Wondering how to make van flooring? Here’s a step by step guide. Keep reading if you would like a list of all the tools we used and exactly how we made a good quality professional looking floor.
If you would like to see our flooring video I’ll drop it below. We explain each step and have instructional videos detailing them.
3 sheets of 2.4×1.2m ply – 9mm thick
A pack of battens – each 12mm thick
How To Make Van Flooring – Step By Step Guide:
Step 1: Cutting Battens To Size
The very first thing you need to do is figure out your layout. The reason you need to do this first is when you come to install your cupboards and bed you’ll need to screw into the batten that’s under your ply to make sure it is secure.
In all stages of your van conversion, don’t forget that you’re in the back of a vehicle and if you have to perform an emergency stop for any reason, you don’t want your tiny home flying forward out of the windscreen. This is why you need to have your underfloor batten marked so when you eventually add furniture, it can be secured.
Make sure that before you lay any batten down, you’ve got your wheel arches covered in vapour barrier. We completely forgot about this and had to re-cut out wood and insulation to fit the extra few millimeters. Oops!We chose 12mm batten because Jake is 6”1 so we didn’t want to lose too much height, we also knew we could get hold of some 12mm Celotex insulation so it was a good option for us. It doesn’t matter what size batten you get as long as you get the same thickness insulation.
So with the batten, we cut each piece to size and created a grid. Jotting down a diagram of the grid and numbering each piece of wood on the diagram and the actual piece of wood is essential so you don’t get them muddled up.
Step 2: Cut and Fit Celotex
When you’ve got a grid of batten down on the floor you can start to measure the squares for the insulation. We measured, fitted, and cut the insulation before measuring the next piece so it would all fit in perfectly. This way, we managed to get a perfectly snug, secure base for the pay to sit on top of.
We kept on measuring, cutting, and fitting square by square until we could no longer see red. As we used 12mm insulation we could use a Stanly knife to cut it. It was very quick and easy.
Step 3: Cut The Plywood to Size
If you saw [Episode 1] of our van build you will know that the floor of our van when we bought it was completely rotten and we had to tear it off in small pieces. Because of this we had no template and had to make one from scratch. This was pretty easy for the front of the van but a little more difficult when it came to the wheel arches.
The first thing we did was measure the width of the van, cut the first sheet of ply to shape and slide it in. It’s important to make sure that the edge of the ply goes halfway across a piece of batten so when the two pieces of ply meet, they can both be screwed down.
For the second section of the van, we had to start using large sheets of paper to make a template of the wheel arches. We placed the templates on top of the ply while we were cutting them to get an accurate shape. We did the same for the back of the van making sure that the two pieces of ply met on top of a batten so we could secure them down.
An important thing to remember: when your ply flooring is down, make sure to mark off where your batten is. That way, when you come to add furniture you’ll know where to screw down into.
Step 4: Sikaflex the Battens and secure the flooring
Remove everything. Yes, all the insulation, batten, and ply… Take it all out. This Is where that little diagram will come in handy. You should also make a diagram and label every square of insulation so you know where everything in your gigantic jigsaw puzzle goes.
It’s time to stick the battens down. We used sikaflex to secure each piece of batten into its grid layout. While the sikaflex is still drying you can insert the insulation. It’s best to do this while it’s drying so you can make sure it all fits in snug.
Now that your batten and insulation is down, you can put your ply on top (don’t screw it down yet) and put some heavy bricks on top to leave overnight to set.
Step 5: Remove Ply and Silver Tape Over Battens
The next day our sikaflex was dry. We removed the bricks and ply so that we could use aluminium tape to tape over the batten. This creates a very important vapour barrier! The goal is to make sure everything is silver, that’s how you know you’ve done a good job.
Step 6: Screw The Ply Down
The floor of your van should resemble the floor of a spaceship. Now it’s finally time to bring the ply back in and screw it down into the batten.
And that’s it! That’s how to make van flooring – step by step guide! I hope you find this useful!
Feel free to leave a comment if you decided to use this method and if not let me know how you made your floor.
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How To Make Van Flooring – Step By Step Guide Video: