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Old 08-05-2015, 07:41 PM   #1
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Floating floor or secure it?

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of securing a floor to the van? I'm not sure how much the body flexes and if it needs some give. I was planning on securing the cabinets to the wood floor and to the walls of the van, so it will still be pretty secure in its own right.

So foam board, then wood on top is the plan. I'm thinking about running furring strips and putting a bolt through the floor of the van and the furring strip. Then just use wood screws to secure the wood floor to the furring strips. It would be a pain in the ass to take it apart if I have to, but it will be solid.

Is this overkill or a good idea? Also, any opinions on using OSB for the subfloor?

Here's the idea..
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

Hi,

The installation of 1/2" plywood over the sheet metal floor will do wonders to dampen noise and make for a warmer walking surface when covered with a rolled sheet flooring.

I suggest using a self drilling/self tapping screw that just penetrates the raised metal floor ribs and avoid piercing fluid lines and the fuel tank. (I found screws piercing both tanks in my latest project. Fumes were thick inside the van.)

Get screws with a wide head to avoid crushing the plywood. One screw every foot in both directions should work to keep the sheet smooth. Start at one end of the sheet and screw your way to the other. (Ahem.)

I know OSB is cheaper and rated for some moisture resistance, but I like the consistency of the edge thickness of plywood for a smoother joint between sheets. (Ahem.). That joint is less likely to swell later and telegraph up through the finish sheet flooring.

You'll be surprised how much quieter the van will be with a floor added.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:40 PM   #3
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

FWIW, my floor is screwed to the van floor in maybe 4 or 5 random places using existing holes in the van floor like the old seat mounts.

It's not going anywhere and doesn't squeak or move.....all of my cabinets are just screwed to the floor, nothing attached to the walls, and no L brackets anywhere. I'm in the process of modifying a cabinet to extend up to the penthouse rails so the top of that cabinet will attach to the PH rails with a couple of small screws.

The idea/sketch you have above looks sound; as already mentioned I would use something nicer (I did, I used Baltic birch plywood ) than OSB. You didn't mention what you are planning on covering the wood with....

Here is my floor construction if you are interested:

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=11764&start=60
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:16 PM   #4
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

I think RV makers generally do floating floors. Probably to prevent warping from thermal expansion. Van might be small enough this won't be a problem?
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:34 AM   #5
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

For the most part my 3/4" plywood floor is not attached to the van body----I hate drilling holes for this reason. Living in the midwest such action invites rust so its best to find another way.

What I've done is use the sheet metal flange located 1-1 1/2" up from the floor, lower edge of the body side interior. Flooring was cut to purposely slide under that flange, strips of solid wood cut to essentially wedge between the flange and flooring, trapping it. I did use self-drilling sheet metal screws down through the flange into the wood strips which holds them in place but also makes a nice lower "nailing edge" for paneling etc.

This was made a lot easier by using sections of floor, cut to allow a seam over one of the floor ribs open areas. Tongue & groove or rabbited joints work well with a 1/2" plywood strip under the seam (inside the rib open space) with screws locking everything together as they sink into the plywood strips.

This way I basically have a one piece floor system without any holes drilled through the floor metal and exposed to the elements. Here's a photo of this, the vertical pieces weren't used, in this view they were simply a test:



Depending on your climate its my opinion nothing like insulation or similar should be between the floor and body sheet metal. The wood along with carpet or vinyl flooring gives fairly amazing sound deadening and extra layers of insulation underneath doesn't do much in maintaining the finished cabin's temperatures.
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:29 AM   #6
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

My SMB installed floor was plywood only, screwed and bolted randomly. When I replaced it I added a foam layer underneath. You really don't need to bother with firring strips unless you just want to. The floor won't compress under it. In this link you can see my removal and replacement of the floor. I just re-used SMBs plywood since it looked good, but I did add rigid foam underneath. The bolts that SMB used for the cabinets (which go all the way through the metal floor) are pretty much all that holds it in place.

viewtopic.php?p=128439#p128439

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Old 08-06-2015, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

Thanks for all the input guys. I definitely wasn't going to use a bunch of screws to go through the floor. It was going to be probably 6 bolts going all the way through and sealed with some silicone, and the floors screws would have been going into the furring strips alone.

I like JWA's idea about wedging a little piece of wood under the lip. I think that's the route I'm going to go. I'm quite surprised that you guys say don't worry about insulating the bottom. To me, I feel like that'd be the one place you would want get insulate.

The reason I brought up OSB instead of plywood is for the very reason of warping. OSB is designed for subflooring and is about as square as you can get it. My parents have a bunch of faux wood flooring left over from when they redid a room in their house, so that's going to be the final floor.

As of now I'm just waiting on my welder to cut a hole in the back where the spare used to sit, then I can get to work on the floor. This pinched nerve in my lower back is halting progress though. Time is running out! Thanks for all the input, back to the drawing board.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

I insulated the floor with Hush-Mat (Fat Mat) and EZ-Cool (Reflectix) then counter sunk six screws into each panel of the 1/2" exterior plywood along the edges, particularly at the seams of the three pieces of ply. Then I poly coated the plywood and floated a resilient plank flooring. The rear seat and cabinet bolts also hold the plywood down. So OCD, yes.



But it is super quiet inside. You can hear a pin drop, and the heat from the exhaust doesn't radiate into the cabin, either.
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:59 AM   #9
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

Allow me to repeat a thought I've expressed many, many times here previously---there's little to no real benefit gained by adding layers under the plywood floor---of anything. Plywood alone will reduce road noise from the floor 90%, when flooring material is added that's pretty much reached the limit of sound reduction possible from treating the floor.

Any sheet metal interior surface above the floor is where attention needs to be paid for maximum temperature and sound control. I've used a single layer of foil-backed radiant barrier insulation glued against the sheet metal, filled door and lower body cavities with Johns-Manville white unfaced fiberglass insulation as a first step. The hollow spaces created when adding sidewalls can be filled with the same Johns-Manville insulation, all resulting in a very effective interior that is quiet and easy to heat/cool as well.

I'm also one of those "more is better..........." types but after a few practical experiences I'm speaking from experience now. Do keep in mind I live/work in Ohio where we have four seasons. I add this only because it seems many of our members here are in drier climates.
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:25 AM   #10
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Re: Floating floor or secure it?

I think another question to ask is "why do I need to screw/bolt the floor down"?

By the time you get it fit around the rear wheel wells and other van features and install a bunch of cabinets/seats on top of it, it can't go anywhere.

There may be a few good reasons to screw it down, but so far, I have not thought of any....
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