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C5c5 03-02-2020 01:16 PM

Flooring Remodel Questions for Class A
 
Greetings!

I was wondering what general practices I need to keep in mind when I replace my Class A flooring.

Currently it is wood and carpet with a plywood subfloor.

I want to completely replace it with plywood and apply a nice finish to it.

My questions so far:

1. What is the best way to obtain as seemless a look as possible between the laid plywood panels? A relative of mind has a stained plywood floor and I think it looks fantastic. The only thing I do not like is how you can see all the edges. Is it possible to get a seamless look, if so how?

2. What kind of things do I need to do overall for the plywood floor when installing to prevent breakage from twisting & torsion of the coach?

Is installing it as a floating floor recommended - yes or no? Advantages vs disadvantages?

3. How much insulation is best to install under it, and what kind?

4. Is a vapor barrier of some kind needed under the floor?

5. I am tossing around the idea of installing heated flooring elements under the plywood to keep the floor nice and warm during the winter. Is this a bad idea for plywood?

I might think of more questions as I explore this more!

lockinload 03-05-2020 07:10 AM

Are you replacing the existing subfloor? Don't know how you could possibly put plywood over plywood and still have your slides operable.

C5c5 03-05-2020 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lockinload (Post 5172737)
Are you replacing the existing subfloor? Don't know how you could possibly put plywood over plywood and still have your slides operable.

Thank you for responding!
I am repairing some sections of the subfloor that are worn out.

I do not have slides in my motorhome.

Darin1960 03-05-2020 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by C5c5 (Post 5169439)
Greetings!

I was wondering what general practices I need to keep in mind when I replace my Class A flooring.

Currently it is wood and carpet with a plywood subfloor.

I want to completely replace it with plywood and apply a nice finish to it.

My questions so far:

1. What is the best way to obtain as seemless a look as possible between the laid plywood panels? A relative of mind has a stained plywood floor and I think it looks fantastic. The only thing I do not like is how you can see all the edges. Is it possible to get a seamless look, if so how?

2. What kind of things do I need to do overall for the plywood floor when installing to prevent breakage from twisting & torsion of the coach?

Is installing it as a floating floor recommended - yes or no? Advantages vs disadvantages?

3. How much insulation is best to install under it, and what kind?

4. Is a vapor barrier of some kind needed under the floor?

5. I am tossing around the idea of installing heated flooring elements under the plywood to keep the floor nice and warm during the winter. Is this a bad idea for plywood?

I might think of more questions as I explore this more!

Dont think you will get a seamless look , also most plywood will need an expansion joint because of expansion but that could be a no issue in a a small area but would leave a bit of a space on edges atleast . Even without the need of an expansion joint you will still see joints

As far as floating floor , can't do this with plywood, generally a floating floor is interlocking or some type vinyl plank with the stick together edges that go over and under each other . No issue I can think of concerning twisting or breaking but you will need to secure it to your subflooring which is generally done with screws . As far as insulation under floor, you gotta consider you will be raising the height unless you are talking about insulating under coach . Adding insulation also makes for a not so solid base for your plywood. Honestly, with the extra time and effort to finish plywood to make it look presentable I would remove your old carpet and lay either a pre finished interlocking engineered wood floor or a interlocking vinyl like I recently did in my MH. A couple bucks a sqft and you have a almost waterproof floor , with all sorts of colors and wood looking finishes .

Bobog 03-05-2020 06:24 PM

No slides make it easier but . . .

I think an actual plywood floor is a bad idea. Plywood isn't designed to be a floor. Slivers alone would do it for me. Ouch!

As I understand it, you are thinking of repairing any sub-floor issues then putting a new solid surface covering rather than carpeting. Easier to clean but as you have no doubt noted, cold on the tootsies.

I suggest you have a look at the so-called luxury vinyl planking. Lots of attractive patterns and colours. Waterproof. Easy to install and easy to replace a plank or two if necessary later on. I started on this in my RV last fall before freezeup. Hope to finish it up next month when things thaw.

Insulation would help keep things warmer but may not be strong enough to not dent or compress under flooring.
Is electric heat even possible under vinyl, wood, or carpet unless if it is not embedded in cement or similar? Gotta check on that.
The thicker your flooring material, the more adjusting and trimming you'll need to do to doors, etc. Will headroom be an issue with a higher floor?

Lots to think about and plan for. Let us know how it turns out!

rodekyll 03-05-2020 06:27 PM

Do you know the subfloor to be plywood? Most of the pictures of subfloors (and mine) are not.

All I can answer of your questions are:

no, you don't need a moisture barrier. Those are used when laying over porous materials like cement. You'll see when you take yours up that there is none there now.

