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Old 11-11-2018, 08:36 AM   #1501
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I think holes and lashing them together may be your best bet, and might do that with a twine or cord of some sort, like something perhaps used for sails?

Rather than standing on your head, trying to figure out how to hold the pieces together so as to withstand daily “thrashings” and “beatings”, IB, you could consider alternative methods of preventing or removing debris continuously tracked inside and onto these by your own feet.

This is not a “van living” problem, sweetie, but one you seem determined to create.

Seriously, these are not inexpensive, and certainly not made to withstand aggressive daily beatings by their human owner.

Perhaps lash together tightly, back off some on how to keep them clean.

Maggie
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:11 AM   #1502
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
....

This is not a “van living” problem, sweetie, but one you seem determined to create.

...
There's a very easy and efficient way to resolve this disagreement:

You gather up another able-bodied adult and spend two weeks off-grid cutting massive amounts of spruce forest while living and working out of your Interstate, in all weather conditions, with an active dog to boot.

Until you yourself have LIVED that scenario, then I don't see how you are able to comment productively on the NEEDS of that scenario.

In other words, how do you know what specific cleanliness challenges are associated with that situation, if you have never tackled that situation? I'm very curious about the source of your knowledge on this one, sweetie.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:46 AM   #1503
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It’s a situation specific problem, IB, and that’s all.

I haven’t spent two weeks at your site, doing what you do, but have spent that amount of time at beaches and other equally dirt and debris generating places, with a dog and a husband.

The beautiful, individual carpet tiles you have purchased are not made to withstand what you say you will put them through, is what I’m pointing out.

If you find an effective way to lash them together, will that lashing and what these are made of hold up to what they will endure every day?

Do you have a heavy duty mat to scrape your work shoes on before coming inside?

That is something meant to withstand heavy handling and shaking, hosing down, etc., and have you considered removing footwear before coming inside?

Just think about it, and perhaps rethink a bit, is all I’m sayin’.

You’re a STEM person, and complicated solutions are your thing...but not the only thing.

Maggie
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:50 AM   #1504
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Thinking more about how to hold these together, to sort of make area rugs, a durable fabric-type material sewn or otherwise adhered to the backs might be better than a thread or twine type.

Maggie
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:16 AM   #1505
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The FLOR product appears to be commercial grade (loosely defined).

It's construction is at least as robust as the other commercial products I've used in the van, including my existing commercial restaurant mat. This I can see by basic observation.

I have beat the crap (crap = sawdust, tree sap, caked muck, swamp slime, etc.) out of my restaurant matting. I've hosed it off. I've scrubbed it outdoors with Dawn dish soap as well as solvent-heavy products, and totally submerged it in buckets of water. Heck, I've even thrown the stupid thing into the lake itself. Not only did it survive all of that abuse, it actually still looks brand new. That's what a commercial product is built to do - take that kind of abuse and clean up well.

But IIRC, you were the one who noted that the thing is ugly. Totally agreed. It's just a butt-ugly restaurant mat.

Administrative controls haven't worked well on keeping the filth out of our van. Typically by the time we are done working for the day, we are so incredibly exhausted that we just pile into the van and collapse on the couch, filth and all. Which doesn't really add that much incremental filth, given what the dog has already dragged in from a day of digging in the muddy forest floor for rodents. When the dog first learned that she was "allowed" to dig in the forest (not in our suburban back yard), she became so overjoyed and dragged in so much mud that I ceased being able to see the true color of our previous runner mat, the one that I had used before the restaurant mat, and that promptly fell apart.

Time will reveal how the Flor will stand up to that same abuse. I predict based on its tangible quality that it will stand up well. But we'll see.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:26 AM   #1506
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I believe I said your floor tiles are gorgeous, IB, and they are.

They are also in squares that you want to bind together, unlike a continuous piece of a restaurant mat, which is going to make a difference as to how that binding and what it’s attached to...the squares...holds up.

It is impossible to keep outside dirt, debris, sand, etc., entirely outside, that has also been my experience.

I try to control how much gets inside, tho it’s still an impressive amount.

At any rate, I’m just trying to help you problem-solve.

It’s what I do, too, we just do it differently,

Maggie
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:33 AM   #1507
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You might think about taking your Flor tiles up when you go to work on your property, reverting to the ugly mat which may better withstand all it must be subjected to.

Maggie
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Old 11-17-2018, 05:57 PM   #1508
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I'm trying 2 mm zip ties as a tough means of attaching these Flor tiles to one another without attaching them to the floor, or getting mixed up with adhesives or tapes that might cause problems when I later take the tiles out to hose them off (or dunk them in the lake). Blog post with instructions here.

The 19.7" width of the tile is virtually identical to the width of the wet bath door, so it makes for a nice fit... but what on earth prompted the manufacturer to choose 19.7", I wonder? Not 19.6" or 19.8"? There was probably a rationale in there somewhere.

