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Author Topic: Flooring question  (Read 2715 times)
mike802
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« on: July 23, 2011, 07:32:44 PM »

I have been researching flooring material for the bus.  Using the search button, I have found lots of threads on hardwood flooring.  Many guys say stay away from it because of the temperature and humidity swings buses are exposed to.  Living in Vermont, my house is also exposed to huge temperature and humidity swings, we do not have central air and we heat with a wood stove, and oil and my homes hardwood floors don't move enough to show gaps, or buckling, in the winter they do squeak a little more than in the summer. 

The other option I have been considering is laminate flooring.  This will be much more stable, but I feel it will be less durable.  I am also worried that moisture, or water will delaminate it.

Option 3, I have been thinking of wide pine flooring.  If the flooring will move enough to show gaps, than maybe wide pine flooring would work because the gaps are part of the look.  When I say wide I'm thinking like 5" to 6" tongue and grove, not 15" to 16".   We don't really want carpet, but maybe we would use it in the bedroom. Although the search button has been helpful, it haven't really found anything that makes me comfortable making a decision, so I figured I would toss the question out to you guys who have been living with your decisions and how it has worked out for you.  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2011, 07:50:02 PM »

The engineered wood flooring seems to do well in buses and motor homes you are seeing it more and more in the high end motor homes and bus conversions I heard it can be re finished also

good luck
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2011, 07:59:12 PM »

I'm seriously considering bamboo  -  it's relatively inexpensive, looks good, is quite durable, doesn't have the potential problems of laminated materials, and apparently tolerates extremes of temperature and humidity well.

John
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2011, 08:00:16 PM »

In the last year have done a lot of research my self on this. must give room to move. seems to be secret. I have had problems in past with getting it to tight and a little swelling. just let it gap a little extra around the edges. Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2011, 10:26:33 PM »

We're re-flooring right now ourselves, and are working with a flooring company in Lake Havasu City, AZ who does a lot of snowbird RVs. The owners of the store is also trusted friends who understand our lifestyle, and are recreational RVers themselves.

As we will be all over the place, in wildly varying climates - we want something durable and able to handle swings in temp and humidity.

They advised us against laminates, as water can easily soak into the floors and ruin them - they said they rip them out of RVs frequently. Small leaks (like RVs are prone to) can cause big problems.  Stones & marbles will be more prone to cracking from motion (and be dangerously slippery with just a little moisture).  We did consider bamboo as well for its benefits (and yeah, it looks modern and awesome, and is more eco and sustainable), but wanted to stay away from a wood look as all the cabinetry and walls are already a light oak.  

We did also look at some cushiony feeling vinyl sheeting that was really nice, but just couldn't find a look we wanted in it.

So, we picked out a very high quality vinyl in 16 x 16 squares with a vintage-meets-modern look that should hold up to just about anything we toss at it (and be super easy to replace if anything does happen to a square or two).  It's installed on Thursday, and we're super excited!!

 - Cherie
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 10:29:37 PM by technomadia » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2011, 11:18:50 PM »

I have installed better than a dozen floors in  buses for folks over the the last few years.

They were all Prevo so my comments are directed at those owners.

Forget about gaps and expansion and contraction and cracking on the grout lines.

NONE of that is going to occur if you do it the correct way.

I put down 1/2 in backer board on the marble granite and ceramic floors and to date not 1 install came back with any complaint of any kind. I have marble in the cockpit and up the stairs on our old 85 and it has not even given a hint of cracking.

As for T&G flooring that is the ONLY thing Id use for wood.It don't need gapping if your concerned leave it off the edges at the bottom of the wall but only enough to cover it with some base molding if it will make you feel better.

We put 3/4 by 4in American walnut in the rest of the bus and I put it down just like it would have gone in our livingroom.

Again just to put you prevo guys wanting a good floor install at ease ponder this. When I am doing suspension work and I drop the body supports down on my jack stands if the shop floor is slightly off I know it cause after all the air is dumped if the floor is slightly off there will be 1 corner that the bus will not come in contact with the stand because of it. Yes you are reading correctly. The chassis is so rigid I can actually sometimes pull 1 stand loose with all the air dumped the chassis is so rigid.

