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Old 05-15-2017, 04:39 PM   #1
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Flooring insulation and Subfloor

Hi again everyone!

I am still making slow progress on my conversion!

I have successfully removed all the seats/heater and wheelchair ramp, removed the floor, painted and patched the holes. I am now ready to install my floor insulation and sub-floor.

My question is what is the best method to adhere the insulation and sub-floor. I've ready a lot of contradictory methods. Some say to just lay the foam down, others say to use liquid nails.

I am also interested in how to adhere the plywood. I am using 3/8" plywood (to save on height space) and again I've read a lot of contradictory methods here. I've heard to try a "floating method" and others say use self-tapping or decking screws.

My current plan was going to be to use liquid nails to attach the insulation and tape the seams with aluminum tape. For the sub-floor I was going to use liquid nails to attach plywood to the insulation and then use decking screws on the seams.

Thanks again for the help and advice! )
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:23 PM   #2
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It's a personal choice, just like most of the build decisions. It all accomplishes the same thing. If you think your insulation and subfloor are going to move around, you can sure glue to your heart's content. The floating floor generally has walls or partitions installed over the top of the floating floor, so it is fastened down quite well anyway. By time you put a cabinet here and there, the floor is fastened down pretty firmly with or without glue.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:37 AM   #3
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We are leaning toward using a spray adhesive on our subfloor because of the ease of application. We have also heard some people say it is a great noise reducer while traveling. The only concern for the future would be if it ever needed to be ripped up for any reason to reinstall something. At this point I think we are counting on not doing that for at least several years.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:21 PM   #4
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I'm not understanding the purpose of using a spray adhesive. Agreed it would be easy to apply, but for what purpose? The adhesive won't reduce noise levels, but insulation will absorb a lot of the vibration and noise. The adhesive would break down over time and may not have any stickiness left after a few years, depending on many things like humidity levels.

I'm suggesting you read a number of other build threads to see how they put their floors together. I've never heard of anyone using adhesive spray. Most people simply build an insulated floating floor, depending on the cabinets and partitions to actually anchor the floor in place. The floor really won't tend to move very easily anyway. Some people use furring strips to allow for thicker insulation, but taking up that much height usually involves raising the roof of the bus to make up for interior height lost from thicker insulation installs. There are frequent discussions on how much is to much insulation. You'll notice that some bus walls have so much insulation that the windows are actually boxed in. Affectionately referred to as meat lockers on wheels.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:07 PM   #5
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Have you heard the noise rigid foam makes? The metal floor on the bus bends and pops loudly as you walk over it as well, so that is a lot of movement while stationary, let alone for traveling. Adding layers of material is not going to take that away. I have watched several videos on youtube where people have used this technique after not liking the noise of their friends' buses. Maybe they are learning from someone else's mistakes. To each his own, one of the reasons we chose to go with a bus.

I think we have also decided to just go with the liquid nails already on hand rather than getting a spray version. Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are asking, are you saying spray is not as good as liquid nails? It seemed like it would cover a better area and be much quicker and easier to use.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:55 PM   #6
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I would avoid spray adhesives, they dont hold up well or long in my experience.

A heavy set glue, large tubes work best. One very important note, make sure the glue doesnt damage the insulation.

I have had a few friends doing random vehicle jobs that have used liquid nails or silicone to attach rigid insulation and the combo dissolved the insulation where it contacted the adhesive.

Read the labels on the back and make sure it is poly safe and all that crap.

In my bus, I used liquid nails, put down the first 1" layer foil face down, taped the seams, put the 2" rigid pink down and taped the edges. Applied more adhesive and then put 5/8" plywood down.

Off cut the seams and ran a bead of glue into the seams just to be extra firm or tight. Once it was all in and freshly glued, I ran 4 inch self taping construction screws down through everything. It pulled the plywood down pretty well and sandwiched everything together before the glue cured.

All of it only took about 7 hours, I started with pre-cut insulation and plywood, ran the glue and tape, screwed glued and done. It all went together very quickly but, it is easy to say that when you are working with four foot wide building blocks haha.

I was never a fan of the wood framework on the floors, way too much cutting and trimming to fit each piece. Then you end up with delta temp differences everywhere. My entire plan was to remove all thermal bridging and gaps.

Plus, northern minnesota so, insulation is critical if I dont want to wake up blue in the morning haha.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:34 PM   #7
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I'm questioning why you need to glue the floor insulation and subfloor down. They don't tend to move. I'll admit, I put about six screws into each plywood sheet on the (ahem) floating floor. Beyond that the cabinets or furniture tend to hold the floor down.
I'm just saying I don't put any more solvent based materials in my bus than I absolutely have to. We close these things up tight during the winters, which is bad enough by itself. No solvents if I can help it.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombiepatrol View Post
Have you heard the noise rigid foam makes? The metal floor on the bus bends and pops loudly as you walk over it as well, so that is a lot of movement while stationary, let alone for traveling. Adding layers of material is not going to take that away.
I never thought of that before, somehow... So, is there no solution? You say adding layers doesn't help. So if you have a skoolie you're gonna have the groaning and popping and squeaking of metal and styrofoam? No matter what?

New2Skool Cool! Minnesota is my eventual destination! How does your insulation in your bus work for you in the Minnesota winters? Did you really just use rigid foam?
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:40 PM   #9
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My bus is like riding in a pickup truck concerning noise levels now. It's also lined with styrofoam between the spray foam and plywood. Guess what, no squeeks. All the bus noise is gone because of the spray foam.

People in warmer climates just put plywood back down on the floor, then install laminate flooring or whatever they like. Obviously you'd have to have some lavers if you're going to insulate the floor.

Clean up your steel floor, treat the rust, paint it as much as you like and then start laying down a floor. Use insulation before you put down the plywood subfloor if you wish. It's done commonly, but you should read the insulation portion of several builds to better understand.

You'll get a lot of free advice here. Read the build threads and make up your own mind.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happiinesshunter View Post
Hi again everyone!

I am still making slow progress on my conversion!

I have successfully removed all the seats/heater and wheelchair ramp, removed the floor, painted and patched the holes. I am now ready to install my floor insulation and sub-floor.

My question is what is the best method to adhere the insulation and sub-floor. I've ready a lot of contradictory methods. Some say to just lay the foam down, others say to use liquid nails.

I am also interested in how to adhere the plywood. I am using 3/8" plywood (to save on height space) and again I've read a lot of contradictory methods here. I've heard to try a "floating method" and others say use self-tapping or decking screws.

My current plan was going to be to use liquid nails to attach the insulation and tape the seams with aluminum tape. For the sub-floor I was going to use liquid nails to attach plywood to the insulation and then use decking screws on the seams.

Thanks again for the help and advice! )
you should use a t&g flooring product and glue the t&g together. insulation is a must, use fan fold at least. I got some self drilling screws from ebay to screw down the ply. just a few screws will do, mainly in the center where you walk to keep it from flexing.
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