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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,

Feeling stumped by something that should be simple. How to secure the subfloor (1/2 inch osb) to the van floor. I tried simple self-drilling srywall screws but they just pull out as there is not enough thread 'catching'. Even with fine thread.

Any suggestions? What have others done?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Smart. I like that. I think I'm going to glue plywood strips between the ribs of the van floor and use countersunk wood screws to secure my subfloor. Saves having to drill into the van floor.
 

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Smart. I like that. I think I'm going to glue plywood strips between the ribs of the van floor and use countersunk wood screws to secure my subfloor. Saves having to drill into the van floor.
This is what I did with my last van. Used a 3M marine glue that was flexible. It held great and provided areas to screw down the cabinets as long as you remember where they are.

In my current van I’m leaning toward through bolts.
 

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If you are interested in what I did there are photos on my build thread

If you are using your van where the osb is not easily replaced, you may consider a better plywood product. Not sure what you are using your van for, but osb is susceptible to moisture collection and mold
Definitely agree. Use a good plywood and still treat it to resist water.
 

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Don't use OSB for anything. It's junk.
Screws rip out of it much easier than plywood (screwing cabinets to it). Plus, like mentioned, it's a sponge.
Your self tappers probably didn't rip out of the van floor because there weren't enough threads. There's only 1-2 threads contacting metal that thin. You probably over torqued them and they pulled the pilot hole open so they couldn't bite.
Pull the OSB out, caulk all the holes you made and use 1/2" plywood.
Use a flexible adhesive like mentioned and use the tie down bolts to secure it.
Don't bother with the strips in the valleys. They serve no purpose other than to block airflow and absorb moisture.
 

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2017 Promaster 2500 159 HT Gasser
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I put down 1/2 inch of the XPS insulation and then 5/8 plywood. No need to fill the channels. I used some of the tie downs but used mostly tee nuts with the spikes from the top with bolts with a washer from the bottom. Suggest you run the joints left to right. Place tee nuts close to joints about 16-20 inches apart. Drill up from bottom (so you can locate the bolt in the up part of the channels) with a bit slightly larger than the bolt, this will give you the location for the tee nuts which go on top, use a wood spad type bit to remove about a 1/16 of the plywood or more to allow tee nuts to be flush. If you can use stainless bolts. After bolts with washer are secure cover with caulk. You will have to best guess the bolt lengths or cut off after the install with a grinder or dremel like tool. I used no special edge at the joints and do not notice the joint under my vinyl plank flooring. Good luck!
 

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What you plan to put on the floor, determines how well you do the floor. If going with sheet vinyl, it needs to be a top quality job. Vinyl planks you have a little more forgiveness. But don't even think about OSB, the plywood at the big box stores is too junky for most parts. I did use their sanded 5/8", like $25 a sheet. I also went 1/2" XPS and then 5/8" ply. I use biscus disks to join the edge with glue. I used the D-ring tie downs along with 8 additional SS Flathead bolts with big fender washers underneath. Then sprayed everything that came thru with FlexSeal from under the van. Paint the wood before you install, with something that is exterior grade and mildew resistance. If using vinyl planks make certain the are waterproof, with super tight seams. The flooring is a big part and your base/foundation, get it right. Just another opinion with free advice, but I'm happy with it. Also I didn't have luck with the self-tapping screws either.
 

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If you go with vinyl planks, they need to float and not be under cabinets and seats. The vinyl expands and contracts too much for the temps the van experiences and will likely fail at the joints if laid down first and then trapped. Plus by doing the floor last you will use less.
 

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Just need to float one side in a van, with the short runs. The trick is the subfloor needs to be near perfect for sheet.
 

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Glue down real linoleum like the brand named "Forbo Marmoleum”. It is VERY expensive but you will use a small amount and have a quality floor you will be proud of. Am I right MsNomer? Unlike real linoleum, vinyl is hot when it’s hot, cold when it’s cold, expands like old elastic and contracts like those tight jeans after washing, warps, cracks, and generally looks cheap and shitty. Just trying to help here sorry for the hyperbole. ?
 

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You are very correct. Marmoleum in our quantity can be found as remnants at flooring stores. I paid $130 for mine and saw some as low as $80 that would have worked. The local flooring store had some adhesive they let me use. This special black goopy adhesive is mushed into the jute backing with a 100 lb roller. We created the floor in our den, then moved it to the van with the help of some neighbors.

Our Marmoleum has not budged in varying temperatures and is tough as nails. Five years of hiking boots with sharp rocks in their treads and it still looks great. I never got an edging put at the slider and the unprotected Marmoleum edge is still pristine.

To the feet, the floor usually seems cool, but rarely cold. The cool feels especially good in the summer.

So yeah, Marmoleum was one of my best decisions.
 

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Actually, I recently wrote a recommendation for my vinyl flooring on a thread in the Airstream Forum. I installed floating vinyl plank flooring in my Airstream 2 years ago and it endured temperatures between 32 F to 112 F, and humidity between 3% and 75% inside my trailer. Nothing has budged even in the slightest and it looks like the day I installed it. I did not install it under build-ins.
The flooring I’m using is CoreTec Plus. Its a click floating floor with a thin insulating cork layer on the bottom, has a fiberglass core (I presume that’s why it is so stable) and a nice slightly textured faux wood look on the top. I love how it looks and feels.
Additionally, what is very important to me, it doesn‘t off gas toxic PVC fumes like most sheet vinyl.
I definitively will install the same floor in my van.
 
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I used 1" polyiso directly on the metal floor, then 3/4" plywood (tongue and groove), primed on all sides and edges after cutting but before installing. I used M8 x 1.25 bolts in existing tie down locations, and them some M8 x 1.25 flat head hex (counter sunk) bolts with washers and nuts below out in the middle of the van floor. Be mindful of future cabinet and other locations where you may need to drill or bolt through the floor later. Still have the primer finish while I do other work and finalize my floor plan.
Machine Floor
 

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Here’s what happens if you do it poorly. Again, this is floating vinyl planks not actually floating because it got pinned under cabinets and all. This is what would happen in just a few minutes of direct sun.
Floor Wood Flooring Hardwood Plywood

In any event, once we put a carpet remnant over the floor there was no going back. It was so nice on the feet and we could just pull it out and shake it off when it got dirty. We got a free scrap piece of the felt-backed carpet and cut it to fit around each of our cabinets so it perfectly fit our open space.
 

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Hmmmm. Maybe glue down vinyl is best for me. I want it under everything (cabinets, tanks, etc) to stop water if I have some kind of leak...
I have no experience with the CoreTek planks described above, but from my n=1 experience I will never use vinyl planks again! (It was also put in our apartment just before we moved in and there are now gaps all over.) I didn’t think we cheaped out - we got them at a local home design store - but we were thoroughly unimpressed. It was the number one thing I thought we would do different in the hypothetical next van, which has now become a reality.
 
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