Glass floor tile in RV

Discussion in 'Ceramic & Stone Sales and Installations' started by Mike Antonetti, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Not that I want to do, but a good challenge.

    Friend of friend wants a new tile floor in an RV they have, 40? Ft diesel pusher, tile exists, some cracks, gapped grout joint.

    Not sure how thick the plywood is yet, initially I was thinking about screwing down Hardiboard getting 1" screws to avoid hitting wires etc.

    I really want the entire assembly to be flexible, but if I screw down hardi, that will be rigid, then maybe liquid crack suppression membrane followed by flexible thinset and flexible grout.

    The mosaic tile is thin clear glass, probably not rated for a floor, but I think if it's based on traffic, there won't be much.

    I have called Mapei a few weeks ago about large and small tile, the thinset recommended was kerabond/keralastic. My theory is mosaic tile can handle flex movement as long as thinset and grout is flexible.

    Attached Files:

  2. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Why not some ditra? Flexible.
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    It would be good to build some height, the tile are @1/8"-3/16" thick. The set material is going to have to be white due to showing through to backing. So you comb/gauge the setting material with trowel, then flatten it with finish trowel to avoid seeing the trowel marks thru the tile.

    Little Leary about the schluter ditra, now I think of it I don't think they recommend for mosaic 1" square, there's voids underneath that may not support the small piece edges.

    Seems like one thing cancels out the other for use.
  4. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I've done so many RVs that I hate doing them.
  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    They're crampy, I originally said no, the tile guy he had do the 2nd story shower for him said he hung up when he called, I said that's brilliant.
  6. Mike,

    I wouldn't do it without Ditra. Too much movement in these environments to not have an uncoupling membrane. There's nothing that I've found that states using a 1" x 1" isn't acceptable. You mentioned voids, there should be no voids when you use Ditra. The waffles have a slight bevel that angles back so that they "lock & grab" the thinset. You should be flat troweling to fill those with mortar then using your notch on top of that to set your tile. No voids.

    Another question, your thread title says glass tile, are you really using glass? I didn't think glass could be used on a floor due to scratching. Is it actually glass or is it porcelain?
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Real glass, forgot about sand and an RV, the void would be on the underside of the ditra.

    I was thinking traffic wise, I know there's wide variation of glass tile, will have to see how it's rated for floors.
  8. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    There will be no voids underneath if done correctly.
  9. You beat me to it. :)

    Ditra Trowel (11/64" x 11/64" sq. notch) and a decent modified mortar. Shouldn't have any voids. If you're concerned you didn't get it set into the mortar well enough and you might leave a void, you can roll it with a rolling pin or a wall roller, or you can use a wooden float to go over it and push it into the mortar.
  10. mgd

    mgd Pro Member

    Flex bone from Ardex might be an option instead of hardi board ????
  11. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I've seen it but not used flexbone (how'd they come up with that name)

    I called schluter tech, they said they don't recommend smaller than 2x2. Tried looking for a side view of installed tile over schluter, in between the fleece, fiberglass lining and the polypropylene are gaps where the top portion of plastic reaches the substrate, but the raised plastic is hollow underneath. The thinset does not soak through the fiberglass fleece all the way in to fill the raised portion from the bottom.

    Now my concern with a liquid membrane is trapping moisture underneath the membrane and into the wood causing it to rot. So still unsure if there's a viable method.

    With the schluter ditra, you're still setting with a mortar which is mixed then hardens, it's that hardening which will cause failure.
  12. Thanks for checking Mike. You're correct I missed it on the size. It's not really in their literature that I can find, but that is what tech says. Thanks again!
  13. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I see sometimes on the websites it says contact tech support about some situations not covered. That annoys me, but it's good to talk and clarify.

    Local Rep is supposed to contact me, I left message on his phone, I like to play a little helpless, not knowing much just to see what they know and gauge their knowledge then slowly turn up the volume.

    I think in the end there's no answer anyone will stand behind, it will probably be an explanation to owner that out of all the research this is what we can do and to accept if there are issues, deal with them if they arise. I have till after Thanksgiving when they go away. Probably demo at his house, then bring to mine for install. Materials will most likely need to be ordered.

    I may end up troweling 100% white silicone direct to existing plywood if in good condition. Then the grout, not sure but may go with quartzlock.

    I found the Schluter link illustration. You can see the void and it's necessity for its design. Had to of been patent expiration now that many similar products are now in the market.

  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    This is the opposite I'm going for. All based on bonding rigidly. The tile are large sized of course, so this would be correct method. Bonding to metal deck with epoxy and sand for the grit to lock into the setting/leveling.

    So I've been on some cruise ships where there's a bit of unbounded tile/granite/marble.

    Heavy seas tends to wrangle steel in all sorts of directions. Everything about this install is rigidity, not sure where this boat is going, but its limits on the floor may be exceeded. Just my perspective.
  15. HS345

    HS345 Pro Member

    2x2 is the smallest Schluter allows for Ditra. Also found Ditra not recommended for glass tile while looking for the 2x2 limitation.

