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Old 04-26-2015, 08:28 AM   #1
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Loose lay vinyl plank flooring, taking the plunge

Still trying to move ahead and finish up Phase 3 http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...or-127619.html We went ahead and ordered 96 sq feet of a loose lay vinyl plank product from Shaw called 5th and Main Atlantic Station in a wood color that should match the cherry cabinets fairly well. It's not cheap, about 4 bucks a foot or almost 400 for a bit less than 100 sq ft. but I'm hoping it works well in the RV environment. It is considered a commercial product with a very thick wear layer. I wasn't familiar with loose lay, but it essentially just lays on the floor and does not move once it's down. And it feels very solid, none of that hollow, clacking sound you get from other floating floors.

It has no interlocking edges, every thing is square cut with a very slight bevel. You can glue it down throughout or just the edges, My plan is to do just the edges with everything else just sitting. It's really amazing how once a piece is sitting on the floor that no matter how much you push on it, it wont move or slide. The adhesive is a specialized spray can type that you coat the edge planks to lock it in place, though I'm not sure its absolutely necessary but I'm doing it for peace of mind. I'm hoping this will alleviate the issue with the shrinkage on the ends from the changes in temperature. This is what it looks like from the company website:





I had to remove all the previous parquet wood floor which left the existing subfloor fairly ugly and less than smooth. I've patched and sealed it up and have cut 4 sheets of 1/8th inch ply to go on top to provide a smooth surface for the tile. Those will be glued down and stapled to the subfloor and then the tiles will be laid once I get the painting done.

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Old 04-26-2015, 03:12 PM   #2
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Gee, I wish I had researched that product. You'll have to let us know how it installs, and how it handles the temp changes.

I installed a vinyl plank floor in my 66 Trade Wind. I wanted the interlocking edges like my cork floor in the 86 Limited, not the tape adhesive edges. The flooring I purchased was about $2 a foot, and you get what you pay for. The interlocking geometry is not robust enough to stay locked once you "click" it in place. And of course the thermo expansion is great enough that I have gaps opening up in what I thought were well assembled interlock joints. My cork floor was a good 3/8 thick, this stuff is closer to 1/4. I've been dropping a little adhesive in the gaps and squeezing them back together.

The product you picks looks like a better deal.

David
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:52 PM   #3
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I had no idea it existed till we went to a local flooring place and they showed it to us. While the sales lady was explaining it, she pointed down and told us we were standing on it. I wouldn't have guessed it would peel up if you could grab a corner, it was that tight and solid feeling. Hope to have it done in a week or so. Pix to follow.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:39 AM   #4
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Bob, we all know life has a way of interfering with the 'best intention' project timelines. Hopefully, you managed to finish your flooring and can post a few 'after' photos or add to the "what I learned along the way" storyline about the loose lay flooring.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:44 AM   #5
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I posted in the main thread for this part of the renovation, but to tidy up this thread, here are the pix I took:

Underlayment down:





Test layout for the planks for best fit:





Snapped a chalk line then laid down the first two rows to establish the layout:



Coming together.



All cut and laid down. Still have some glue to put down on the perimeter:








I ended up using the adhesive on the whole floor since it looked like the planks wouldn't sit flat enough, even with the new underlayment on top of the subfloor. This adhesive is a spray down kind that sort of spits out of the can similar to a fabric adhesive. It is sticky but not a real heavy glue. If you had to, you could pull the planks back up fairly easy, but it helps to keep them where they are.

I put down a prefinished foam type molding as a mini base and also used it on the cherry bulkhead wall by the fridge. I found with the curve of the walls that the molding needed to be fairly thin in order to conform without snapping in two. I used fine thread finishing screws to hold it to the metal of the inner skin/wall. I'll try to remember this weekend to take some pix of the finished product, we ended using the camper and then were gone for a week afterward so I haven't been in there much in the interim.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
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How did you secure the underlayment?
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:09 PM   #7
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How did you secure the underlayment?
Glue and Staples into the plywood.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:18 PM   #8
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We used Karndean loose lay several years ago and are very pleased with it. Yours looks very nice and it looks like you did a very good job laying out the planks well. It appears you have longer planks than the Karndean product we bought.

