*I’d first like to say that this post marks the first time we are actually adding to the bus. Up until this moment, we have been demoing and cleaning the bus of the life it once had and to us, putting in the floor was a huge stepping stone. It’s our first step into our future, it’s our first step in BUILDING our home. Needless to say, we’re pretty excited.
Now back to flooring.. one of the biggest problems a bus is prone to is rust which we discovered when we were in the demoing stage of our bus. A lot of rust in busses we’ve seen and even in our own, the rust forms on the flooring. One of the reasons is because nails, screws, and bolts were put directly through the floor to secure the original bus flooring and bus seats. Over time and with the flex of the bus, water was able to makes it’s ways through these holes and eventually, you get nasty rust. This is something we didn’t want to perpetuate so we decided to make our subfloor, float.
No, It’s not a magical trick, but it does allow us to keep the sheet metal floor solid. After working so hard to get rid of the rust and to seal the floors, we didn’t want to just put more holes in it. Instead we will use pressure to keep the floor in place and this will also benefit the floors to be able to flex with the bus and allow the plywood to expand during temperature change.
We didn’t use glue or any other adhesive to adhere the foam to the actual bus, it was only adhered to itself using aluminum hvac tape.
* side note, try to minimize the amount that you walk on your foam to decrease the dents left behind. We worked out of the emergency exit and should of started laying down insulation from front to back but didn’t. You can see the dents going down the aisle of the foam.
We were able to get all of the floor insulation laid out in one day. The next day was dedicated to laying out the plywood.
Using the foam as a guide, we cut the plywood with a jigsaw to match and fit into the corners.
To save time and to have a guide, we used an angle iron and clamps to make a straight edge for the circular saw. This helped make each cut consistent and tight fitting. Be sure to measure for the distance of the guard to the blade on your saw though!
And as always, measure twice and cut once as dad would say!
With just a little trimming, one sheet would cover the floor of the bus, left to right. We used only 9 sheets of plywood or so to cover the floor.
Lay down your plywood from where your working, out. For example, we were working out of the emergency exit, as you can see below, and we started laying the plywood from there to the front. This allowed us to walk on the plywood instead of the foam.
It was so cold that day. For Christmas, Blake bought us both some insulated bibs and they really came in handy for working in temperatures like this.
This photo shows a strange cut that was made easy by picking up the foam we had laid down the day before and using it as a pattern on the plywood.
And there we have it, a floating subfloor!
To answer a couple questions we have had:
1. Most of our cabinetry will be attached to the walls and screwed to the plywood floor but not completely through to the metal floor which will help keep our sealed floor, sealed.
2. We were really against using OSB plywood at first because we were concerned with it’s water handling capabilities in case of leaking that happened before in the bus but since we’ve sealed all of our holes and made it water tight from bottom side, we were okay with using it and plus, we got it for free, which helps!
3. Once the plywood relaxes, we will seal between the edges of each sheet with silicon which will both add to the “waterproofing” and also allow our floor to flex without any squeaks, which we all know that a 40ft bus is bound to flex a bit while driving or changing weather conditions.
thanks for reading!