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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the stage where I'm going to install my sheet vinyl over my Baltic Birch subfloor. Baltic Birch was painted with Zinsser mold killing paint. My sheet vinyl is not "felt backed", it's a vinyl/rubber/plasticky material on the backside.

Faroutride used a pressure sensitive vinyl flooring adhesive, similar to this one: https://www.lowes.com/pd/TEC-TEC-Sh...-_-c-_-prd-_-mdv-_-gdy-_-all-_-promasterforum

The pros to this are if you apply it correctly, it technically allows you to remove the vinyl flooring if you ever want to replace it, without damaging the subfloor. Downside is I don't think it will really allow you to reposition the vinyl sheet as you lay it or once it's down, as it's tacky and doesn't allow you to slide the sheet at all. Would make for a harder installation keeping everything straight and flat. You can also install the flooring while it's still wet for a permanent bond, which I think would also let you reposition a bit.

Alternatively, there are more traditional floor adhesives like this: Roberts 7350 1 Gal. Universal Flooring Adhesive-7350-1 - The Home Depot
Which might work better to let me reposition the floor as I go. I'm doing one continuous piece of sheet vinyl front to back in my HR extended, so its big.

Final option would be something like this Lonseal 650 epoxy adhesive, probably the best for a vehicle application where the temperatures will swing a lot (far outside what most normal floor adhesives are designed for). This is very permanent though.



Regardless of adhesive, I'm planning on doing 1 section at a time, by laying some adhesive (~3ft sections), then rolling the sheet out to the edge of the adhesive patch, then lay a few more feet of adhesive, and repeat.


Anyways, anyone have any recommendations for an adhesive to use for sheet vinyl?
 

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Your results might vary, but I used G-Floor coin flooring (NOT felt backed, so likely similar to yours). I did a lot of digging and determined for me the Roberts 2350 adhesive was a great option (adhered straight to 3/4" marine plywood). Being that I didn't want to fart around and actually be able to use the van, I just bit the bullet and went full steam with that. After being in the van spring, summer and now fall/winter (ranging from -10C -> 40C+) its worked GREAT! No issues whatsoever. I also used it for some bench faces, ie. vertical, and that too has held up with no issues whatsoever.

My particular concern was warping/bulging in the heat but that never happened. In the cold I was scared it would shrink (the flooring :D) but haven;t seen any sign of that either. That being said, I did it as one big sheet to avoid seems that would be visible or in any way stand out if there were issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your results might vary, but I used G-Floor coin flooring (NOT felt backed, so likely similar to yours). I did a lot of digging and determined for me the Roberts 2350 adhesive was a great option (adhered straight to 3/4" marine plywood). Being that I didn't want to fart around and actually be able to use the van, I just bit the bullet and went full steam with that. After being in the van spring, summer and now fall/winter (ranging from -10C -> 40C+) its worked GREAT! No issues whatsoever. I also used it for some bench faces, ie. vertical, and that too has held up with no issues whatsoever.

My particular concern was warping/bulging in the heat but that never happened. In the cold I was scared it would shrink (the flooring :D) but haven;t seen any sign of that either. That being said, I did it as one big sheet to avoid seems that would be visible or in any way stand out if there were issues.
Do you mean Robert’s 2310? Roberts 2310 1 Gal. Resilient Flooring Adhesive for Fiberglass Sheet Goods and Luxury Vinyl Tile-2310-1 - The Home Depot

Or do you mean Roberts 7350 linked above
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gotcha. Thanks.

The other question is also whether I should coat the top surface of plywood with the Zinsser mold killing paint or not. Not sure if the paint will cause adhesion issues with the epoxy or vinyl adhesive. Depending on what I use
 

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Ya that was a concern of mine. I ended up coating the bottom and edges of the floor, but left the top upcoated for a "porous" substrate according the Roberts guide. I figured it would be covered with both the adhesive and the continuous layer of polyvinyl flooring so it was more than waterproof. You're right depending on what you go with you'll have to carefully read the instructions to see if it can be used on porous or non-porous surfaces.
 

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Am Sooo glad I used Mannington Paradigm II- Intersect as it can float without adhesive. I've had to raise it up a couple of times to do dis or dat. It is a commercial grade and not the only one that will float. If something were to damage it or I get tired of it then no problem replacing. You glue it- it's permanent.
 

