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Old 01-18-2020, 11:45 PM   #1
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Which Floor Material?

I am trying to decide which floor material to use. Right now its between the vinyl sheet that you glue on, and the vinyl planks that clip together. Today I got a couple of samples of "Smartcore Ultra" from Lowes and it seems pretty nice. It comes with a rubber underlayment type coating which I imagine would help a little with insulation. I already have 1" of dense foam insulation and 3/4 inch wood floor.


Here's how I see it...


Vinyl Sheet

Pros:
  • Easy to apply: just apply "glue" to the floor, roll out, and tamp down with a big water filled roller thing.
  • Durable
  • One piece
  • Inexpensive

Cons:
  • Has to be applied before building cabinets, etc.
  • Since it's glued on, repairs can be a pain.
  • Since it's one piece, repairing can be a pain.
  • Will be wedged between cabinets and floor, so a removal/replacement would be a major undertaking.


Vinyl Planks


Pros:
  • Modular design allows placement after, and around, cabinets.
  • Easier to replace sections.
  • Durable

Cons:
  • More difficult to apply.
  • More expensive.



Am I missing anything? Anyone have any recommendations of the floor material?




Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:08 AM   #2
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Most of the newer vinyl flooring doesn't have to be glued down. It is just a floating floor and you wouldn't have to put it in before you do the cabinets. Just cut it to fit. And they make seam tape, so you don't have to glue the seams either.

Depending on the pattern and look you want, a solid sheet of vinyl would be much easier to install. And I've noticed with the glue strip pieces that over time if you don't really take your time and do a great job on putting the pieces together, they can collect dust and dirt between the cracks.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:32 AM   #3
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If you haven’t done flooring before the plank material is more forgiving since a miscut can be swapped out as you go. It needs to “float” though. You don’t want to build cabinets on top if it because it will buckle. You’d install it last and then put a piece of toe base trim around it. A good alternative to the snap together stuff is the stuff that has an adhesive lip on it. The seams disappear if care is taken to align the edge during installation and the end result is waterproof.

Regardless of which plank material, once it goes down, replacing a plank is not a real clean operation. It needs to be cut out and the replacement piece needs to have the backside edge of the groove side removed and then it needs to be glued in. The stick together stuff would be extra challenging, requiring a heat gun to gently heat until the glue melts a little.

Full sheet vinyl can be put down before the cabinetry. This is useful to those of us not used to installing it. Keep in mind that the stuff shows surface imperfections more than plank material so subfloor needs to be super smooth. The heavier commercial grade stuff is a little more forgiving that way.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:31 AM   #4
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Based on what I've heard, looked up, and read here, I am leaning towards the plank stuff with no glue.



I like that I can install it after the cabinets. Just seems better to avoid undue wear and tear while building out the bus, since the floor will have materials, tools, tool carts, etc. dragged over it, and paint spills and spatter, and maybe even some more welding, falling on it.


Also, although my floorplan is pretty set, I want some flexibility and may have different floors for the kitchen and living room area, and for sure the bathroom. The planks will allow me to wait until I have all of it figured and built up before doing the floor.


Thank you!
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:01 PM   #5
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This is the stick together plank. I think itís easier than the snap together stuff. Only thing is to make sure the seams stay tight. If it starts to run out of true itís a battle the rest of the way.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:03 PM   #6
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I'll take a look at that.
Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:28 AM   #7
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We did a lot of research on this subject. We have yet to have our floor in, much less test out our theories. So take this for what it's worth. But there are both different general types of vinyl plank flooring, as well as variations of composition between manufacturers for the same type. Pretty much all of it is designed to be installed in temperature controlled environments. Exposure to temperature extremes, large changes of temp over a given period of time, or uneven temps have been known to cause issues, and/or void the warranty.

After looking at all the options, we're going CoreTec Pro. It's an SPC-type flooring (stone polymer composite, I believe the acronym stands for). This general class of vinyl plank exhibits pretty much the least expansion/contraction related to temp, and the specific brand warranties it up to temps of ~140F (though they still specify a temp-controlled environment. I'm not sure how 140 & temp-controlled go together, but what-ever lol).
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:33 PM   #8
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Interesting.
Sometimes I feel like laying down simple wood planks with liquid nails over the subfloor, and brad nailing them or even screwing them in place.




But the stuff I looked at (mentioned above) seems pretty good. It has a rubber layer underneath too.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:48 PM   #9
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Sometimes I feel like laying down simple wood planks with liquid nails over the subfloor, and brad nailing them or even screwing them in place.
This is what I'd do (or something like reclaimed bowling alley surface) if I wasn't trying to squeeze out every last bit of headroom.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:51 PM   #10
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This is what I'd do (or something like reclaimed bowling alley surface) if I wasn't trying to squeeze out every last bit of headroom.



I wonder how 1/2 marine plywood would do, with a good coat of protective clear-coat...
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:55 PM   #11
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This is what I'd do (or something like reclaimed bowling alley surface) if I wasn't trying to squeeze out every last bit of headroom.
I would love to find some bowling alley floor. Probably won't and I'm planning on vinyl because it's clean and low maintenance. And gives me headroom.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:02 PM   #12
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I would love to find some bowling alley floor. Probably won't and I'm planning on vinyl because it's clean and low maintenance. And gives me headroom.
You're not too far from South Carolina: https://www.repurposedmaterialsinc.c...ing+alley+wood

Stuff is more than 2" thick, it's beautiful though.

