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Old 09-12-2004, 08:33 AM   #1
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Bamboo floor replacing carpet

I have started the process of installing a glue-down engineered bamboo floor in the galley area of my 2003 Classic 25. The flooring is about 5/16" in thickness. I am retaining the carpet in the bedroom and in front of the couch, similar to the 2004 and later factory treatment.

As of today (9/12), I have most of the carpet and pad removed in the area to be changed. Some time ago, I received a cheapie set of kinives as a freebe with an order. By chance, I found that a serrated-edge carving knife, resharpened every few cuts, does the best job of cutting the carpet along the walls. It does a much cleaner job than using my carpet-layer's knife and with a lot less effort.

The photo shows the bare plywood with some of the carpet pad still in place and some carpet edges still to be removed. The joints in the plywood floor are connected by big staples that might print through a thin flooring such as vinyl. I won't worry about them under my wood floor as they will be lost in the glue line.
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Old 09-14-2004, 02:00 PM   #2
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Next step

I decided to put 6 1'-square vinyl tiles at the entryway. When I removed the carpet, I found that the big staples in the plywood would almost certainly print through the vinyl. I found that the bathroom tile was underlayed by about 1/4" plywood and I will do the same for the entry tile. I'll probably use 3/16" plywood which will make the tile about level with the bamboo floor.

The first photo shows the carpet cut away and the tile laid loosely in place so that I could plan the layout for the bamboo flooring. I didn't want the bamboo strip along the tile to be too narrow. This also allowed me to accurately determine the location of the corner of the tile so that I could run a diagonal line over to the corner of the refrigerator. The current Airstreams use a curve between the carpet and hard floor, but I think a straight line division will be a lot easier to implement.

The second photo shows the carpet fully cut away and a number of the bamboo boards laid down so that I could plan the best installation order so as to have staggered seams and no little pieces anywhere.

The photo doesn't really show the true color of the bamboo. It really complements the other woodwork very nicely.
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Old 09-14-2004, 03:05 PM   #3
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That does look good, better than the cork. And you are going to have to change your name to the floormeister.

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Old 09-16-2004, 10:26 AM   #4
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Question Wondering

Pahaska,
Since on your last flooring adventure you went with the cork (and I thought it came out looking GREAT), why is bamboo the choice for this project?
The floor in the Classic does need more prep to receive the cork, but the number of sheets vs. planks would seem to favor the cork also.

We are considering various hard surface flooring for our entire 34 feet and want to do the project only once. Cork is presently the leading contender.
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Old 09-16-2004, 03:49 PM   #5
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Why?

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Originally Posted by aluminauts
Pahaska,
Since on your last flooring adventure you went with the cork (and I thought it came out looking GREAT), why is bamboo the choice for this project?
The floor in the Classic does need more prep to receive the cork, but the number of sheets vs. planks would seem to favor the cork also.
Two reasons: First: with the real wood interior of the Classic, I deemed a wood floor to be more appropriate appearance wise. Second: I like to try new things and I have already done cork.

The 1' x 2' cork worked out quite well in the International where there were curved boundaries; I could easily cut the tiles with a knife or shears. I think that the 3" by 3' bamboo planks will be easy to fit in the Classic where all cuts will be straight and most can be done with my miter saw in an instant.

BTW, for a unique appearance and to make the cuts much simpler, I am going to run the bamboo planks at right angles to the aisle. There was a photo a long time ago on the forum of a wood floor laid crosswise and I really liked the different appearance.
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Old 09-16-2004, 10:18 PM   #6
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I just ordered bamboo in a "horizontal carbonized light" finish to do the floor in my Argosy MH. Now I'm really curious about that crosswise installation. It would surely be easier. Can you remember when the picture you mentioned appeared?

I also considered shap-lock cork. One big reason I chose not to use it was the panel size - 1'x3'. Fitting pieces that big - with all the complex cuts and jogs they'd need - in the confines of my MH would be a real bear. The 3"x3' bamboo planks will be easier but will require lots of planning to avoid winding up with slivers in some areas.

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Old 09-17-2004, 03:02 PM   #7
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Wish I could remember

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcneon
I just ordered bamboo in a "horizontal carbonized light" finish to do the floor in my Argosy MH. Now I'm really curious about that crosswise installation. It would surely be easier. Can you remember when the picture you mentioned appeared?

Bob McKeown
It was very early in the history of the forum and I replied to the poster that the crosswise orientation really looked good. I have too much on my plate today to go hunting for it, though.

