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Old 12-27-2006, 03:02 AM   #1
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Hardwood Laminate Flooring

Just wanted to hear from anyone who has put laminate flooring in their bus. We are thinking about doing it, but have been getting warnings that we will have to be really careful with keeping spills and moisture off of it. Also what was your build up between the sheetmetal and flooring? (sheetmetal - 1/2" plywood - foam - flooring)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:31 AM   #2
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Glad to see your question as I'm researching it too.

I followed SeanF's bus conversion (in Flagstaff) in which he was going for really good insulation.

I've written in my notes that his floor layers were:
- Sheetmetal base
- 1/2" rigid foam insulation
- 6mm vapor barrier
- 1/2" 5-ply plywood
- Hardwood flooring (the real stuff) they scored a deal on.

I'll likely follow that approach but I'm thinking of using the laminate flooring instead of the hardwood. As long as the reports are good!
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:53 AM   #3
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Hey, cool...my site is useful! Woot!

That being said...our floor is usually pretty cold in the AM. Warmer than outside temps, but dang chilly. I can only recommend having as much insulation as possible between the walking surface and the metal base.

Oh, and the wood flooring has been great. It only creaks in on place, where we were not careful enough about having the plywood flat. Gives it that rustc ol' house feeling. Other than that, zero complaints in the 5 months we've been living in the bus.

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Old 12-27-2006, 10:33 AM   #4
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I'll add that I'm considering the laminate over the hardwood approach to keep the floor level at the absolute minimum as I have a headroom issue if I reduce it much at all. The only other solution (to get all that great insulation in the floor) is to raise the roof; I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

I got lots of great info from your site Sean...it's very nicely done and I keep checking on it to see what's new.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:37 AM   #5
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how about in floor heating?

in my next bus, (and perhaps in a small area of this bus for R&D) I want to install in-floor heating.

hot water can come from the engine while running, and a separate hot water source when parked. A standard household propane water heater can provide plenty enough heat and it much lighter than a boiler. boilers are expensive new, but can be had for free used if you keep your eyes open. One huge advantage of the boiler is that it burns diesel fuel so you don't have to carry large quantities of propane. I suppose a 3rd option if you are at a campground or someplace that gives you free electric is to use an electric hot water heater.

I would like to incorporate a heated floor with forced air heat. With my jacuzzi inside, and people in and out all the time, the door and some windows are often open even when it's freezing outside. Having a fan blow through a radiator filled with hot water works great for heating the air in the bus.

ok, i'm rambling now
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the responses. I not to concerned with the insulation as much as I am about the durability of the lamanite. I would hate to put it down and find a spilled drink (overnight) got into the cracks and swelled the floor. I want to put something in right the first time while the bus is empty.

Thanks again for all the thoughts of bus wisdom, out there.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:28 PM   #7
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I have a small amount of laminte flooring, but it is only going under the dining area. I'll use the rest of it on the sidewalls around the stairway by the entry door, I think it'll look really good there!!
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Old 12-28-2006, 02:02 AM   #8
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As all of us, I thought about this as well...really for me it came down to which one i want to put my feet on when its cold as hell outside...carpet won hands (feet?) down...course going with a good low pile (I believe thats the term) makes more sense than something like shag carpet....
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:12 AM   #9
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After I pulled up the wall-to-wall carpet in our house to replace it and saw what was under the rug and padding (and we had the carpet since new and thought we were really taking care of it) I'll never have permanent carpet again. Yuck! We left the wood floors in the house bare after that.

I'm going laminate or hardwood flooring, then if I want carpet I can use a throw rug or, for the space involved, I can get a cut-to-fit rug that's bound around the edges that can be taken out and cleaned (and the floor under it as well). I'll use vinyl or lino in the bathroom area with non-skid throw rugs.

For warm feet I'd go the route TomCat did; he installed heated mats under his kitchen and bathroom floors called Nuheat. It's on his web site here, as is a lot of other nifty stuff. I like the idea but I'm used to wearing slippers...nice warm ones!
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:26 PM   #10
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I full time in my travel trailer now, and the bus is being built to replace the trailer. I found out VERY quickly just how cold the floor gets in the winter. I wound up putting berber carpet down inside the trailer. The bus will have some tiles in the bathroom, and some laminate in the dining area, and maybe a narrow strip of tile in the kitchen in front of the sink and cabinet there. But there will be carpet in the living area, and run right down the middle of the bus to the bedroom...I want to be able to walk from the bed to the dashboard in bare feet without my toes freezing before I get back to bed again!!

The idea of putting the laminate flooring around the stairwell walls I got from someone on RV.net that had done that. It looked good, and from what I can tell wouldn't hurt to have some wood there, otherwise it's just a thin piece of sheet metal between the inside and outside....need something to buffer the outside temps with in that area!!
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