Luxury Vinyl Tiles + Shrinkage??

tmsnyder

Active member
Oct 7, 2019
422
85
28
Buffalo NY
Hi I'm thinking of covering the floor in the GMC with luxury vinyl tiles. They are 12x12, self adhesive, and can be installed tight against each other or left with a space between them like a regular ceramic tile and grouted. I found some that I think will look nice in a tan/ biege tone at the local home improvement store. I'm considering installing them with about a 1/4" gap in between the tiles and then grouting them.

I used similar tile in my recent kitchen upgrade and I like them a lot, however, my kitchen doesn't see the tremendous temperature changes that the GMC will see. It's pretty much 70-80F in my kitchen year round, but in the RV it's going to see everything from -20F to 120F. I wonder with all the expansion/contraction, will cracks open up alongside the tiles in the grout? The grout is supposed to be flexible, the tiles are flexible, but still.....
 

Christo

Administrator
Staff member
Oct 4, 2019
251
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Weymouth, MA
Hi I'm thinking of covering the floor in the GMC with luxury vinyl tiles. They are 12x12, self adhesive, and can be installed tight against each other or left with a space between them like a regular ceramic tile and grouted. I found some that I think will look nice in a tan/ biege tone at the local home improvement store. I'm considering installing them with about a 1/4" gap in between the tiles and then grouting them.

I used similar tile in my recent kitchen upgrade and I like them a lot, however, my kitchen doesn't see the tremendous temperature changes that the GMC will see. It's pretty much 70-80F in my kitchen year round, but in the RV it's going to see everything from -20F to 120F. I wonder with all the expansion/contraction, will cracks open up alongside the tiles in the grout? The grout is supposed to be flexible, the tiles are flexible, but still.....
Valid concern. The tiles themselves should have a datasheet which may help.
 

RF_Burns

Member
Oct 3, 2019
74
25
18
Ontario Canada
I installed 12x24" vinyl tiles back in 2016. They are stick-down but since I put a new layer of wood over the existing plywood, I used some adhesive I got from the flooring store. No shrinkage yet, but the Murray lives in a heated shop so it has not seen excessive freezing temperatures yet. It does see some pretty hot temps sitting out in the summer sun though.
 

tmsnyder

Active member
Oct 7, 2019
422
85
28
Buffalo NY
The box says to install only in interior spaces, doesn't say 'conditioned' although maybe it's implied.

I'm just remembering, I had a 1959 canned ham with original floor tiles, they went through the same torture for 60 years and still looked 'ok'
 

Christo

Administrator
Staff member
Oct 4, 2019
251
68
28
Weymouth, MA
The box says to install only in interior spaces, doesn't say 'conditioned' although maybe it's implied.

I'm just remembering, I had a 1959 canned ham with original floor tiles, they went through the same torture for 60 years and still looked 'ok'
Those probably weren't self-stick, though.
 

LarryW

Member
Oct 14, 2019
87
41
18
Menomonie, WI.
I used vinyl flooring I got from Lumber Liquidators. Tranquility comes in lots of colors and designs. The pieces are 7" X 48" snap together to make a waterproof floor. If you have a compound miter saw and a table saw, this is an easy "put down". Did my floor from the steps back to the bedroom in a couple of hours. Trimmed it with 1/4 round of same color. There is a foam kind of under layment that I tacked down under it so it could move a little. So far, looks nice and relatively inexpensive and durable. JWID
 

pvfjr

Active member
Oct 3, 2019
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Aumsville OR
I researched this topic when I had an Airstream. It seems a lot of folks with wide seasonal temperature swings had issues with seam separation using LVT or LVP, but not everyone. I was trying to read all the threads I could, and establish a trend between the specific types and brands of LVP that had problems (or the ones that didn't). There was a hint of a consensus that "Smart Core" or similarly constructed products had a lower CTE. I still have a big pile of samples from the store that I intended to cycle through humidity and temperature tests at work so I could determine their suitability. It would be nice to have a list of CTEs for the various brands.

If I remember correctly, the thinner glue-down click-together types were the worst offenders. I think there were some floating floors with glue-together seams that fared well.

Most manufacturers won't rate them for less than 50F or so if you really read the fine print. Some MFGs have to be contacted directly before they spill the beans.

I was also planning on installing some LVP in our coach at a 45 degree angle to minimize the continuous spans of transverse or longitudinal lengths of flooring, and try to minimize pinning it down with furniture and such. I might also put a heater in our coach to keep it above freezing in the winter anyway--just seems like a decent idea somehow.
 
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MikeB

Member
Oct 26, 2019
35
6
8
Lower Alabama
I believe the thicker higher quality LVT that is designed for commercial use has laminated layers that reduce movement similar to engineered wood flooring. However I believe the flooring needs to be click or glued. In this configuration it will expand and contract as a monolithic surface again like engineered hardwood flooring. Thats what I’m hoping for at least. Leaving a 1/4”-1/2” gap on the perimeter covered by but not attached to shoe mold trim to cover the perimeters changing gap size.
 