You will have no cracking of grout lines on a prevo if you choose that medium.


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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2011, 07:11:21 AM »

Although Bamboo is beautiful, it scratches very easy. I've recently remodeled my master bedroom, and went with bamboo. I love the look, love the color, but hate the scratches. But for me the I would probably use it again, because it achieved the look I was after. Personally though, I don't know if I would use it in a high traffic area as the bus. But to each his own, my opinion only.
Fred
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2011, 07:22:32 AM »

I find it amusing when folks worry about enginered flooring and getting it wet. If you have leaks in your bus there isn't many flooring options that are going to work well.
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 07:28:57 AM »

Leveling systems and not so savoy owners of the system are the enemy to stone floors cracking, easy to control the shrinkage on wood floors living in a bus keep water in toilet and and in the traps takes care of it's self even in the AZ heat.
Joe I have seen Prevost marble floors cracked when equipped with the hydraulic leveling systems also MCI ,Eagles and VanHools people have to use a little common sense and some don't.
The laminate flooring some grades are good but you don't buy it at Lowes or HD it costs some of the cheaper laminates are done with photography on that crap of a base
GM bus frames are ridged also I have pulled jacks from those just like you do on a Prevost sure a MCI would be the same never tried it on a MCI  

good luck
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 07:44:01 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 07:47:40 AM »

I find it amusing when folks worry about enginered flooring and getting it wet. If you have leaks in your bus there isn't many flooring options that are going to work well.

I always like to find the poop-shooter problem at like 2 A.M. in the morning while using the facility, that really made my day.  I never thought about it (the above quote) but that is kind of amusing.  Kind of like, "When you are up to your rear in alligators, it is hard to remember, you are there to drain the swamp."

BCO
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2011, 10:27:17 AM »

Leveling systems and not so savoy owners of the system are the enemy to stone floors cracking, easy to control the shrinkage on wood floors living in a bus keep water in toilet and and in the traps takes care of it's self even in the AZ heat.
Joe I have seen Prevost marble floors cracked when equipped with the hydraulic leveling systems also MCI ,Eagles and VanHools people have to use a little common sense and some don't.
The laminate flooring some grades are good but you don't buy it at Lowes or HD it costs some of the cheaper laminates are done with photography on that crap of a base
GM bus frames are ridged also I have pulled jacks from those just like you do on a Prevost sure a MCI would be the same never tried it on a MCI  

good luck


I have looked at hundreds of Prevost conversions and have never seen one with a hydraulic leveling system. I have seen a hydraulic leveling system on Bluebirds and RVs, but all the Prevost coaches I have seen use the air bags for leveling.
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Jon Wehrenberg
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 11:21:58 AM »

You must have just never run into the right Prevost conversion. Clifford did say if it is equipped with it. I have seen lots of people convert a bus and install hydraulic leveling systems.

My bus is all tile inside, including the whole shower and the kitchen. I have hydraulic leveling systems installed that will lift the bus 2' off the ground. I live in Alaska and we have some extreme weather and large frost heaves to drive over. I can also lift one corner of my bus and not crack tile. But the bus was built rigid.
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 11:30:03 AM »

Keep on looking prevosman they are out there lol call Marathon they will install you a set for 12 grand HWH would not make or sell  those for a prevost  if there was no market, most owners with Prevost and slides like the hydraulic levelers better that the air fwiw 

« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 11:41:40 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2011, 12:22:57 PM »

Posted earlier about flooring and hardwood full thickness. Joe camper has some nice results out there! I will be cautious (because it's me) and leave a little gap around edges. covered by trim. Intresting enough after ariving at show today I found out one of our saw mill guys actually (at his commercial saw mill) produces t&g flooring. So this is hands on education week for me. I had planned on doing my own t&g work but now maybe a little trading in the future. We will be sawing all week. Our logs this week are all hard maple.(nice golden color in this part of the midwest)   Bob  always learning.
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2011, 02:02:08 PM »

