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Old 02-18-2004, 04:08 PM   #1
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Luan skin for new floor?

I have just replaced the bathroom (rear) section of decking in my Overlander, and am trying to decide on floor a covering(s). Andy@inland, in a past post, advises that one long roll of linoleum will crack/split at the decking joints. This is believable.

I'm trying to make up my mind on different types of smooth floor coverings, and am trying to decide if it is a "just plain good idea" to go ahead and skin the entire floor with 1/4 inch luan in preparation of the new smooth floor. Properly layed, it would give me far less areas to level with compound, or sanding. I could probably even lay linoleum and expect no problems.

Tow weight is not an issue - my 7.4 liter wouldn't notice. I don't think it will be enough weight in the Airstream itself to impact long-life issues, but I do not know.

I would appreciate any insights or war stories on skinning a sound floor with 1/4 inch luan in preparation of the new floor.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:01 PM   #2
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Post luan

we laid this stuff in our summer cottage. our cottage is slightly rustc.
anyway we just laid it down 4x8 sheets at a time and varathaned it. it looks good.

i dont specifically know about a airstream application but i think i would give it a try.

one problem area would be the edges delaminating if they were to be exposed to damp/wet conditions.
several well applied coats of varathane ought to retard any water damage over time.
probably regular re-varathaning every year or two depending on how the floor holds up over time would be good....

jusy my 2cents

paul
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:11 PM   #3
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As an underlayment

My mistake - I meant to ask for comments pertaining to adding luan as an underlayment for a final floor covering, not as a final floor covering.

Sorry,
Tom
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:24 PM   #4
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luannnnnnn..

wowa!!

After reading you post 5 times , i figured I'd throw my two cents in.
after loging in an prepareing [in my head] a response, you had jumped in to clearify your statement, good thing too.

I was bout to say, if you were dead set on linoleum, the luan is the way to go. other wise carpeting,or wood flooring can be applied directly to the plywood floor.

My self, I"em looking at that oak [snap together/glueless]
stuff from Loues.

~markus
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:52 PM   #5
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The problem with cracking is going to happen at the floor joints. So if your floor is like mine, the sheet goods will work if you end it at the joint between the bath and bed section, right under the door, and run carpeting up the rest of the way. I plan on putting tile back down and placing the joints in line with the plywood decking joints.
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Old 02-18-2004, 08:38 PM   #6
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Flooring Terminology

I noticed the Airstream literature mentions linoleum in what I see as sheet vinyl. Linoleum is used much in the way we say Kleenex for facial tissue, Coke for soft drink or Styrofoam for polystyrene.

Linoleum is manufactured in Europe and is made mostly of linseed oil, limestone, pine rosin, jute and wood flour. It comes in sheets but it can also be had in large tiles. It will last forever but can be brittle and might crack at joints. It is also relatively expensive and has a limited pallet of design and colors. For instance you can't get those embossed stone and fake wood looks. More on that below.

Next in brittleness is Vinyl Composition Tile--VCT. It is mostly limestone with less than 10% vinyl binders. It is always in tile form and usually 12" x 12". It is the successor to VAT--Vinyl Asbestos Tile or the stuff of your childhood and older vintage Airstreams if it is 9" x 9" tile. VCT only comes in tiles because it will crack at joints.

There is solid rubber in tiles and sheets. The stuff you see in stairwells with the slightly raised 1" diameter disks pattern is usually rubber. It is also very hard to keep clean and probably has no place in an Airstream.

Another popular floor choice is cork. Numerous people have mentioned using it in Airstreams.

Lastly, we have Solid Vinyl. Solid Vinyl can come in tiles or sheets. They have an unlimited pallet of design and colors. The surface can be embossed to imitate slate surface. They can emboss it to look like ceramic tile. it can be shiny. It can be matte. They can make it look like anything with a photo layer surface. That's how they get the wood plank floor look for instance. Sheet vinyl has a high vinyl solids content. You can roll it up like a sheet of paper and it will generally not crack. This stuff probably cound be laid the length of an Airstream and not crack.

The Airstream literature I have shows a 28' CCD showing what they call linoleum running the full length of the trailer. I have to believe that is sheet vinyl. If it was truly linoleum they would probably be calling it by a more proprietary upscale name marketed in the USA called Marmoleum.

This is all off the top of my head. My research material is all at work. So if I misquoted anything, forgive me.
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Old 02-18-2004, 09:34 PM   #7
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Luan skin for new floor?

Greetings Tom!

Quote:
I would appreciate any insights or war stories on skinning a sound floor with 1/4 inch luan.
What you are proposing is exactly how Arlene and Henry Fowler of Fowler Interiors in Symsonia, Kentucky handled the sheet vinyl floor covering in my '64 Overlander. I am not a fan of carpeting in my home or RV so there was no question about the new floor covering needing to be something other than carpeting. I am very happy that I followed the Fowlers' suggestions - - luan underlayment with sealed joints followed by industrial grade Congoleum sheet vinyl (it was the heaviest grade and was recommended due to its thickness helping to avoid stress cracking). It has been nearly two years, and it still looks like new and is one of my favorite modifications on the Overlander. The overall weight increase for this change was about 75 pounds.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:43 PM   #8
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I recall some of John 'Pahaska' Irwin's comments on putting cork into his 22' International. He believed plywood junctions would telegraph through the cork eventually, however his International had a one-piece OSB (oriented strand board) floor without any seams. If we were all so lucky!
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:26 AM   #9
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tcwilliams, Did you have any problem with striping the floor from the old carpet. When I pulled up the carpet in my '69, the padding that was part of the carpet had turned to a hard chalk-like material. It's been a bit of a pain to try to get it up. Looking forward to how you decide to cover the floor as we'll hopefully be there soon.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:36 PM   #10
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Digging deep in the archives in preparation for floor work...

Tom, did you end up using a luaun underlayment, or do something else?

-Marcus
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by utee94 View Post
Digging deep in the archives in preparation for floor work...

Tom, did you end up using a luaun underlayment, or do something else?

-Marcus
Marcus,

Funny how deep you had to dig to spur my comment. I put down luaun in my '63 after replacing the damaged sub-floor sections. I think it is a fabulous way to provide a smooth substrate for the finished flooring.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by utee94 View Post
... Tom, did you end up using a luaun underlayment, or do something else?
Marcus,

I ended up NOT using luaun or anything else as an underlayment. To guard against the sheet vinyl splitting at the floor decking seams, the seams were strengthened with glassed-in dowels, and the sheet vinyl was only glued around the perimeter.

Its now been almost five years & 10,000 miles, and the sheet vinyl still looks great.


Tom
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:22 AM   #13
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Thanks Tom!

I remember from your website your method of tying the subfloor pieces together, I just didn't recall that you used any underlayment. So, my memory is at least THAT good still.

Steve,

Yes, now I believe I remember from your blog you mentioning the use of underlayment on your '63. One of my concerns with that approach is that, because I am only doing have the trailer at a time, there will be a height difference at the transition.

Thanks to both for the responses, I'm getting closer to the top-flooring and want to make sure I am ready with materials and knowledge when I get there.

-Marcus
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:24 AM   #14
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I have a question for anybody that has used the luan. How did you fasten it to the subfloor?

Jim
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