Laminate Laying

So today is the day I admit defeat. When I first got the van and started this conversion, I thought carpet would keep it warm underfoot and keep it quiet on the road. Whilst this was true, I did not foresee another, more practical issue…

A couple weekends away with Aimi and her dogs, Kayto and Haku, meant there was hair everywhere, and not just Aimi’s! The carpet was like treacle to dog hair, grabbing hold and refusing to let go. Not even a hoovering can get it all out.

So I’ve just decided to replace it (read: cover up) with wood effect laminate flooring. One of the local residents was clearing out their garage last year and, being the skip raiding, trash magpie that I am, I dove in and helped myself to their excess flooring. At the time I didn’t know what I was going to use it for but there was quite a lot of it. I chose a couple packs of the best looking stuff that was in reasonably good condition and squirrelled it away.

The floor of my van measures 2.5m by 1.5m at its narrowest point. The first thing I did was carpet the whole width of the van floor. Now the cabinets and bed have been installed over the top, I’ll never be able to remove all the carpet as it is trapped. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, it reduced the area to resurface to just 2.5m by 1.1m. I only just had enough to cover the entire area, leaving one plank spare and no room for error. It really tested my laminate laying skills.

As previously mentioned, I have some metal tracking on the floor of the van, which I use to bolt in my motorbike frame. I had left this exposed when carpeted but now the laminate covers it up. Having carefully marked the positions of the holes before starting, now was the moment of truth. I grabbed a big 11mm drill bit and sunk it straight into my freshly laid laminate. I was lucky skilled, and landed it directly on target, lining up perfectly with the bolt holes hidden beneath.

These bolt holes had a duel usage; to install the motorbike rack, and also to hold the laminate down to the floor. This isn’t usually a problem in houses. But I suspect the constant vibration and twisting of the van would make them shift over time if not fixed in place.

Lastly, I neatened the edges with an aluminium angle piece of diamond plate. It gives a nice sharp and tough finish. Usefully, it hides the edges that don’t all line up perfectly….