Road Read – The Floors Beneath the Floors – Subfloors! 7-6-16

Subfloors – Making a solid foundation to live on.

So it only makes sense to start the floor and work our way up from there.  When I started on the floors I knew that I wanted to put in the Lizardskin prior to putting the floors down or even the sub floors for that matter.

20160504_192509aFloor Leveling Slats

The bottom of the van had a corrugated surface similar to the bed of a truck and I wanted to make sure that over time the floor does not become weak and sink down in the lower levels.
To avoid this, I decided to fill in the low spots with plywood in order to bring them up to the level of the high spots.  It sounds easier than it actually was.  Each of the low spots was a different width and there were some unique shapes in the corners and around the wheel wells.  Additionally each of the leveling slats had an edge bevel that 45°on each side.  The difference of the height between the high and the low spots was about .38 of an inch.  The lumber that was purchased to make the leveling slats was half inch plywood.  Half inch plywood is actually around 15/32 or .46 of an inch thick.  After each leveling slat was cut at the proper width with the beveled edge, each piece was then planed down to the proper height.

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Once all the leveling slats were cut and in place and all the unique areas had custom pieces cut for them such as in the corners and around the sliding door and the wheel wells, it was then time to cut the subfloor that would sit on top of the leveling slats.

The section that I wanted to cover from behind the seats to the rear doors was roughly 139 inches long by around 6 feet wide.  I used three 4 x 8 foot sheets of half inch plywood to cover this area.  This means I had two sections that were 48 inches long and one section that was in the center that was 43 inches long.  I used cardboard to make templates so that the subfloor would cover all of the van floor. The templates were transferred to the 4 x 8 sheets of plywood and cut them out using a jigsaw.

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It is at this point that I sprayed the interior with the Lizardskin sound insulation and ceramic heat insulation.  Notes on that install will be in another right up.

At this point I had the leveling slats and the sub floors cut.  Now I needed to join the two together to make them rigid and reduce any noise from vibration. First, I put the leveling slats and the proper positions and late in the subfloor section closest to the rear doors.  On the subfloor I marked where the center of each leveling slat was beneath it.  I made this mark on both ends of the subfloor.  With a ruler I marked the line that showed the center of each leveling slat below.  With ¾ inch screws I secured the leveling slats to the underside of the section of subfloor.  I then removed this action and turned it over so I could mark where the edge of each leveling slats was located on the bottom of the subfloor.  Each slat was marked with a unique identifier.  (Example: A1, A2, A3.) I again turned this section back over and removed all the screws that secured the leveling slats to the bottom.

Once this was done, I then turned the subfloor section upside down again and then glued and screwed the leveling slats to the bottom of the subfloor.  All this was done on a level floor and an additional piece of plywood was laid on top and weights were placed on top of it.  These weights were left in place until the glue dried which was around 24 hours.

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This process was repeated for the other two sections of subfloor.  Once the sections were completed, each section was coated with Thompson’s Weather Sealant, let dry and installed in the van. This step probably isn’t necessary but I wanted to protect the floors from rain and mildew.

 

 

I hope this helps explain the path I took to create my sub floors.  If you have any questions, please let me know through the spoken compass contact page.

 

Many thanks and keep the course,

Johnny Roberts