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Old 07-19-2017, 04:19 PM   #1
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Question No Sub Floor: Yea or Nay?

A few notes:
  • Floor will be insulated underneath (bus exterior) with closed-cell, two-part insulation.
  • Hardwood planks will be screwed to steel floor with sheet metal screws. I think.
  • A thin (~ľ") layer of non-slip padding will be sandwiched between hardwood and steel, to better secure hardwood and provide cushioning.
  • I wouldn't do this if every inch didn't matter. I need to preserve cabin height. A roof raise is not in the cards!
Why I worry:
  • I have found no examples of anyone doing this.
  • Hardwood is brittle and prone to crack.
Input is appreciated!
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Old 07-19-2017, 04:23 PM   #2
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I put a subfloor in my bus., on top of the rubber floor, and out a laminate floor on top of that.

If I were to do it again (and I will, it hasn't held up that well), I'll skip the subfloor.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:15 AM   #3
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I imagine the original floor would provide adequate cushioning for laminate. Fastening hardwood to steel, meanwhile, just seems wrong--yet I can't come up with a reason not to. If nobody else can, either, I'm going to go ahead and do it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:58 PM   #4
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How'd it work out?

I'm having a similar dilemma. Bought a 93 Ford e360 shuttle to convert to a mobile salon got part of the floor up, and there's no metal subfloor.. should I have one installed? Done extensive research and haven't found one like mine.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:24 PM   #5
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as I have said many times before... I use 2x8 on edge to make a raised floor.. ie floor joists, and put flooring on top of that after the steel floor is insulated. I do this because i choose to have sections of the floor to easily remove, and that space allows for hidden compartments, canned goods, tools, money, guns, etc to be located under the floor and no one knows the difference.
works good with roof raised.
also has helped keep floor wamer ... i reccomend this to everyone.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chev49 View Post
as I have said many times before... I use 2x8 on edge to make a raised floor.. ie floor joists, and put flooring on top of that
Could you share some pictures? I would imagine it eats into the headroom a bit.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:26 PM   #7
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doesnt eat in to the headroom as roof is raised.
is quite simple: think of house floor
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Old 09-23-2017, 02:32 PM   #8
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Yesterday we took all the seats out of our 92' GMC chevy short bus. We are currently trying to decide if it is worth trying to take the rubber flooring and the wood underneath up... We are not sure if there is a metal sheet underneath the wood or not. ANY ADVICE? Help please...
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Old 09-23-2017, 02:39 PM   #9
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Crawl under and take a peek. Most needs to come out. Skoolie windows leak famously and rot and rust floors plus many districts hose out the interiors regularly. Having a solid foundation to build on is the right way to start.
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:11 PM   #10
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Just glue the hardwood down instead of screwing it. You can definitely get away with no subfloor. I'd for sure tear out the old floor make sure theres not major rust
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:41 PM   #11
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Wood and steel expand at different rates so a direct connection might cause bowing or cracks.

I'm not very concerned about fashion so my short list of ideas includes a big sheet of linoleum running front to back in one piece. It would not eat in to headroom much, it may be waterproof enough for hose cleaning and easy to sweep or mop.

If you want wood, you might look at the system used for old (hot rod) truck beds. They have wooden planks fastened with metal strips between them. If you bolt the metal strips down and let the boards float, it should be fine.

There might be other workable systems like floating tongue and groove but I'm not sure how much they can be trusted so look it up.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:03 PM   #12
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If you are concerned about getting as much insulation as possible, synthetic carpet with rubber background has an r rating of 2 or 3 - forget the actual details.

If you are concerned with grooves or blemishes in the floor, I have heard of people using truck bed liner paint to smooth things out - no significant increase in thickness.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by pengyou View Post
If you are concerned about getting as much insulation as possible, synthetic carpet with rubber background has an r rating of 2 or 3 - forget the actual details.

.
Source

What is R-Value in Carpet?


There are many benefits to carpet in a home, one of them being the potential in energy savings when heating your home. Carpeting can insulate a home up to 10 times more than hardwood flooring.

R-value is a term used to describe the thermal resistance rating of carpet, or in plain and simple terms the insulating value. R-value is calculated not from the actual materials as much as from the thickness of the carpet. Most of the time the R-value is printed on the label of the product in the store. If the R-value for your carpet is not labeled or readily available it can be easily calculated by multiplying the carpetís thickness in inches but 2.6. the higher the R-value, the more insulating power it provides to the home.What is R-Value in Carpet?
The carpet padding also effects room temperature and some may say that the padding under the carpet does just as much or more insulating than the actual carpet itself.

Urethane padding has the highest R-value of all padding choices. The R-value rating is anywhere from 1.05 to 2.15 dependent upon the thickness of the pad. Urethane padding is low in density making it a lightweight padding choice and because it is not a dense product it is not ideal for high traffic areas. It is a great option for bedrooms, but you might want to keep it out of the hallway or family room.

Rubber padding has the lowest R-value of carpet padding. It rates between .31 and 1.61. Rubber padding is pretty dense and is still a great option for those high traffic areas like the hallway. Rubber paddings are best when they donít contain fillers.