    Attached Files:

  16. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Some weird stuff happened the other day, I told the guy to bring the RV over, originally I was going to travel to his house an hour away, do the tearout, see what the substrate was made of, gather materials and have em bring it to my house. Yesterday I said bring it over, easier on me, no travel except bring the truck around the house to get closer.

    I called Mapei one more time yesterday to see if I could get new flexible material. I saw the flexcolor 3D, new stuff introduced at Coverings, it's an acrylic mix with colored quartz which the glass tile color influences into make the grout color.(not an official explanation) I asked, how much does it flex? He said not too much.

    So last night I google "flexible thinset glass tile RV floor." What came up was, The logo looked familiar, I thought a flexitions, then I remember stopping at a storefront that said Flextile, I went in, talked to someone and they told me it's for fiberglass pools, nice mosaics but I didn't have a need for their system a few years ago. So now their website says RV's, perfect, it's exactly what I need, a fully flexible system, setting and grout. I called Ardex this morning, they didn't have anything either.

    Prior to this I was going to buy silicone in a tube, squeeze it out and trowel it down with probably 1/16" square notch, or something half the height of thickness of Mosaic as to not squeeze the "thinset" upwards in the grout joints. Grout I was going to use the Mapei flexcolor 3D, but today I was not convinced it would perform.

    Flextile has some decent videos/tips, the product is not too expensive considering it's a small amount 45 ft. The owner wants a warm grey color which I called Flextile today, they said they had a grey, might work. The lady there said they're closed Friday and Monday. So picking up some material tomorrow.

    The substrate I strongly believe is only 1/2", owner said it was probably 3/4" and I acknowledged probably. I put a scribe down a drilled hole with the angle to get under the depth of plywood. So trying to confirm what's under the center of RV. I have one inch nails, planning on adding 1/4, but now 3/8" and need some shorter staples. What I've seen so far from underneath is the substrate, inch an half of styrofoam and 1/4" of plywood, guess it's a structure system.

    Home -

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  17. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Pro Member

    Fixed that for you... :yesss:
  18. He's working on it Hanover! :)

    Mike's like a hound dog, he never gives up on the hunt. He's going to figure it out or die trying.

    Mikey, by the time you're done your going to have a complete installation system for this application and you can corner the market and become the next Bill Gates!

    We've got a couple of dealers who we do business with that specialize in doing custom upgrades to high end RV's and coaches. They're both near manufacturers and they'll literally will take the thing right off the assembly line across the street to the customizer and do the upgrades before they are shipped to the buyer. Some of the stuff they tell me they are doing would make me lose sleep. :) But, they make a darn good living doing it. Much like what you're doing they are constantly sourcing products for the "outside the box" installs. I'd be a nervous wreck!:eek:
  19. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Well yes, I'm having issues with grout color. The wife wants warm grey to go with Seafoam color glass. I don't have a clue about color, I know what I like.

    I asked the Ardex guy, then how do they put marble and granite on the floors. He thinks it's a floating system, I said I'd like to see it 5 years down the road, and I see cruise ships with flooring(granite) issues.

    I seem to be using systems just developed by the inventors.

    So I go looking for my bostich stapler for some short fasteners for the underlayment, find it and it's taped with "broke" on it. I take it apart and stop the cylinder is crumbled plastic, bought another one on Amazon, same model to use as reference to buy repair parts.

    Owner didn't want white grout, I'm leaning toward Premix, or possibly the tube silicone that Mapei sells in warm grey.

    Wondering what underlayment I'm going to use. Home Depot didn't have a lot of choices. Lowes has some 1/4" oak sheets, then Pine bc exterior grade adhesive. Wondering about moisture vapor movement, and I had windows closed and 91 outside, 105 inside. Temps not tolerated by LVT, the Flextile guy today says RV owners are putting in. So many obstacles!
  20. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Got some underlayment down. The 3/8" pine piece I put in the water held together, no delamination. It did soak a bit of water, softer and spongy,but not much I can do. Whatever filler the manufacturer used I sorta like it, fasteners went in good, integrity seemed fine. I stapled the hell out of it with 3/4" staples. The nails I had to cut with the small bolt cutter to 3/4". I hit a wire below, the thing burns down I don't get paid, so I'm not going through bottom layer of plywood no matter what. Stapled every 3-4" in field.

    Some reason at plywood joint of subfloor the whole floor dropped 7/8" in 3 ft. I look down the line of RV and it looks straight. The drop is before the rear axle, owner seemed to be fine with that. The underlayment layout was better turned sideways where the drop was, plywood folds that way better so worked to my advantage. Shut the AC and listened for squeaks, just one little spot, tapped with hammer and it went away.

    Mosaic layout is tomorrow, the setting material place won't be open on Monday so gonna precut sections prior to installing. Grout won't arrive till Friday. Local distributor could only get 4 gallons of warm grey premix because it's only available to lowes in which I searched many stores, 100 miles away was the closest. So I'll go with Flexcolor CQ(colored quartz) whatever issues that will bring.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.