Anyway, I spent 5 hours today installing the tiles at the doorway, cleaning up the fuzz at the edges, installing the plastic strips to receive the trim between wood and carpet, and installing the first four planks of bamboo.

My bamboo is set in mastic and I fired four countersunk nails at the corners of the first plank using a framing square to insure that it was perfectly perpendicular to the bathroom wall. The red strips in the photos are the plastic U-strips to retain the transition trim strips. My first impression is that the crosswise planks are going to look absolutely great.

I'll bring the trailer home Sunday morning so that I will have electrical power and access to my miter saw and bandsaw. By that time, the mastic on the first four planks will be set up hard and I can pound the subsequent strips in place without fear of dislodging the stack. I use a dead-blow hammer and a piece of wood to pound the strips firmly into place. The tongue and groove fit is very tight and needs some urging to get a tight seam.

The second photo is the vinyl self-stick tiles at the door. They are set on 1/4" luan plywood which, in turn, is set in construction adhesive and further nailed in place with a dozen shots from my pneumatic nailer. It ain't gonna' move! The third photo is the vinyl tiles with the carpet trimmed back and the red plastic strips installed.
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Old 09-21-2004, 09:49 PM   #8
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About 99% done

I brought the trailer home Sunday and laid the rest of the floor and started the trim. My wife, my hardest critic, liked the results.

Monday, I bought some pre-finished quarter round from HD. Today, Tuesday, I took the generator and miter saw to the storage yard and just about finished the trimming. There are a couple of small spots that will have to wait until the trailer comes home again so that I can use the bandsaw.

No photos today; I forgot to take the camera to the storage yard.
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
...The current Airstreams use a curve between the carpet and hard floor, but I think a straight line division will be a lot easier to implement.
Great idea on the straight line separation. My '04 has the factory curved treatment between the carpet & flooring & it has not been installed 'smoothly'. There are a couple of variances on the radius of the curve that are obvious at the glance of an untrained eye.

Good luck on the balance of the install.
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Old 10-03-2004, 02:47 PM   #10
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Just about finished

As of noon today, the floor is all trimmed up except a couple of short pieces of quarter-round and staining the quarter round to better match the floor. I think it looks pretty good.

Here are views from the bedroom forward and from the couch backward taken this noon. Some of the missing pieces of quarter-round are obvious. Gotta have the trailer at home where I can use the shop to get a good fit on those pieces.
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Old 10-03-2004, 02:50 PM   #11
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Forgot to attach this one

Looking back.
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Old 10-03-2004, 09:46 PM   #12
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I've followed all your projects with interest. My 1976 "Beluga" has too many irregularities and plywood junctions for cork. Can't beat the one piece floor in the International for applying cork.

Okay -- I'll give this some more attention. What is the source of your bamboo flooring? Ooh -- mighta just figured it out from Bob McKeown's post. Did you go through Ifloor again? (since they did you right by the cork)

Thanks for the sequential photos!
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Old 10-03-2004, 09:52 PM   #13
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Source

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
What is the source of your bamboo flooring?
I bought it at Lowe's. They had a display board in the flooring dept with twocolors: blonde and carbonized. I chose the carbonized. They don't stock it in the store, but it came in about 10 days.

I found that Pergo cherry trim matched the floor color perfectly.
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:43 PM   #14
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Canoe Stream, I got my bamboo from www.diyflooring.com. I'm almost ready to install it.

The preparation has been a ton of work! After removing some of the world's nastiest carpet, I must have pulled a thousand staples. My plywood was fastened with drive anchors, expanding mushroom-headed fasteners that stuck up probably an eighth of an inch - way too much to lay the bamboo planks on top of. I used self-drilling, wafer-head screws to replace these and then drilled off the heads of the anchors.

I still have to remove part of my dinette and a closet to make the job easier. (Thankfully, I haven't finished the install of my revised kitchen cabinets and fridge, so they aren't in the way.) My motorhome also has a "landing" or internal stepdown inside the door, and I'm going to change the size of this cutout to make it more functional. This will also make it easier to work out the bamboo stair nosing I'm using at the floor edge.

I've discovered that parallel, square, and plumb are concepts alien to my motorhome, at least. It's a lot like renovating an older house - the goal is not perfection, but rather making everything look like it's properly installed.

I hope to be posting pictures of at least semi-completion soon. And I hope mine looks half as good as Pahaska's!

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