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Old 03-01-2021, 06:08 PM   #1
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Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose 3800FC
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Flooring?

What is everyone using for flooring in their skoolies. We've taken the floor up, ground and treated rust, painted the floor with Rustoleum, put 1x4's all around the edges, glued down 1" insulation, taped the seams, and topped all that with 3/4" tongue and groove plywood (with the insulation going crosswise and the plywood going lengthwise). However we can't decide on the top floor. I was going to just use a torch to burn the plywood and then put multiple coats of floor poly on top, but I forgot that none of the seams would match (we purposely offset them), so that wouldn't look good. Thought about laminate planks, but am afraid they'd warp with temperature/humidity changes in the bus, plus we have a large white german shepherd whose nails could do some damage to floors. Thought about getting some 1/4" plywood, cutting it into 5"◊48" planks, staining (or torching) them, gluing/nailing them to the 3/4" tongue and groove plywood, then coating them with lots of floor grade poly. We would also coat the tongue and groove plywood underneath with a couple coats floor polyurethane too. Not sure if that'd work either though. What does everyone use for their floors? And how are they holding up if you have pets?

Also are you putting the flooring down over the entire floor, then putting furniture and walls over it or are you building everything out, then putting your flooring just down the middle where it shows?

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Old 03-01-2021, 08:04 PM   #2
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The best thing to do is to not build on top of the flooring because it tends to change dimension with temperature and humidity, so it can buckle if it cannot expand and contract. It also makes it easier to replace it if necessary.

I have not installed flooring in my bus yet. After much research I have concluded that the best flooring for a vehicle that moves and is subject to large temperature swings is glue down vinyl plank. It’s going to be the most durable floor that is also easiest to install because as long as you plan the layout, the only mistake you can make is miscutting a plank.

You’ll want to do your own research to confirm the flooring and adhesive with the manufacturer.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:44 PM   #3
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I'm dealing with this same issue.

While working on the bus, a friend gave me a 2'x2' piece of the puzzle foam flooring to kneel on while working. It's really held up well, is supportive but really comfortable to stand on.

If you don't think it's durable enough, you can go all they way up to what weight lifters use or what they put down in garages.

I ordered the Amazon Basics 2'x2' version of it to see what I think. In my bus, I have built all my benches, bed, cabinets, etc. on top of the sub-floor. I measured the remaining floor and have 140sqft to cover.

What I like about the puzzle flooring is:
my dog will feel very secure on it
it will add sound insulation
you can use double back tape to tape it down to the sub floor, if you want.
water runs right off it.
it comes in a limited selection design pattern
depending on what you get, it's reasonably affordable
it's easily replaced
it's a great temporary solution
it's easy to install

I mean, wow!

I also plan on using rug runners that I can shake out.

Here's a link to give you an idea:
Puzzle Floor: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=puzzle+fl...f=nb_sb_noss_2

Garage Floor Tiles: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=garage+fl...das-iss-sm_3_7

Home Gym Flooring: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=gym+floor...das-iss-sm_3_4

Best of luck!
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:08 PM   #4
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A 30 year flooring guy recommended carpet squares for the reasons Simplicity states.

Right now I have a couple Afghan rugs that I’m liking in there
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
A 30 year flooring guy recommended carpet squares for the reasons Simplicity states.
We've used commercial carpet squares before, with good results. These were 24x24 and very durable. Home Depot sells some, but the ones they seem to have now are mixed boxes of random colors and patterns. I guess that's a thing for some, but not for us. We ended up buying a predominately grey, ribbed variety and used a latex carpet adhesive with a small v-notched trowel.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:56 PM   #6
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My reason for not using a semi-permanent carpet solution was because of having to vacuum. If I'm boondocking, the vacuum will be a pretty big energy hog.

The puzzle flooring is not only pretty easy to sweep, but to also mop with a well rung mop.

Using carpeted runners works for me because I can remove them and shake them out until I have an opportunity to vacuum them.

I do like the rug idea as I have an approximate 5' x 8' open area.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
A 30 year flooring guy recommended carpet squares for the reasons Simplicity states.

Right now I have a couple Afghan rugs that Iím liking in there
Don't think carpet would be a good idea for us. We have a white german shepherd, who not only loves to play in the mud himself, he loves to roll his shih tzu brother in it too. We are already planning on an outdoor shower for the dogs. Wet dogs and carpet don't mix.

I do like the idea of those rubber puzzle pieces, but was really wanting a wood look floor.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
The best thing to do is to not build on top of the flooring because it tends to change dimension with temperature and humidity, so it can buckle if it cannot expand and contract. It also makes it easier to replace it if necessary.

I have not installed flooring in my bus yet. After much research I have concluded that the best flooring for a vehicle that moves and is subject to large temperature swings is glue down vinyl plank. It’s going to be the most durable floor that is also easiest to install because as long as you plan the layout, the only mistake you can make is miscutting a plank.

You’ll want to do your own research to confirm the flooring and adhesive with the manufacturer.
For the glue down vinyl planks, I recall one thread where a guy put down LifeProof flooring and it buckled on him and became delaminated in the heat. It turns out that the first thing on the instructions was “DO NOT INSTALL IN AN RV OR SHED!!!” Because they can get too hot for the glue. So just double check your brand.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:26 AM   #9
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I'm going to use peel-and-stick vinyl floor planks (fake wood) ripped into narrow strips and arranged like a hardwood floor. Here's an experiment I did with it (I don't like these particular colors - there are variants that look more like natural wood than these). I'm going to wait until a hot summer day to install it and leave the bus out in the sun first to get extra-hot; with a small gap between each strip that should deal with the thermal expansion problem.