Fiber padding has an R-value in the middle measuring in at .97 to 1.94, not too much higher than rubber padding. Fiber padding is constructed of hair or plant fibers and is also high density making it another option for a high traffic area. Being in the middle with its R-value, fiber padding, provides a pretty good warming and cooling property along with decent carpet support.

When you add both the R-value of the carpet and the pad together you will get the complete R-value and insulation value added to your home. Some carpet and padding combinations can measure an R-value of over 2.0. The combination of carpet and padding together form to create a strong barrier against heat and cool air loss depending upon the season.

If you are looking to save money on heating and even cooling bills in your home check out the R-value of carpet and padding options that will work for your home and lifestyle.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:58 PM   #14
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Carpet Cushion Council - R Value of Floor Coverings

Some hard numbers on R values of carpet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Source

What is R-Value in Carpet?


There are many benefits to carpet in a home, one of them being the potential in energy savings when heating your home. Carpeting can insulate a home up to 10 times more than hardwood flooring.

R-value is a term used to describe the thermal resistance rating of carpet, or in plain and simple terms the insulating value. R-value is calculated not from the actual materials as much as from the thickness of the carpet. Most of the time the R-value is printed on the label of the product in the store. If the R-value for your carpet is not labeled or readily available it can be easily calculated by multiplying the carpetís thickness in inches but 2.6. the higher the R-value, the more insulating power it provides to the home.What is R-Value in Carpet?
The carpet padding also effects room temperature and some may say that the padding under the carpet does just as much or more insulating than the actual carpet itself.

Urethane padding has the highest R-value of all padding choices. The R-value rating is anywhere from 1.05 to 2.15 dependent upon the thickness of the pad. Urethane padding is low in density making it a lightweight padding choice and because it is not a dense product it is not ideal for high traffic areas. It is a great option for bedrooms, but you might want to keep it out of the hallway or family room.

Rubber padding has the lowest R-value of carpet padding. It rates between .31 and 1.61. Rubber padding is pretty dense and is still a great option for those high traffic areas like the hallway. Rubber paddings are best when they donít contain fillers.

Fiber padding has an R-value in the middle measuring in at .97 to 1.94, not too much higher than rubber padding. Fiber padding is constructed of hair or plant fibers and is also high density making it another option for a high traffic area. Being in the middle with its R-value, fiber padding, provides a pretty good warming and cooling property along with decent carpet support.

When you add both the R-value of the carpet and the pad together you will get the complete R-value and insulation value added to your home. Some carpet and padding combinations can measure an R-value of over 2.0. The combination of carpet and padding together form to create a strong barrier against heat and cool air loss depending upon the season.

If you are looking to save money on heating and even cooling bills in your home check out the R-value of carpet and padding options that will work for your home and lifestyle.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marceps View Post
Hardwood planks will be screwed to steel floor with sheet metal metal screws. I think.
I would be concerned with the screws getting a good lasting "bite" on the sheet metal. You will basically get 1-2 threads of the screw in the sheet metal base. Where with a wood subfloor you get 10-20 threads in the wood base.

Also part of the job of the subfloor is to absorb pressure and weight. I would worry about the planks flexing and the screws coming loose and causing problems.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I put a subfloor in my bus., on top of the rubber floor, and out a laminate floor on top of that.

If I were to do it again (and I will, it hasn't held up that well), I'll skip the subfloor.
I am about to work on my floor of my bus. I was going to keep the rubber floor and build the subfloor on top using 1/2 x 1/2 wood dowels, so not to lose head space. Then put the plywood and the laminate. You say this hasn't held up well, and I was wondering what issues you have had?
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKKira View Post
I am about to work on my floor of my bus. I was going to keep the rubber floor and build the subfloor on top using 1/2 x 1/2 wood dowels, so not to lose head space. Then put the plywood and the laminate. You say this hasn't held up well, and I was wondering what issues you have had?
The floor of a standard school bus starts with rusty sheet metal, then a layer of waterlogged and rotten 3/4" plywood, then a nasty rubber mat. Even if you want to just leave all that there and build your new floor on top of it, you'll lose an inch of headspace that way, over and above whatever you lose from your new subfloor.

Removing the original plywood on the floor allows you to treat the rusty floor and seal any openings in it and repaint it, and you gain that extra inch as a side bonus.

There really is not a good reason to not remove the original floor, especially since it's so easy to do if you do it right. If you lived near me, I would come remove your floor for you just to prove my point.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:10 PM   #18
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My $0.02...

I spray foamed the walls and ceiling in my first bus but nothing on the floor. The floor got REALLY cold at times. No way I am going to skip it on my Bluebird. I plan on 1.5" of foam board on the floor.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:12 PM   #19
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I sorta wish I'd pulled up the floor but I was in a hurry as we were then living in an RV park and I needed to remove the old RV we were moving out of so I left the floor alone and threw down laminate flooring which has done fine but really it needed some insulation bad as the floor does get cold. The floor wasn't rusted really in mine or atleast from looking at the bottom it looked good and any holes I made the metal looked good, never found any soggy or soft spots when walking on it.
IF life ever allows I'm going to pull it up and put down HD foam board to insulate it and throw the laminate back down.
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