I used a spray adhesive that has low tack. You can still lift up the planks and check for water damage underneath. The planks do expand and contract with temperature, but the gaps are small and we ignore them. Every once in a while I move them tight, but the space eventually opens again. Nobody notices but me (except for friends polite enough not to mention it). If you stand on the planks, you can't move them, but otherwise they move pretty easily and by now the adhesive is history.

You should have about 1/4" to 3/8" space at each wall to allow for expansion and cover the open space with moldings. It looks like you removed a lot of the furniture and once replaced, it will make it impossible to expand or contract and the planks may do unexpected things. Airstream uses sheet vinyl in many of their trailers and installs it under everything; in subzero temps the vinyl does the opposite of what you'd expect. Instead of shrinking, it causes humps in the flooring that may or may not disappear when it gets hot. Since Airstream floats the vinyl, this is not caused by adhesive failure. At one point we had a hump about 5 or 6' long running from under the dinette table to the kitchen.

I hope you never have to replace your subfloor because the plywood you added is glued and will be a pain to remove. But if that adhesive cannot tolerate extremes of temperature, it may fail anyway. I assume it rarely gets below freezing where you live, but summer temps inside the trailer will be well over 100˚. A lot of over the counter glues are for interior use and have a limited range of temps.

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Old 07-11-2015, 11:30 PM   #9
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Aquinob, thanks it looks good , may have to consider this though it's about 2-3x my budget right now, so well see.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:44 AM   #10
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Nice!!!
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
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You should have about 1/4" to 3/8" space at each wall to allow for expansion and cover the open space with moldings. It looks like you removed a lot of the furniture and once replaced, it will make it impossible to expand or contract and the planks may do unexpected things. Airstream uses sheet vinyl in many of their trailers and installs it under everything; in subzero temps the vinyl does the opposite of what you'd expect. Instead of shrinking, it causes humps in the flooring that may or may not disappear when it gets hot. Since Airstream floats the vinyl, this is not caused by adhesive failure. At one point we had a hump about 5 or 6' long running from under the dinette table to the kitchen.

I hope you never have to replace your subfloor because the plywood you added is glued and will be a pain to remove. But if that adhesive cannot tolerate extremes of temperature, it may fail anyway. I assume it rarely gets below freezing where you live, but summer temps inside the trailer will be well over 100˚. A lot of over the counter glues are for interior use and have a limited range of temps.

Gene

Hopefully we wont have to do any more work on the subfloor. As for glue, that was how the PO affixed the parquet tiles to the floor and though laborious, I was able to scrape them all up. It chewed up the upper layer, hence the need to cover it up with some 1/8th inch plywood. If I ever have to do the subfloor again, it would probably be a shell off, but in that case, it won't be me doing it.

We'll see how the flooring holds up to the heat and cold. All the molding is held down with trim screws so if it needs to come up, it can for any trimming or re-laying. It goes below freezing in the winter here, and we've had temps in the upper 90's lately. So far so good, if it needs a patch down the road, I can do that, I've got a few spare planks. The adhesive was a commercial product put out by Shaw, who also made the planks.

Here is a shot with the new recliners in place, it does show the trim on the floor.




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Old 07-12-2015, 11:34 PM   #12
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Quite nice!
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #13
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The floor looks great and I hope all goes well with it. Temps here can go to -15˚ or lower and that's when we had problems with the original vinyl floor. Canadians also have had the same problem. But the loose lay has been fine except for seams opening a little. Anything you can lift and check for water damage underneath is well worth it.

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Old 07-22-2015, 06:04 PM   #14
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Bob,

Your 73 Overlander looks great. You've done excellent finishing work on this trailer. The recliners are the way to go for me. Your front room looks like the first class cabin on British Airways. But the wife won't give up her gaucho.

My vinyl floor was a click together type. The joints aren't strong enough to lock together. So I have some gaps open up just from walking on it. I wish I had used adhesive tape on them. I'll use it for a few years and then maybe I'll get a better floor. The cork in the 86 Limited has held up very well.

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