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Author Topic: bus floor  (Read 5218 times)
crown
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« on: November 08, 2009, 07:07:42 AM »

 ok i want to put in the new plywood floor i have cleaned and painted the frame rails i have marine plywood
 and have ripped it to 16'' x 8' lenths and cut in male & female joints to make it a one piece floor
 now how to install side to side ? first thought  or front to back ?  will also undercoat underside first
 then put a water sealer on top any tips or advice before i jump in thanks john
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 07:32:13 AM »

Me start at the front perpendicular to the length of the bus  as most of the frame rails/structure is probably running front to back and also as the last board will be a PITA and this way there will only be one board to fit at the back of the bus as opposed to 4 along the side.  Finally if you do install t&G flooring later you can run this parallel to the length of the bus and it is appropriate to run florring at 90 deg to the sub floor planks.  BTW I guess it's too late now but why the 16" strips?
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 07:55:37 AM »

hi i cut the plywood in to 16'' strips so i could t&g them john
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cody
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 08:12:54 AM »

You may want to add some felt stripping between the metal sub structure and the plywood to minimize squeaking on the road, it creates a sound and a thermal break between the 2 different materials.
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2009, 09:17:47 AM »

could i use thin carpet glued down on frame rails or what type felt ? thanks
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2009, 09:23:09 AM »

Felt works best and is inert, just the 1/8th inch thick type that would be used for the old style weatherstripping would work well.  It doesn't take much but makes a difference, anything you can do at this point will pay dividends later on.
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2009, 09:27:09 AM »

Do you leave any gap for the extreme temp variations..plus 100 to sub zero?
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2009, 09:29:59 AM »

bob again should have looked up your location before posting...must be nice to not have to worry about drastic temp changes.
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009, 09:39:43 AM »

cody where would i find this type of felt ? thats why i asked about the carpet when i gutted the monico they used 1/8 " carpet
 in all the bays and bed frame and i have lots laying around
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009, 09:45:09 AM »

I have lead a sheltered life.  Never heard of anyone leaving expansion gaps in the plywood floor.  And I ain't arguing, now.  Just never heard of it.  Do you need gaps at the edges against the wall?  Between the 4X8 sheets that are commonly used?  Only at the front of the coach or at the rear also?  I hate it when something slips past me and YES, I hate lots of stuff often and seems more so as time goes by..GRUMPHH!  Seriously though, what about those expansion gaps?  I know the "floating" flooring needs them or you get horrible consequences with the thing heaving and buckling.

John
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2009, 09:51:11 AM »

John I know the floor on my bus likes about 1/2 inch on the sides of the coach to the outside framing.Don't know whether it is necessary or not.... it was built in Canada if that makes a difference??
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2009, 10:03:15 AM »

Crown,

The felt comes in rolls of any width you might want and also in various thicknesses.  It is durable and mildew proof and serves as a insulator to some small degree.  Worth going for for those reasons alone but the "no squeek" function is justification all by itself.  Carpet does age and then it crumbles and unravels.  Iffy, at gest, and especially so if you are intending on using "old stuff".  

The bays are different.  You car R&R that stuff down the road without any serious hasstle.  The floor....well, you will be building the entire interior on top of that and it is a serious commitment point.

I am not sure that the 16 inch center cuts was a good idea.  The more joints you have the more screw up you MIGHT have.  I have only seem the floors installed with the 4 X 8 sheets laid across the bus and tongue and groove edges and the joints also glued.

You might consider holding the felt in place with a spray of contact cement.  Don't bother with the "wait till it is set before contacting" procedure. Just give both surfaces a good squirt and slip them into place.  if it lifts a slight pressure will re attach it.  You can then concentrate on getting your sheeting down and not worry with the felt staying put while you jockey stuff around on it.

All that stuff you said about treating the underside before installing the material is good.  I would go with the epoxy resin, if it were mine. Blocks moisture, as you pointed out. You are still going to install spray foam under the floor....right?  That stuff will seal your floor to moisture all by itself.  Might save a step and spend the material cost somewhere else.  Even though the epoxy under the foam would be redundant, I think I would do both, but then I am so very RICH that money means absolutely nothing. Tongue Huh

Keep us all posted,

John
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2009, 10:10:54 AM »

Robert,

Yes!  It does matter...to me.  I think the Frenchey buses are at the top of the heap in terms of construction.  No peer.  I also know that in the quantity of ply that they use they can get it made to any length they so well please.  If there is a half inch gap it isn't by chance or rooted in an economical driven choice.  Thank you for sharing that.  and, is there a gap at the front and back, as well?

