Find Your Tile and the Rest Will Follow
These are some of our favorite tiles. Links are attached to the corresponding picture.
It can be very difficult finding where to start in your decor decisions. I've learned that picking out tile (backsplash and/or flooring) is a great place to start in regards to making a statement. This may not be true for other people, but it's helpful to me when beginning a project.
After working on a dozen recreational vehicles, we’ve used many types and styles of tile for flooring and backsplash. Inevitably, we have a handful of favorites to share with you, but first I want to provide some insight on what we’ve learned when it comes to decorating with tile.
Oftentimes, we get asked if putting tile in an RV is irresponsible due to the added weight. Our answer is, no. The spaces in which we install tile flooring or backsplash are never large enough to be detrimental to the RV weight.
Additionally, we’ve learned some installation “do’s and dont’s” and “tips and tricks” along the way…
Recently, we started using a plastic tile membrane instead of an all-set to install tile. It definitely cuts back on weight which is obviously beneficial, but not imperative. The membrane also cuts back on the mess created by all-set and the time it takes to install the tile. Here’s a link for the membrane: https://sovrn.co/3u5u6zm
When using the tile membrane for a backsplash, I lay it in vertical strips. The width of the roll. Then I cut my tile to fit around the area. (I typically use netted tiled sheets but this method works for individual tiles as well.) I take the tile to the RV where I’m installing it to collect measurements, marking the tile accordingly to fit around the countertops and cabinetry. I start at the base of the countertop and work up towards the cabinetry.
Next, I use a wet saw to cut the tile I’ve marked. There are many types of wet saws but a super fancy one isn’t necessary. Here’s a wet saw option: https://amzn.to/3q9UwbI.
Once I’m sure the cut is perfect, I press it into the membrane with all my strength for approximately 10 seconds. This sets the tile, making any other adjustments impossible. So, make sure you place the tile sheet exactly where it needs to go.
Next, I move on to the tile above and so on. You can work right to left or left to right but I work vertically first and then move sideways, always starting at the base by the countertop. Keep in mind, it doesn't have to be a perfect cut every time, but it does need to be close. I always trim my tile. You can use molding, tile edge, marble/ceramic pencil, etc.
After you finish tiling the area, it’s time to grout! I should mention that if you are not using the plastic tile membrane and opt for all-set, it will need to set for 24 hours before applying the grout.
We use Mapei grout. Example here: https://sovrn.co/1evraoz. I do NOT recommend white. It will dull and dinge over time so pick a neutral color like gray or more of a cream over white.
You will need a grout float, sponge and bucket of warm water to start the grout. Grout float: https://sovrn.co/1e8r171.
Scoop a heap of grout onto the float and start wiping it over the tile. Make sure to push it down into all the cracks. There isn’t a “right” way to do this. Just find what is easiest for you, and go with it. The grout will need to be close to flush with the tile so make sure to fill those cracks! I work up, down, sideways and in circles. But just make sure to do it about 2 square feet at a time and wipe it down before moving on. The grout will dry quickly and will be harder to wipe off with the sponge and warm water if you wait too long.
Let the grout dry for 24 hours and use a sealer to keep any splashing from staining the tile and grout. The sealer will depend on what kind of tile you use– ceramic, marble, stone, etc. because they make sealers for all types of tile. Read the directions and apply the recommended amount of coats.
Alice Zealy, Owner of rain2shine ventures