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Old 06-25-2017, 10:16 PM   #1
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Laminate flooring or Tile or linoleum or ???

Hello All! I need advice please. I'm renovating a shuttle bus to be a mobile art classroom on wheels. It will be used by preschool & elementary age kids. I want to know what flooring is best in the long term. Consider of course that paint, glue or other liquids could be spilled. Now I'd like the look of wood laminate flooring and it creates the atmosphere I'm going for but is it really right for my needs?
Anyone have an opinion? Thanks ahead of time for your comments.
-Mike
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:26 PM   #2
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I saw a bus conversion where he used marine grade floor material but I can't remember what it was. It was ugly, but thick, solid, waterproof, etc. If I find out what material it was I'll let u know, that would be my choice.
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Old 06-25-2017, 11:20 PM   #3
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Iheart may be talking about Better Life Technologies LLC's 'G Floor'. They have several floor coverings, and may have something for you. I do agree that their bus line was a little ughhhh.
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Old 06-25-2017, 11:27 PM   #4
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With any wood laminate read the fine print. Most of them are required to be installed in a temperature/ humidity controlled environment with very little fluctuations.

I have used an Luxurious Vinyl Tile "LVT" with a rubber back for sound deading in apartments that has held up very well. Most of these are glue down, but in a bus I would prefer to glue it to at a min exterior grade plywood. Most Walmart have a type of LVT glued down in the clothing section. I sure that is one of the more extreme environments a floor will suffer through.

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Old 07-01-2017, 03:17 PM   #5
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Well just to give you some feed back on snap laminate in the bus world. I installed mine last year on the fall. It was cool and damp air. Now that it is summer, the air is hot and dry. My floor has developed gaps due to it shrinking in the dry air. Not a big deal for me, but something to keep in mind.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:12 AM   #6
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If you are expecting spills or will need to mop etc you should just use a vinyl.if you like the look of wood they have designs with wood.its cheap and will not be bothered by moisture.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpn7777 View Post
Now I'd like the look of wood laminate flooring and it creates the atmosphere I'm going for but is it really right for my needs?
Anyone have an opinion?
Howdy Mike, since you asked...

I love tile but it is HEAVY!

Given your description (lots of kids), vinyl is probably the right choice. The current 'version' of vinyl is fairly inexpensive and very easy to install - particularly the 'floating' type that does not need staples, glue, etc. It is pretty tough but is very easy to replace when you decide you want a new look - or repair some damage. Plus, you can get nearly any color/look you want - including a wood floor.
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:56 PM   #8
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Just a couple of thoughts...

Wood is beautiful but subject to expansion & shrinkage. And from what I have seen does not hold up well to the concentrated wear patterns in most RV's & buses (everyone walks the same aisle).

The Pergo type flooring has such a very thin surface of color or woodgrain that wears and scratches through fairly easily. Also subject to swelling when wetted. Most are wood-based substrates.

Ceramic tile wears great but the vibrations and flex of a bus chassis will crack either the tile or grout pretty quickly.

Vinyl tile or planks are pretty very well suited to bus life. Good wear, easy to clean and not affected by water/moisture or flexing.

Bamboo looks good but has most of the drawbacks of any wood product.

Linoleum resists moisture but the surface of most of the roll type is very thin and easily scratched or torn. If the color is all the way through and it's not just a thin surface layer, it does not show as much.

Vinyl... Armstrong commercial vinyl tiles are tough as nails and easy to keep up. Roll vinyl flooring is usually not as tough but has most of the same advantages. Waterproof, easy to clean and very durable. That's why you see so much of it around.

Commercial carpet can actually hold up pretty well but it stains and holds moisture and dirt like crazy.

Soft rubber flooring will help kill sound and feel good under your feet but does not hold up well to traffic.

Hard rubber flooring, whether roll or in tiles, helps cancel sound, is waterproof and easy to maintain and can last for decades. The good stuff (like Pirelli) is expensive but as with most things, you either get what you pay for...or pay for what you get.

There are other possibilities and I would encourage everyone here to chime in with their experiences or opinions on these and any other possibilities.

And one last thing...remember...the wear patterns in a bus are very concentrated. 98% of your traffic will be within a narrow path down each aisle. Installing whatever you use in such a way that you can fairly easily replace the high traffic, high wear areas will make life much easier down the road.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:10 PM   #9
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for the last two busses i converted, i used the pergo type flooring, and never have had any problems with swelling, etc. I even purchased many many sheets of flooring rejects from the mfg company in washington, and used some of them on my outside deck at my house n it rains a lot in oregon... this flooring has many uses esp if one purchases it before it is cut into strips..
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:51 PM   #10
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I put ceramic tile in my last bus. It looked great and the only cracking issue I had was was one tile that I had to notch around a doorway.

However.....

It was VERY heavy. I glued & screwed down two layers of 3/4 plywood and then glued & screwed down 1/2 cement backer board. Then I applied several coats of RedGuard. Finally came the tile put down with a mastic that was supposed to maintain some flexibility.

I don't think I will do it again.
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