Flooring

Quick guide on how to install flooring in a sprinter van build.

When choosing what flooring that you want to use on your van there are many different options. For my van I decided to go with a vinyl laminate flooring that at first glance resembles a high end hardwood floor. The benefit of going with a vinyl laminate floor is the thickness of the product and its durability and easy clean up. The flooring is pretty easy to install and just requires a bit of patience to get started nice and straight and then its smooth sailing.

DifficultyBeginner Duration½ Day

Materials Used

The vinyl laminate flooring is more water resistant and ideal for higher-moisture areas that a traditional laminate hardwood floor making it the perfect choice in the van.

Tools Required

Install Process

When you have your plywood sub floor installed, which I discussed in the insulation section you are ready to have your flooring installed. Since I reused the existing floor that came with my van I had to plug some of the holes before I was able to install laminate plank flooring.

The install process on the floor goes quite quickly once you get started and can easily be completed in a half a days worth of work. Before you begin laying the the flooring material you are going to want to map out the spacing from your starting side to make sure when you reach the far side you aren’t left with a sliver of a piece that becomes impossible to deal with. After you have laid out the first row of the flooring I recommend creating a stagger pattern which will not only speed up the install process but also ensure that your seams in the flooring match the suggested specifications from the manufacturer.

Most flooring applications depending on the length of your planks will have a 3 or 4 step pattern so just check the packaging that your flooring came it and it will tell you the amount of stagger use with your particular flooring.

Pro Tips

Install the Floor Later – For my van I decided to install the flooring right after I was completed with the insulation aspect. If I were to do things over I would wait until the van was almost completed before installing the floor. Reasons being

  1. Reduces the chances of damage during construction
  2. Reduces the amount of flooring required since you won’t be installing the flooring under cabinets you cannot see
  3. Eliminates Bubbling, in my van although I love the vinyl flooring when areas of the floor was exposed to direct sunlight and floor will expand due to the heat and with this floor being a floating floor it is meant to be able to expand and contract with changing temperature. Since my flooring goes under all the cabinets and the cabinets are fastened through the floor it has no ability to expand and contract and on hot days a large air bubble will form where the sun is hitting the floor. So make sure when installing your floor that you leave a but of clearance around the edged to allow for the expansion and contraction of the floor.

Trim Pieces – On the van I tried to use a rubber edge piece with a 3M spray adhesive but when the sun hits the sliding door opening directly the glue gets soft and allows the trim piece to peel off. I am going to have to install and metal trim piece with proper fasteners at some point.

If you do decide that you want to install the flooring before you are closer to the end of your build I recommend placing down some sort of hard board over the floor to protect it during the construction phase.

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