There are many options to choose from when it comes to van flooring. As with all aspects of converting a van, you can use the same materials that would be used in a house. Not all materials are up to the challenge.
There are several things to consider when choosing your van floor material: durability, cost and aesthetic. These 3 factors will help narrow down the materials that fit the bill for van life.
- Durability: How will the flooring stand up to the realities of van life? How will it react to moisture? How easy does it clean up? How well does it resist scratches and handle abuse?
- Cost: This will really be driven largely by the combination of durability and aesthetic.
- Aesthetic: What are you looking for? Rustic? Modern? Functional? Wood grain? Light or dark?
Here are our top 3 picks for van floor materials
Cork is a great material for van floors. It is sustainable, environmentally friendly and non-toxic since it is a naturally occurring material. Cork provides a soft floor that is very nice under bare feet. Cork also has the benefit of providing additional thermal and sound insulation with an R-value of 3. This is about double the R-value of other materials mentioned here.
Cork is on the more expensive side compared to other options and has recurring costs. Cork needs to be sealed when first installed and then resealed every few years.
Installation of cork is fairly straightforward. It can be purchased in thin sheets or tongue and groove planks.
Vinyl planks are one of, if not, the most popular options for camper van flooring. They have become very popular for home flooring in recent years and there are a ton of options to choose from. Vinyl planks are fairly easy to install. They use a click lock system and don’t require any adhesive. This allows for damaged planks to easily be replaced if need be.
Make sure to check the “wear layer” when using vinyl plank flooring. This is the protective top layer. The thicker the wear layer, the more durable the floor will be. Also make sure to choose a brand that advertises water resistance to ensure water intrusion won’t be an issue. Finally, we recommend textured vinyl planks. They look more realistic and add slip resistance.
Sheet vinyl is another great option. It is often the cheapest and most waterproof option for van floors. It comes in rolls of continuous vinyl so the entire floor is one piece with nowhere for water to get in.
Sheet vinyl is extremely easy to install. You simply cut the sheet to fit the entire area and glue it down using special adhesive.
One downside is that most sheet vinyl flooring is not the best looking. The patterns are printed on a flat surface and have a hard time replicating a true wood pattern. Sheet vinyl is also often made out of softer material and is prone to gouges and tears under extreme stress.
If you are going with sheet vinyl for your camper van floor, we recommend Lonseal. Lonseal is a high quality vinyl flooring manufacturer that has been making flooring since 1971. They have a line of marine flooring that is extremely tough. We recommend Lonseal flooring to all of our clients.
Those are our recommendations for camper van flooring. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have about you van build.