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Old 05-06-2011, 04:00 PM   #1
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Santa Barbara , California
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To wood or not to wood?

So this is my second post as an actual airstream OWNER! We're terrified.

More on the purchase here here.

One of the bigger items on our wish list is to replace the carpet with a false laminent bamboo. I've done some digital sketching and come up with the below - which feels good to us.

But our main question is, what kind of insulation should we put beneath the new flooring to cut down on noise?

We're also doing our best to research what might be good for insulating the engine hood between the front seats to minimize engine smells and especially sounds (inside and outside).



current interior



quickly sketched future interior
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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quote

The soundproofing closed cell foam at the top of the page at
Super Soundproofing, Co.
works very well and it's very durable. It's sold off of bulk rolls, so the costs are as reasonable as can be....
More info on soundproofing generators at Soundproofing a Generator

BJ Nash - Senior Soundproofing Technical Specialist
Super Soundproofing Co
www.soundproofing.org
888-942-7723

You can also do a Google search for marine, engine, generator compartments and RV insulation, soundproofing material

for under the floor you may look into material used on airplanes and Yachts, house boats.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
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There are a variety of underlayments available for laminate floors. You get what you pay for so far as a sound and vapor barrier as well as for comfort. The most expensive laminate underlayment probably has to be ordered since the big box stores don't carry it on site.

But, we installed a laminate floor in our kitchen at home. It looked great and was easy to install. The dishwasher leaked, the water wicked through the underlayment, 8 boards swelled. We had to remove the floor, replace some of the underlayment and the boards, and now it's back together. Fortunately we had enough leftover materials to not have to order more. The locking parts did not lock as well as when we originally installed the floor. It looks fine, but although we thought we bought a better quality brand (Armstrong), it is not quite up to our standards. I am going to seal with clear silicone the edges close to water sources this weekend.

There is a lot of potential for water leaks in any RV—plumbing, shower, entry into the unit, leaks. I don't think a laminate floor is a good idea. If we install laminate in anything again it will be in a bedroom or other living space without any chance of water infiltration.

Our vinyl floor has humps in it because it was installed improperly. The factory runs the vinyl in first and then places the cabinets and partitions on top of it leaving no place for expansion. This seems to happen more often in places with very cold weather. We have discussed replacing the floor—cork and rubber tiles are a possibility. They should be lighter than laminate and provide some sound insulation. If they are pre-sealed on all sides that would work best, but you could seal on all sides before installation. They are easy on your feet. Rubber tiles are hard to find but a big floor store may have them—I like to see and handle things before I order them. Any floor needs space between cabinets and partitions for expansion. 3/8" is usually recommended, but it really depends on the expansion rate of the material. You have to put some sort of trim over that space and in some parts of an RV that may be tricky, but it probably can be done.

Also, your proposed interior shows the boards running from front to back. That makes hallways and narrow passages look narrower. The usual way to install is to run the board across the hall or passage to make it look wider.

Gene
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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Warren', The three types of underlayment for laminate are foam (cheap), poly (combination of foam, vapor barrier and sound deadening—medium price), and cork. The cork is most expensive, but best. I don't know if it has a plastic sheet glued to it for a vapor barrier, but it is easy to add.

I just read your thread about searching for the right MoHo and am glad you waited for the right one. A rebuilt engine and transmission is a very good thing.

You can leave the throw rugs on the floor until you figure out what floor you want to install. Checking out all the mechanicals comes first and doing some camping to enjoy yourself. The floor can wait.

Gene
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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good ideas
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:38 PM   #6
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Thanks Gene & John. Great suggestions.

We'll do some more research and let you know what we find. In the meantime, I think Gene is right about taking her camping. We're going to do that as soon as we put the new blinds in for some privacy (we already pulled out the old stuff ).
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:27 AM   #7
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Keep us posted on what you do—I'm in no hurry to replace the vinyl even though the hump in the middle of the floor is ugly, so I want to see what you discover about alternatives. Every time I have a problem like that I often find waiting until I think through each possibility makes for a better result.

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Old 05-11-2011, 09:56 PM   #8
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WVan: Just for your info: I split the floor coveing in my unit in three. 84 310. I carpeted the back half (even with the accordian privacy door) because it is warmer and quieter and used a laminate floor w/underlayment in the middle. Finished out (up front drivers area) with same carpet as the back.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:54 PM   #9
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pdallas

Do you have pics of your flooring? Would love to see.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:27 PM   #10
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I'd like to see some photo of your floor to. I'm going to try an put some in my 82 Airrsteam this winter
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
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Be careful that whatever soundproofing you use doesn't hold moisture. You may not have leaks now, but the histories on this site say you will eventually. Laminates do not like water and will swell up...most say, don't use in bath or kitchens. We're gonna use a marine vinyl that looks like teak, Underway Marine Flooring, Custom Marine Flooring, Tampa Florida Boat Decking, Marine Carpet, Boat Flooring, Marine Decking or a similar product. Looks like wood but is water proof and easier to remove. Our reason for not using laminate was too slippery for dogs when we're moving and Florida sand too abrasive for finish.