Edit: also crushingly expensive. It's the perfect width if you wanted to run it sideways, but you'd be looking at over two grand.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:30 PM   #13
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You're not too far from South Carolina: https://www.repurposedmaterialsinc.c...ing+alley+wood

Stuff is more than 2" thick, it's beautiful though.

Edit: also crushingly expensive. It's the perfect width if you wanted to run it sideways, but you'd be looking at over two grand.
Yeah we used to have two bowling alleys here. When they tore down the first it was just there for the taking and I didn't lol.

I hate to think we wouldn't have a bowling alley here anymore, but if they tore down this second one and I grabbed up that flooring, well, I'm moving anyway at some point!
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:14 PM   #14
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Trafficmaster Allure

This is the stick together plank. I think itís easier than the snap together stuff. Only thing is to make sure the seams stay tight. If it starts to run out of true itís a battle the rest of the way.
I put some of this stuff on my non-controlled environment porch floor. Hot summer sun, probably upwards of 120 on the porch. It did not hold up well. It is coming apart at the end seams. There is now as much as a 1/4 inch gap in some of the seams. I will not use this in my bus. I will probably use a roll of the floating vinyl. I have that in the bathroom of my house and really like it. It can be cut around what you already have in, but I plan to roll it out on the whole floor and build on top of it. That should pretty well keep it from moving.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:32 AM   #15
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I am not a fan of Vinyl stuff, I have seen it deteriorate and not hold up well in a few applications. I have not used it a lot so take my review with a grain of salt.

Vinyl Sheet- I have continually seen this stuff bubble up and peel up in applications. I notice it all over in restaurants and commercial buildings now days, usually if I look at the traffic areas I can see it starting to fail.
I also have known a couple of people that had it installed in commercial building to have it fail, One lady I know had it installed and with in weeks it was bubbling up in places. The installers came back redid it(the entire job with new material) and it failed again the owner got her money back. It was months of stress for the owner and the installer, the installer had to fight with the manufacturer ended up losing a lot of money, time and labor.

I think I read a thread about on here vinyl sheet in a bus where someone was saying it failed. They said something about cold temps and the adhesive not holding up to it.

Vinyl Planks- I have seen some better then other.

I notice that some of the stuff seems to have coatings and layers. The coatings and layers seem very flimsy. I installed some in a large tree stand we got the stuff for free(I am not sure of the back story) It is pretty cheesy stuff, it was free and it is a trees stand. It was a few months ago, so I am not sure how it will hold up.
I have seen a few porches with vinyl planks that went to hell in a very short time in mild climates.

Just my casual experience with vinyl, I am very unimpressed with what I have seen.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:10 AM   #16
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Vinyl sheeting won't bubble up if it's just free-floating, right? I plan to just lay pieces of it directly on my plywood, and if it doesn't work out I'll roll it up and try something else. My floor is going to be naturally divided into three sections by the sunken kitchen in the middle, and the geometry will pretty much keep all three pieces in place (and make them easier to fit).

I like the fact that I could also pretty cheaply and easily just change the floor whenever I feel like it. Vinyl also gives you a lot of variety as long as you can overlook the fakeness of it all (which I don't think is any worse than the vinyl planks). I plan to have a light-tone fake wood floor in the front section, a white-tile-like kitchen floor, and then probably a thin carpet in the back bedroom section.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:20 AM   #17
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Vinyl sheeting won't bubble up if it's just free-floating, right? I plan to just lay pieces of it directly on my plywood, and if it doesn't work out I'll roll it up and try something else.
I am not sure how the vinyl will hold up just sitting on top of the floor.

I plan on doing something similar with my floor coverings. Right now I have stained plywood and want something covering it, I don't want to glue stuff down permanently. So I am thinking of getting some linoleum or ?(whatever comes up) to lay down. I am wondering how I will keep the coverings from sliding around, idono, it will be an experiment.


I am with you, if I don't like it I want to be able to roll it up and toss it out.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:38 AM   #18
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I picked up some samples of vinyl sheet and vinyl plank at Home Depot and was asking the guy about the differences and install requirements. He said to take the chisel I was holding and try scratching the samples. The sheet scratched very easily under only light pressure. I could not get the plank to scratch. I'm pretty sold on doing plank and it's thickness and rigidity seems to suggest that it's possible to install it directly over foam board.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:54 AM   #19
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I picked up some samples of vinyl sheet and vinyl plank at Home Depot and was asking the guy about the differences and install requirements. He said to take the chisel I was holding and try scratching the samples. The sheet scratched very easily under only light pressure. I could not get the plank to scratch. I'm pretty sold on doing plank and it's thickness and rigidity seems to suggest that it's possible to install it directly over foam board.
Yeah, I checked out the rolls of vinyl sheeting at Lowe's the other day and I was surprised at how thin it was. Nothing like the old linoleum in terms of thickness. I wonder if the stuff can be glued down to a thicker backing layer of some sort (which I would still not glue to the plywood).
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:08 AM   #20
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Yeah, I checked out the rolls of vinyl sheeting at Lowe's the other day and I was surprised at how thin it was. Nothing like the old linoleum in terms of thickness. I wonder if the stuff can be glued down to a thicker backing layer of some sort (which I would still not glue to the plywood).
If I recall right, that's exactly what the guy at Home Depot recommended. I believe he pointed out where to go find the under layer but I decided not to go looking for it.
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