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:44 AM   #8
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Based on my May tour of the NRC factory I would hope that the infloor heating on a NRC would have better floor insulation. Otherwise you will loose a lot of heat under the floor.

I would have to check my notes but from memory they use a 2" x 2" steel tubing in the floor frame. I think it was 24" oc and they insulated it with beadboard. However the panels were not fitted very well. They simply just slipped the panel in the opening. Several times I could see gaps around the side edges. In one spot I remember being able to slide my fingers between the beadboard panel and the framing. I don't have small hands. Unfortunately this type of quality control is common in the RV industry in regards to insulation.

NRC uses spun fiberglass for wall insulation. Their wall framing is one inch steel tubing, either square tubing or hat tubing depending on the area. Inside to the tubing is a OSB panel. Steel skin held by adhesive on the outside of the steel framing.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:13 PM   #9
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.....I believe the flooring is the new polyurethane/wood chip board called "Ameri-tech"-which is good for a flooring material and has a 50 year warranty- then there is a insulation barrier of at least a R-10 and then the heating tubing covered with a laytex cement covered with the ceramic tile.....or this is how it should be installed....somewhat flexible....yet very heavy duty usage-almost commercial.....the cement and tile form a heat sink that holds heat evenly throughout the coach-no cold areas...the closer you are to the floor the warmer you get-No cold feet and No drafts...ideal for small kids and us old cold footed farts....you could use an outside heating source if it was available...maybe a small wood stove and a circulation pump or even someones hot water form their house-'course they are going to be pizzed off when they get the bill....there are several different liquid media for heating but I'd use plain old 50/50 antifreeze solution-which is available from any Walmart-gaas station or even Kroger stores.....geof
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