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Author Topic: Laying tile in bus; suggestions?  (Read 3468 times)
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« on: August 29, 2006, 11:19:14 AM »

I want to lay some tile in the bus. (ceramic) Never done it before, although I own plenty of buses with tile in them. I'm sure that there is a trick to it, guidelines to be followed. I've seen some incredible tile work here lately, as this is gaining in popularity. Even in stepwhells!
Ideas, suggestions, tips!
Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2006, 11:32:16 AM »

I've laid a TON of ceramic tile in houses. Never in a bus, but I'm sure that you'd follow the same recommendations, but with some modified mastics and grouts to provide more flexible bonds.

You should lay tile over a rigid backerboard product. I prefer Hardibacker, a proprietary cement/gypsum product that's lighter and easier to cut than trad'l. concrete boards. 1/2" is what you'd need for a floor. Choose a mastic with an admixture for "difficult" installations and you should be OK with the movement of the coach.

Get a good tilesetting book, if you've never done the installation before. I highly recommend Michael Byrne's Setting Tile for newbies and intermediate tilesetters alike.

Keep in mind the add'l. weight and headroom loss of the tile application. Some busnuts choose hardwoods or laminate flooring products for these reasons.


Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO

« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2006, 12:14:04 PM »

There is a new plastic material they use for tile that replaces cement board.  It allows the floor to flex without the ceramic tile cracking.  The tile in my house was done this way and no problems after almost five years.

This plastic stuff is now at Home Depot in a roll.  It is a whole lot lighter than cement board.

Brian Elfert

« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 04:58:40 PM »

Busted do yourself a favor and try laying the tile on a 45 degree angle to the bus. It will take the bowling alley affect away and draw a lot of attention. It may take a little more tile but well worth the effort! I did two busses this way one using 12 inch Pure vinyl tile that looks like real ceramic and Pure vinyl wood plank. Both broke up the straightness and really got a lot of positive comments from on-lookers! Now that I think about it, I think Jack Conrad did his real wood this way and it looks real good as well!

There is a thin set for ceramic called Flex-bond and is used specifically for moving items such as busses!

Hope this was a help to you my friend!

Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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Nick & Michelle Badame

« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 06:43:38 PM »

Hi Busted,

Ace is correct, FlexBond is the proper way to go.  $50.00 a bag and worth every penny.

I haven't seen it at HD or Lowes. I purchaced it at our local tile and marble supply house.

My marble floors sustained over 20,000 miles now, without a crack or split....

Good Luck

Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
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73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida

« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 01:44:37 PM »

  Yes, I did my Australian Cypress floor by laying the boards at a 45 degree angle.   We also laid the ceramic tile floor in the bathroom at a 45 degree angle. We have had a lot of compliments on both.
   I am presently getting a fire damaged 45' Spartan motorhome ready to cut the rear frame with a Cummins engine and Allison automatic transmission for a busnut in Texas. I had to cut away part of the OEM motorhone interior floor above the rear/tag axles. They had laid ceramic tile using the new plastic "bumpy" stuff. I have never seen tile this difficult to remove!. Each 8" x 8" tile had to be remoced in pieces.  This stuff really works. I don know what type of adhesive/thinset was used.  Jack

Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
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"The Mighty GMC"

« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2006, 04:15:30 PM »

The Flexbond works great.....

My Brother told me about it when I had to replace some tiles where my slab under the tile in my house had cracked.

5 years later....No cracks.....

I would highly recommend it in a coach.


1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain

« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2006, 06:55:32 AM »

We used epoxy setting materials for laying the tile.  Using additives on the grout would be a good idea as well.
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2006, 10:09:43 AM »

I just did my tile floors.  I used Flex-Bond and went right over the Advantec subfloor.  I bought it at HD.  The local flooring shop suggested it.  They use it on the old lake houses that have spongy floors where the owners don't want to replace floors.
Greg Paciga (S.Ga)
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4 years and I'm almost there. N.J. Transits Rock!


« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2006, 06:34:54 PM »

We used epoxy setting materials for laying the tile.† Using additives on the grout would be a good idea as well.

Epoxy is the way to go. I did ceramic tile in the bathroom shower walls using both epoxy adhesive and (glow in the dark) epoxy grout. Got about 15k miles and no problems. I have detailed install directions at:


Might take some time to locate the pics and comment but it's worth it.

Greg Paciga (S. Ga.)

Don't think your going to do a conversion overnight. I did and 4 years later I'm still only 85% done. LOL† SmileySmiley

Why??† Because I did it right. Check out my any of my 900+
pics posted on Community webshots.com
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