How an RV Makeover can turn a Camper into Home on the Road

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How an RV Makeover can turn a Camper into Home on the Road

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Have you noticed the huge increase in  the RV lifestyle in the last couple of years? With over 2.2 million RVs sold in the last five years alone and tens of millions more on the road already, the RV lifestyle is exploding in today’s hectic world – more than ever! The call of the open road attracts many to escape their traditional life, seek out adventure and freedom, and even take long-distance trips amid pandemic – what better way to distance yourself from others while enjoying your travel? 

How an RV Makeover can create a home on the road

RV Kitchen Makeover with Peel and Stick Tile

Image credit: purposeblog

Whatever your interests or reasons for hitting the road - whether it’s your new home sweet home or just escape for weekend getaways - a great RV or van life experience is about the allure of the road and the comfort of your transport. In order to truly enjoy the journey - even if you spend most of your camping trip outside your RV’s four walls – your RV’s interior is still what literally surrounds you when you want to relax after a long day of exploration. 

No matter the age, style, or size, it’s quite easy to give your RV or van interior a facelift with tiles in a way that best reflects your personality and lifestyle. In fact, lightweight and durable tiles are one of the best options for a mobile backsplash and flooring surface - a quick refresh with new tiles can turn a dingy camper into an inviting haven! 

Whether you’re upgrading a large motorhome, a sleek Airstream, or a tiny pop-up camper, or just dreaming about getting an RV in the  near future, we’re about to show you how tiles can transform RVs from drab to fab. Let’s get started!


What Should I Consider Before Installing Tiles in my RV?

Basketweave Backsplash in White Recycled Glass for a Mobile Kitchen

A home on the road with all the charm of a house - adding the right tiles for an RV can really make all the difference in transforming your mobile living space!

Before you go too far down the road of designing your mobile home or RV with tiles, it’s important to make sure that you’re considering the practicalities before the aesthetics.

Let’s start with the best material choice. For example, the marble tile pattern you’ve fallen in love with might look wonderful on your RV’s floor – but is it practical if it requires special maintenance and cleaning when you come in after enjoying the great outdoors? Are those large format tiles the best option for a backsplash when the constant shifting of the vehicle might cause them to crack? When choosing tiles for an RV that will be rocking and rolling, think carefully about any options that might easily be broken or damaged resulting from the shifting or vibrations that come with traveling.

Another thing to consider is weight, of course. Your RV is a road-going vehicle, so it’s important to make sure that any additions you make will not increase the load to an unfeasible degree. As certain types of RVs are towed by car, excess weight will also make control more difficult and cause dangerous driving. Keep in mind that the total weight of your camper combined with all added materials (including your tiles) should not exceed the weight rating listed on your vehicle.

In a nutshell, ideal tile options for an RV are not only lightweight and sturdy but also require little to no maintenance, because who wants to spend more time cleaning their RV than being outdoors, anyway?

What are the Pros of Tile Use in RVs?

White and gold marbled look adhesive tiles aren’t your average tile sticker

You can create a unique RV kitchen design by playing on shapes using large hexagon tiles in peel and stick format, and achieve a modern backsplash update in an amazingly affordable way!  These white and gold marbled look stick-on tiles aren’t your average tile sticker! The vinyl and aluminum sheets have heavy-duty adhesive to stay smoothly in place no matter the bumps in the road, and the gorgeous design will brighten up your cozy living space!

The right tile options can perform wonderfully as trailer flooring or wall materials in your RV kitchen while making traveling as stress-free as possible. So what really makes tiles a good option for an RV?

    • Durable – Sturdy tile options offer serious protection for your floors that can last through heavy-duty use. Tiles will not fade or discolor with extended exposure to sunlight as well, the way vinyl flooring and wall coverings can fade. Unlike vinyl flooring, you can find lightweight mobile flooring options that won’t be prone to water damage!
    • Stylish – With a variety of styles including wood-look, stone-look and other patterns, tiles can elevate your décor with rustic, classic, modern or many other styles that will leave you saying ‘wow’ about your home on wheels!
    • Low Maintenance – Tile flooring and backsplashes require a simple sweep and damp wipe to keep in good shape! Porcelain tiles are pre-sealed, meaning no need to seal them to avoid stains from dirt, mud or spills. This makes them an ideal floor option when you’re tracking in trail dust, sand, or mud.
    • Slip-resistant – Anti-slip tiles provide good traction and footing for you while on the road, and also avoid paws slipping on floors if your pets are joining you on your adventures! 
  • Won’t absorb odors – Unlike carpets can trap and hold smells, tiles allow you to easily wipe away dirt and debris that can cause odors. 

What are the Best Materials for RV Use Tiles?

We’ve covered that you want tiles for your mobile trailer to be lightweight, flexible for travel, strong, and stylish - so what are the best tile materials for a home on the road?

