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I did a few searches with variations on the key words "cork floor" and "cork flooring" and found a couple van builds using cork planks for flooring builds, but none using roll type cork flooring.

I own a '96 Grumman step van with 18ft box (26ft bumper to bumper) so my build has some things in common with van builds, but many elements are unique
  • I have square walls, ceiling and floors which makes for an easier build
  • all aluminum for my entire building area
  • larger area than most vans
  • I have a lot more vibration from my cummins 5.9 engine that most vans (I have to wear ear plugs to drive the step van with empty aluminum box)
I'm in the early stages of my build and am researching flooring options and strongly leaning toward cork floors for my build to address the following:
  • eco-friendly product
  • less off-gassing
  • help to reduce cold floors winter, or hot floors when parking over hot asphalt in summer
  • I have a massive amount of acoustic noise from vibration and believe raw cork on the aluminum floor would kill the vibration (I'd rather not use asphalt products like dynomat or rattletrap etc)
  • something that won't "rattle" against aluminum when driving (I think floating floor options would most likely rattle as I drive)
I'm thinking rolls of cork might be idea in they can be adhered directly to the aluminum and flex as needed with the metal floor. maybe a half inch might work

ps. I'm aware of some posts where people say it will bubble or bulge, but I believe those are instances of planks or tiles where the middle firm structure of the plank is made of sawdust and glue manufactured wood which is warping with moisture and not the actual cork which is water proof (those corks in bottles).

I'd love to hear feedback from those who have installed cork floors in vehicles regarding durability and how cork does in regards to both acoustic and thermo insulation when used as a flooring material. also, how difficult is it to maintain (yearly application of a protective layer etc)

thanks in advance!
I've used cork under many tile floors...lots of condo associations made it a remodel requirement due to acoustic properties. I was considering using it, but turned out unnecessary due to having nice wood floor in my box truck. I think it'd be good choice for your aluminum floor.

I'm not sure what type of mastic you'd want to glue it to aluminum but something trowel grade would probably be ideal...maybe (acrylic) carpet adhesive.

You have the headroom, I'd consider laying up sheets to 1" and then just polyurethaning them...nicely sealed cork looks pretty cool and is durable...
I would for sure go with other modern engineered products before using cork.
You want something that laughs at moisture and mold growth.

But, that's just my bias against cork. It has it's place and uses...... mainly wine and alcohol bottle corks.

Dave
cork is an excellent insulator. and sound barrier, however it's very heavy. the ratio of R-Value to weight is not very good. highdesertranger
(06-04-2017, 01:06 PM)7wanders Wrote: [ -> ]
  • something that won't "rattle" against aluminum when driving (I think floating floor options would most likely rattle as I drive)

Hello again from this corner of the interweb....deja vu all over again...

Yeah the floating floor idea I suggested over on YT is really any floor that's not physically attached, glued, or screwed to the main floor.

It could of course be cork tiles, plywood planks, a rubber mat, or hardwood tongue and groove. Or any other material of your choice.

On any of these more rigid options, its a good idea to install some type of a mat, rubber, vinyl, or plastic, to form a wear 'barrier' and to provide a vapor barrier, to hold moisture from spills in the van, to keep the water, coffee, soda, whatever it is from getting to the metal floor. I have not seen that (presumably aluminum) floor in its bare state but I would assume it has some type of ferrous metal in the bolts, ribs, and other fasteners, and you want to keep liquids away from those.

Similarly, you should ideally seal the floor with something like POR-15 (or even some Rustoleum) before you put anything on top of it.

If everything is done right, there wont be any rattling, as the mat or cushion underneath will prevent that, and the perimeter can be cushioned with rubber strips, vinyl molding, or something similar. I have even seen a split length of garden hose used for this...

I dont know if cork flooring would be durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic, but of course you can always lay out a mat or rug down the middle.

I'm fairly certain the glue turned loose on the original install because the floor will have relative movement as the van traverses bumps and potholes and negotiates driveways and ramps. This is why I suggested a floating floor. Carpet would work, but its a huge dirt magnet.

Knowing that you already have all that plywood, I would pull it up, lay down some foam carpet pad, drop the plywood back down, seal it with some nice floor paint, and call it good. If any of the rigid foam panels survived intact, they can be reused for the walls.

But of course, as always, I will be watching the videos...I love the concept and the thought processes that are going into this project.

Thanks for sharing all of it with us.
(06-04-2017, 05:15 PM)djkeev Wrote: [ -> ]I would for sure go with other modern engineered products before using cork.
You want something that laughs at moisture and mold growth.

But, that's just my bias against cork. It has it's place and uses...... mainly wine and alcohol bottle corks.

