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You bought your van and are finally ready to begin building. One of the first things you will want to do is start on your campervan flooring. Your flooring consists of a few parts; metal van floor, sound dampener, insulation, plywood floor. Each part of your flooring is important as it is the base for building the rest of your van.
We have built out two large cargo vans, the first being a sprinter, and the second a Ford Transit. For our Sprinter van flooring, we made a few mistakes, and now while working on our campervan flooring for the Transit we were able to try new methods and see how well they work.
From the best campervan flooring to installation, learn the methods that we used for our campervan flooring plus optional methods that might work for you.
Types of Campervan Flooring
First, you need to consider what kind of flooring you want to have in your campervan. Once you have a subfloor, my recommendation is to wait until the build is mostly finished before adding your top van flooring. I say this for a few reasons; one being to save your floor from scratches or paint, the next being that you don’t need nice flooring everywhere since there will be a bed or cabinets on top of it anyway, and the third is you will substantially save money by only putting flooring where you can see it. Not to mention, if you ever want or need to change out your flooring, it will be an easy fix as you will have access to the flooring.
There are a few types of flooring that are available for your campervan. These are the more commonly used flooring options and the ones I would recommend.
Life Proof Vinyl Flooring (Our Recommendation)
We recommend vinyl flooring for campervan flooring for many reasons. It’s waterproof which is super important in your van flooring because you don’t want to risk the floor molding. Mold in a small area will quickly become problematic and could even cause rust, not to mention the health effects mold can have on you in such a small area. Vinyl flooring is also known for high durability and on the road, you will be in and out of your van, in the rain, mud, sand and possibly with dogs wearing on it. Therefore you need something durable for your vanlife flooring.
In our Sprinter van flooring, we used a random brand of vinyl flooring. After a year it had scratches, cracks at the seams, divots and needed to be replaced. This time around we decided to go with LifeProof vinyl flooring as it is much thicker and known for its durability. We also know vanlifers who have used this flooring and it seems to last much longer.
- Most durable option
- Easy Installation
- Scratch Resistant (LifeProof brand)
- Most expensive option
- Can off-gas
Non-Toxic Cork Flooring
Cork flooring is another van build flooring options that some people choose on the road. The main reason being that it is non-toxic which if you have any health problems, then this may be a must for you. It is mold resistant, doesn’t off-gas, and is durable.
A plus is that cork is a sustainable option.
- Cheaper Option
- Pets can more easily damage flooring with nails
- Needs sealer on top to prevent damage
- Spills can stain flooring if not quickly wiped up
A very easy to install campervan flooring option is rubber coin grip flooring. This is a great option to use in your garage or on your entire floor build if you are an outdoor enthusiast. If you will be constantly surfing, snowboarding, or biking and are worried about wear and tear on your flooring then this might be a great option for you.
- Cleans easily
- Not super stylish – Honestly comes down to aesthetics
- If there is a tear, you would have to replace the entire floor
- Possibility for moisture to form under mats which can mold and rust the flooring
Laminate Flooring (Not Recommended)
Laminate flooring is another option we have seen in the vanlife community but we personally do not recommend it. I wanted you to be aware of the option but it’s not something we would recommend or use ourselves in the van. Laminate is essentially the IKEA of flooring, it is compressed wood with a wallpaper-like covering on top of it. It’s not a great choice in general and definitely not a good option for your campervan flooring.
- Easy to Install
- Not durable
- Molds Easily
How to Install Campervan Flooring
Items Needed for Van Build Flooring:
Campervan Flooring Installation Process:
1) Decide how many “lines” you want in your pattern. We chose to have three different sizes so the lines would never match up.
2) Cut these three as models and start building from there. After you have cut these three you won’t have to cut anything until the end piece.
3) Ensure that you are not using “dead ends”. A dead-end cannot be connected to another piece because the rubber bottom has been cut off by the saw. You only want a dead-end on the end of your van floor.
4) Leave a 1/4 on all sides for expansion
5) When you start your first row, make sure each piece is in there tightly. The tighter you can get it in the less likely you are to have gaps later (this is where we later learned we really could have used that tapping block).
6) Finish with quarter round or trim and a metal threshold on the side doorsteps.
Installing your Ford or Transit flooring can be super exciting and really finish off the look of your new home. Make sure to take care and treat the process carefully so it will last for years in your new home!