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In my search I ended up picking up Mapei Ultrabond ECO 360 as it was listed as an alternative adhesive from Lonseal.
Found this on the vanlifeoutfitters blog post.

Alternate_Adhesives_111914 (vanlifeoutfitters.com)

I'm just starting with my build so I yet do the floor, but I wanted to stay away from the epoxy as it just sounded like it was pretty hard to work with. I have the Lonseal coin flooring, putting it on top of DIYvan's minicell insulation with 3/4 marine plywood on top of that.
 

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Am Sooo glad I used Mannington Paradigm II- Intersect as it can float without adhesive. I've had to raise it up a couple of times to do dis or dat. It is a commercial grade and not the only one that will float. If something were to damage it or I get tired of it then no problem replacing. You glue it- it's permanent.
So you just laid the Paradigm II flooring over the sub-floor, with no adhesive whatever? Just cut it to shape and lay it down? What's your sub-floor? Does the vinyl stay put? Is it easy enough to remove again, if you need to get below it?

This sounds just great, I just need some more details before I take this route. The write-up from Mannington looks like it's really good stuff, I'm just concerned about how to install it. Thanks in advance.
 

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Yeah, I looked long and hard for a tough commercial grade vinyl. Had used a DuPont floor in my trailer that looks like Terazzo and love it. Was looking at other samples and found the Mannington Paradirm II and liked it too. Originally planned to glue it down and bought the glue( DuPont had to be). The Pro installer at the last minute said it could be floated as it had the correct backing. No brainer there- a van is a very small space. Others do non floating rated vinyl in kitchens with no problems so am very happy this was our result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I’m going to go with west systems 105+206 epoxy. Lonseal put out a bulletin last year approving West Systems epoxy as well.

Seems like epoxy will work best for the temperature swings.

Now the only question is whether I coat the top of the plywood with the zinsser mold resistant paint. I unfortunately already did 1 light coat on the top side of 1 of the 4 floor boards. Will sand it with 80 grit before the epoxy.

Rust-Oleum 02761 Perma-White Mold & Mildew Proof Interior Paint, SemiGloss Finish https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002Y1M75...abc_QJWFN82WP2YQPPKDBWKC?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Epoxy will bond better to untreated plywood, but I’d imagine it will still bond pretty well to one light coat of the zinsser + sanding. Still a little porous and rough.

Anyone have input on whether I should paint the other 3 plywood board top surfaces? Or leave them raw wood before I epoxy the sheet vinyl on.
 
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I used Roberts 2350 to adhere vinyl sheet flooring as the waterproof wall layer in my RV bathroom. The glue is quite runny but it has dried over a couple of days to really suck the vinyl down. It makes a waterproof layer on its own too. I bought it from a local flooring installation business (on the recommendation from the flooring company I bought the vinyl from). Originally I was going to put Redgard onto the marine plywood but the flooring guy said not to use Regard. I think it would have interfered with the hardening of the glue. I also used the 2350 to glue some tiles I had to a plywood board and it worked well for that. Hopefully in a week I'll be using the 2350 to glue down my vinyl plank (I'm nearing completion on the van.)
Building Lighting Interior design Wood Fixture
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Careful w/ your vinyl choice and adhesive.

I used a combination of lonseal vinyl and gfloor coin dot and, if I were to do it over again, I would go fully lonseal. I say that because the lonseal just feels like a better product and the fact that it has a mesh backing allows you a larger set of options when it comes to adhesive choice. For the gfloor vinyl, the only adhesive that worked for me was the adhesive that gfloor sells.

For the lonseal vinyl, I used Roberts 2350 but wound up having delamination issues if the vinyl got too hot in scenarios such as direct sunlight. Not a huge issue for the floor but a big issue for some vertical surfaces such as my steps. For vertical surfaces I wound up using West System epoxy w/ colloidal fiber additive. Worked amazingly well and it's what I would use for both horizontal as well as vertical surfaces in the future. Just absolutely bomber, no worries about temp changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I’m going to use west systems epoxy. My vinyl is Tarkett something or another, got a very good deal on it. I really wanted to use lonseal (got 20 samples probably), but none of them looked very good to me. Hoping I don’t regret it, as the tarkett is thinner. It looks a lot better though, has a bit of a texture and looks a lot more real than lonseal
 

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So you just laid the Paradigm II flooring over the sub-floor, with no adhesive whatever? Just cut it to shape and lay it down? What's your sub-floor? Does the vinyl stay put? Is it easy enough to remove again, if you need to get below it?