If any pieces eventually work loose, I'll glue them back down with a stronger adhesive. If it doesn't work out at all it will be easy to pull it up and try something else.

I'm a bit skeptical of the click-lock vinyl floor planks because I think they're only meant for temperature-controlled houses. It doesn't seem like there's any way the click-lock mechanism could work and not cause the floor to warp from thermal expansion (buses can get to 130F+ in direct sunlight, something a house shouldn't ever be exposed to).
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:34 AM   #10
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I treated and painted the steel floor, laid down 1" foam board, 5/8 T&G OSB, and will be nailing down 1/2" engineered hardwood over the entire floor, before installing the cabinets/walls/etc over it. I had planned to go with Woodgrain LVT, but found a deal on just enough engineered hardwood that was too good to pass up.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:25 AM   #11
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Wood Grain Puzzle Flooring sample product.

https://www.amazon.com/Forest-Floor-...66310365&psc=1
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truffles View Post
For the glue down vinyl planks, I recall one thread where a guy put down LifeProof flooring and it buckled on him and became delaminated in the heat. It turns out that the first thing on the instructions was ďDO NOT INSTALL IN AN RV OR SHED!!!Ē Because they can get too hot for the glue. So just double check your brand.
Donít shop at the home supply for this. The stuff you want does not click together. The planks butt together and adhesive holds them in place. Itís commercial flooring and when installed correctly will last a very long time. When you find a source, you need to read the technical information sheet to confirm itís correct For the application and for the correct adhesive.
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:14 PM   #13
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I did the same with insulation and TG marine grade plywood. I then found some 3/4 TG Cherry flooring on facebook marketplace. I needed a little extra when done and bought that at the local flooring place. All in all I have about $120 in flooring.

Because I searched for flooring before on marketplace it notified me of someone selling some 3/4 TG oak flooring I used for my steps and to cover one wheel well for a wood stove. I think that cost me $45.

You can see in my build thread. https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/c...y-30793-5.html
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:50 PM   #14
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I have used the Shaw luxury vinyl plank flooring in a couple of rentals. The oilfield help are very hard on carpet but have not been able to ruin this as of yet. I had some left over and used it in my bus with mixed results. This flooring is floating and needs room to grow and shrink with temperature. I followed the recommendations as to edge margins just like in the rentals but it was not enough. The bus sees a wider set of temperature fluctuations than the rentals do. I may pull all the base boards and trim the edges about 3/16” to see if this helps. Other than that I like it. No glue no smell easy clean.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:58 PM   #15
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Flooring was one of the last things we put in, after walls and furniture. We have wood laminate flooring that we got at a Resale shop.



We've been full time for just shy of 2 years and have a dog who's nails don't get clipped often enough and who's paws don't get wiped clean enough. She hasn't damaged them yet. They've held up well to all kinds of weather changes from dry desert heat to wet winter in the NC mountains. You'll want some kind of rug for warmth if you're spending any time in the cold, though.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:31 PM   #16
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my first bus i did the subfloor.
on top of that i built everything.
each wet area or area that had water over it like kitchen sink/cabinet/stove/fridge area as well as the bath sink/water heater/pump area i used solid vinyl sheet flooring.
mine was thicker than linoleum but it was salvage sheet vinyl.
anyway inside of each space of wet area cabinet framing i used solid sheet vinyl and rolled the edges up onto the framing the 1-1/2" of my bottom plate.
i cut the corners and heated them up to fit better and siliconed them together.
water tested that they hold and drilled a drain hole for each to fit a 1/4" tube so that i could see any leak outside but the kitchen area parts to the floor are exposed when you open certain doors and the kitchen sink is over the main drawer of kitchen towels so if the drain or water leaks it wont take much to find.
the main finished walking/exposed area is another layer of underlayment and a mix of engineered flooring planks.
most are bamboo a little mix of teak and i actually used some brazilion cherry stair tread as my dash with a mix of teak.
but i have a friend that does beach house flooring and i borrowed my companies box truck and he just wanted to get rid of excess.
my second bus he aint wanting to give anything up yet cause everything he has i want in excess is for houses still under warranty which i understand.
thats ok i aint ready for flooring anyway? i will let him warehouse it until he is ready for it to get out of his way.
thats how i was able to tile my kitchen and the kids
bathroom and floor one bus. good luck
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Old 03-06-2021, 04:22 PM   #17
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I used an interesting 2 foot square chipboard tile with glued on insulation ( with channels precut under it ) for subfloor.........the kind of stuff for doing subfloors in basements.....and then I kept my eye on Kijiji for free flooring. Someone was throwing out 400 ft sq pine tongue in groove so I used that.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:56 PM   #18
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I used laminate. You might be surprised how durable it is nowadays. I bet it could handle your dog but check with the mfg or retailer first.

I don’t have a dog but mine was fairly cheap at Home Depot and it has been just as good as the stuff in my basement since it’s been installed nearly 2 years ago. Hot and cold hadn’t effected it that I can see.
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:09 PM   #19
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The bestvv ca thing to use is bamboo plank or vinyl sheet
The only two that really canít be ruined by temperature fluctuations
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