  • Adhesive Tiles – Easy to install and affordable, peel and stick tiles will amaze you with their variety for an RV kitchen backsplash. They’re best for indoor wall use, and our strong adhesive is more than a match for rattles and shakes. The best part? It only takes a few hours to snazz-up your RV or converted van with these tiles!  
  • Porcelain Tiles - Strong and light, porcelain tiles are a gorgeous and smart option for a camper, van, or RV floor or wall covering. They’re an amazing price point for the strength and longevity, withstanding even heavy wear and tear as a lightweight flooring option! No need to worry about scratches, water damage, or other issues that can arise from laminate or vinyl flooring in a mobile setting! They can mimic marble, wood, and almost any other surface, allowing you to transform your home on wheels into a cozy cottage or luxurious getaway!
  • Glass Mosaic Tiles - Mesh-mounted glass mosaic tiles are a great option for an RV shower, backsplash, or bathroom floor! You can install your favorite glass penny round tiles or subway mosaics to create a homey look in your van or camper. Always use a glass adhesive and install to mosaic tile specifications - the grout joints can allow for some flex and movement that will help avoid cracking as the vehicle is in motion. Recycled glass mosaics are a great choice, as they are both beautiful and durable!

When installing peel and stick tiles in your RV kitchen -

Adhesive tiles - like our Silver Grey Picket Peel and Stick Tile - can transform your RV into a chic living space!

Adhesive tiles - like our Silver Grey Picket Peel and Stick Tile - can transform your RV into a chic living space!

- Make sure there’s at least 8”- 9” between the burner and the tile surface, or a back-control panel on the stove to provide distance.

- Give at least 2” of distance between the peel-and-stick backsplash tiles and other appliances that produce heat such as toasters and instant pots. 

- Unlike vinyl tile stickers, our high-quality vinyl and aluminum peel and stick tiles have a strong adhesive that can withstand the movement of life on the road. As long as they’re installed according to their guidelines - we recommend not installing stick-on tile over old tile - they should be more than up to the task of van life or RV living!

Here, you can discover more peel and stick backsplash tiles for your budget-friendly RV upgrade. We’ve even written a ‘how to’ guide’ to teach all the tricks for a DIY project regardless of skill or experience!


The Best RV Floor Tile -

Let’s face it, the most used and worn out parts of an RV are often the flooring, and a great remodel starts from the ground up — quite literally. If your floors are a mess, nothing else in your rig will truly shine, no matter how much time, effort, and cash you pour into your furniture and accessories.

Thinking of transforming an outdated camper into a space that’s filled with Scandinavian coziness?  Lightweight porcelain tiles are one of the favorite options for RV owners

Thinking of transforming an outdated camper into a space that’s filled with Scandinavian coziness?  Lightweight porcelain tiles are one of the favorite options for RV owners as they allow them to create a unique wood-look while keeping all the benefits of porcelain - easy to clean, great for pets and kids too! 

Would you ever guess these natural wood planks are actually porcelain? Tile Club’s Vancouver Miel Wood Look Porcelain Tile offers welcoming interior style along with sturdy flooring design.

Would you ever guess these natural wood planks are actually porcelain? Tile Club’s Vancouver Miel Wood Look Porcelain Tile offers welcoming interior style along with sturdy flooring design.

Whether it’s ripping up your dingy carpet or upgrading from old vinyl tile, laying new tile flooring is the perfect base off which to build a flawless RV renovation. Porcelain tile has similar surface texture as natural products like stone and wood, while being waterproof and sturdy – an ideal choice for RV owners who prefer beauty with durability!

Another nice thing about porcelain tile is that since the area is small - and the affordable cost per square foot -the cost for materials usually is smaller than you expect too.

The Best Backsplash Tile for RV Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart of any house, and that includes ones on wheels!

While the floor in your RV goes through a beating, have you thought about kitchen walls? Giving them a fresh coat of paint is an obvious solution, but the kitchen backsplash easily gets dirty and cam hold odors - this is a huge factor in a tight space. In fact, paint doesn’t protect the wall, but can deteriorate faster with heat and humidity, not to mention how difficult it is to clean splashes on a painted wall than on a tiled surface.

This white hexagon backsplash and copper farm sink are total kitchen goals - can you believe this is an RV Camper Kitchen?

White hexagon backsplash tiles can complete a kitchen décor with warm and natural tones just like in this camper, and instill your home on wheels with a minimalist style that’s attractive and cozy!

Our White Recycled Glass Hexagon Mosaic Tiles are up to the challenge for an RV or camper kitchen makeover!

Our White Recycled Glass Hexagon Mosaic Tiles are up to the challenge for a life on the road!

As your RV kitchen is one of the most visually prominent parts of your interior, a tile backsplash is not only an upgrade from the outdated wallpaper, but also an opportunity to show off the style you’re going after. And if you want to make kitchen décor more enjoyable with a tight budget, look no further than peel-and-stick tiles for a backsplash that’s both affordable and beautiful! 

The Best Tiles for RV Bathrooms

The joys of owning an RV include not leaving your favorite amenities at your house. That includes your bathroom too! We all need some time to relax in the bathroom, regardless of what size it is. While this small room may seem insignificant, even just a few minor adjustments will give your RV bathroom the style and function you prefer so that the space can feel like a traditional bathroom – just smaller, of course. 