This sounds just great, I just need some more details before I take this route. The write-up from Mannington looks like it's really good stuff, I'm just concerned about how to install it. Thanks in advance.
Didn't answer your question fully: the sub-floor is 5/8" unfinished Baltic Birch. Knew an installer from doing my trailer floor a year ago and he mentioned at the last minute before opening the tub of adhesive that the Mannington could be floated. No brainer as my trailer floor had to be overlaid with the new as the original was glued and pretty impossible to remove. Have been aware that even without "official" floating vinyl many will just float any good quality vinyl without problems. It is a much smaller area than you think in a van; the installer used rubber corner moulding at the front, slider door area and rear. Could have done without the rear as well as it tucks underneath the OEM scuff plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Got the floor install done this weekend, went pretty well. Learned a few things.

My layers were as follows:

-3M 90 spray adhesive
-Mincell foam between the ribs
-3m 78 spray adhesive (kind of nasty voc wise, definitely wear a p100 respirator)
-1” 25psi XPS foam board
-PL Premium 3x construction adhesive (this stuff is great, bonds to the non-porous XPS and the non-porous Zinsser paint coated plywood. PL300 adhesive will not work with the painted plywood
-Baltic birch 1/2” plywood panels, I used the PL Premium as the adhesive for the lap joints between panels and it worked well.
-West systems epoxy (206 hardener, and 406 colloidal silica). I got the gallon resin sizes, definitely more than I needed. I found out that for each half of the van floor, I needed about 50 pumps of each part of the epoxy, and one container of the colloidal silica to get a good consistency).
-Sheet vinyl (I got a nice textured wood pattern from Tarkett)

As others have found out, you have to work FAST with the epoxy. The first half of the floor, we mixed the colloidal silica in by hand which took forever to get a “mayonnaise like consistency). By the time we had done about half of the rear floor, the epoxy started to thicken, but we had already coated the sides of the floor. Big oops. Had to rush to get the epoxy that didn’t harden out and spread it so we could lay the floor. Ended up turning out find, few small lumps but my vinyl is textured so it’s very hard to tell. If anything it makes the wood seem even more real haha.

The front half of the floor epoxy went much better since we mixed with the special drill attachment and didn’t make the epoxy as thick. The tips we learned:

-Cut the vinyl out exactly to shape for the floor. We used the plywood panels as a template. We had some extra material for the slider step, but no where else. The front and rear edge,plus slider step, should be finished with aluminum stair nosing once the vinyl is glued down, so it’s okay if the edges in this locations are perfect. Our vinyl did not stretch or move st all during install.
-Plywood floor top should be clean and bare (no paint!)
-spray great stuff windows and door expanding foam along the perimeter of the plywood (should be about a 1/2” gap all around) . Let it dry, the. Trim flat with a 25mm razor blade. Do this before laying the vinyl.
-it was useful to have the vinyl rolled flat for a week prior with weights all over it to get it nice and flat for glueing.
-2 people are a must. Use vinyl gloves, and get four 5-quart mixing containers (two for each half of the floor). Get real P100 respirators (a must for the van build in general). Two 1/16 x 1/16 x 1/32” trowels. A rolling pin, and a paint roller with a dry roller brush.
-mask the front and rear edges of the floor, as well as the slider step, so that epoxy doesn’t get on them.
-Lay in the pre-cut vinyl on the plywood floor bare and align it properly. Add a bunch of weights to the front half of the vinyl to hold it in place.
-Flip the back half up and over to the front of the van (so it’s upside down).
-50 pumps per 105 and 206 resins, and one container of 406 colloidal silica for each half of the floor (extended length van), will be a little thinner than mayonnaise (you want this! Easier to spread but not too runny). If it’s warmer than 70 degrees out, I’d get the 207 hardener.
-Buy a spiral epoxy mixing drill attachment and use to mix the epoxy resins first, and then the colloidal silica in (slowly). Once it’s mixed, pour half into a 2nd 5 quart mixing bucket. The epoxy hardens faster when it’s in 1 bucket due to heat generation.
-both people should be at the rear of the van, and start pouring some epoxy out onto the exposed plywood for the middle 1/4 of the floor. We used a paint stick to ladle some Epoxy to cover the trimmed great stuff at the edges. This filled in the little air pockets in the foam and further waterproofed the edges, and will let the edges of the vinyl stay glued down better.
-use the notched trowels to smooth out the epoxy to the correct thickness provided but the teeth of the trowel. Pretty self explanatory, there’s a technique but not hard to master. Each person covers half the van as the start at the edges of the vinyl where’s it’s flipped over.
-once the epoxy has coated a quarter of the floor, have both people take off their gloves. One person goes into the van, and the other stays at the rear. The person at the rear grabs the edge of the vinyl and holds it up vertically, while the other person slowly rolls the vinyl down from the front with the dry paint roller. Once you get to the 1/4 mark where the epoxy ends, fold the remaining rearmost 1/4 of the sheet back over upside down.
-put new vinyl gloves on, and cover the remains rearmost 1/4 of the floor with epoxy. Then remove your gloves and repeat the step above.
-now go back to the middle of the van, and start rolling the vinyl out over the epoxy with a lot of weight pushing down On the rolling pin. You may see some bubbles in the vinyl being rolled to the edges.
-Once that’s done, check the make sure no epoxy got in the top surface of the vinyl. If it did, you can clean it up with rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth.
-move the weights from the front of the van to the rear epoxied down vinyl. Weights with flat bottoms (like heavy cardboard boxes) are ideal, nothing with narrow edges

