I don’t know why, but I really wanted hardwood floors. Please don’t message me with your wisdom about my choice—how the wood might change over time or how much it weighs. I did my due diligence and made my decisions. I love my floor. It makes the bus feel like a home and it looks spectacular. (And, for all the people clutching their pearls over the weight, it really isn’t that heavy. Besides, I’d rather have the weight on the floor than up top.)
The real magic is what is under the floor: A base layer of Noico sound deadener, which, as the name says, reduces road noise. Then I put down a layer of mdf board. As anyone who has taken the floor out of the bus knows, it is not flat. There’s corrugation and divots and all sorts of ups and downs (physically and emotionally as you’ll probably also find rust spots to remediate).
Then—and this is crucial—I used Pergo Gold floor underlayment. It’s incredibly thin foam with a foil top. (If you go to find it at Lowe’s no employee will have any idea where it is because it is not kept with other insulations. You’ll find it in flooring, where one old man works by himself at a desk where he is forever tasked with doing marriage counseling under the guise of “product selection.” He will want to help you; he yearns to leave the desk, but alas, he is stuck in a Sisyphusian of deciding if they want beige or taupe trim for their laminate floors.) If you don’t think the Pergo would make a difference, simply put your hand flat on top of it. The warm feels like it radiates.
I held everything in place using actual duct tape (like the foil stuff for ducts). The pecan flooring came in a box, which was the perfect amount for what I needed (maybe a total of three linear feet left over). All in all, it took a day to cut and install.