Keep on looking prevosman they are out there lol call Marathon they will install you a set for 12 grand HWH would not make or sell  those for a prevost  if there was no market, most owners with Prevost and slides like the hydraulic levelers better that the air fwiw 



HWH systems are installed in a significant number of Prevost Coaches. Marathon, Country Coach, and numerous others installed the HWH as an over-ride to the Prevost Level Low system. But none of those HWH systems I have seen are hydraulic. They are an electronic control which over-rides the manually operated Level Low controls which are manual. The HWH allows for automatic leveling if desired, but it does so by opening and closing the solenoid valves that are the control valves that take the suspension system away from the ride height valves and allow the front, LH rear or RH rear to rise or drop depending on what the operator desires for leveling.


My serious doubt about the installation of a hydraulic leveling system is Prevost has specific chassis support points that are to be used to support the chassis. Those locations are not ideal for the location or attachment of the hydralic cylinders used in a leveling system. If levelers are installed at other than those support points I can believe the body will be stressed, but as Joe points out if you support the chassis on those points as shown in the owner's maual the chassis is very resistent to sagging or twisting.
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Jon Wehrenberg
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2011, 02:05:49 PM »

I just finished ripping out the original flooring.  I am converting an MCI 9 and only found one little rust spot over the left side front wheel well because of a mouse nest.  I was concerned because most of the rust I found in the walls was on the left side.  The cold air duct was no where as dirty as pictures I have seen on other buses.  I could have left the original floor in place, but now that it's gone I can up grade the insulation and lay a thicker sub floor.

I am not really concerned about my bus leaking, it leaks now because of some cracks in the window frames.  That water is waat caused the rust in the wall on the left side.  I plan on removing some windows and I will either repair the cracks in the window frames that stay, or replace them with the frames I remove if they are not cracked, but that water does not get into the bus where the floor will be.  My main concern is the floor getting wet from a plumbing problem, or an over flow of some sort.  My mother had laminate installed in her kitchen, the sink overflowed and the floor is damaged.

I have plenty of maple that was given to me and I am thinking of milling it into flooring.  I checked the moisture content last night and it is at 13%.  A little higher than I would like, I checked all the other wood I have in the shop, Oak, Maple, Mahogany and it is all at 13%, some of it is air dried and some of it is kiln dried, so looks like it has taken on the ambient humidity.  Even it I was to buy 7% moisture content kiln dried prefinished flooring and have it acclimate to the bus for a couple of days, it would jump up to 13%.

We are not really interested in flooring the whole coach with stone, or tile.  We may do that in the bath, but that would probably be it.  We prefer the warm feel of wood, or at least a wood look.
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2011, 06:54:24 PM »

What can I say my 96 Vogue had the HWH hydraulic levelers I watched those being installed in Iowa my friend in Neb has a 93 CC with HWH hydraulic levers the 2006 H-45 VIP I am driving to Michigan to the Prevost Prouds rally has HWH hydraulic levelers that's all I know except the Xlll with factory slides have beams running down each side for support of the slides and the jacks attach to those beams.
 I am sure Doc's 2012 H will have hydraulic levers never knew of him buying a Prevost without HWH hydraulic levelers and he has bought a few over the years the 2006 is a American Coach from Mark in Ca top of the line I must say
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 09:32:10 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2011, 10:23:29 PM »

The way Ive been doing nice stone or ceramic on the stairsis simple.

On the Prevo it is a molded piece of fiberglass.

Put 1/2 in backboard on the treads and nothing on the rises.

Rough up the rises and glue the stone directly to them with liquid nails for marble,

Use thin set on the pieces for the treads just like your suppose to. For the sides same as the rises liquid nails for marble.

I have made templates out of stiff cardboard for the sides and gone to a mirror shop and have 4 in beveled mirror strips for the sides it is only about 60 bucks looks fantastic.