Now repeat for the front half of the van, by flipping the front back over the rear and proceeding with the steps above.

Once the epoxy has cured (I’d wait at least 18 hours), you can remove the weights and trim any overhanging vinyl anywhere. Mask the vinyl about 1/4” away from the metal van walls with masking tape. Then use silicone to put a thick bead around the perimeter, and use a gloved finger to make a nice fillet. Then pull off the tape.

Then you can finish your front edge and slider with aluminum stair nosing. I used the Ford heavy duty steel rear threshold and sliding door step, I’d highly recommend. The rear threshold goes over the plywood/vinyl. It’s very thin and will keep the vinyl from peeling up. For the slider step, I cut the top flange off with a jig saw, so the step only covers the lower metal step area and doesn’t come up and on top of the floor ribs. Now the XPS foam. Wont ride up high on top of the step. The aluminum nosing comes down to meet the vertical wall of the step.

All of this will be a little clearer with pictures, I’ll post some later.
 

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Am Sooo glad I used Mannington Paradigm II- Intersect as it can float without adhesive. I've had to raise it up a couple of times to do dis or dat. It is a commercial grade and not the only one that will float. If something were to damage it or I get tired of it then no problem replacing. You glue it- it's permanent.
How long have you had it? Is it completely flat or does it want to rise in some areas? Are you totally satisfied with it?

I too want to avoid gluing any top layer to my Baltic Birch plywood.
 

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Have had it in since June. Completely flat with no bulges or ripples or anything. It is also very tough being a commercial grade vinyl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Sigh - left the slider door open today in the sun - big no-no. Vinyl heated up a lot.

Have a number of bulges/air bubbles in the sheet vinyl now. Not really sure what to do, they'll probably go away once everything cools down, but I suspect they'll come back whenever the van heats up a lot.

I think the sheet vinyl I got (Tarkett something, it was old and on clearance) didn't bond too well with the west systems epoxy, due to the material on the back (no idea what it is, some sort of spongy vinyl/foam. Or I just was lazy about cleaning the backside before installing, and most of the floor seems very stuck down.

I don't have anything on top of the floor yet, so I could still try and fix it, but I don't know what exactly I'd do. I could try to peel it up and leave it floating, but I think that will be worse.

Could rip it all up, sand the old epoxy a bit, and install different flooring (lonseal) with more epoxy.

Maybe poke a need into the air pockets and inject some sort of adhesive? Roll it flat, put weights on it. Not sure what adhesive I could use that'd bond to cured (smooth) epoxy and the vinyl backing though. Might try a test with 5200 and windo-weld to see if either does a good job.

Or just leave it and deal with it. Perhaps if I refrain from doing what I just did (letting sun heat up only the vinyl more than the rest of the floor) it won't materialize again.
 

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If it were me I would get some info from a flooring store. The one I know that could probably answer that is Swell City Carpet in Hood River, OR: 541 386-1222. Best of luck.
 
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