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Seeing as most people put some finished flooring over their plywood base, I was wondering if I can simplify, and use a thicker plank and go directly over the foam (3/4" or 1" xps, acknowledging the polyiso vs xps debate)

I'm thinking of 3/8" engineered wood like 'Mohawk Home Sunflower Oak 3/8" Thick Waterproof Engineered Wood Flooring' OR 'Mohawk Home Westmere Scraped Oak Waterproof Laminate 12MM Thick Plank With 2MM Attached Pad Included'.

Structurally, does this work? I'm planning to attach to the side walls with threaded inserts as well as screwing to the floor, so will not be solely relying on screwing to the floor.
 

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Interesting idea. As long as they lock together well, it might be OK. I'd still anchor the entire sandwich to the metal floor somehow (tie-down bolts, etc) to immobilize it. However, 3/8 isn't much of a screw anchor. A few of us (myself included) recessed our cabinets into the floor/insulation to give them extra stability.
 

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2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
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The factory floor is 3/8" but some sort of very dense plywood. Regardless, I used wood anchors rather than screws directly into the wood. Amazon.com

Also, I securely attached my frames to the ribs of the van. I think they are holding the floor down more than the floor is holding the cabinets down. :)
 

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Seeing as most people put some finished flooring over their plywood base, I was wondering if I can simplify, and use a thicker plank and go directly over the foam (3/4" or 1" xps, acknowledging the polyiso vs xps debate)

I'm thinking of 3/8" engineered wood like 'Mohawk Home Sunflower Oak 3/8" Thick Waterproof Engineered Wood Flooring' OR 'Mohawk Home Westmere Scraped Oak Waterproof Laminate 12MM Thick Plank With 2MM Attached Pad Included'.

Structurally, does this work? I'm planning to attach to the side walls with threaded inserts as well as screwing to the floor, so will not be solely relying on screwing to the floor.
I would ensure whatever plank you use spans from one stinger to another. Planks over foam with no lateral support underneath (assuming you are running your top planks from front to back) would bend and give with every step deteriorating your foam quickly.
 

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‘20 159 HT window van NH Seacoast
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At the bare minimum at least put down ¼” plywood why try and save a few $ there?
 
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Van #2 2021 EXT
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Hi @sparklehunt

Lots of good comments above. Interesting idea, but without researching it much my gut says there are better ways to achieve your goals. Which brings me to ask - what are your end goals?

“Engineered” flooring is probably more stable than pure hardwood, & especially in the large environmental swings in a van. Still it is not as stable as say plywood. I wanted a “wood floor” look in my 1st van, but settled with finishing my 3/4” Russian Birch plywood (5’ x 10’ sheet & 4’ x 8’ sheet - no joints visible in living area).

The issues with using 3/8” engineered wood flooring directly over XPS board insulation;

many joints (not a monolithic structure)
sealing the joints & bottom of wood flooring for mould protection
difficulty anchoring a non-monolithic surface
not enough “meat” to anchor into
dimensionally less stable than in extreme environmental swings
3/8” deflection will provide sharper point loading (less spread area & board insulation will get a higher point loading)
probably a noisier floor (if that sort of thing bothers you)

Those assumed issues by me are just off the top of my head - there might be more if I ponder it longer.

To achieve the same effect, you might consider 3/4” plywood & finish it to your liking.

Whatever you decide, Good Luck !!
 

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I forgot to mention, but MDO really is plywood, but there are importance differences. The glues used are 100% waterproof to the extent that the MDO can be submerged for long periods of time with no ill effects. And there are perfectly smooth. waterproof, and ready to paint surfaces both sides. It's the stuff outdoor signs are made of (the ones that aren't metal or illuminated plastic). Most common is 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 inch thick, but can be found up to 1" thick.
 

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2021 118 low, Black
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234 Posts
My 2021 came with the OEM bedliner. I found this to be hard while kneeling, but made sliding things across the floor easy as it provided a low friction surface. Tough enough, I didn't expect a lot of cuts. It is also easy to clean as it is not porous at all. Dust sweeps right off. I had a Vanrug liner by Bedrug left over from my old Van. Nice piece in that its bottom side is molded to fit all the ups and down of the metal floor, and present a flat upper surface (
). The downside was it is a porous mesh which while soft was also a dirt magnet, and didn't allow easy sliding of objects (they would dig in, and I could see cuts in the future). My solution was to install the OEM liner over the Vanrug liner. I get the easy clean and easy slide of the OEM cover, and I get the gap filling and knee cushion features of the Vanrug. Total thickness is not prohibitive, at 5' 8" I find I can still stand inside my low roof with minimal foot spreading/stooping. As it turns out my current van is a 118 and the old van was a 136. Bedrug built in an embossed cut line 18" back from the front of the liner to make this model workable for both wheelbases. One easy cut and it fit my 118.

If the OEM liner wasn't included with my van and if I didn't have the Bedrug liner taking up space in my trailer (one step from landfill/CL free), I'm not sure this solution would be cost effective. Last I looked the OEM liner was what $330+? and the Bedrug was $1XX. Might be a good solution for $500, cost me nothing OOP, YMMV.
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Bolting furniture to the floor was a big part of my plan for securing everything. Saving on cost and optimizing space for a tall person are the only reasons I can think of to do this. For cost I would say it's a corner not worth cutting. For height, I'd use 1/2" insulation and 3/8" plywood. Using the d-ring holes already in the van to bolt the wood to the van gives you a great platform for securing everything else.
 

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My solution was to install the OEM liner over the Vanrug liner. I get the easy clean and easy slide of the OEM cover, and I get the gap filling and knee cushion features of the Vanrug. Total thickness is not prohibitive, at 5' 8" I find I can still stand inside my low roof with minimal foot spreading/stooping.
I love this! I am considering glue laminating a solid surface (MDO) to our VanRug to provide the hard surface. There is a VanTred product with a hard surface, but it is too slick and too thin.
 

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2019 Promaster Cargo High Roof 159" wheelbase diy conversion
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Hmmmm. My brother and I decided to skip the plywood when we installed the floor. He is an experienced contractor and was concerned that the plywood might warp eventually just laid over foam. Went with 1" Polyiso foam and cork plank flooring on top - basically installed as a floating floor. Cabinetry was then installed over it. We used furring strips to frame out the walls so those basically act as studs and cabinets are screwed into those. So far the cork has held up very well - shows no warping and very little wear, even in the garage where I routinely slide things in and out. I might have done it differently and put the ply down just as an extra layer of insulation.
 

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2018, Promaster 159 Extended
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71 Posts
Just my 2 cents - I glued 1' x 1" aluminum tubing to the van floor at about 12" centers. - ground the paint of first to rough up the surface. Then glued 1/2 in pre-finished birch ply to the aluminum. I am waiting a year before I put a vinyl on top just in case ...... but so far it's amazing how well it's holding. We've had -35F this winter.
 
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