There might be a gap of some inches between the subfloor and the bottom pan of the coach. Mine had enough to put a sheet of 1" over a sheet of 1.5" blue Styrofoam insulation down and then cover with new plywood. I floated vinyl plank over that.

You can't make plywood look seamless and also preserve the grain. You'd need to putty it somehow, and the straightness would still show. I'd go the opposite direction and emphasize the seams with a contrasting beading.

Plywood makes for a soft deck that mars easily. That's one reason why you don't see it too often. It's also very heavy compared to actual flooring.

The above observations about slides are also valid. I had to work to keep within about a millimeter of the original floor height to preserve my slide orientation.

You didn't name your class A, which would help.

C5c5 03-05-2020 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rodekyll (Post 5173650)



You didn't name your class A, which would help.

1994 Fleetwood Pace Arrow

BUB1988 03-06-2020 08:22 AM

We removed our carpet only and installed the vinyl planking. Fairly easy to do but installed it to float. It floated to much now I have some small gaps. If I did it again I would look at material where I could add a heated floor for the COLD winter days in Central Florida :)

Sundancer268 03-06-2020 04:36 PM

I need to lift my floating floor and glue it down, sub freezing temps have opened the seams and they will not stay connected now. Floating will not work with vinyl unless you can maintain a temp above 50 degrees, package said that and I didn't listen so now I need to redo.

Ernie Ekberg 03-07-2020 07:19 AM

you can't just install plywood as floating- humidity will make it buckle
you have to screw and glue it
when you screw and glue it you will see the screw heads
and no matter how much urethane you put on it- will still look unfinished
and ugly

C5c5 03-07-2020 09:18 AM

Besides wood, what other good options for rv flooring are available that will give a very smooth surface that can be painted & sealed?

Ernie Ekberg 03-07-2020 10:01 AM

nothing
why do you want to make your coach ugly?

rodekyll 03-07-2020 02:32 PM

You might want to take an afternoon and wander through some rigs at the used RV lot. See how folks have renovated their interiors and what they have used.

Many types of engineered hardwood, vinyl plank, bamboo, etc planking are waterproof and interlocking. Then there's the traditional sheet vinyl, vinyl tiles, ceramic tiles, etc. A stroll through the local building superstore will get you acquainted with current technologies.

Remember that a motorhome is a rolling 8.2 earthquake. The floor is twisting and heaving with every turn of the tires. The flooring also expands and contracts with temperature. Whatever you make a floor out of needs to be able to flex pretty freely without coming undone. Large, rigid areas, excessive anchor points, and brittle materials don't lend to that goal. Thin, short planks and tiles, floating installations and flexible materials do. Weight is an issue. durability . . .

C5c5 03-07-2020 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ernie Ekberg (Post 5175724)
nothing
why do you want to make your coach ugly?

Well, some folks like blood sausage and lutefisk. Distaste and aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder.

Since I'm not going to sell my motorhome to you or anyone else, I might as well customize it the way I want. [emoji2]

C5c5 03-07-2020 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rodekyll (Post 5176019)

Large, rigid areas, excessive anchor points, and brittle materials don't lend to that goal.

Could you explain what excessive anchor points means?

rodekyll 03-07-2020 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by C5c5 (Post 5176152)
Could you explain what excessive anchor points means?

Too many screws through the decking -- chairs and such bolted through the floor, seatbelt anchors, cabinet weight on the floor, etc -- anything that keeps the floor from floating -- is an anchor. There are going to be some necessary anchor points, but you don't want a lot. One way to reduce them is to cut a much larger hole in the flooring than the bolt (say -- seatbelt anchor) requires. That allows the floor to float around the anchor. My original floor had the driver/copilot seat bolted to the subfloor and the flooring laid around it.

If the left side moves and the right side can't you can split/buckle/spring it. Plywood over plywood makes for a rigid deck that can't move with the motion of the chassis. It can damage the subfloor joists. Flooring over plywood (or whatever paneled subfloor you've got) can move independently of each other, and the flooring itself can shift and "wave". There should be randomly-occurring little areas where the floor creaks with your weight as the layers shift against each other.

There are a lot of internet videos explaining this better than I can -- they're where I learned this stuff for my own floor, I'm not a flooring professional. As with anything on the internet, don't stop with the first thing you read/watch. There are different learned opinions and techniques out there. Find the one that best suits your situation.

Darin1960 03-07-2020 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by C5c5 (Post 5169439)
Greetings!

I was wondering what general practices I need to keep in mind when I replace my Class A flooring.

Currently it is wood and carpet with a plywood subfloor.

I want to completely replace it with plywood and apply a nice finish to it.

My questions so far:

1. What is the best way to obtain as seemless a look as possible between the laid plywood panels? A relative of mind has a stained plywood floor and I think it looks fantastic. The only thing I do not like is how you can see all the edges. Is it possible to get a seamless look, if so how?

