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Old 08-03-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
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Newmar Owners Club
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Location: Melbourne, FL
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2006 Essex Bathroom Tile Project

The DW never cared for the mirrored black splashes in our 2006 Essex. Seems someone was always getting water up on them when he shaved, brushed his teeth, washed his hands, etc, . She also pointed out that newer coaches had shiny mosaic tiles in that area.

So, off to our local Home Depot to pick out some new tile!

This is what she picked. They are light weight and attached to a mesh backing for ease of handling while installing. They match the color palette of our 2006 Essex and also look very similar to the ones in the 2015 Essex!

I have never done any tile work in my life and I was mystified by the unfathomably large selection of mortars and whatnot in the tile department! And then, I noticed this product...

We decided to give the product a try as slopping mortar around inside the motorhome didn't sound like fun. The two mirrors we removed in the baths were 18" x 18" each or 4-square feet total. The mosaic tile comes in 12" x 12" sheets so of course I purchased five sheets.
In addition to the tiles and magic sheets, we also purchased grout, a tile float, a sponge, some 2" wide duct tape, and a six-pack...

Safety First! Wear gloves and eye protection as you will be dealing with the possibility of handling broken glass!!!

Step 1: Put beer in fridge.

Step 2: Using a box cutter, cut the silicone bead at the bottom of the mirror.

Step 3: Tape the mirror with the 2" wide duct tape. This will hold the broken glass if (when) you break the mirror removing it.

Step 4: Once you have it all taped up it is time to pry the mirror off the wall! It is held on at the edges and in the middle with double-sided tape and in the field with black silicone rtv...Newmar didn't want those mirrors flying around inside the know in case you happen to autocross your motorhome or something...

Note that I have removed the duplex outlet from the bottom of the medicine cabinet to give me more room to remove the mirror.

Yes, I actually managed to get this one off without breaking it!

Step 5: Clean up the area where the mirror was and prep the area for the magic Simple Mat. Prep instructions are on the Simple Mat packaging. I used denatured alcohol to ensure a clean, dry surface.

Step 6: Lay out your tile and cut them and the Simple Mat to the size of the area you are tiling. In our case this was the same as the mirrors removed.

Step 7: Place the Simple Mat where the old mirror was by simply pressing onto the wall. WARNING: Take your time and make sure you have it where you want it. You only get one chance as the adhesive on the back side is very...adhesive! I would suggest only peeling back a little bit as you can fold the sheet back and pull off the rest when you are sure you have it where you want it.

I used the tile float to press the Simple Mat firmly to the wall, ensuring it adhered to the surface. Notice that there is another plastic film covering the front off the Simple Mat. Do not remove that until you are ready to install the tile.

Step 8: Time to start putting up some tile! Peel off the top plastic covering and carefully begin placing the first whole sheet of tiles. Notice I do have some tile spacers at the bottom to hold the bottom row off the solid surface countertop. The adhesive on the front of the Simple Mat is different than that on the back side. It is more of a gummy substance but, is just as tenacious in its adhesive qualities. Take your time and if you don't get it exactly right you can carefully pull off the tiles if necessary. However, once you press them down you are done, they are not coming back off.

Step 9: Now that you have the tiles set and you have used the magic Simple Mat instead of mortar you can proceed immediately to grouting your new tile instead of waiting 24-hours!

Before you start smearing grout all over the place take a couple of minutes and tape off around the area. It will save you a lot of time cleaning up later. (No, I didn't pull the wood paneling off, this is the sink in the toilet room!)

I guess I didn't want to get grout on my camera so I don't have any pictures of me smearing grout around! Since I used the premixed grout you literally just get it up on the tile and smoosh it around with the tile float. Follow the instructions on the grout container and you'll be fine. Wait a few minutes and clean off the excess with your damp sponge. When you are done you will want to keep wiping in an attempt to get the "haze" off of your shiny new tiles...DON'T DO IT! Follow the instructions and wait 24-hours then use your clean sponge and go over it with a water and vinegar solution.

Step 10: Open fridge and get beer out!



TOTAL COST: Less than $100.00

Making DW happy: PRICELESS!

Ron & Laureen Ramsey
Melbourne, FL
2019 Newmar Mountain Aire 4551
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:33 PM   #2
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That is amazing! The glue mat was great! HIGH MARKS !!!!!
charlie 62 - 2007 Four Winds Windsport - 2010 Ford Flex
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:42 AM   #3
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Nicely written, good pictures, and looks good!
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:50 AM   #4
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Looks great! And your write up and photos are wonderful!
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:53 AM   #5
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Very nice job vettesniper, very nice
Charlie, Jackie
w/Lucy the Dog & Jack the Cat
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Selah2 View Post
Looks great! And your write up and photos are wonderful!
+1 ... the documentation of the project was great and it looks even greater!

Steve & Lisa
2022 Mountain Aire 4118
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:19 AM   #7
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Nice job Ron & Laureen its added to QT's # 3.
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