What does Pre use to separate the flooring from the metal support structure?  Felt or what and how thick?

John
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The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
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cody
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2009, 10:35:55 AM »

We've always treated floors the same as a roof, most roofers use whats called an "H" clip to secure the panels between the trusses, it serves 2 purposes, it strengths the gap and also gives the needed room for expansion, clips on the floor are not practical but I always used a framing square for a guage and left the thickness of the metal as the gap, if your using a tounge and groove setup I would refrain from glueing the tounge but a bathroom caulk might be a good idea in the groove and embed the toungue in it, that seals out dust and still allows the wood the needed room to move.
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2009, 11:03:35 AM »

John there is a gap at the front as far as the back its been awhile since that area has been in my sight.I remembered the sides because when we put the granite down we didn't go all the way to the side because there was no plywood to support it.also used that space to run wire for wall outlets.
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2009, 11:23:05 AM »

 are we talking about roofing felt tar paper ?
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john
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2009, 11:26:46 AM »

no roofing felt is just a paper with a coating, what you want is genuine felt.
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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2009, 12:06:54 PM »

cody the only other felt i known of my wife uses sewing or the felt on my pool table
dont mean to act supid just dont understand what is this felt used for other then bus
floor i looked on e bay but did not see anything that would work sorry john
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2009, 12:23:09 PM »

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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2009, 12:54:37 PM »

thanks dallas now i known what we are talking about  heck hear in costa rica they dont use any weaterstrips
 mid 70 year round but will try and find some or order it from usa thanks again
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2009, 01:23:26 PM »

JohnEd, I don't know what the older Prevost uses but the newer H series and XL use a noiseless metal between the subframe and the plywood and there is no gap on the floor between the walls or plywood any where.  here is how it is laid down

1 metal

2  1/2 inch Poplar plywood

3  sound deadening material ( lead for VIP and Entertainer shell)

4   another sheet of 1/2 inch Poplar plywood

5    flooring   




good luck
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2009, 02:49:00 PM »

cody the only other felt i known of my wife uses sewing or the felt on my pool table
dont mean to act supid just dont understand what is this felt used for other then bus
floor i looked on e bay but did not see anything that would work sorry john

Can't you buy felt at a local store of some sort?  I have no idea how rural your area is.  I know some areas of Mexico and Central America as almost as urbanized as the USA.
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2009, 03:15:19 PM »

   I would think any type of material would hold moisture and enhance rusting.    1/8 inch gap is standard for any plywood to allow expansion and contraction.
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2009, 03:35:14 PM »

From the book on 89 prevost....The floor is made of 2 layers of 1/2 plywood separated by 1/8 inch insulation to reduce power train and road noise....there is a metal sheet below the floor outside of bay areas.appears to be the same insulating material between the cross members and bottom sheet. From a laymans opinion it does a good job on the noise..
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2009, 03:53:56 PM »

Clifford,

Thank you.  And thereby hangs another tale.  Materials!  Poplar that I have seen is many more plys than "regular" plywood.  It was also much lighter and way stronger.  Cabinet maker doing a Pre remodel showed it to me tears ago.  I had never heard of it and was impressed....it was pretty, as well.  Maybe some of the flooring material needs spacing and some doesn't?Huh? If you put two layers down you will be locking them together somehow so they should act as one for expansion prediction.  I can't doubt you for a second Clefford, truly.  Cody, on the other hand is a wood worker/cabinet maker at heart if not by profession.  And, Robert is looking at his floor and it HAS gaps.  This is one of those situations where when the truth is known then all were right and correct.  Now all we need is that "truth" to sort it all out.  I don't have it and that's for sure.

Thanks again, Clifford and all.

John
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2009, 03:57:13 PM »

My bus has aluminum pans under the floor except over the bays and the fuel tank.  The pans are filled with spray foam insulation to deaden noise.  No material between the plywood and the metal structure.
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2009, 04:24:30 PM »

 hi when i gutted the monico that had cheap plastic sheets layed on frame no glue then 1/2 ply running front to back and another
 1/2 ply running side to side over the first ply they put tar paper over it that to me was a big no no as it traped water and was full of
 mildow john
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2009, 05:07:43 PM »

I know the question here pertains to laying a new floor but are there any steps that are taken when the plywood subfloor is in good condition and you are simply going to put down wood flooring. This would be on a 4905.