2. What kind of things do I need to do overall for the plywood floor when installing to prevent breakage from twisting & torsion of the coach?

Is installing it as a floating floor recommended - yes or no? Advantages vs disadvantages?

3. How much insulation is best to install under it, and what kind?

4. Is a vapor barrier of some kind needed under the floor?

5. I am tossing around the idea of installing heated flooring elements under the plywood to keep the floor nice and warm during the winter. Is this a bad idea for plywood?

I might think of more questions as I explore this more!

Not trying to be difficult in any way but you did start this thread by asking what general practices to keep in mind when replacing class a flooring but your idea is a bit beyond the general practice and several folks have offered suggestions that are tried and proven.

Not exactly sure what you are looking for because in 1st post you mentioned a relatives floor being stained , later you mentioned painting your floor. As stated , you will not be able to have a seamless floor with plywood be it stained or painted. Although I am totally against the idea I am about to tell you , this will probably be the closest you will ever come to having a seamless wood floor stained or painted.There is a company that sells wood veneer in sheets as large as 4ft by 10 ft.

These sheets can be glued down and you could limit seems according to your floorplan , and the seems would be as minimal as your fitting skills permit .Also with gluing it down you you have no nails. The veneer is very thin and I have doubts as to how it will handle normal foot traffic and the time and effort to come close to a near seamless floor would be quite overwhelming I am afraid.

If you want to check it out, the company is Wisewood ,if you want find it, google large wood veneer. Sorry to end this with a somewhat negative statement but I think you will not be happy with a plywood floor in any application except for an ole hunting cabin or shop of some sort.

Rkesselus 03-07-2020 07:57 PM

For joining plywood with a no joint look you need to make what is called a scarf joint and it has to be glued together under pressure which may be difficult in a motor home. The process is to select two pieces that have the same grain pattern. Lay the two pieces together and then you mark the top piece with a two inch line from the joint and then the bottom piece with the same dimension line. your then sand both mating edges from the two incline to the end of the piece to make a angle and the same thing to the other piece, The two angle pieces then fit together and are glued under pressure. The result will be a joint that does not show. It is labor intensive but it will work. Google how to make a scarf joint and you will get several spots the describe it with pictures.

C5c5 03-07-2020 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rodekyll (Post 5176252)
Too many screws through the decking -- chairs and such bolted through the floor, seatbelt anchors, cabinet weight on the floor, etc -- anything that keeps the floor from floating -- is an anchor. There are going to be some necessary anchor points, but you don't want a lot. One way to reduce them is to cut a much larger hole in the flooring than the bolt (say -- seatbelt anchor) requires. That allows the floor to float around the anchor. My original floor had the driver/copilot seat bolted to the subfloor and the flooring laid around it.



If the left side moves and the right side can't you can split/buckle/spring it. Plywood over plywood makes for a rigid deck that can't move with the motion of the chassis. It can damage the subfloor joists. Flooring over plywood (or whatever paneled subfloor you've got) can move independently of each other, and the flooring itself can shift and "wave". There should be randomly-occurring little areas where the floor creaks with your weight as the layers shift against each other.



There are a lot of internet videos explaining this better than I can -- they're where I learned this stuff for my own floor, I'm not a flooring professional. As with anything on the internet, don't stop with the first thing you read/watch. There are different learned opinions and techniques out there. Find the one that best suits your situation.

TY for the explanation.

I am doing the internet research as you suggested.

C5c5 03-07-2020 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darin1960 (Post 5176320)

Not exactly sure what you are looking for because in 1st post you mentioned a relatives floor being stained , later you mentioned painting your floor.

I am brainstorming different flooring ideas, plywood being my favorite so far.

I definitely have considered the popular & conventional flooring options such as tiles, vinyl, etc. The problem with them is that they mostly have the "tiled" and small square/rectangular look. I do not want that and am looking for options that will give the best large seamless or smooth look.

Your input and ideas are a good help! Thank you.

C5c5 03-07-2020 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rkesselus (Post 5176367)
For joining plywood with a no joint look you need to make what is called a scarf joint and it has to be glued together under pressure which may be difficult in a motor home. The process is to select two pieces that have the same grain pattern. Lay the two pieces together and then you mark the top piece with a two inch line from the joint and then the bottom piece with the same dimension line. your then sand both mating edges from the two incline to the end of the piece to make a angle and the same thing to the other piece, The two angle pieces then fit together and are glued under pressure. The result will be a joint that does not show. It is labor intensive but it will work. Google how to make a scarf joint and you will get several spots the describe it with pictures.

Interesting. I will check it out. Thank you!


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