Pdallas, good idea splitting them up. I'm gonna do that myself.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:52 AM   #12
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Thank's, I'll try it this winter. I hope!!!!
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:08 PM   #13
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Yes, get those pics flowing, as I was looking at Laminate flooring at Home depot this morning...
I calculate I need about 65sqft to do my from the cockpit back to the bedroom entrance in my 345.
Money is tight, so it will have to be a lower budget fix.
Someone put horrible carpet down in the bedroom, and halfway down the galley, which i will be replacing soon with some nice carpet I got from a neighbor. That will leave me a 6' length of floor bare between the vinyl kitchen floor and the new carpeted bathroom threshold.
I saw some laminate with good reviews for $0,68/sqft.
With the comments about moisture in mind, is there something I can do to the joints on the cheaper laminate to extend its resistance?
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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We had carpet from the door to the galley when we got our stream. We hated it because it was difficult to keep clean. I purchased wood flooring from lowes @ 1.25 per sqft and we love it. I will post pictures later.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair
Yes, get those pics flowing, as I was looking at Laminate flooring at Home depot this morning...
I calculate I need about 65sqft to do my from the cockpit back to the bedroom entrance in my 345.
Money is tight, so it will have to be a lower budget fix.
Someone put horrible carpet down in the bedroom, and halfway down the galley, which i will be replacing soon with some nice carpet I got from a neighbor. That will leave me a 6' length of floor bare between the vinyl kitchen floor and the new carpeted bathroom threshold.
I saw some laminate with good reviews for $0,68/sqft.
With the comments about moisture in mind, is there something I can do to the joints on the cheaper laminate to extend its resistance?
I need to measure again! I figured 82 sqft for my 280.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #16
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I may have screwed up, or the config of my motorhome maybe odd due to the layout...

This is what I have...
Bedroom threshold thru bathroom and galley to forward edge of entance door:
14' x 3' = 42sqft

Forward area from Entrance to cockpit step-up:
6' x 2' = 12sqft

Entrance door area:
2' x 2' = 4sqft

Dinette Floor area:
3' x 2' = 6sqft.

Total is 64sqft.
That is not inclusive of the toilet, or the area opposite the galley, where I have a huge closet(Most have a dinette there), that I plan to pull out later, and have a couch/dinette.

The packs I was looking at are about 25sqft per pack, so I would buy 4, giving me plenty to cover these areas, or for screw-ups in cutting!
I like the idea of getting the floor covered for under $80, but I need to get underlay/barrier too.
Hold on... Lowes is closing the local store... maybe they are having a sale... watch this space!

Couple of pics to help you visualize why I need to replace the carpet and my floorplan!

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Old 11-06-2011, 06:51 PM   #17
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Steve,
The first Pergo I put down years ago (before snap-in) used a white carpenters glue and proved to be pretty water resistant. Apparently the glue sealed the joints. I wouldn't let water stand on it for any period of time, but when it got wet, I'd wipe it up and it never buckled. Not sure if they still have that option, but I see no reason you couldn't do it with a snap in type. If you do glue it, replacement of pieces which get damaged later, would be difficult, but not impossible. You would have to cut it out and re-glue... Here's the official view from Pergo.

http://na.pergo.com/Images/how_to/In...ials_Guide.pdf
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:12 PM   #18
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I guess I'm in opinion offering mode tonight.

OK. I understand the cost /simplicity /durability thing with these products.
However, the biggest issue I have with retro fitted laminate floors is the amount of "cover-up" that's required to trim them, especially in tight spaces. Every installation I've ever seen just screams "did it myself job".
Especially in a moho, the actual amount of square foot coverage is quite small relative to the amount of perimeter edge work that is up close and highly visible, generally imperfect, and calling out for a second layer of moldings to conceal what couldn't be covered. The laminate says "wood", but even the expensive stuff doesn't really look or feel like wood, or match up well to existing wood. While thin for a wood product, the material is still too thick to be cleanly butted up to a wall or edge like a tile.
For all the yardage involved, I'd rather haul out the vacuum more often, and re-carpet as required. Just M.H.O.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:41 AM   #19
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I have used the better quality laminate and of you choose carefully it can look very good unless you stare at it. Anyone who installs anything can see all the differences and mistakes they have made, but most other people never notice.

But if water gets underneath, you have a big problem. In RV's water leaks are common and plumbing can let go. Therefore, I would avoid laminates in an RV.

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:35 AM   #20
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We used laminate in our Sovereign and it has held up superbly. Soft broom and a wet Swiffer and it looks like new...

When you read the product literature for the flooring you choose they will recommend the underlayment. In our case it was foam cored plastic sheeting. Our floor is a "floating" floor -- installed with about 1/8th of an inch of clearance on the perimeter (covered by the trim) to allow for expansion/contraction of the flooring with temperature.

In the bathroom, we used Marmoleum (modern linoleum) and it looks great and is absolutely waterproof.

Good luck,

mike
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