Dave

Dave, as I understand it, cork is impervious to mold and mildew and the weak factor is the "laminate" style version due to the middle layer of manufactured wood from sawdust and glue which tends to buckle and warp (think mixing Pergo and water). 

that said, vinyl flooring is most likely the most functional best choice, but not exactly eco-friendly. 

I believe the weaknesses of cork to be that is can dent under extreme weight and it requires resurfacing more often than wood products. 

was hoping to find people with tons of experience using it to give me some more info about it, thus my post here

anyway, thx for your reply. appreciate your suggestion and attempt to help!
(06-04-2017, 07:18 PM)tx2sturgis Wrote: [ -> ]Hello again from this corner of the interweb....deja vu all over again...

Yeah the floating floor idea I suggested over on YT is really any floor that's not physically attached, glued, or screwed to the main floor.

It could of course be cork tiles, plywood planks, a rubber mat, or hardwood tongue and groove. Or any other material of your choice.

On any of these more rigid options, its a good idea to install some type of a mat, rubber, vinyl, or plastic, to form a wear 'barrier' and to provide a vapor barrier, to hold moisture from spills in the van, to keep the water, coffee, soda, whatever it is from getting to the metal floor. I have not seen that (presumably aluminum) floor in its bare state but I would assume it has some type of ferrous metal in the bolts, ribs, and other fasteners, and you want to keep liquids away from those.

Similarly, you should ideally seal the floor with something like POR-15 (or even some Rustoleum) before you put anything on top of it.

If everything is done right, there wont be any rattling, as the mat or cushion underneath will prevent that, and the perimeter can be cushioned with rubber strips, vinyl molding, or something similar. I have even seen a split length of garden hose used for this...

I dont know if cork flooring would be durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic, but of course you can always lay out a mat or rug down the middle.

I'm fairly certain the glue turned loose on the original install because the floor will have relative movement as the van traverses bumps and potholes and negotiates driveways and ramps. This is why I suggested a floating floor. Carpet would work, but its a huge dirt magnet.

Knowing that you already have all that plywood, I would pull it up, lay down some foam carpet pad, drop the plywood back down, seal it with some nice floor paint, and call it good. If any of the rigid foam panels survived intact, they can be reused for the walls.

But of course, as always, I will be watching the videos...I love the concept and the thought processes that are going into this project.

Thanks for sharing all of it with us.
Brian, the floor is 100% aluminum along with fasteners and joints. there is zero stuff to rust on my floor so standing water is only an issue for added flooring products. my biggest concern with a floating floor is rattle. I have a massive amount if vibration going thru the floor from the diesel engine as well as the hard commercial suspension. I think anything that is rigid and floats is going to rattle like crazy (even if you put a rubber mat under it as you suggest, I think it is still going to rattle around). the plywood I have is super cheap and not a great surface, it has tons of imperfections and I don't think I could sand them away. I would have to lay down some serious lacquer to cover the imperfections and it has lots of rub marks from the spare tire and shoes. I'm not liking it at all which most likely contributes to my wanting it out. I'm thinking rolled cork flooring will be soft and adhere directly to the aluminum might be really awesome. it would deaden sound, vibration, and give a thermo barrier from cold in winter or heat from parking lots in summer. I really like the idea of rolled cork, but not sure about where to get it, or how to maintain it. I've done about 4+ hours of reading today on cork and thought I'd see if anyone had experience with it in these forums. anyway, thx for your efforts, comments and suggestions. please don't think I'm not considering them, it is mostly that ultimately I'm the one that will be living with it on a day to day basis
(06-04-2017, 08:53 PM)7wanders Wrote: [ -> ]please don't think I'm not considering them, it is mostly that ultimately I'm the one that will be living with it on a day to day basis

Yep, I know you have lots of options and lots of things to consider...and it may well be that the cork works well...

I know of your plans to make it a social area for guests...you could always insist that guests take off their shoes, Japanese style!

But then there will be that ONE lady who will walk in with sharp stilettos...

Big Grin
what i would do first if i was you would be to take care of the ceiling first,,if even temporary. that will do the most to get the resonate sound down,which is your biggest problem. with all walls bare every sound wave propagates with soft matl. on 1 wall you break the propagation link and will give you the most gain for the least work.
(06-05-2017, 06:03 AM)caretaker Wrote: [ -> ]what i would do first if i was you would be to take care of the ceiling first,,if even temporary. that will do the most to get the resonate sound down,which is your biggest problem. with all walls bare every sound wave propagates with soft matl. on 1 wall you break the propagation link and will give you the most gain for the least work.

that's actually a great idea. I can just begin work on the ceiling while I'm figuring out a better solution for the floor rather than waiting. brilliant!
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