After completing the floor insulation and soundproofing application, it was time to actually get a floor in this thing.
While I love the look of the gorgeous wood, bamboo, or cork floors in the magically clean, sleek vans of Instagram, my small space, limited budget, and knowing it was a fun trip rather than a full-time home for the foreseeable future led me to explore easy end of the options.
Originally I was leaning toward a roll of laminate, I saw a girl’s facebook group post of her van which seemed down to earth, simple yet functional, and used a bunch of stuff I actually owned and decided to send her a message asking how some things were functioning for her. She mentioned that her floor was one of those semi-squishy gym mat floors which is like a bunch of puzzle pieces, easy to wipe clean, and easy to replace as needed. I decided to give it a try since it was cheap enough that if I hated it I could revert to the original plan with no harm done.
Since both these options are pretty lightweight, I opted for only 1/4″ of OSB (no idea what exact type but similar to this) as a subfloor. I was (and still am) a little nervous that it’s too thin and going to crack with the furniture weight and my own walking over it, but so far so good and on top of the insulation and below the cushioned floor I hope it holds.
I pulled out the van floor mat and used this as a template for the subfloor from which I traced the outline of the floor. Pretty simple.
My ever resourceful helper/godmother Jane helped me cut the outline with a coping saw and cut off the excess length with a circular saw.
Then I sprayed down the wood with a mildew/mold preventative so any condensation wouldn’t cause issues. Yuck. Downside of this turned out to be that the wetness made the boards bow a little but once the floor was down it wasn’t a problem.
I unscrewed the metal bar that runs across the back of the van floor by the back doors, and was able to screw it back down over the insulation and subfloor to hold it in place and prevent slipping forward while driving. This was… a process which showed my less than stellar ability to work well with others to my godmother and neighbor who was trying to be helpful. Too many people blocking the view, too many hands and bodies in one small space, and grumpy Mary scared everyone away. My very kind Jane returned though with longer screws and helped as I stood on the whole thing to get it down and screwed back in. One time those extra wine and cheese pounds come in handy!
I ordered the flooring from Amazon which I expected to have to cut to fit, but actually worked perfectly for the most part. Since the edges will just be hidden I didn’t bother filling in the edges around the curves, and ta-da! 5 min later I have a floor. I chose this sky blue color to make it a little brighter and cheerier, but also know this will show more wear and dirt than a more neutral dark color. Oh well. It’s already a little dented here and there but it does feel very cushy and has made the world of difference kneeling while working inside the van compared to the subfloor and awful feeling ridges.