JodyPackerfan

Active member
Feb 2, 2020
218
52
28
Racine, Wisconsin
Vinal plank is the way to go. Easy install and easy remove/replace if you want a change. If your going with the vinyl/adhesive it's always best to lay some luan plywood - very thin and easy to work with - you never know whats hit the wood in the last 40+ years that might interfere with the adhesive, it will also give you a clean smooth surface to work the tile. vinyl plank is the hot flooring these days
 

pvfjr

Active member
Oct 3, 2019
273
67
28
36
Aumsville OR
I believe the thicker higher quality LVT that is designed for commercial use has laminated layers that reduce movement similar to engineered wood flooring. However I believe the flooring needs to be click or glued. In this configuration it will expand and contract as a monolithic surface again like engineered hardwood flooring. Thats what I’m hoping for at least. Leaving a 1/4”-1/2” gap on the perimeter covered by but not attached to shoe mold trim to cover the perimeters changing gap size.
Agreed; that is essentially what I've gathered. The "smart core" type stuff is much thicker and has a sort of rigid composite substrate. They vinyl is just the top 1-2mm or a 4-5mm product. I'm crossing my fingers in a similar manner.

Vinal plank is the way to go. Easy install and easy remove/replace if you want a change. If your going with the vinyl/adhesive it's always best to lay some luan plywood - very thin and easy to work with - you never know whats hit the wood in the last 40+ years that might interfere with the adhesive, it will also give you a clean smooth surface to work the tile. vinyl plank is the hot flooring these days
Yes, vinyl plank is what we're all discussing here, but they're not all the same. There are a lot of people who have had floating vinyl plank products fail at the seams with large temperature swings.
 

tmsnyder

Active member
Oct 7, 2019
422
85
28
Buffalo NY
Kinda of why I'm not going with vinyl plank, I'm hopeful that in 15 years someone won't be able to look in and say 'ah, 2019 flooring, I remember when that was the hot thing'. I do think I'll have to put luan down, there are some random 1" holes in the floor for some reason, near the galley.

Vinal plank is the way to go. Easy install and easy remove/replace if you want a change. If your going with the vinyl/adhesive it's always best to lay some luan plywood - very thin and easy to work with - you never know whats hit the wood in the last 40+ years that might interfere with the adhesive, it will also give you a clean smooth surface to work the tile. vinyl plank is the hot flooring these days
 

Mike Perez

Active member
Oct 2, 2019
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Kinda of why I'm not going with vinyl plank, I'm hopeful that in 15 years someone won't be able to look in and say 'ah, 2019 flooring, I remember when that was the hot thing'. I do think I'll have to put luan down, there are some random 1" holes in the floor for some reason, near the galley.
I think vinyl plank becomes the new standard in smaller RV flooring. I don't think it will because it is the popular thing for the moment (although it is). I think it is because it checks the most boxes.

Reasonably priced: Check
Looks nice: Check
Easy to Install: Check
Easy to Remove: Check
Easy to Clean: Check
Holds up to Pets: Check
Doesn't get water damage: Check
Light Weight: Check

None of the other flooring options check all of those boxes. Tile is too heavy; wood scratches easy and won't like to get wet; carpet is harder to clean; etc.... I
 

JodyPackerfan

Active member
Feb 2, 2020
218
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28
Racine, Wisconsin
I think vinyl plank becomes the new standard in smaller RV flooring. I don't think it will because it is the popular thing for the moment (although it is). I think it is because it checks the most boxes.

Reasonably priced: Check
Looks nice: Check
Easy to Install: Check
Easy to Remove: Check
Easy to Clean: Check
Holds up to Pets: Check
Doesn't get water damage: Check
Light Weight: Check

None of the other flooring options check all of those boxes. Tile is too heavy; wood scratches easy and won't like to get wet; carpet is harder to clean; etc.... I
I'm with you on this Mike
JFK
 

pvfjr

Active member
Oct 3, 2019
273
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Aumsville OR
It's a personal choice, linoleum checks all those boxes too without the latest fad factor.
I would argue that linoleum does NOT check the "easy to install" nor the "easy to remove" boxes. Now a person may be skilled at it, and they may start to think it's easy as a personal opinion, and that's fine. Linoleum can't come close to LVP for ease of install for the unskilled person though. I can also remove LVP, perform a repair, and put it back again. I wouldn't attempt that with linoleum.

I agree with you about all the other boxes though. Linoleum is a great solution for RVs if the installation isn't a barrier for you. It's definitely better than LVP in terms of shrinkage concerns too. It's hard to beat the seamlessness and robustness of linoleum.
 
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MikeB

Member
Oct 26, 2019
35
6
8
Lower Alabama
It's a personal choice, linoleum checks all those boxes too without the latest fad factor.
In my experience the “fad factor“ is more design than function. Sheet vinyl is on its way out at least in its current form. Years ago it was well made but its current lower quality and minimal style choices is making a last choice for everyone except maybe health/medical facilities. Even true linoleum is making a comeback over vinyl sheets. There are many different qualities and styles of LVT, LVP and VCT because it’s easier and cheaper to make so therefore manufacturers can actual spend more of that money on quality.

The OP wants to use LVT and was wondering if it would be stable enough for a MHs extreme temp flux. My opinion is that if he buys a quality level product like Shaw then it would be as stable as anything available and better than most. If he wanted to go the wood look than it’s a toss up between engineered flooring and LVP for stability.
 
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