Van floor tips, climate considerations?

stuntman mike

New member
I would like to get moving on this project, but I'm kind of paralyzed by planning. I removed my factory mat and padding from my van because the padding held so much moisture. I think I'll really only use the rubber mat for later.

How do you folks think I should build out my floor? I've seen the foam board framed in with furring strips and plywood on top of that. And maybe gaps filled with spray foam. Being in Michigan, and this as a primary personal vehicle (I have a company work van for business), I'm worried about condensation and trapped moisture. I already have some rust around the locations the shelves were bolted in.

FYI, I used the thinsulate for the walls and ceiling. All my heat stayed in the top half of my van on a winter outing.


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luthj

Engineer In Residence
Paint , put down a layer of one half or 1 inch rigid foam , then a layer of half-inch plywood. Three eights plywood will work just fine especially if it's good quality and then top with whatever flooring material you prefer.
 

brp

Observer
I bought tiles from foamtiles.com. They have all sorts of colors/patterns, thicknesses.

The tiles are very easy to install or remove if they get wet. They provide some thermal and sound insulation.
Much lighter than wood, and thin so you won't lose a much headroom

They are not really tough, but good enough, you can "snap" in a new one easily enough.

Only suggestion is to install them at a moderate temp to minimize expansion/contraction issues.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
Paint , put down a layer of one half or 1 inch rigid foam , then a layer of half-inch plywood. Three eights plywood will work just fine especially if it's good quality and then top with whatever flooring material you prefer.
X2, that's the way to go. Some paint insulate (noise/heat) better than others.

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Scotty D

Active member
X2, that's the way to go. Some paint insulate (noise/heat) better than others.

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X3 sort of

I did half inch of the blue foam board then went directly to bamboo flooring. Its been in almost three years and I have never had a problem. I used the flooring that snaps together to form one big piece.
I just did not want to lose another inch of limited space and so far I am happy with the decision.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
The rigid foams really just need a wood layer of around 3/8" to protect them from point crush loading etc. So wider lock-together flooring can work. You will still want to use solid wood strips instead of foam at the edges (like doors) so that the foam doesn't get crushed. Same goes for stuff that bolts through the foam to the metal floor.
 

stuntman mike

New member
X2, that's the way to go. Some paint insulate (noise/heat) better than others.

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Ok, so what materials should I be looking at? I'm around the Detroit area so brick & mortar and internet stores are at my disposal.

I am hitting some of the problematic spots with rust converter. Then I'll prob roll on rustoleum (looking for/open to functional alternatives or upgrades).

Not sure what to do about the bolt holes through the floor.

The depot has the Dupont rigid foam board, but it sounds like some of you are talking about shop mats... I imagine closed cell is best. Which ever that is.

I'll be using treated plywood if available to top the foam insulation. Then the rubber mat on top of that.

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luthj

Engineer In Residence
rigid foam is best for under a solid floor. It won't compress, absorb water etc. A rubber floor over rigid foam will block a lot of noise on its own. No need to waste weight/time/money on things like fatmat etc. The heat/noise blocking paints are basically snake oil. The offer no legitimate improvements in insulation, and the noise benefits are due to weight, which is not useful on a rigid floor panel, with foam/wood on top of it.

For floor holes, You can use some eternabond tape. https://amzn.to/2Uss27E other options are some decent urethane sealant, and a piece of plastic sheet. Rubber plugs in various sizes can be used as well.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
On mine I used POR15 for paint and a mix of the pink rigid foam (1" or so) and some under carpet closed cell foam (1/2"). I have 1/2" plywood with 1/4" rubber on top. I also have some carpet mat that can easily be taken outside to be cleaned up (HomeDepot 4'x5') for extra warmth where I stand the most.
 
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Alloy

Well-known member
For the holes use a carriage or pan head bolt with 3M 5200.

I've seen rubber mats that held water and caused wood to rot.
 

Len.Barron

Observer
If you are really concerned about the long term of moisture/rust then put down a good coat of POR-15 or take it down and have it Line-X'd. You can put anything on top of either of those products and not worry about it again..
 

s.e.charles

Well-known member
I think we just did this: https://www.expeditionportal.com/fo...er-with-rubber-stall-mat.203787/#post-2609598


"when I finished the van, I isolated the meranti plywood floor from the van steel.

first, dyna-mat HD sound deadening 100% coverage, then 4" x 1 1/2" pieces of 70 durometer rubber in a 12" staggered pattern VHB taped to the low part of the van corrugations.

tops of the rubber had more VHB tape applied, and the 9 mm plywood floor dropped on top. no mechanical fasteners needed. casework built and attached to plywood where convenient. vinyl floor covering applied to remaining exposed floor plywood.

this allowed air flow under the floor as it could find its way, isolation from van body, and no nasty smells."
 

_hein_

Observer
We are using Thinsulate(TM) AU4002-5 under floors. It is super easy to install. Roll it out then put your floor on it. We have used minicell foam for many years as well. Minicell is a little more supportive but Thinsulate(TM) is adequate and offers better noise reduction. We do recommend PVC lumber furring strips or blocks where cabinets and other items are through bolted. This is to keep the insulation from compressing when the bolts are tightened. Some vans like the Transit also need some furring strips around the perimeter since the raised corrugations are not very close in these areas. We try to keep most of the floor floating on the insulation to minimize vibration transmission which improves noise reduction.

All the best,
Hein



Some furring strips installed with VHB tape:
 
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stuntman mike

New member
I did 3 coats of oil based paint, 3/4 foam board furred out, 3/4" plywood with lap joints. Each end is capped with 2x10. I'm happy with the result so far.


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