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Author Topic: Back to Basics:flooring selection  (Read 4967 times)
MikeH
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2011, 07:13:46 PM »

Quote from: RichardEntrekin
Have any of you used or thought about using cork flooring? Right now that is the leading contender for reflooring my rig. I know two Newell owners who have installed some of the higher end stuff over radiant heating and they are very happy.  Wickanders was the brand they used.

We did two bedrooms in our house with an engineered cork flooring, similar to what you would see at any of the big box stores. The top layer (maybe 1/8") is cork with a hard finish on it, then some engineered wood/plastic/whatever in the middle, and they actually put cork on the bottom for a sound deadener, but that bottom layer is very thin and unfinished. It is a tongue-and-groove, so just pound it together and cut the end piece. We put it over a red paper over the sub-floor.  We got ours from a flooring store. Very nice, very easy to work with, more expensive than pergo, etc., probably because of the cork. They had several patterns and colors of the cork for us to choose from. We are very happy with it, and I think it would look great in a bus.

FWIW & HTH,

Mike
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Seayfam
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2011, 07:20:45 PM »

I personally wouldn't use OSB (oriented strand board) it is not an approved underlayment for flooring.
In houses they use it for a subfloor then use 1/2 ac plywood over it or approved particle board. I would suggest AC ply or some stores may call it ACX. This will not delaminate and bubble. Also it is lighter than OSB or particle board. I don't use OSB for anything when building houses. If it ever gets any moisture it swells, rots, and falls apart. Far as the flooring goes there are lots of good flooring out there. Go with a good quality and you will be fine. The size of our buses it won't cost a lot more. My self my personal favorite is Kahrs. This is a very good quality engineered wood flooring. I've had very good luck with it holding together at the seams. It just locks together just like laminate does. Keep in mind it is real wood so you can ding it if you drop or drag heavy things on it. But it looks very nice.
Just my thoughts
Gary Seay
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2011, 07:22:01 PM »

Mike 802  problem in our coaches is in Indiana we deal with 10 below zero in bus to sitting in sun in summer 140 degrees. best to just cut around cabinets and corners. usually furniture does not experience these extremes. plus we want cabinets and all we can bolted solid to floor.       Bob
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2011, 09:50:09 PM »

I don't know about using OSB as an underfloor, but today's OSB is much more moisture resistant than it used to be.  I have a semi trailer on which I used a couple of sheets of OSB as tire covers.  I keep meaning to paint them, but they have been out in the weather for over a year now and seem to be doing fine.  Yes, this is a desert but we have had enough rain to challenge them.  I remember getting OSB years ago that fell apart when wet though.
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2011, 06:34:17 AM »

If it helps when discussing the subfloor, I dragged out some of the specs from when I was buying bus fleets.  These go back to the late 70's up to the mid 80's.  

From the UMTA White Book (Advanced Design Transits, like the RTS and Flxible 870):  "The floor, as assembled, including the sealer, attachments, and covering shall be waterproof, nonhygroscopic, resistant to wet and dry rot, resistant to mold growth, and impervious to insects.  Plywood, if used, shall be no less than 3/4 inch thick American Plywood Association, Exterior Grade, A-C special, and shall be installed with the A side up and all edges sealed."  

From a 1986 spec for midsize transits --- "The floor will be either made of 3/4 inch thick Douglas Fir, Premium Grade exterior plywood, DFPA Grade AC or 14 gauge steel panels flanged on each side and supported by steel bars on each side.  The steel flooring is covered with 5/8 inch thick, five ply, Douglas Fir, Premium Grade exterior plywood, DFPA Grade AC.  The Grade A side of the plywood floorign is always on trhe upside."  "All edges of the plywood will be sealed with waterproof sealer and treated with chemical wood preservatives to inhibit rot, mold, and the attack of termites."  "The floor will be attached to the understructure with flush bolts or self tapping screws."

I can't immediately lay my hands on a spec I wrote in 1979, for a fleet of fishbowls, but what we see is consistent --- 3/4 inch waterproof, non-hydroscopic (won't absorb water" plywood, with the A side up.

I suspect, if you go on line and read the specs for transits and commuter coaches being purchased now, you'd probably find the same thing.  My thought is that if the original flooring was durable, and intended to be durable enough for a long life of abuse, it should be replaced in-kind.  I wouldn't personally use Oriented Strand Board, or anything else - but folks who know more may be aware of newer products.  This really is a job that should only be done once in the life of our coaches, and should be worth a few extra bucks to be sure it won't need to be redone.

For our 4107, we're trying to keep the coach as original as possible, so we're retaining the original RCA Rubber floor.  However, if we were to replace it, or when I get around to doing the floors in the house, I think Pergo is a good choice.  Here's some more information on Pergo ---http://na.pergo.com/  I think Pergo is more dimensionally stable than solid wood, but I'm not sure.  In any event, you have to allow for wood movement, remembering that wood swells and shrinks across the grain, but - side to side, but not lengthwise.  It also cups opposite the tree ring pattern, so the rule of thumb is "Inside of tree, outside of project" - to keep the joints flush.  (Robert, I still wouldn't chamfer the edges -- inside joke)

Robert, as to the cabinet you mentioned, set on top of your floor, there's a product called "slick strips" - a high density slippery plastic. http://www.woodcraft.com/Search2/Search.aspx?query=slick%20strips If you can anchor the cabinets laterally and longitutionally, I wonder if putting this under your cabinets may solve the problem.  If you want to drill down and also anchor them to the floor, elongated holes through the flooring material would still let the floor move.
    
