With the old floor panelling completely stripped out and the surface cleaned of rust and freshly painted, it was time to put the new floor in! We picked up some 45×70 “kortregel” from Hornbach to be used as the wooden beams. We probably could have gone for something a little smaller, possibly even 45×45, but we wanted to be sure we had solid foundations for the floor panelling and the furniture that would be mounted into these beams. For the insulation between the beams we used Kingspan Therma 30mm and for the floor panelling we used 12mm “furuplywood”, aka pinewood.
The first step was to cut down the beams and plane them 30mm thickness to match the insulation. The tricky part here was that we had to account for the ridges on the van floor so not all beams would be the same thickness. Some of beams running vertically would be sit between the ridges, whilst the ones running horizontally would cross over the ridges and would therefore need to be planed down further. We took the height of the ridges, 12mm, and using a planing machine we trimmed down the beams so that they all matched the same height.
Once we figured out the desired layout we secured the beams down to the floor with generous amounts of SikaBond-500. After giving it a couple of days to dry the beams had a rock solid bond to the chassis floor and we were ready to begin putting the insulation in. We took measurements of the spacing between each beam and cut the Kingspan insulation to size. To cut the insulation we used an insulation saw, which was useless and made a mess of the insulation, and a couple of utility knives. Much later we realised the best tool for this job is the jigsaw with a fine blade attachment (e.g T101A0), which makes for a cleaner cut and is a hell of a lot quicker!
Before putting in the insulation nearest the wheel arches, we needed to vapour barrier them. We picked up a roll of Protego Byggfolie and covered both wheel arches, securing the barrier to the chassis with aluminium foil tape.
With the vapour barrier covering both wheel arches and the pieces of insulation cut to size we began placing them in their respective positions between the wooden beams. Somehow most of our initial measurements were pretty spot on and the insulation fit like a glove, but for the few that didn’t we used the utility knife to trim them down.
…and then the insulation was done!
As you will see in the above gif the front piece of plywood is already installed. Before we screwed down any of the plywood floor we used aluminium foil tape around all edges of the insulation and covered the beams. Doing so not only sealed the vapour barrier but also helped to ensure the pieces of insulation could not even move a millimetre. We separated the plywood floor into three separate pieces for ease of installation. Whilst ripping out the old floor we were careful to preserve the pieces around the wheel arches so we could use these as templates for the new flooring. However the rest of the old floor was completely ripped apart so we had to take measurements and cut as best we could. We used a circular saw to do the straight, long cuts and a jigsaw for the little notches and crevices that we had to account for.
After all the plywood flooring was cut to size we placed them in their respective positions. The centre piece of plywood needed a little extra attention since we were running some electrical cabling under the flooring to the other side of the van. We will go into more detail on the electrical side of things in another blog post, but essentially we used a hole saw to cut a hole on either side of the centre plywood floor piece and ran 2 x 2 core and 2 x 3 core cabling through some conduit under the floor.
Once the cables were done we secured the plywood down to the wooden beams using 25mm self drilling screws, and presto, the floor is done!
Note that you can’t see the underfloor cables, since these pictures were taken before we finished the floor!