Installing Luxury Showers on Airplanes and Private Yachts: Using Light Weight Marble

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Every day at the "Yacht Job" I learn so many things about building showers on a boat. There are a good 6-12 men working inside this 65' foot yacht and working conditions are tight - the bathrooms are small and the showers inside the "Heads" even smaller. I think the first shower I prepped had to be the smallest shower I have ever worked in.

    All three showers are getting Marble Tile. The marble will be large slabs but the slabs are super thin and light weight.

    On the back side of these thin veneer slabs of marble is a heavy duty 1/8" thick piece of aluminium - or some other kind of light weight metal. I'm told that this micro slab (thickness is 3/8" not 3/4") is as strong as full slab but comes with a huge weight savings. The Question I have is how the hell do you cut and install these panels?

    I'm heading back to boat on Tuesday and hope to leave with a sample of the stone. My guess would be to back cut the aluminmum with a No-Ferreous Saw Blade on say my skill saw and then top cut the marble with the diamond wet blade. Hmmm - Maybe that should be reversed in hind sight. Best to cut the marble and then the metal.

    The crew that will install these panels specialize in light weight construction and have used this type of marble slabs in a few Airplane Projects. Ever since I heard this - I have a strong desire to build a luxury shower on a private plane! How cool would that be?

    [​IMG]

    Better hurry up! I read that you only get five minutes in the shower per guest. I think their are 17 people in total on this planes first class lounge. Still would be fun to shower in the sky!!!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Shower Options for Airplanes

    Seems like this round space saving shower is the most popular choice for airplanes with Showers.

    [​IMG]
    Emirates.com

    How pumped would you be to be able to shower on a plane? I'm still wanting to join the Mile High Club and now I want the option of a shower after..... lol - In my dreams, in my dreams.

    This fellow taking in the view. It appears that these showers on the Emirates Planes have a bench as well. Not sure what the vent grill is and why it's inside this shower - perhaps it helps dry the shower after use???

    [​IMG]
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Light Weight Stone Options for Yachts and Planes.

    I'm still trying to find out who makes these various light weight stone panels for plane and yachts - I wish I wrote down the name last week of the supplier. My first keyword search this morning landed me on this page by FABYCOMB. They make stone panels that look like they have a honeycomb center core. This what not what I say last week but the product looks slick.

    The ships 1" subfloor has a honeycomb center panel and a floor deflection rating well over L/720. Feels so strong underfoot and the top and bottom sides are nothing more than 1/8 plywood. I would bet these light weight marble panels from Fabycomb are as strong as full slabs.... maybe stronger?

    [​IMG]
    Fabycomb - Light Weight Marble - Photo Source

    [​IMG]
    Fabycomb - Light Weight Marble - Photo Source


    Second search found this company called Marble Trend. They show a cross section (below) similar to the sample I saw last week on the boat.

    [​IMG]

    Third Search found another company doing Honeycomb Panels called Trimstone. They appear to be based out of Miami so I doubt these are the guys. The second searc his a Canadian Company and members of the TTMAC - I hope these are the ones we will be working with!

    Here is a look at TrimStone's product;


    [​IMG]

    These guys seam to have almost every option in stone.

    http://www.trimstone.info/available-stones.html
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  9. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    AIA Course: Light Weight Honeycomb Reinforced Stone Cladding System - 1 AIA HSW CE

    I found this AIA Course online researching what types of adhesives that can be used to install these panels. I have found countless examples of mechanical fasteners but not one company listing an acceptable adhesive. Most companies say an adhesive can be used but do not say what one or how to apply. I'll read the course outline above sponsored by Stone Panels and see if any recommendations are listed.

    You would have to think that the adhesive would be specific to the type of backer material. Maybe something from 3M for the marine installs.

    I'm worried about proper heat transfer from the back side of the stone panel to the top side. I'm wondering how the honeycomb design affects this.

    So much to learn with this new project.


  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Six Hours of research nets no solid answers.....

    After six hours of research and posting here on the subject of light weight stone installations I can find no solid answers to my questions. If I had to do this job myself (which I don't) my gut tells me it would be smart to first prep the back of the light weigh panels with strips of kerdi DS about 1/2" wide and then affect them to the aluminium sheets.

    Let this set up two days and then set the large light weight panel like it was a tile.

    I know Kerdi Fix bites to metal - I have proved this and tested it over and over. So have others. That's a given.

    I sent out an email to Dale Kempster from Schluter asking him his opinion on the subject and hope to hear back next week. I do not think many yachts have been built with these light weight panels and I'm all those that have been made where all build different as each crew struggles with an approach they feel is best.
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Technical Support: Stone Panels Re: Adhering Light Weight Marble Panels to Kerdi

    On Sunday I reached out to Technical Support at Stone Panels and asked a couple questions.

    Question 1). How would I attach your wall panelling to a Kerdi Shower?

    Question 2). Could I use them on the floors as well?