Thanks and hope I am not hijacking your post crown,

Bryan
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« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2009, 12:04:53 PM »

None of the plywood floors are left uncovered so I don't see what is wrong with your question.  I am assuming you are talking about the Pergo type floors.  Some of that stuff comes with the foam sheting attached to the underside of the "planks".  Usually, yo lay down a 1/8 sheet of their special foam first and then put the floor on top of that.  It is a slight insulator but it mainly keeps the flooring from having a hollow sound when you walk on it.  Expansion gaps are needed at the 'side" of the room where the ends are located and there is a max run where you must also install a gap in the other axis perpendicular to the plank.  30 feet comes to mind on one I looked at.  The floor floats over the sub floor so you can't bolt stuff thru it with out taking special pains.

The absolutely critical part is that your floor needs to be level.  Any way you can do that, it is a must.  If there is a "dip" in your floor you will find that you cannot get the planks to lock together.  Even if it is a little dip....one that you would not normally think you should address with floor leveling compound.  My wife laid Pergo in the back bedroom before my arrival.  The floor is a mess.  it has 15 or so unlocked planks and the gaps are obvious and ugly.  She went back to the store for help three times and got no solution.  Yes, the floor is well stained with her tears.  It took me a few minutes but I figured out that there were many slight dips in the floor.  24 foot long room?Huh  I filed it away as the room would have to be disassembled and emptied of every tool I own to fix it.  I attended a seminar on installing the floating floors long after my epiphany and watched the factory rep instructor struggle with a section of floor that would not allow the planks to lock.  He was dumbfounded and he was the "expert".  His demo floor underlayment was without bracing in the middle and all went well till he knelt on the floor to attach the planks in the middle.  He is better at his job now.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2009, 05:26:38 PM »

I was thinking about laying the flooring down first before adding cabinets but now that you mention it the wood floor would need room to expand and contract so fastening anything thru the wood flooring into the subfloor may not be a good idea?  Undecided I was just thinking it may be easier to lay the wood floor first instead of having to cut around everything.

Bryan
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« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2009, 05:54:34 PM »

Bryan,

Had you used floating floor you would have run the risk of bad buckling if you had then built over it.

The professionals install the floor and then build on it.  Floating floor is NOT your only option.  You can install real hardwood floors and build on that unless I am mistaken.  The thin planking I have looked at is nailed in so how much do they expect it to move.  I tend to Hickory because it is so very hard but you have to work at getting any grain to show up.  Also, some of the hardwood floor is treated with a aluminum oxide finish that is not scratchable.....I know.  But it is tough.  Bad side of that is that you can't expect a match for a repair.  I would go for the unfinished wood and stain and finish it myself.  Without any obstructions the sanding and finishing process can be a down right pleasant and rewarding experience.  If you opt to finish the floor yourself get back in touch with me as I have a process that will give you a "hand rubbed" finish almost for free.  A hand rubbed floor is Bill Gates territory....me thinks.

My S&S had the carpet installed wall to wall and then the interior was put in over it.  Worked for Winnebago.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2009, 06:41:48 PM »

John,

That is kind of what I was thinking to begin with. I thought It could be attached permanently until I started reading about leaving gaps for expansion and contraction. I know that the expansion joint is left in home applications and maybe that is for a floating floor system as I have seen real hardwood in old homes that were all nailed to the joists. So I would think that you could fasten to the subfloor in the bus. It sure would be allot quicker of a job to run the whole length before adding cabinets etc.. Although I would have to be more careful to not scratch the floor while finishing the conversion.

Thanks for the input,
Bryan
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« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2009, 11:03:43 PM »

john grabe to Bus
show details 10:19 PM (42 minutes ago)
The beauty of real hardwood is that you can sand it out and refinish and match it.  also consider installing the floor in a herring bone down the center or some other "pattern" other than straight across.  Though straight across is beautiful when properly finished.