Arthur
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 09:38:10 AM by Runcutter » Logged

Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2011, 09:44:03 AM »

Just keep in mind if you decide to use Pergo or any other laminate. It is still just laminate glued to Masonite (pressed sawdust) very hard but it doesn't like moisture. I have had many warranty claims with it bubbling at the seams. Engineered hardwood floors like Kahrs are multiple layers of wood glued together like plywood. It won't curl or buckle at the seams as one would think. You can Google Pergo and Kahrs and look at the reviews.
FWIW

Gary
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2011, 11:00:34 AM »

Gary, I'm not familiar with Kahrs, but laminated real wood makes a lot of sense.  Thanks for helping out with your knowledge.

Installation is also the key, with anything.  A local Chinese Buffet that I patronize has some kind of fake plank flooring (Armstrong, Pergo perhaps?), and it was installed wrong.  Each "board" has buckled so bad that it looks, and feels like you're walking on a rubber mat.

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2011, 11:05:45 AM »

I second what Gary stated about laminate flooring. A lot of people jump all over it due to ease of installation and price. What they fail to think about is you get what you pay for.
A lot of buses leak in one way or another and laminate flooring do NOT like water of any kind including high humidity.
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Ace Rossi
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mike802
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2011, 06:31:38 PM »

My mom installed a laminate flooring in her kitchen and as kitchen sinks are known to due, she had a plumbing failure, the floor got wet and it ruined it. 
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Seayfam
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2011, 07:42:37 PM »

Also I almost forgot, you can put the flooring under the cabinets if that's what you want. Just leave enough room on the other side of the bus for expansion. Our buses are narrow enough that your not going to get that much expansion.
Just my thoughts,

Gary
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
1969 MCI MC-6 unit# 20006
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more pics and information here     "  www.my69mci-6.blogspot.com  "
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2011, 08:06:24 PM »

If you do install your cabinets on top of your flooring, just remember we all like a change after awhile
And if you get tired of your flooring guess what, your cabinets have to come out. Shocked
Good luck

Gary
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
1969 MCI MC-6 unit# 20006
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Dave Knight
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2011, 08:22:41 PM »

Ok, let me get this straight and also how it pertains to body flex.

It is best to lay the sub floor, then mount the cabinets to the wall over the sub floor but not connected in any way and then lay down the tile or wood top surface around the cabinets and add some skirting mounted to the walls to decoratively cover the gaps made around the furniture for expansion? Essentially making the cabinets hover over the floor. How much of a gap is preferable to compensate for most scenarios?
This also applies to the interior walls does it not? They should be mounted to the walls/ceiling and never the floor correct?

If the original wood floor was torn out should there be a gap placed to the side walls or tight to the walls as was original - at least on mine? I don't see that the sub floor makes any difference does it?

To simplify, if I'm understanding everything I've read on this and other threads is that nothing should mount to the floor but carpet/wood flooring/tile and floor furniture in order to compensate for flex and expansion right? Nothing to lock the sides and floor together. Should the vanity mount only to the wall too?

-Dave 
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2011, 09:53:13 PM »

Ok let me try and sum this up for you the best I can.
This thread pretty much is about finished flooring and expansion from heating, cooling, and humidity.
Also types of subfloor. If you are starting from scratch and need to do your subfloor. You need to use 3/4" or thicker marine grade AC plywood. No need to leave gap at walls. Then build your walls, install all your cabinets and fasten them all to the subfloor. Then when you install your finish floor you leave a gap all the way around everything (approx 3/8") then you install your trim fastening it to the wall and cabinets and not the floor. This let's the finish floor float so it don't buckle under humid conditions or under flex. If I'm forgetting something or I'm wrong, someone please chime in and correct me.

Gary
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2011, 06:34:49 AM »

What determines "marine" grade has generally been the waterproof glue and fir plywood. Yellow pine  FIVE PLY exterior sheathing grade  5/8" or better is suitable for the subfloor in most cases, though I prefer 3/4". You should coat it liberally with a waterproof sealer and (in my opinion) oil based exterior paint before installing it as a REPLACEMENT subfloor. If you leave the existing factory floor in, the paint isn't necessary, but the sealer is always a good idea, especially on the edges. Sit the cabinets on the subfloor, attach to the walls. I use a 1x3" cleat screwed to the subfloor behind the toe kick board and screw through the cabinet toe kick to anchor the base of the cabinets to them. They can be removed if you change or otherwise want to remove cabinets. Never hang the base cabinets from the walls only; it will make them sag and they won't be adequately secured to the bus. Finish flooring edge gaps can be between 1/4 to 3/8 inch and will be covered by shoe molding or similar, nailed to the WALLS or cabinets, not to the floor. Your floor will be able to move with the seasons and everything else will be right where you left it last time you parked the bus. Wood flooring expands more across the grain that parallel to it; if you install it across the floor, side to side, the expansion will be minimal along the side of the bus, but if you have a 15 foot long salon, expansion in the front-to-rear dimension will be much greater,  and the floor joints will open up a little in the winter (dry) months. If you don't allow room for expansion and install in the winter, you will have a washboard effect when the air becomes humid. Sealing the edges and unfinished sides of the floor is the only way to minimize these effects. It isn't done in homebuilding, but the climate changes within our buses is more like the weather in an outside porch.
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« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2011, 09:44:35 AM »

Busy morning!  I'm in the process of doing my permanent flooring now, two layers of 1/2 plywood, i'm not using OSB.....(to much moisture in this bus environment), I'm using 3M adhesive then using 1 7/16ths self tapping screws, I did also use stainless metal over the rear drive and tag areas, again for combating long term exposure to water!   (Prevost used this too).  Where the tile floor goes I'm using one layer of 1/2" plywood and one layer of hardybacker  also 1/2"  I've also sealed the edges along the outside walls with 3M sealant to prevent moisture problems.  Carpet and tile......will finish this off!  I personally think water is the enemy of bus floors, and anything you can do to stop this will give a much better and long term floor.
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