Tiny bathroom remodel with penny round mosaic tile shower

Using a minimalist design with wood-looking floors and a penny round tile shower made this camper bathroom look as inviting and relaxing as a spa! 

Tiling a bathroom is a quick job because it’s small – consider adding water-resistant tiles above the sink and around the shower area to keep the walls dry and safe from water splashes while making the space look more polished. If the bathroom is feeling drab, tile is a guaranteed way to turn around a blah bathroom into a relaxing mobile spa! 

Our recommendations for a tiled RV bathroom that provides protection from water but won’t add much weight?

A lightweight penny round tile with mosaic backing - like our Grey Pearl Penny Recycled Glass Mosaic Tile - is ideal for camper shower walls and floors!

A lightweight penny round tile with mosaic backing - like our Grey Pearl Penny Recycled Glass Mosaic Tile - is ideal for camper shower walls and floors! It’s a slip-resistant floor tile and can be easily wiped clean after use to avoid lots of scrubbing while you travel.

For a charming wood look floor that won’t add weight to an RV bathroom, our Gems Bianco White Wood Look Porcelain Tile is a gorgeous wood finish tile

For a charming wood look floor that won’t add weight, our Gems Bianco White Wood Look Porcelain Tile is a gorgeous wood finish tile that is safe for bathroom floors. The water-resistant surface won’t swell or cause water damage the way a vinyl floor would, or peel like a laminate.

Installation Tips when Tiling RVs

Because your RV bounces, vibrates, and has all the impacts of a moving vehicle, you want to take some extra precautions to improve the longevity of tiled surfaces when remodeling your camper. Keep the following tips in mind to have a stress-free tiling experience for your mobile home on wheels!

1- Build on a Sturdy Foundation

Tiling a house on wheels requires a tile foundation that’s sturdy enough to avoid bending while minimizing the transfer of motion to the tile. For that reason, a minimum of ½” thick plywood is needed to provide stability for tiled walls, and at least ¾” thick plywood is required for the floors to prevent deflection. Finally, consider installing an uncoupling membrane on top of the ¾” plywood floor before laying tiles to better eliminate the transfer of stress to the tile layer, which helps prevent loose or cracked tiles. 

2- Waterproof Shower Walls and Pans 

For any shower enclosure, a waterproofing membrane behind the tile is needed to ensure tiles stay in their best shape despite shifting or vibrations. Similarly, using a shower pan for the flooring is the best solution to create a bathroom that’s less likely to leak if the flooring shifts. 


3- Choose the Right Adhesive and Grout 

Tiles that withstand years of travel comes with another trick, and that is the use of flexible adhesive and grout. Vertical spaces including backsplash and shower wall applications might benefit from these products as they’re more flexible to handle the road wear and tear, however you should always consult the tile manufacturer’s instructions for the proper adhesive and grout options before making the final decision. 

Small Space Living with a Camper Bathroom Remodel

Image credit: @the.activ

A lightweight and semi-flexible subway tile glass mosaic - like this cozied up kitchen and shower - is a great choice for life on the road!

Recycled Glass Subway Mosaic Tile In Grey Wood Color

Whether you’re traveling in a vacation home, working on the road, or enjoying a full-time RV life, you want it to be a space that you love. There’s no doubt having a properly working engine keeps you rolling for your next destination, but it’s how you feel inside your RV which really makes or breaks the whole experience! So, what better way to love your home on wheels than to make it feel entirely your own?

RVs also mean spending time in nature, and this allows everything from mud to water and snow to find its way into your space. The last thing you want to do is spend extra time and energy to keep everything clean instead of spending more time out in nature! That being said, giving a tile upgrade can bring style to your house on wheels without blowing your budget or weight restrictions, while easily keeping the space clean and in top shape for many years. 

From shower to kitchen backsplash to the entire flooring of your RV, choosing the right tiles can take your space to the next level, in almost any style you desire. 

Not sure how to incorporate tile into your RV’s interior? Contact our team so that we can help with a design that meets all your needs!

Tile Club
Tile Club 30/11/2021

Hi Joshua,

Peel and Stick tiles are never recommended for a shower or other situation where they will be exposed to running water- even with a Schluter backing, the adhesive is not meant to stand up to water and the vinyl tiles will peel off.

We recommend smaller porcelain tiles or a mesh-backed glass mosaic tile for your shower – both are
relatively lightweight, water-resistant, extremely durable, and using smaller tiles with grout lines between allows them to flex slightly with the movement of the bus to avoid potential cracks over time.

You can filter these by color/price/shape to help narrow down the look and feel that you like!
https://www.tileclub.com/collections/glass-mosaic-tile
https://www.tileclub.com/collections/porcelain-tile

Joshua
Joshua 30/11/2021

Hi,

I have the bus conversion to RV. I am having trouble to find the right tiles for Shower. Its possible to use tiles with Peel and stick on the Schluter Kerdi ??

if not, any best suggest for the tiles on the Schluter kerdi? I want to aiovd the best possible to using to much weight on the bus because of mud and etc.

Thank you your time.

Joshua

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