I will share with you the "secret".  Open a gallon can of Verithane and let it sit for a day  Pierce the hardened shell that forms on top and stir it up a little.  let it sit again till the top hardens  Repeat till the volume is reduced to 3/4 of the previous level.  The stuff should be really thick.  The previously hardened parts go back into solution after sitting to thicken the entire can.  Pour out a cup of Verithane on the floor and use a window squeegee to move it around till you "wet a patch and then slowly draw the "puddle down along the grain till it runs dry.  All the Verithane is left in the grain and the top is coated very thinly.  I repeat this 5 times and the floor is beautifully finished.  Instead of doing one long stretch I move the puddle across the width and then re squeegee the floor to get a uniform coat and leave NO HEAVILY COATED sections.  I used a dark stain to rub into the grain and I went over the oak to lighten the non grain high parts fo contrast.  After the varithane applications it looked like a million.  Use a "real" window squeegee that has a supple rubber strip and not the hard ones for automotive.

These posts are getting hung up in my Gmail.  Hope this all tracks....john
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« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2009, 04:23:22 AM »

It seems that I have stirred up unneeded concern for expansion and contraction in the sub floor...I made a observation...My sub floor is screwed to the steel floor structure about every 6 to 8 inches thru both sheets of plywood and the 1/8 inch insulation material...I used granite squares which were attached by GE silicon caulk (like steel adhesion)to allow for expansion .In the factory conversions I don't know what they use..All the cabinets and any thing else is secured to the floor thru all layers...I live is sw Indiana or temps range from 0  to  100...put bus in sun and high outside temps could hit 120..I would put more weight to John's post he has many more hands on experience on this subject and has probably learned a lot of it the hard way...pay particular attention to what is said about the floating floor.In a MCI8 we built I didn't leave enough gap and in real cold weather it would buckle..you should not put anything that needs to be attached to the floor over a floating floor....Bolt Cabinets and the like down to the sub floor  Make them part of the structure!!very very very important unless you want them in your lap or back of your head....You know _hit happens.....Again I made a observation on the gap at the side never considered that after over 20yrs there could have been some shrinking..either way my bus sides are straight the floor is flat the cabinets (fastened to the floor) haven't moved..conversion is 6 yrs old.....everything is good....buses are great............
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« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2009, 05:51:54 AM »

I was thinking about laying the flooring down first before adding cabinets but now that you mention it the wood floor would need room to expand and contract so fastening anything thru the wood flooring into the subfloor may not be a good idea?  Undecided I was just thinking it may be easier to lay the wood floor first instead of having to cut around everything.

Bryan

Bryan,

Don't do it....

Though it is easier now, what are you going to do if you get water damage or some other problem.

The so called pro's at the factory do it that way because its easier and cheaper, they are not concerned with anything after the initial sale.

In every step, think and plan with how I will replace, maintain or access this when I am done.   It will be time well spent.

Cliff
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« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2009, 09:38:54 AM »

The so called pro's at the factory do it that way because its easier and cheaper, they are not concerned with anything after the initial sale.

In every step, think and plan with how I will replace, maintain or access this when I am done.   It will be time well spent.

Cliff

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« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2009, 04:50:29 PM »

Someone, I believe it was Homegrowndiesel, took the planks from a flatbed trailer and put them down for the floor while the bus was empty.  I thought it was an interesting and rustic look.  Not a lot of cutting I don't believe. Maybe he will chime in.
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« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2009, 05:04:38 PM »

Cliff,

That is a good point as well. You do never know when you may have to pull up flooring for a repair. I will have to give more thought to just fastening cabinets and other large items then flooring around them. Just have to be more precise in my cuts or use a good base trim if I screw up  Grin

Thanks for all the input. I do like the thought of a natural wood just not all the coats you have to apply.

Bryan

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« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2009, 08:04:57 PM »

Brian,

I would estimate that the application of a single coat would take 30 minutes.  It is dry enuf in  4 hours for the next coat.  Just imagine that your floor is a giant window and you have to squeegee it off with a 18(24) inch window cleaner's squeegee.  I have only seen it demo'd but the one with the swivel head is trick and it will take a 6 foot pole.

I sanded mine with a DA autobody sander.  It flatened my oak floor in just a few minutes.  My wood floor is only 5 X 5 feet now mind you but I have a clear idea of what it is about.

I am not entirely sure "damage to the floor" is a valid consideration.  What do the flooring guys have to say about it?

Good luck,

John
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