Are you ready to install your camper van flooring? I’m here to give you the step by step break down, so that you have a beautiful and warm floor in your van. No one wants to walk on a cold floor without any insulation in the middle of the winter. We built our own floor and we get tons of compliments on it!
We had to save space, because Dylan is 6 feet tall and he wanted to be able to stand up in the van! We decided to use a thin layer of sub-floor and utilize products with high R values. The R Value tells you how good a product is at keeping heat in and out. Read below for our step by step guide to installing your own floor!
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Table of Contents
Guide to Install Camper Van Flooring
- Foam Polyiso Board – We chose the ½ inch Polyiso Board, because it had a relatively high R value and was inexpensive to use. It wasn’t too thick which means we’d still have enough room to stand in the van.
- Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks– This material will fill in the cracks between the wood and the van walls, but we also used it between foam board slats.
- Loctite Foamboard Adhesive– You’ll need this to adhere the foamboard to the van floors and the foam board to the plywood.
- 3 Pieces of Baltic Birch Plywood 4 x8 Boards – We chose Baltic Birch because it is lighter, but it is also pretty moisture resistant.
- Vinyl Sheet Flooring– This is a very popular choice for flooring. Vinyl sheets are relatively inexpensive, but they also hold up well over time. They are also water resistant.
- Vinyl Seam Sealer– You’ll need this to adhere the edges of the vinyl sheets to the floors.
- Cleaning Spray and Rags- Use any sort of cleaner to get all of the dirt and grease off the car floors.
- Circular Saw– This is a powerful saw, so it is great for cutting the plywood. It goes a lot faster with this saw.
- Jigsaw– This tool is good for cutting curves. We used this to cut the edges of our plywood to fit in the van.
- Oscillating Tool– You can put a flat blade onto the oscillating tool, which makes it perfect to cut the excess gaps and cracks off.
- Utility Knife– To cut the strips of Foam Board adhesive and the vinyl flooring to size. Make sure you have a surface to cut them on (we are going to use spare plywood).
- Caulk Gun– You need a caulk gun in order to spread the Loctite Foamboard adhesive on the surfaces.
Steps to Install Sub-Flooring
#1 Clean the Floors
You will need to make sure that all surfaces are clean before you start working with them. Dirt and grease will prevent the adhesives from sticking well and will prevent good van floor insulation. So, grab some cleaning spray and old cloths to wipe the surfaces clean and make sure they’re free from dust! Pro Tip: Play music to pass the time and take some dance breaks.
#2 Measure & Cut Foam Board
In the camper van, you’ll notice that the floors are not flat. They have slats that rise up and surfaces that are flat next to them. So, you’ll have to fill in the slats with the foam polyiso board. In order to do that, you’ll need to cut them to size to lay them down in the flat surfaces to match the height of the raised ones.
#4 Adhere Foam Board
Next, use the caulk gun to spread the Loctite Foamboard adhesive on the Polyiso board and press it down to the slats. Make sure to hold it down for anywhere from 10-15 seconds so that the foam board sticks well.
#5 Fill Spaces with Gaps & Cracks
Once you’re done laying the board down, you can fill all the other space with Gaps and Cracks. We used 7 bottles to fill the van, which was a lot more then I expected to get! Now you can take a break and relax, because the Gaps & Cracks takes 8 hours to set and dry.
#6 Cut Down Foam
After the Gaps and Cracks is dry, you’ll need to cut it down to lay flat next to the foam board. We used the oscillating tool to cut the excess foam pieces off. This step took us 2 hours and was very tiring! I wish we had found a better solution, so let me know if you found one! However, once it’s done you have your subfloor!
How to Install Flooring
#1 Cut Plywood to Size
You’ll need to fit the Plywood exactly to the shape of the van floor. Luckily, we had a floor mat that was the exact shape of our floor van to use as a template. If you don’t have that, you can use cardboard to create a template (you’ll need this again later!). We drew the outlines around our template and then used the circular saw and jigsaw to cut the wood down to size.
#2 Attach Plywood to Foam Board
Now that you have your pieces of wood, you can attach them to the subfloor. Take the Loctite bottle, and spread it all over the floors. Feel free to be generous with the Loctite so that you cover the space well! Then, place the plywood down and step all over it to help make sure it’s firmly down on the surface.
#3 Weigh Plywood Down
After you’ve adhered the boards, you’ll need to weigh them down so they stick. Try to find as many heavy things as you can to ensure that it’s really weighed down. We used the circular saw, weights, planks, and other tools to weigh the floor down.
#5 Trim Vinyl Sheet Flooring to Size
If you have the templates from earlier, then this step will not be very hard. Lay down the flooring face down and draw an outline onto the vinyl. Once you have your outline you can use a sharp blade to cut it. We tried to keep a couple extra inches just in case!
#6 Stick the Vinyl Floor Down
Now you’ll need two people to complete this step. Carefully place the vinyl sheet flooring over the plywood. Work together to lay it over the plywood and make sure it’s in the right place. Now, take a vinyl floor adhesive and a trowel to lay that on the plywood. Go slow and roll it out a little at a time so there are not bubbles or spaces in the flooring.
#8 Cut off Excess Adhesive & Let Dry!
There will be some spaces with excess adhesive, but you can cut them off. You’ll want to let the floor dry for 24 hours or so before stepping on it for a long time. Then, your van floor insulation is done and you have flooring! Yay, now you can celebrate!
Timing & Budget
Your budget and timing may be different based on how fast you work. Dylan and I split up tasks to put our floors in. Below is how long it took us and the amount of money we spent on our floors.
Total time: 10 Hours
Total Cost: $406
There are many ways that you can install your camper van flooring, but we are incredibly satisfied with our floors. We have lived in the van for 6 months now and we haven’t noticed any problems. This is a great option if you want to spend less and you don’t have a lot of height to work with. We love our floors!
Was this step by step guide to installing your camper van flooring helpful? Let me know in the comments!