Here's a wide-angle GoPro shot from above of the pair in front of the slider, which I had to trim to fit as well as lash together.

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Old 11-17-2018, 10:37 PM   #1509
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I’m guessing they are 50cm. We in the US are in the minority when it comes to units of measurement.
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:52 AM   #1510
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I’m guessing they are 50cm. We in the US are in the minority when it comes to units of measurement.
You are probably correct. It seems to be a Georgia company (America's Georgia), but perhaps they also sell abroad.

They are targeting a rarefied market segment. I was in the BORG yesterday (Big Orange Retail Giant) and as I was getting 2 mm zip ties, I cruised a few additional aisles. It's astonishing what is being offered now in terms of flooring, and at what price. Thick composite wood-look vinyl which is attractive and basically indestructible (lifetime warranty which in Houston basically means it can survive being submerged under three feet of flood water for six days) in the price range of $2 - $3 per square foot. Compare that to this carpet which is $6.75 to $8.60 per square foot. Flor is only going to have so many takers at that price.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:33 AM   #1511
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Flor is considered a luxury product. They have showrooms with design services and offer exclusive patterns and colors that appeal to a lot of folks both residential and commercial. They aren’t chasing the Home Depot crowd.

We looked into it when we remodeled our basement. I do think it is a good product but I was also surprised at the prices. They did put a really lovely design together for us and were very professional. We went a different route in the end (cork flooring—which has since become my favorite flooring material).

I’m pretty sure IKEA has carpet squares too and that they are far more economical.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:50 AM   #1512
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Not to be too caviler, but what about taping the backing with duct tape, and re-taping after cleaning?
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:49 AM   #1513
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Not to be too caviler, but what about taping the backing with duct tape, and re-taping after cleaning?


Duct tape won’t stand up well to immersion. I could re-tape, yes, but I like tinkering and so that’s why I’m experimenting with other methods that might produce less hassle and greater versatility.

It occurred to me this morning that I have some leftover gray tapestry floss from when I bound the edges of my perforated aluminum table top. I might try some center knots to augment the corner zip ties. That will prevent all the weight from bearing on the corners when I pick these up for cleaning.

The purpose, again, is to have something that looks great AND takes all the abuse without requiring special treatment. “Less stuff but higher-quality stuff” proves to be the most functional option time and time again. I have found that life off-grid is about a hundred times easier when stuff just works without requiring heroic measures. Otherwise, yes, I’d go with some IKEA product or something similar.
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:24 AM   #1514
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I think the zip ties are a good way to go, IB, but would add something fabric-like that adheres to the backing that will keep the parts from moving too much when you clean them.

Otherwise, I fear the backing will give way, develop holes, etc.

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Old 11-19-2018, 06:01 AM   #1515
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If you think you would be able to sew them physically together, then I think that would be the most satisfactory solution.

The zip tie method to me is less than ideal because of the physical bump needed for the tie-keeper to be there.

Or there may be some marine-specific tapes that would perform better than BORG duck tape.

You might be able to use a fuse-on product as a backing for sewing the squares together. (I'm thinking of those knee patches our moms ironed on our jeans when we were kids.) A half-circle of that over the intersections, with a heated fuse of the mending patch, and then a basting together of the pieces. Filaments to consider would be fishing line, dental floss, or the tapestry thread. Is there sunbrella thread? A non-rotting thread would enhance the life of the seam.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:27 AM   #1516
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Forgot to add that there are many types of upholstery needles. Get a pack if you don't have one. There is a curved one that may be easer to use. Sew like a surgeon with pliers.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:53 AM   #1517
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Teeny tiny drill bits. Drill holes in that tough backing first, less wear and tear on the fingers. I do have tapestry needles from when I did my computer table project.

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Old 11-19-2018, 08:30 AM   #1518
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I must have missed it in a previous post, sorry, What is it about the adhesive disks that is or will not work.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:33 AM   #1519
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Hi, you don’t think the adhesive ‘dots’ that come with the FLOR tiles to join them together will work out? Works fine for me. I think you can get more dots so you could have more adhesive junctures than corners and middles. I‘d worry the zip ties are going to create bumps in the corners and ruin the look.
As for keeping them clean, I just run our small Dyson rechargeable vac over them every couple days and they’re spotless. Honestly I’ve never thought about bringing them outside to ‘beat’. They seem to stay clean.
Good luck whatever you decide!
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:45 AM   #1520
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IB
I must have missed it in a previous post, sorry, What is it about the adhesive disks that is or will not work.
Those were designed for light-duty static residential use. They keep the tiles from sliding around on a dry house floor - they don't adhere the tiles together.

I'm looking for a method that will attach them strongly enough to allow me to take them outside the van and beat them with a stick. Or throw the three groups of them in the lake when they get too muddy.

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