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Old 06-04-2010, 11:15 PM   #1
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Layer cake like floor...will it work?

So...I've poured over every post on cork floors and luan underlayment (as in the ol' Luan Skin For New Floor Thread), and am still unsure if my plan is a good idea, or a wolf in sheeps clothing.

After pulling up the carpet and examing the existing subfloor (the original plywood from all appearances) and marvelling at how solid and relatively unburdened by water damage the subfloor is, I felt good about my plan to go with a simple 6mm cork underlayment followed by 12x24 cork tiles, both glue down using water based contact adhesive as recommended by cork supplier/manufacturer. But then I noticed the subfloor was pretty rough (i.e not smooth) and the joints at the frame were not as level as I 'd prefer since I want to minimize any telescoping of unevenness through the cork. Even after hitting the bolt heads and joint seams with wood filler, I couldn't get the smoothness that I wanted.

So I thought I'd just add a layer of 1/4" plywood (birch) to get a smooth surface to proceed with the cork.

I plan to have these layers (1/4 ply, 6mm cork underlayment, cork floor tile) stop 2 inches short of perimeter walls, which will have a frame of sorts of oak 1x2's screwed to subfloor which I can remove to check for moisture/water intrusion each spring and fall. And am not removing cabinetry but cutting in and around.

The benefits seem to be:
a) get the smoothest substrate for the cork
b) would be easier to remove IFI ever had to since the cork is only adhered to the 1/4" ply and not the subfloor itself
c) adds a little firmness to the 5/8" original subfloor.

Only disadvantage I can figure is extra cost and time. Unless I'm missing something...am I?
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:37 AM   #2
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I'm thinking of doing the same thing, so I'd like to hear what folks say... How are you planning to fasten down the 1/4 plywood? Will you use a staple gun?

Stephen
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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floor progresses

1/4 Ply is down and prepped. Cork underlayment goes on tomorrow, weather permitting. Used combo of screws and nails to secure the 1/4 ply.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:42 AM   #4
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It's how we did our floor. I overlapped the seams on the 5/8" with the 1/4". I didn't use screws... just glue and used weight to clamp the pieces. It's not going anywhere. I have a nice surface for the cork and extra density makes the floor less springy.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:42 AM   #5
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It's how we did our floor. I overlapped the seams on the 5/8" with the 1/4". I didn't use screws... just glue and used weight to clamp the pieces. It's not going anywhere. I have a nice surface for the cork and extra density makes the floor less springy.

I am thinking of doing this too and wondered why you chose to overlap the the seams instead of lining up the luan with the existing subfloor seams. How is it holding up? My worry is that the trailer flexes at those subfloor seams, which could crack the floor on top of it.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:16 AM   #6
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From my experience from remodeling, I would overlap the joints to give you a more stable base and use a 1/4" crown staple without glue.

I installed vinyl tile over existing sheet vinyl.
I had a few bumps in our floor from protruding bolts heads, cabinet removal, etc.
I brushed my hand along the floor and when I felt a bump, marked it with a marker. Then came back with an angle grinder with sanding disk. It was quick and easy.

Bob
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
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From my experience from remodeling, I would overlap the joints to give you a more stable base and use a 1/4" crown staple without glue.

I installed vinyl tile over existing sheet vinyl.
I had a few bumps in our floor from protruding bolts heads, cabinet removal, etc.
I brushed my hand along the floor and when I felt a bump, marked it with a marker. Then came back with an angle grinder with sanding disk. It was quick and easy.

Bob

Sounds like a good idea. So staples and not screws? I know you just did this, but have you run into any issues since you installed the new floor?
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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Screws would be OK also. I have an old pneumatic stapler, it's much faster.
When I've hired underlayment put down, they really staple it, I'd guess at least 4" at the perimeter and every 6" in the middle.

I didn't need to install underlayment on my coach as the vinyl was in pretty good shape.
We installed the new floor to change the color.

Bob
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:29 PM   #9
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stony,

I'm guessing by now you have finished the floor, would you care to share some photos of it with us?

As for negatives, there will be weight gain, compared to the old flooring. I don't think it is a reason to panic, but I would keep in mind as you do other things that it's nice to renovate without making a significant change in the trailer's weight...
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:23 AM   #10
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The 1/4" is pretty flexible. I don't see it breaking unless the entire frame buckles.

While the 1/4" ply adds a bit of weight, we're losing weight in places. The planned cork flooring weighs less than carpet and pad (particulary when wet). The Magic Chef oven was a boat anchor (that is now gone). We've eliminated some of the storage space. We've used poplar for interior framing. The inflatable Sleep Number bed will weigh less than the pull-out double.

As for fasteners, I used screws in a few locations around the edges where I though separation might occur, but I didnt' go nuts on fasteners. The glue I used will outlast the trailer.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:03 PM   #11
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I put down a layer of 1/4 floor underlayment (luan plywood, i guess is what is). I used 9/16 size crown staples. Seems pretty secure but I'm wondering if I need to secure it more before I add the next layer of floor. Also, there was one seam that i didn't cut perfect and it left me with about a 1/4" wide, 4" long gap. Can I fill this with wood putty or just leave it alone?
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
The 1/4" is pretty flexible. I don't see it breaking unless the entire frame buckles.

While the 1/4" ply adds a bit of weight, we're losing weight in places. The planned cork flooring weighs less than carpet and pad (particulary when wet). The Magic Chef oven was a boat anchor (that is now gone). We've eliminated some of the storage space. We've used poplar for interior framing. The inflatable Sleep Number bed will weigh less than the pull-out double.

As for fasteners, I used screws in a few locations around the edges where I though separation might occur, but I didnt' go nuts on fasteners. The glue I used will outlast the trailer.
You're the first I've seen that is using a Sleep Number bed in their trailer. We use one at home - I love it!
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:17 PM   #13
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Does Luan stand up to water the way exterior grade plywood does? I would guess that when the Luan gets wet it'll swell up.

Derek
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:16 PM   #14
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I used a thin ply, but I also treated it with three coats of serious waterproofing. I'm sealing the edges with a clear silicon bead and putting cork tiles down (eventually). The way I see it, if I get enough moisture in to degrade the thin plywood... I have a pretty serious problem.
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