Author Topic: Flooring... in unheated cabins  (Read 17383 times)

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Offline Moni

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Flooring... in unheated cabins
« on: October 27, 2011, 11:36:33 AM »
What kind of flooring do you guys have / suggest in unheated cabins? (unheated when we're not there)

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 12:13:26 PM »
We chose ceramic tile because it is easy to sweep out, easy to wash, etc. The entire floor is tiled.

If we track in snow, dirt etc... well see the above.
It does not scratch like vinyl, wood and laminates.

It makes for a practical cabin floor, in our opinion. It also looks good as far as we are concerned, but then we love ceramic tile. Our suburban home is almost all tile.

We (I  ;D ) installed it over hardie backerboard screwed down to the OSB sub floor. I used thinset to set the tile.

The tile floor has been through two winters now. No problems of any kind have shown up. The cabin gets heated from whatever freezing temperatures the winter provides to "nice and toasty". "Nice and toasty" means that after 24 hours even the floor is warm enough; 70+ degree reading with the IR thermometer. Then the cabin cools down for two weeks and we repeat the process.

The only thing I would do differently if I was to do it again, and this is said in a half joking manner, is to provide a floor drain so we could hose/wet mop it down and squeegee the water to the drain.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 01:27:15 PM »


The only thing I would do differently if I was to do it again, and this is said in a half joking manner, is to provide a floor drain so we could hose/wet mop it down and squeegee the water to the drain.

I seriously thought about that when designing my house but I was so overwhelmed with everything else I gave it up rather than figure it all out, run extra plumbing, and get a proper slope to the floor (slab is finished floor). Would be nice for both general cleanup and for disasters such as water heaters and washer malfunctions.

Alan

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 01:30:03 PM »
Floor drains are excellent additions for a garage and maybe for a large bathroom where there is lots of plumbing anyways.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Rob_O

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 02:08:49 PM »


What kind of flooring do you guys have / suggest in unheated cabins? 


I'm going with floor paint and whatever area rugs I can come up with for little or no money.



The only thing I would do differently if I was to do it again, and this is said in a half joking manner, is to provide a floor drain so we could hose/wet mop it down and squeegee the water to the drain.


We're actually doing something like that in my bosses bathroom, the walk-in shower will have no ledge and one of these, the rest of the bath will have tile halfway up the wall
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Offline suburbancowboy

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 02:13:25 PM »
I put cheap snap together fake oak flooring in the bunk house.  I would never do it again.  The expansion and contraction that normally happens caused about a 1/3 of the seams to pop now it looks horrible.  Luckily it is used to store the 4 wheeler's most of the time.

Offline rocking23nf

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 02:28:48 PM »
laminant.  No issues so far.

Offline Moni

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
thanks for the replies so far.
I am picturing something like this:
http://www.whyweflourish.org/?s=pallet for our cabin, but it still might take a little convincing for my husband. I don't want to worry about the dogs running in and out of the cabin and I don't want to worry about scratching etc etc. The more rustic it looks the better for me. lol.
He wants it all perfect tongue and groove, I want to take old pallets and use the wood from that, nail it on the floor and be done with it. (Of course the boards would have to be very close in thickness throughout) I don't even necessarily want a finish on it. Grey wood would be just fine with me.
Thankfully we'll have all winter to think on this because we won't do the floor til next year, so we'll see how it goes.


Our temperature changes are quite large; Summer we often have almost 30C (85'ish) and in  the  winter temps can go to around -40C/F or below . I heard  that vinyl wouldn't work because of the glues wouldn't stand up to that? Also the snap together vinyl flooring wasn't recommended (as suburban cowboy confirmed above).

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2011, 03:19:34 PM »
thanks for the replies so far.
I am picturing something like this:
http://www.whyweflourish.org/?s=pallet for our cabin, but it still might take a little convincing for my husband. I don't want to worry about the dogs running in and out of the cabin and I don't want to worry about scratching etc etc. The more rustic it looks the better for me. lol.
He wants it all perfect tongue and groove, I want to take old pallets and use the wood from that, nail it on the floor and be done with it. (Of course the boards would have to be very close in thickness throughout) I don't even necessarily want a finish on it. Grey wood would be just fine with me.
Thankfully we'll have all winter to think on this because we won't do the floor til next year, so we'll see how it goes.


