Bus Build: Prepping the Floorboards – S03E01

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion

With the Bus Demolition behind us it was time to start building and first up on the agenda was the floors.  

The original floorboards had a black rubbery layer underneath the plywood that covered the center boards over the pipes and near the engine. We assume it was some sort of fire retardant layer, but after researching and talking to auto part stores we came up with nothing. We thought it was probably a good idea to still have a layer of protection between the wood and the ground as some areas (where the pipes are) go straight down to the ground so a moisture barrier would help.

We ended up going with Plas-tex sheets which are waterproof and made from recycled plastic.  We glued the Plas-tex sheets to the underside of the plywood we were going to put down the center of the bus to cover the pipes.

For the rest of the plywood, that we would go down the sides of the bus, we just painted the underside with Kilz Latex Sealer  which is mold and moisture resistant.

We kept the original floor insulation from the back of the bus near the engine, there was a leak in the restroom area so we left those pieces out to dry and then vacuumed up any rust or pieces of fiberglass insulation that were stuck to them.  Then played tetris trying to put them back into their original positions between the metal frames.

There were still some gaps which we thought we would fill in with spray foam insulation so we did a test area as we heard it expands quite a bit.  It did expand quite a lot, so we decided to use it just to seal up any edges of the existing insulation.  Otherwise it would be too expensive to use these cans on the floor and a lot of extra work to cut back where it extended too far.

Our plan is to buy a 2 system spray foam insulation kit to insulate the ceiling to get the highest R Value we can, so these cans were just to seal in anything under the floor and get a feel for spray foam insulation and how it works.

 

Up Next
We figure out our measurements to cut the floorboards and lay them down.  First we wanted to start up the bus so we could open the luggage bays and empty them out, however the bus did not start.  Did we damage something during the demolition?

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Plas-tex
PLAS-TEX® panels are made of durable reinforced plastic. PLAS-TEX® is designed specifically for areas requiring moisture resistance, sanitization and toughness to withstand demanding environments. We chose to put the Plas-tex sheets on the plywood going over the areas that are open to the ground.

Kilz 2 Latex Sealer
KILZ 2 is a primer paint that has a mildew resistant film. Ideal for sealing porous interior and exterior surfaces. We used this on the plywood we are laying on the sides of the bus over the luggage bays.

Spray Foam Insulation
​It forms a long-lasting, airtight, water-resistant seal. It helps keep insects, moisture/condensation and allergens out. Adheres to wood, metal, masonry, glass and most plastics.  We used these cans just

Fact Check

R Value Comparison Chart - Great Day Improvements

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About the Author

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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