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Old 07-27-2010, 12:35 PM   #1
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Walls attached to floating laminate floor?

I've read through some posts on this topic but guess I'm looking for a little more validation that what I'm about to do -- or not do -- is ok. I have an '81 Excella II that is completely gutted and I'm at the stage where we're ready to start putting her back together. We're not purists so we're customizing to our liking. We've repaired rotten floor, fixed all electrical and plumbing, added some new insulation in areas where we had the interior skin off, painted all screens, window coverings, and vinyl clad walls, and now we're wanting to put down the laminate flooring. We purchased some click-lock planks and I'm wondering if we should lay the entire floor before re-installing and building new walls and furniture. I like the idea of doing the floor first because it would be easier to install and would be a consistent covering underneath the cabinets and furniture. My concern is the floating aspect. If we put the floor down first and then attach walls and furnishing through the laminate to the subfloor are we asking for trouble? Will the planks end up buckling/separating as they expand and contract?
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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I laid my Pergo-type flooring (clic-loc) before doing anything else, as you want to do- and have had no problems with any buckling. BUT- I do live, and travel, in the semi-arid western states, AND I drilled larger holes in the flooring than the screws I used to hold the divider walls in place, to allow them to expand and contract a little bit. Short story: try to allow for some floor movement, and I think you'll be just fine. Have fun! -tim
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:52 PM   #3
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We used a floating laminate floor when we did our re-do and we had everything out but the fridge and the shower (even the cabinet surrounds were taken off) and it went in in 2 days and everything went on top ok. One bad stomach night for our 3 year old we new that the hard work was worth it since the mess wiped up and in carpet it would have been a nightmare.
That said we wouldn't use it again. While putting back the sofa one of the metal leg frames chipped the surface so we had almost instant problem. It never met the walls where it could be seen and we never figured out the best option to hide it. If there is a next time we are thinking of vinyl, Lowes has newer peel and sticks not the old 12x12 tiles that are plank in style and look like wood. The thought being we could cut it exactly to the walls with no expansion gap. I guess someone would have to try it and say whether it too has it's own unique problems.
Lastly we didn't have any trouble attaching the dinette etc to the floor through the laminate.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
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I installed Armstrong Flooring in the front half of my trailer and removed all the cabinets except the sink. When reinstalling the cabinets I drilled a 1 in. hole as clearance at each location that screwed directly to the sub-floor. I think if I were doing a complete trailer I would install any WALL first and work around them and consider them as fixed points. Cabinets including the sink cabinet could be floated as mentioned above.

The advantage of removing the cabinets over and above the ease of installation is you don't have all that 1/4 round, to cover the gap, staring you in the face at the seams.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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I intend to float a floor in my 1976 Sovereign. I have the living area and rear sleeping area opened up and I intend to cut around cabinets, closets, and bathroom. My laminate floor will float and be removable in whole or in part. I'm going to lay in a piece of carpet in the bathroom and on the closet floor.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:32 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone for their input. If we do the laminate I think we'll follow the advice and drill holes through the laminate that are larger than the screws to allow for movement - great idea! We might still go with the vinyl peal-and-stick. The only think I like better about the laminate is putting the underlayment that softens the floor, dampens sound, and provides a vapor barrier for all of the unknowns that occur in the belly pan. However, the ease of installation of the vinyl planks is certainly appealing. Anyone used the vinyl peal-and-stick planks directly on top of the plywood floor? We're replaced a few sections of our floor so we have some small seams. We've sanded so that it's a smooth transition from old to new. Also, we've painted the floor with Kilz - would that be a problem if we wanted to do the vinyl? Thanks again for all of the input.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:42 PM   #7
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Just to add, we put our snap in flooring after the cabinets were all in and done. We found that cutting around everything was a slight pain as we tried to get it as close as possible to the cabinets. I don't think we will have any issue with buckling since at any given section there is only 1 piece spanning the width but we will see.

We went this route so I could pull it up easily if we have an issues with water later. Also, allows us to see the plywood easily under cabinets and the bed and catch any water early on. We did coat the entire plywood floor with epoxy so under the cabinets in storage spaces has a finished look.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
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We did coat the entire plywood floor with epoxy so under the cabinets in storage spaces has a finished look.
Interesting! What epoxy? Like the garage floor stuff? Or what?

Thanks!

Gary
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:06 PM   #9
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Gary,
Yeah, the garage floor stuff but for wood adherance. We got it at Shermin Williams. It is called Tile Clad (1 gallon part A and 1 set gallon B which did 2 coats). I had used it on my shop floor which is also wood and it doesn't let water in at all. Great barrier. It can also be tinted. The shop floor is a light blueish and the camper, we tinted it tan. We also had to replace the floor in the rear end so used the epoxy around the edges there also so seepage wouldn't happen. Here is a photo back when, of the epoxy on the floor before everything inside was built:

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Old 07-28-2010, 09:02 AM   #10
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A friend used the peel-and-stick vinyl plank flooring in his Avion, and it was an unmitigated disaster. It has all shrunk, and curled, it did not work! I would choose either sheet vinyl, or clik-lock pergo, cork, or marmoleum.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:29 AM   #11
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I've not got a horse in this race, but I can add that I have seen maybe twenty Airstreams with vinyl tiles and at least 15 of them had some problems with the tiles either shrinking, or the adhesive becoming soft so tiles could slide or curl up or something like that.

I think the rule is that stiff tiles with a separate adhesive work well, and flexible soft tiles with peel and stick backs do not, due to heat and humidity.
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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I really want to do glued-down cork tiles, then layer on the walls, cabinets, fixtures, etc. but I fear the seams will be a problem later with heat and cold. Has anyone laid sheet vinyl? I know this is what the factory does. Seems like the best route. Glue it down and staple the edges to ensure it doesn't curl up if the glue fails.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:01 AM   #13
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If you dont use floating floors can you just attach cabinet frames directly to the subfloor? Is their anything special I need to do about attaching to the subfloor? Thank You all!
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:17 AM   #14
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If you dont use floating floors can you just attach cabinet frames directly to the subfloor? Is their anything special I need to do about attaching to the subfloor? Thank You all!

The Airstream employees who made my trailer used diagonally installed screws through the base boards of the cabinets to the floor deck.

Gary
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