Our temperature changes are quite large; Summer we often have almost 30C (85'ish) and in  the  winter temps can go to around -40C/F or below . I heard  that vinyl wouldn't work because of the glues wouldn't stand up to that? Also the snap together vinyl flooring wasn't recommended (as suburban cowboy confirmed above).

I'd think that would be a ton of work -- first you'd have to pull each pallet apart, then match them up, nail them down, sand them down (don't want slivers etc) and finally provide some kind of protection.

It would work of course and often pallets are made of excellent wood (a lot used to be made of oak).....

For us it's a combo of vinyl tiles and wood (pine T&G)....the tiles are for the porch, entrance, kitchen area and bath and the wood for everywhere else on the main floor.  The lofts may just get rugs.

Offline kenhill

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2011, 03:31:47 PM »
We used Costco snap together laminate.  80 degrees in summer on a lake, minus 45 degrees in winter.  We heat to 65 in winter.  No issues.

Offline Squirl

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2011, 09:04:21 AM »
Pretty, but it looks like a lot of work.  I've pulled apart pallets before as an attempt at recycled building.  They are built to be heavily abused and not come apart.  They are usually built with ring shank nails, bent nails, and somtimes massive staples.  I oftened destroyed as much wood as I had salvaged when pulling them apart.  The wood is thin and splits easier than the nails come out.

If you don't care about scratches and greying, a pine floor would give a similar rustic look with a lot less work.

Offline considerations

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2011, 07:12:57 PM »
"a combo of vinyl tiles and wood (pine T&G)....the tiles are for the porch, entrance, kitchen area and bath and the wood for everywhere else on the main floor.  The lofts may just get rugs."

This is basically what I have as well, although the T&G is fir.

Offline CjAl

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2011, 06:15:04 AM »
You do.know most pallets are treated with pesticides right? Not what id want in my house. Plus even.if they are not treated who knows what has been hauled/spilled on them. Im a truck driver and i.haul.things that would make your skin crawl.
 besides old beat up pallets are no good and good pallets are anything but cheap. We pay up to $30 ea for new ones.

I have resiliant vynal in the bathrooms made to look like hickory wood flooring. I love the stuff, you really have to touch it before you realize its vinyl

Offline rick91351

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2011, 07:21:20 AM »
The picture on the pallet flooring sort of looks like it is manufactured that way.  There are very few pallets I have seen that were that artistic.  Myself I like the looks of it, if it were in someone else's home I would like it a lot better.  I meant that is a real nice way I do like it.  But it looks very high maintenance as well.

For us its more Mountain Don's approach.  Our house now is mostly hard wood and tile.  The house we are planing to build up at the ranch is like 50 - 50 tile hard wood.  Back porch - mud room, nook - kitchen and the master bath for sure tile.  The rest of the house we are looking at hard wood with throw rugs like our house now. 

Side note - When we got rid of the 'wall to wall' floor covering i.e. carpets we found a lot of our colds and cold symptoms left as well!                 
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2011, 08:14:40 AM »

Side note - When we got rid of the 'wall to wall' floor covering i.e. carpets we found a lot of our colds and cold symptoms left as well!                 

That was a driving reason why we ripped out all the carpets years ago. Big difference with us too.

Another thing that made a difference in the colds, etc. department was ditching the swamp cooler for refrigerated A/C.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2011, 09:48:22 AM »
"a combo of vinyl tiles and wood (pine T&G)....the tiles are for the porch, entrance, kitchen area and bath and the wood for everywhere else on the main floor.  The lofts may just get rugs."

This is basically what I have as well, although the T&G is fir.

I was planning on Fir or Tamarack but it's a toss up since the Fir and Tamarack are better firewood then pine ;)

Offline considerations

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2011, 02:30:09 PM »
An insulated soft wood floor feels good under my bare feet..... ;D

Offline TheWire

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Re: Flooring... in unheated cabins
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2011, 06:46:34 PM »
I built my cabin with an extra bottom plate so its 1.5" higher.  I will use this to put down a layer of high density foam before my finish flooring.  I'm still debating putting in 3/4" foam with 3/4" OSB over it or go with a thicker laminate floor laid on 25 psi foam.