Flooring material choices for conversion

That is the problem. Maintaining teak is not the same as restoring teak not maintained. If you oil it once and never do anything else then yes, it gets ugly and is a pain to clean. I appreciate the feedback though.
 

Joe917

Explorer
It is a very general statement to say wood is bad at handling moisture. People have teak furniture and decks that sits outside all year and as long as it is maintained (oiled etc) will last a very long time. Wood is used as roof shaking and siding and can last many years. Although it is common, not all wood in the marine industry is ply. Many people I know have solid teak decking on their boats. Most of the piers and docks I have ever come across are made from wood.

I have had wood floors in bathrooms of many homes and they all last very long as long as they are maintained. Maintenance is the key with any wood product as much as selecting the right wood and cut. 1/4 sawn helps control expansion.

I would rather leave the metal floor in my van bare than use vinyl... but that is just me.
Teak furniture will swell and shrink and you would never see it. Shakes have expansion joints between each shake.Solid teak decking is rare. Piers and docks move. You have obviously decided to go with wood, have at it.
 
I understand and do not debate that wood swells and shrinks. That would certainly be an issue if it was installed with no expansion space around the perimeter or between each plank. I think there is plenty of room for expansion and a long history of boat builders would agree it is a perfectly fine material around moisture. With that said, does anyone have specific experience using it in a van? Gluing it down vs nailing it down?
 

kevman

Observer
How thick is the veneer on marine plywood? I had never thought of this being an option but if you're going to use a plywood subfloor under a vinyl floor you could save weight, install time and potentially cost by using a veneered plywood. We have birch veneer plywood in our kitchen at home and it's been great. The veneer is thin but since it's painted it's very easy to touch up, even if it chips through the top veneer. An oiled teak veneer plywood in a van would be beautiful. Assuming the veneer layer is thick enough to handle some wear and tear I can't see why it couldn't last the life of the van.
 

Flagster

Expedition Leader
In our 144" we chose to insulate the factory floor and retain the ability to remove it using the factory attachment points...tie downs were placed where we need them. This pic is early on in the conversion...
The factory floor is very easy to clean...
 

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kerry

Expedition Leader
Ipe is unlikely to glue down very well, is my guess. It is so dense it won't absorb any glue. It's also heavy, so heavy it won't float. I like laminate flooring my self. I use Sam's Club amber oak in my rental properties and I put it in my Northstar TS 1000 about 8 years ago. Holding up well. Before I started using it I experimented by soaking pieces in a bucket of water and using a piece as a kitchen cutting board for a few months. The surface is very tough and the laminate durable.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
The fake synthetic teak used on some high end racing yacts for sure was not slick when wet, teak was popular for this reason besides its durability. The negative? Teak decks in the tropics? Turn boats into ovens and burn the s-it out of your feet,arse or anything else that comes in contact with it. Think black car in 120degree Arizona Summer.
 

mrsa111

Observer
I was considering hardwood floors for awhile too. I have some beetle kill pine tongue and groove I was going to use, and just go crazy with hardener and sealing it. My friend that does a lot of woodwork thought it would do fine but Suggested I go for a "wheathered/beat up look" because it would be hard to avoid.

What changed my mind is the thickness, I need as much vertical room as I can get. So I'm trying to find something around 1/4".

To deal with the hot/cold movement in the floor I decided to build my cabinets to sit directly sit on the subfloor. And then install the final, top layer of flooring around the cabinets, so the cabinets sit "in" the flooring. Then use some kind of plank flooring, so if I have an issue area, I can just remove that plank and fit a new piece.. seems like a good idea to me at least.

Also, check this stuff out..
http://www.isiteek.com/isiteek-products/
I'm not sure how or where to get it, but looks promising.
 

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kerry

Expedition Leader
The remove and replace possibility is one of the reasons why I use laminate flooring. It's pretty thin also. I installed one in the entrance to an apt about 12 years ago. Door opens directly to the outside so it gets harsh treatment in the winter. Still holding up fine. Not much info on that isiteek website. No installation video and no FAQ's. I might have been interested in that for my Albin 25 cruiser cockpit. Edit: Looks like that isiteek is ridiculously expensive from the prices on Ebay. No wonder there are no prices on their website.
 
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kevman

Observer
I was considering hardwood floors for awhile too. I have some beetle kill pine tongue and groove I was going to use, and just go crazy with hardener and sealing it. My friend that does a lot of woodwork thought it would do fine but Suggested I go for a "wheathered/beat up look" because it would be hard to avoid.

What changed my mind is the thickness, I need as much vertical room as I can get. So I'm trying to find something around 1/4".

To deal with the hot/cold movement in the floor I decided to build my cabinets to sit directly sit on the subfloor. And then install the final, top layer of flooring around the cabinets, so the cabinets sit "in" the flooring. Then use some kind of plank flooring, so if I have an issue area, I can just remove that plank and fit a new piece.. seems like a good idea to me at least.

Also, check this stuff out..
http://www.isiteek.com/isiteek-products/
I'm not sure how or where to get it, but looks promising.
I guess what I'm curious about now is why not just skip the "sub floor" and go straight to "finished floor". Obviously you can't do this with a tongue and groove hardwood but you absolutely could with a marine grade plywood. Vinyl/laminate or not your going to put 3/4 or 1/2 ply down as a sub floor anyway. So why not just paint/finish that plywood floor and save the weight and hassle of an additional layer.

A little danish oil and you'd have a beautiful easy to maintain floor.
http://www.eastteak.com/teak-plywood/


Or skip the marine plywood, get a standard exterior glue smooth faced plywood and paint it. As simple or as complicated as you'd like.



Or not. Haha. I'll probably stick with vinyl roll but it's an interesting idea.
 

mrsa111

Observer
I guess what I'm curious about now is why not just skip the "sub floor" and go straight to "finished floor". Obviously you can't do this with a tongue and groove hardwood but you absolutely could with a marine grade plywood. Vinyl/laminate or not your going to put 3/4 or 1/2 ply down as a sub floor anyway. So why not just paint/finish that plywood floor and save the weight and hassle of an additional layer.
I personally made a subfloor for insulation and to allow some air flow/air pockets in the floor. my floor sandwich starts out with 1/2" neoprene foam in the grooves of the van floor and around the wheel wells.
then I made a "furring strip frame" of the van floor out of 3/4"x1" boards. and put 1/2" R max foam insulation boards to fit between all the furring strips, and 1/4" neoprene foam under the R max to take up the space and prevent the r max rubbing the metal van floor and squeeking. then a thin (a little more than 1/8" revolution ply top, screwed and glued down.
the foam fits nice but i made sure to have small air gaps and leave some of the neoprene loose fitting, the idea being that air can get in there and dry out any moisture that accumulates.
cabinets will go directly on top of that, and the finish floor will go around the cabinets. may do a layer of underlayment before securing down the cabinets and laying the floor for a little more sound deadening and insulation, as well as have something with a little give between the cabinets and floor to help with vibrations from rough roads.

looking back it was pretty unnecessary. its going to make securing cabinets a pain because I have to find 1" wide furring strips under the plywood to secure everything to. I may be glad I did it if nothing goes wrong with it, it should insulate very well. and be great for sound deadening, only took up about 1" of vertical space.

Anyway, the cool thing about the teak floors is you can have a custom floor made to match a template you make. so they can add some of those fancy borders you see on the boat decks. It seems damn expensive though, so im probably gonna pass.

I was also looking at 1/4" click in bamboo ive heard about certain bamboo doing poorly with dry climates and cracking. but its super tough/hard and seems easy enough to install.
 
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