Also if you really want marble but not the hassle of scratching and polishing porcelain tile laddies that's the ticket. Not porclan coated ceramic but true porcelain. wont scratch looks dynamite with 0 maintenance. That will be the next floor I install guaranteed.

You can get your entrance stairs on a prevo looking dynamite for peanuts and some time.

I paid 2.75 a piece for st Croy brown marble from Lowe's did not have 200 into total materials and I did stairs and  the entire cockpit floor back to just past the front 2 seats
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2011, 10:27:04 PM »

Go to all the used for sale prevo website find something really nice you like and copy it.

It is really quite simple and inexpensive to get a real nice result.
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2011, 08:00:26 AM »

 In regards to the laminate, here's what we did. On a chance while at a flooring discount center in town, we decided to try out a box of laminate as a test. I needed to get something on the kitchen floor, and at 22.00 a box (aprox 25. somthing sq.ft.) it was worth the test (good or bad), and It turned out pretty decent and seemed to hold up even after a sizable leak in the roof hatch had been descovered, and ran a good amount of water across the flooring during one of our rare down pours out here. It seemed to dry out ok . On to the living room floor, I layed new carpet for the living room floor, and after a week of me running back and forth, in and out of the bus decided the center of the carpet will turn to crap in short order, and putting runners over the carpet was out!!! I decided to extend the laminate up the middle of the living room floor, and then stand back and ponder on the results of it being trampled on. Here are the results:





We put this stuff down last december, I have been working on the coach since that time almost every day. The bus is parked in the desert, so you can imagine the effects the dirt and rocks would have on the flooring, but to my surprise, this stuff has held up pretty well. I layed this stuff down on top of padding, making it a floaty floor. So far, I am inpressed with the results. YMMV


 Happy flooring! Grin
        Van
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2011, 02:17:04 PM »

I put down a laminate floor before the walls went in. It has survived a leaky roof hatch, and a plumbing mishap, as well as a dog water dish being spilled over several times.  Been in a year now and looks just like the day it went in. We spend a lot of time in the desert as well and it is very durable stuff. Got it at HD on a 75% off clearance sale. Did the entire bus for under $100.
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2011, 06:25:00 PM »

Thanks Van and thomasinnv:  This is just the type of info I was looking for.  For 100 bucks, wow I would give it a try also, haven't found any deals like that yet, but one would surly influence my decision.  I tend to be swaying between hardwood flooring vs wide pine, or a laminate look alike.  I would like to achieve the look of an old sea side cottage, not really interested in the executive suite, or a lot of "bling", but I do appreciate the craftsmanship people on this board have put into their "look" even if it is not for me. Thanks for all the responses.
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2011, 06:39:06 PM »

Maybe one of these guys might have something for ya Wink

http://www.flooringamerica.com/states/vermont.aspx

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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2011, 07:54:30 PM »

I put down a toungue and groove floor about 10 years ago in our coach which is basicly right down the center. It has survived all the usual mishaps. At the time i was leary of gluing it to the subfloor (3/4 ply) so i actually nailed it down with finish nails and a nail set. No issues what so ever. Every once in a while i run some lemon oil on them and again they shine.
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2011, 05:17:24 AM »

  The biggest issue I think many here arent catching, or paying attention to, is that laminates dont breathe. While the laminate flooring itself can withstand water, it also will not allow any water that seems under it to evaporate, and that can and will rot the plywood floor underneath it. Tile would act simularly.

  Plain hardwood flooring does breathe, and any water that seeps under it can evaporate so your floor dont rot out.

  So we either have to guard judiciously against any and all leaks, or use materials that wont trap water beneath them.

  Its been discussed here also, that once stabilised inside the Bus, wood will expand and contract at the same rate as the plywood floor, so there shouldnt really be any big issues. Just bring the wood inside the Bus and leave it in there a week or two before you install it.
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« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2011, 06:44:53 AM »

Van:  Thanks for the link.

DMoedave:  what species of wood did you use?

The idea of the floor breathing, had not thought of that, thanks.
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