Latest update December 28th, 2016 1:27 AM
Jan 05, 2014 Abel Longoria Vanagon 7
Back in July 2013 when I flew to Phoenix to take a look at this 1987 Vanagon Westfalia I found on Craigslist I knew one of the things I did not like about it was the floor a previous owner had installed. It was a 2″x2″ ceramic tile complete with mastic and grout which means a lot of added weight plus it wasn’t too easy on my eyes.
Once I bought the Vanagon and flew home the first thing I did was get online and see what a stock Vanagon floor actually looked like so that I can go back to that. Upon researching and doing a Google Image Search I saw a photo that popped up that was MY FLOOR EXACTLY! A thread was posted by a user named Big B in which he showed off this new ceramic tile floor back in September 2005. So now it’s about 8 years old…
So knowing I wanted to swap out the tile floor for a lighter, better looking floor I began looking online for various options. It took me quite awhile to figure out what I wanted and how to do it. Once I got all of my ducks in a row I began to order the materials.
I was originally hoping I could keep the subfloor in tact and reuse it for the new flooring but once I got into it I noticed the tile floor was really stuck good. As I was pulling up the tile a lot of the wood would separate and come off as well. So with that in mind I knew I just had to rip it out completely and start fresh.
One the subfloor and tile was removed, I cleaned the floor really well in order to prep it for the new subfloor. I added blue painters tape on the sides in order to locate the high points of the ridges in the floor. This is where we’ll be placing the screws as we screw down the subfloor from the inside. I also spent a lot of time under the van making sure we would miss any fuel lines, cooling lines and the fuel tank. Got be punching holes through those. lol.
Prior to laying down the new subfloor I just had to sign my name and date it. Who knows when the next time this signature will see the light of day but I thought it would be cool. Will it be me exposing it to the world again or some new owner years down the road? Who knows. Oh yea, and it was brought to my attention well after I completed this project that I put the wrong year… it was now 2014 not 2013. Ha! FAIL.
Here’s my father help drive in a few last screws into the subfloor to really make it rigid. Shortly after we were finished with the subfloor we began to lay in my vinyl floating floor. Unfortunately it got dark on us and we were in a hurry to finish so I didn’t get any progress photos of the floor install itself.
Here’s the almost final product. I chose a floating vinyl flooring which only stuck to itself and not the subfloor. This will make it easier to replace when the time comes for a fresh floor. The brand I chose was the TrafficMASTER Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Iron Wood Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring from Home Depot which ran about $43 a case. One case was just enough to finish the floor even with a couple of wasted pieces I miscut. Doh!
I still need to finish off the install, caulk around bench seat and cabinets, add some quarter round trim work to make it nice and tidy. All in all I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Total I spent around $75 for the flooring, the trim, caulk, plywood and a box of quality screws.
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Frank, Thanks for the pics, really enoyjed seeing them. Spent the winter in Fl/Tx myself this year. Going to make a serious attempt to get to Busfusion this year. Regards, Paul.
Hello, my name is Brian H , better known to you as Big B, it was my son and I who installed that tile floor. Im amazed it lasted so long. We also installed an 8″ woofer under the rear seat, thus the hole.
What a surprise to see this floor. The minute I opened this article, I recognized it…
Hey there Brian! I found you on the samba some time ago. So cool that you found me here. The van’s been treating me great! It’s awesome to hear from ya. When I purchased the van the sub box and hole were present. I left the box in tact since it’s nice to keep thing in there but what I did do is purchased a used small cubby hole door, enlarged the 8″ diameter hole to accomodate that door. now I have mire storage. you can see it here:
You’ve done a fantastic job with the Westy, its good to know its been well taken care of……..
How long did it take take you to install the flooring?
The new sub floor took the longest. 2 hours maybe… The vinyl went in quick… Maybe an hour. Whole project done in a day. Old floor removal and new install. I recommend a vinyl floor cutter. It’s like a heavy dirt paper cutter. Makes cutting square cuts so easy