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Hey all! Finished my floating subfloor and added some kilz mildew/mold primer on top. Great stuff around the edges. I’m curious if there’s any benefit to putting vinyl plank flooring down before adding furniture and counters in a build rather than adding to the visible floor areas afterwards. Thanks!
 

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I'd strongly suggest sheet vinyl (or marmoleum, or linoleum), not planks or anything in pieces that click together.

Never ending major thermal expansion and contraction cycles and constantly jostling have most folks regret planks.
That's good to know. I'm considering sheet vinyl, but I wasn't sure if you'd be able to feel the subfloor seams while walking across because it's so thin.
 

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I'd strongly suggest sheet vinyl (or marmoleum, or linoleum), not planks or anything in pieces that click together.

Never ending major thermal expansion and contraction cycles and constantly jostling have most folks regret planks.
This is not necessarily true, it all depends on the type and quality of the Vinyl plank flooring. It has to be a “solid core” plank. I had my vinyl plank floor from CoreTec for 3 ½ years in my Airstream with temperatures from 32° to 120° inside, and with humidity from 5% to 75%. It haven’t budged as much as a millimeter. I did not install it under my furniture, though, because it was a remodel.
 
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I still don't understand why so many people put the finished floor down before building out the van. Maybe an easier shape to work with (especially if using a sheet of something), but if I did that it would be in horrendous shape by the time I finished. The floor was one of the last things I did.
I've only heard of people having problems with vinyl planks if they ignore the directions (and every guide online) by doing it first and securing stuff over top of it. Mine hasn't had long term testing yet, but so far it's been fine over 100 degrees. The planks can slide relative to one another though, so have to make sure whatever trim over the edge gaps is twice the size of the gap in case the plank slides the other way.
 

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I still don't understand why so many people put the finished floor down before building out the van.
You answered your own question:

…so have to make sure whatever trim over the edge gaps…
We'd rather have no gaps to trim. If the floor surface can't survive the construction phase, it surely can’t survive the sharp rocks we bring in on our hiking boots.
 

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You answered your own question:



We'd rather have no gaps to trim. If the floor surface can't survive the construction phase, it surely can’t survive the sharp rocks we bring in on our hiking boots.
A few boot rocks are pretty mild compared to screwdrivers and drills falling point first, wood falling onto the floor corner first, and sliding sheets in and out over whatever grit is under them, sanding down the floor with 2 grit sandpaper. My subfloor was scratched up terribly and had a few huge gouges in it by the time I got to finishing the floor.
 

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No professional would ever put down a finished floor first! It’s typically the very last thing to get installed in any application for obvious reasons.
 

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Just waiting for the build-your-own-house fad to take off...
People all over social media posting pictures of a foundation and floor, with no walls: "ready to start laying floor tile!"
🤣

Seriously though, I think
(1) Someone, somewhere, decided to do the floor first and it took off like a dank meme.
(2) Most people that don't build buildings probably think "build bottom to top". They might even do their house floor first. It never crossed my mind to do the floor first because in buildings it's always done last and I didn't watch any van youtube or van social media or anything.
(3) It's a small space, and a small rectangle is easy to cover.
(4) It's not very daunting. I mean, I did my bed first. Might not do it that way next time, but hey, it's a big easy thing to get out of the way.
 

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But then, I tend to think "buildings". And framing the walls with 2x6 studs obviously isn't ideal in a van, so yeah... if the floor won't expand or contract much, and you store all the stuff outside of the van and are super careful, I don't doubt it can work. Some people with sheet floors seem to be happy with them installed first (while I have heard others have damaged them in the process), but everyone I've seen complain about vinyl planks buckling did them first and screwed through them.
 

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Hey all! Finished my floating subfloor and added some kilz mildew/mold primer on top. Great stuff around the edges. I’m curious if there’s any benefit to putting vinyl plank flooring down before adding furniture and counters in a build rather than adding to the visible floor areas afterwards. Thanks!
Since you've done the real work I feel ascetics is just whatever flooring you want to float....I actually just bought some flooring from Costco on sale, I did my sub-floor w/thinsulate then covered w/fiberglass/plastic Home Depot 4x8 sheets wht square hole stuff then put rubber roof remnants from my flat roof install on top of that....Great material if you can get it? So, anything on top is ascetics...
 

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We used the vinyl planks in our ProMaster, putting them down before building out the cabinetry. We did this to give us extra insulation and also in case something got spilled inside of the cabinets. So, somewhat of a moisture barrier as well. It's been 2 years and we haven't had any issues. And, I do think it was easier to put down that way than to cut around the cabinetry.
 

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I'm considering sheet viny . . . because it's so thin.
Whoa there Nelly, I bought stuff at Lowes that close to 3/16" thick. I chose it because it was thick and 'lived with' a pattern I was not "in love with." No regrets after 4 years or so. If you layout some paper on the floor area (pasting several sheets together as we did) you can trace a line (on a flt surface) then put the paper onto the vinyl and trace the line onto it to create a tight-fitting sheet. And, because teh stuff comes in 12 foot widths, you can get a way withunder two yards of vinyl for many vehicles w/o a need to seam (which they sell kits for).
 

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I still don't understand why so many people put the finished floor down
Well, when I did out Kitchen in Florida (Using overstock(cheap) PERGO, I hired 'pros' to do the work back when they glued the stuff. Then I installed the cabinets. We we sold the home 15-20 years later, it was still there and looking good. It is now a rental (as I understand it) and the flooring's still there.

I did the kitchen remodled in another house (years later) with some solid vinyl 7" x 48" planks after the cabinets were installed - ut I did run the flooring under the stove and diswasher to keep everything neat, tidy and on the level. So far, so good.
 

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No professional would ever put down a finished floor first!
Maybe so, but the 'professionals' I've met along the way over fifty years or so have been anything but systems engineers, chemists, architects. Rather folks who were always asking "Why do we need to learn that?" in High School before dropping out and getting a GED. The last guy I had pour a slab didn't know the 3,4,5 rule. I've had 'electricians' make up all manner of rationals for CODE Requirements. Many of the tradesmen learned how to do what they do as a helper watching the guy who used to be the helper (Apprentice, if you will) do it and redoing it if the inspector insisted, for instance, on a Green Grounding Screw.

That is not to claim that all trades people lack a well rounded education, of course. Just advising that, as when surgery is recommended, seek several opinions/
 
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