Flooring Shopping

To catch you up on our almost kid-free day that included two shopping trips for Alice, you can read this post here.

After our Target run, and with new curtains/fabric for Alice in the truck bed, we picked up the kids from the birthday party and headed home to get ready for the Holiday party. As I curled my hair and forced myself into a pair of tights, Tim packed up the kids for a slumber party at their Aunt’s place. Tim and I were party ready and had kids packed in record time. It is amazing how quickly Tim can pack and I can do my hair when we have a kid free evening to motivate us!

We met my sister in a parking lot and shuffled the kids, their stuff and their car seats from the truck to her car. We thanked my sister profusely over and over, making sure she knew how much a kid free evening meant to us. They drove off and we were kid free!


Those with kids will understand our enthusiasm. We get a kid free night together maybe once a year. We were bummed that most of the night would be spent with Tim’s co-workers and not soaking up the quiet at our KID FREE house but we take what we can get!

We were on the opposite side of the Twin Cities as our house and had 1.5 hours to kill before we needed to be at the Holiday Party.

We decided to use that time to check out The Natural Built Home Store which happened to be near our kid drop off point and not far from the Holiday Party. Shopping with kids for important things is near impossible. We don’t get this kind of chance often so we took advantage of the time we had and the part of the Twin Cities we were in. We were completely over dressed to be shopping for flooring but we didn’t care. We were KID FREE!

We punched The Natural Built Home Store into Google maps and off we went. We were both excited to finally see and touch cork and Marmoleum flooring. We have only seen and read about them online. We want to make as informed of a decision as possible when it comes to all the material choices we make for Alice. We have read extensively online about each of these products and now we were anxious to hear from a professional in person.

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Angela was that professional. And let me tell you, this little shop is fantastic. THIS is why people need to shop local. The staff was knowledgeable, took pride in the products they were selling, they were kind and took time to answer all of our questions… and we had a lot of questions!

We explained to Angela that we were working on an Airstream and started in on our first question:

“We have marine grade plywood that we want to seal up so both the plywood off-gassing can not leach out into the small living space and also so that water can not penetrate through and rot the subfloor again”

She thought for a moment and then lead us to the display of Safecoat products.

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She asked the square footage that we would need to cover and then reached for a gallon of Safecoat Safe Seal but before she handed it over she asked what kind of flooring were we planning on using. Sidenote: Let me tell you how much I appreciated that question. It showed to me that she knew what she was talking about, she was concerned about our product and wanted us to have good results AND that she wasn’t just pitching products to us to make the sale. I replied to her that that was my next question.

“Can glue down Marmoleum adhere to a watersealed subfloor?”

Here is the situation. If we go with glue down Marmoleum like we have been planning for the past year, then we needed to know if we can use a sealer on the top of our subfloor. I didn’t want the sealer to interfere with the specific adhesive that was needed to glue down the Marmoleum. I have spent countless hours trying to research that very question online and I could never find a decisive answer. Some people say yes. Some say no. Some say water seal the wood but then go back and sand it to “rough up the surface.” I needed a definitive answer.

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Angela explained to us that if we want to install glue down Marmoleum, we cannot use the Safecoat on the top of the subfloor because the tackiness of the Safecoat will disrupt the adhesion process of the glue down flooring.

With that information finally confirmed, we knew that we had some decisions to make.

IF we go with glue down Marmoleum:

  • we don’t won’t be able to have a water protection sealer applied directly on the top of subfloor.
  • Marmoleum install would have to be the next step after we put the new subfloors in. It needs to be installed before we do any rebuilding because we would want the flooring to go over the entire subfloor since we would not be able to put a sealer coat on the subfloor.
  • we need to wait to put in Marmoleum flooring until Alice can be a stable 68 degrees for at least a 2 week time frame so that both the Marmoleum material can acclimate to the interior of the Alice and so that the glue has the proper amount of time to bond and cure correctly.
  • DIY Install is tricky and mistakes require a full rip up of flooring.
  • We would need to rent a 100 lb roller for install

The positives of Glue Down Sheet Marmloeum

  • It is one solid surface that will not swell or separate at seams.
  • It is the lightest weight option
  • It has great reviews and many people have installed it themselves on the AirForums
  • It comes in every color we can imagine

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If we go with floating cork click-in flooring:

  • It isn’t one solid surface and with the extreme temp changes in MN we are concerned with the floors flexing and separating at the seams.
  • We don’t know about swelling of cork and how long a water spill or leak can be on a floor before there is damage.

The positives

  • It doesn’t need to be installed now and so it will not slow down the build process.
  • It is warm, comfortable to stand on and offers added insulation.
  • It looks great.
  • If there ever was a problem, because it doesn’t run continuously under all the interior of Alice, we would not have to do major demo to repair or replace it.
  • The price is slightly less expensive a sq ft and since we are not running it over the entire subfloor, we will have to buy substantially less of the product.
  • Install is relatively simple, no new tools needed.

And then there is a third option… click-in Marmoleum. A hybrid of both.

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This is where we are at right now. Both Tim and I are leaning towards the floating cork floors for the reasons listed above. We like the warmth, the extra insulation, it is more eco-friendly, it can be installed later in the reno process and repaired without major upheaval of the entire interior, plus the price is nice. That said, we are not completely sold on click-in cork flooring yet. If we did go with the click-in cork we think we will go with Wincander Cork Comfort in Lane Chestnut. I love the color and the interesting grain pattern.

16 - 6What we know for sure is that we will use Safecoat to seal in the bottom and the edges of the marine grade subfloor. We will install the subfloor and after the floor is installed, a decision will need to be made. Coat the entire floor in Safecoat for future click-in flooring or install glue down Marmoleum.

What would you do? Go with the sheet of high quality linoleum that has been tested and recommended by many AirForum members? Take a risk on the cork because on paper the benefits outweigh the vinyl? Have you installed Marmoleum or Cork floor and love or hate it?

Please sound off in the comments below! We appreciate your feedback.





3 thoughts on “Flooring Shopping

  1. Sarah w

    We have cork click in flooring in our residential kitchen. I love the look and the little bit of cushion it provides. Water drips do not bother it, however long term water sitting on it (under our washer in the laundry room) did cause a small buckle. The other thing to consider is that it can chip/flake. If something such as a toy or a kitchen knife falls at just the right angle, the cork can dent. I’ve glued a few pieces back down when necessary. Good luck with your decision!

    1. Meg Post author

      Thank you for your comment @Sarah! Do you happen to remember what brand of cork you used? I very much appreciate hearing directly from people who have used cork in their home. We plan to put a seal overtop of the cork so hopefully there will be no chipping/flaking problems!


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