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Full Version: Want to lay laminate flooring in my step van - Underlayment? Framing? Plywood...?
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I've used laminate in four conversions- one being a step van.

I used 3/8" fanfold insulation(normally used under vinyl siding ) and 3/8" underlayment(plywood) under the interlocking laminate on the first two.

In my step van I found some 1 1/2" thick foam back hi density commercial carpet ( used in daycare, fitness areas, etc), and installed the laminate directly over that since I have only a narrow strip of flooring between the built ins. I also wanted to be able to remove the floor to access a wire chase and heat pipes that are grooved into the foam, as well as the transmission cover.. I have had no issues with it breaking up in the four years I've used it, I usually have a carpet runner so it doesn't feel as cold.

The last installation was in a Sprinter and I used only vapor barrier 3/8" plywood and cork faced laminate.
The sprinter floor feels no colder to me than any of the others, though I'm sure there is more conduction.
One thing to consider:laminate can be very slick when wet or icy.
this is all helpful to me as well, so thank you for all the tips, I was thinking of laminate, but now I am thinking maybe vinyl flooring? ( I wish bamboo held up because I have a lot left over from a house remodel. But I have it in the house and it is way too soft, looks nice but gets dinged up easy). The carpet for certain has to go, my Star dog gets wet and muddy and sandy all the time. Plus whoever owned my van before me spilled some fruit juice or something red on the blue carpet and Star continues to lick at it although I have scrubbed it. Undecided Waiting for warmer day to steam clean, but maybe I will just get on the flooring. People who live and travel with dogs, what kind of flooring do you have? Peace!
No experience with step vans, but I like vinyl on floor, easy to clean, and anyplace my dog would be jumping up or down I use the rubber back throw rugs so they don't slide and hurt there legs, and easy to take out and shake clean. 
I am in the anti laminate camp. it is not very durable and it hates liquid. for the amount of flooring in our vehicles I would go with solid wood. but I am a dirty type of guy. I wear boots, I have stuff on my boots. stuff on my boots plus laminate flooring equals no good. in the cold you throw a rug over the wood. also any liquid spills like others have said even if you wipe up right away ruins the flooring. highdesertranger
(03-24-2015, 06:57 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: [ -> ]I am in the anti laminate camp. it is not very durable and it hates liquid. for the amount of flooring in our vehicles I would go with solid wood. but I am a dirty type of guy. I wear boots, I have stuff on my boots. stuff on my boots plus laminate flooring equals no good. in the cold you throw a rug over the wood. also any liquid spills like others have said even if you wipe up right away ruins the flooring. highdesertranger

Yes. Not all engineered floors are the same. Some hold up way better then others. I would love to go with solid wood but not sure how I would install it without laying a significant subfloor on top of my diamond plate.
(03-24-2015, 07:06 PM)cdiggy Wrote: [ -> ]Yes. Not all engineered floors are the same. Some hold up way better then others. I would love to go with solid wood but not sure how I would install it without laying a significant subfloor on top of my diamond plate.

Agreed. There are solid woods that, depending on finish, respond poorly to grit or moisture too.

When it first came into use, I agreed laminate was all crap, but competition and improvements in composition have improved much of what is now available....
If you buy the cheapest- you will likely get disappointed, just as if you buy the cheapest vinyl, or hardwood, carpet, or whatever.

I treat my floor like a garage floor- spill water, track in everything from snow to mud and gravel and grease-with rubber boots and leather soles, four years and no curling or deep scratches. When it is damaged enough for me to replace it, thirty bucks and a couple hours will make it all better.
I put vinyl strip flooring in my previous travel trailer and have already bought it for the new class C. It looks just like wood laminate but warmer, cheaper, easier to clean and goes on over uneven surfaces. It's peel and stick but I'm gluing it down for extra stability.
(03-25-2015, 10:41 AM)decodancer Wrote: [ -> ]I put vinyl strip flooring in my previous travel trailer and have already bought it for the new class C.  It looks just like wood laminate but warmer, cheaper, easier to clean and goes on over uneven surfaces.  It's peel and stick but I'm gluing it down for extra stability.

How does the strip flooring hold up as compared to vinyl floor sheeting when quantities of water are spilled on it? Is it vinyl all the way through and does the pattern go all the way through or is it just a surface print.

I was thinking of putting down vinyl flooring in the van but now I'm wondering if I couldn't use the strip flooring. My only qualms are with water spills. I have laminate of unknown origin in my apartment and it's lifted in a couple of spots where liquid got spilled and it ran between the pieces before I could get the spill totally  mopped up.

Doing it with the strip flooring means that it's more practical to put it down after the cabinets and other built-ins are in place. Which saves on cost. It also means that if you ever want to replace it, you don't have to rip out all the built-ins to lift the flooring.

Installing sheet flooring is easiest when done before building all the cabinets but then I have to worry about nicking it while doing the construction and if it gets damaged, it's a major to replace it.
Some of the vinyl strip flooring isn't to be glued down- it needs to expand/contract at a different pace than the substrate....check before gluing it.

The vinyl strip stuff that sticks together with double faced tape is super durable and slip resistant, without the echo of composite interlocking floors, though it does need an underlayment.

Sheet vinyl, like every other flooring comes in varying grades and quality....the areas in a van are small enough to make a paper and tape pattern to cut and install after the built ins are done.
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