What are school bus floors made of?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: What are school bus floors made of? We will also explain how you can remove a school bus floor and how to do the subfloor, step-by-step. 

What are school bus floors made of?

School bus floors are made from rubber that is glued onto 1⁄2-inch or 3⁄4-inch plywood. In most cases, this plywood has been there for several years and you can easily notice traces of water damage to your Skoolie flooring. 

When converting a school bus to an RV, you must take the floor out in order to replace it. We do not recommend skipping this step unless you can prove that the flooring has been changed/upgraded in the last three years. 

How to remove the school bus floors?

The first step in replacing a school bus floor is to remove it. Here’s how you can do it by yourself:

  • Find and unscrew all the screws along the floor edges. Be careful, some of them may be rusted, which can be a challenge. Here are the steps to follow to loosen any screw that is too tight:
  1. Use a screwdriver: In the first instance, try loosening the screw with the help of a screwdriver
  2.  Help yourself with a multipurpose oil: If the screwdriver is not enough, we recommend using a spray suitable for loosening screws. 
  3.  Heat the screw with a heat gun: Apply temperature for about 10 minutes. This will expand the bolt nut, and if you cool it down quickly, the bolt contracts to make it much easier to remove.
  4. Use a drill and screw extractor: This tool is very useful for those screws that do not rotate or have a totally worn head. You will first need to drill the centre of the screw with a metal bit. Once the hole is made, use the extractor to finally unscrew the screw from the surface.
  • The second part is to carefully rip apart all the school bus flooring boards that were held together by the screws. All in all, it is a pretty straightforward job. You take the rubber out first, then you take the plywood. Depending on the condition of the floor, you can decide to take the plywood out completely or just replace a few bits there and there. 

How to do the subfloor of a school bus?

To do the subfloor of a school bus we recommend you have these tools on hand: a Phillips screwdriver and slit, scissors, measuring tape, jigsaw, square or ruler, marker and pencil, rubber hammer.

Let’s proceed with the steps of fixing the subfloor of a school bus:

  1. Make a drawing of the floor plan of the Skoolie and decide where to start with the installation and how to lay the plywood (vertical or horizontal). Our advice is to start laying the parquet from the points with the corners as it is easier to cut to size both at the start and at the end of the perimeter.
  1. Place the new plywood on the floor the night before so that it takes its shape.
  1. Thoroughly clean the floor surface by vacuuming any residual dust and spread the anti-slip film for greater adhesion of the plywood.
  1. After having done all the steps described above, begin to lay the plywood proceeding along the length, both with horizontal and vertical laying. The important thing is to fit each piece of plywood well together so that there is no space. 

For the joint it is sufficient to place the two pieces together in order to fit them together and then apply pressure, alternatively you can help yourself with a rubber hammer but being careful not to damage the interlocking rails. We proceed like this until we cover the entire surface of the Skoolie, being careful to cut the corners well.

  1. At the end of the installation, it is necessary to proceed with the fixing of the profiles around the perimeter of the floor in order to cover the various cuts and make the work beautiful, clean and tidy.

How to replace the floor of a Skoolie?

The floor of a school bus is the one that will need most of our attention when converting a Skoolie, as there may be parts broken, torn, dusty and full of allergens, greasy, greasy, now difficult to clean. The solution is simpler than it might seem, there is only a need for new materials and in order not to spend large sums you can do it yourself!

Replacing the floor of a Skoolie is a fairly laborious but not impossible operation, just arm yourself with a minimum of manual skills, patience, good will, get what you need and get to work!

  • The most practical choice is to opt for the versatile PVC and linoleum, because they are both resistant, easy to apply and make cleaning easier.
  • The first thing to do is to get several sheets of wrapping paper, spread them on the old floor and make large shapes as precise as possible. These are then placed on the sheets of PVC or linoleum of the desired color and it will be enough to carefully cut out all the various pieces.
  • The next step is to place the new floor on the existing one, making the various parts fit together as well as possible and gluing them with a specific putty. Double-sided tape can also be used to secure the edges.
  • Those who want greater insulation and want to use the Skoolie also in winter, can add an underlying layer of thin sheets of cork, the important thing is to cut out the shapes that are slightly narrower than the plastic ones which will then be regularly placed on the surface.
  • A very pleasant and suggestive effect is obtained with a plywood parquet, but in this case the purchase price is higher, moreover the implementation is a bit difficult, as this material is sold in planks that must then be cut out and assembled with the necessary precision.
  • There is also another solution, if you do not have problems with allergy to dust mites, you can cover the floor of the Skoolie with carpet. If such a coating is already present, it is better to eliminate the pre-existing layer in advance. Finally, after buying a large cloth of the same material and the desired color, just proceed with the simple technique described above.

Conclusions

Removing your school bus floors is part of the gutting process of a Skoolie. You must gut the school bus to find if there are any issues (like mould or rust) especially with a second-hand bus, and special attention must be given to the flooring!

Once the side panels are out you can move on to the floor, which is going to be probably one of the hardest parts of your entire gutting process. The reason behind it has seats that are screwed through the plywood. All of this is gonna have to come out!

Of course, before removing and replacing the school bus floors, you must remove the seats! Make sure you check out our article on “How do you gut a school bus?” for more details and a step-by-step process. 

If you have any questions, comments or doubts about removing and renovating your school bus floors, let us know!

FAQ on What are school bus floors made of?

How do you gut a school bus?

To gut a school bus you must pull out its windows, the side panels, the floor, the roof, the front lights, basically everything to the exterior sheet metal. 

How long does it take to build a Skoolie?

Building a Skoolie can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on your level of training, the time you have, whether you will have help or not, and of course, your resources.

What equipment do I need to build a Skoolie?

For the transformation of the bus into a viable home, several elements must be integrated into the interior of the vehicle. First of all, insulation is one of the essentials to achieve with the installation of a floor. Once this step is completed, you will have to think about the electrical and plumbing equipment. 

How to remove the bus seats?

To remove the bus seats you must find the bolts and screws that secure them on the sidewall and floor of the bus. The lower bolts go through the floor of the bus. You will need a helper to hold the retaining nuts under the bus while you are removing the bolts from the inside of the bus.

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