    I was impressed that I got an email back the following day but was less impressed with the content of the email. It appears the process can be done - that it's complicated - and that, I guess I need to order a Light Weight Stone Panel before I'm told how to install it. Here the email I received (below in Blue). I send a reply back asking again how it is done. Yesterday say no response to my second request of info....

    John,

    Our panels can be attached with adhesive, but the procedure is a bit complicated. You should know that our minimum order is $20,000 unless you wish to buy 4-ft. x 8-ft. inventory panels with limited choice of stone. In that case, cutting to size and fabrication would be done by others.

    The price for 4-ft. x 8-ft. inventory panels ranges from $1,000 to more than $2,000 per panel plus $300 crate cost plus shipping.

    Don Schroeder, Technical Service
    Stone Panels, Inc.
    100 South Royal Lane
    Coppell, TX 75019
    Ph. (800) 328-6275, Ext. 124
    (469) 635-5000, Ext. 124
    Cell (214) 668-0265
    www.StonePanels.com


    The weight savings for these panels is amazing. Up to 80% stronger and 60% lighter, or is it 60% stronger and 80% lighter. One of the two. I have found a few online install manuals that show these panels going into elevators and the like. One web page was showing the use of double sided tape set with shims and then blobs of construction adhesive. This is of course not what I want to see done with my three showers on this yacht.

    The ACO Drain has a lip of roughly 1/2" after the Kerdi DS membrane is installed over the flange with Kerdi Fix.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This drawing shows the Flanged Drain design getting installed with a liquid membrane (not my favourite choice). I wondered if installing strips of Kerdi to the back side of the light weight stone panel first and then setting it to the floor would be a good idea - having never done this before I bounced the idea past Dale. Dale asked me for more info but suggest that this not be the best idea for the floor.

    So I'm back to waiting. Waiting for Stone Panel to tell me how or waiting to here from the guys back East.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yesterday I set two of the three drains (shown above) keeping them 1/8" off of the ships sub floor. To set the two ACO drains I used some rapid setting thin-set from Mapei called Grani Rapid. This is one of my all time favourite setting materials. I'm using it specifically here for it's strength and it's flexibility. Traditional thin-set or dry set thin-set does not offer up the same flexibility as a S2 thin-set which is what Mapei's Grani Rapid is.

    Today the low voltage floor heat goes in and the Fast Pitch Honey Comb Pre-slope in all three showers. Should have some time to install the Kerdi DS to the walls, benches, curbs and floors as well.

    There appears to be many suppliers of these slabs. Here is a good close up picture of one white and one black Italian Marble. Photo is from Stone Contact.

    [​IMG]

    Photo: Image Source
    Credit: Stone Contact

    The light weight panels we will be using are different from these shown above. The ones above look more like 3/4" - 1" in thickness where the ones we will be using total only 3/8" total.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    [​IMG]

    Forza Marble Panel Install by others
    ACO shower drain install by me
    Shower waterproofing by me
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  15. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    [​IMG]

    Forza Marble Panel Install by others
    ACO shower drain install by me
    Shower waterproofing by me
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  16. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  17. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  18. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Soak Testing - Light Weight Stone Panels

    I decided to soak test my sample and first boiled up a few cups of water. The water covered my test sample completely and I notice lots of fine bubbles coming off the sample. A sign to me that little amounts of water are entering the stone. It's clear as day that lots of fill is used on these light weight stone panels.

    [​IMG]

    I checked the test today and found there to be no lose of strength from the adhesive used to fix the stone to the backer material - that's good. I will leave the stone to soak another day and then remove it - then wait to see if the stone changes in appearance.

    [video]http://player.vimeo.com/video/76732221?api=1&title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=% 20D9A366[/video]
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  19. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Forza Stone Panel: White Carrara, Crema Marfil, Light Emperador, Dark Emperador

    After some more research on light weight stone panels I found this web page - looks like the product I have a sample of is this

    Forza Stone Panel - Cream Marfil

    I have taken the sample out of the water and placed it on my cast iron radiator to dry out. After a day of sitting the stone looks the same. I did not notice any de-bonding of the stone from the alumimum backing material at all.

    The website from Forza stone is talking about 800% increase in strength - this data has to be taken from testing side by side with 1/4" stone not side by side with 3/4" stone.

    [​IMG]

    Photo: Source
    URL: http://www.forzastone.com/images/PanelsBreakdown.jpg

    Looking at this diagram it looks like the same kind of construction that the marble panel I had has.

    Looks like the parent company is from Down Under. I'm going to reach out to the tech department and ask a few questions. Might be that the samples I have are a knock of of the Forza Panel. I'll see if I can get a sample direct from this outfit....

    Forza Stone Panel Contact Info

    info@forzastone.com

    USA
    1-888-99FORZA (36792)

    Australia & New Zealand
    Specialised Stone Services Ltd.
    65A View Road,
    Glenfield,
    (PO Box, 30-1192, Albany)
    Auckland,
    New Zealand.
    Ph: 022 GO FORZA ( 022.46.36792 )
    E: forzainfo@ymail.com
    F: 09-443-6017
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
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