RV Flooring Replacement: The Ultimate How-To Guide

rv flooring

If you're the proud owner of a recreational vehicle (RV), you know how important it is to keep your home on wheels in top condition. One area that often requires attention is the flooring. Whether you're dealing with damaged, outdated, or simply worn-out flooring, a replacement can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your RV.

In this blog post, I'll be going over the process of replacing the flooring in your RV. I'll cover everything from planning and preparation to materials and installation, and provide some tips and tricks along the way. By the end, you'll have a good understanding of what it takes to get the job done and be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to tackle the project yourself.

Why Replace Your RV Flooring?

There are a few key reasons why you might want to replace the flooring in your RV. Some common motivations include:

  • Damage: Accidents happen, this means your RV's flooring gets damaged. Whether it's a small dent or a major tear, flooring damage can be unsightly and potentially unsafe.
  • Wear and tear: Sometimes, even the best-maintained RV flooring will show signs of wear and tear. If your flooring is looking a bit worse for the wear, a replacement may be in order.
  • Personal preference: Maybe you just don't like the look or feel of your current flooring. Or perhaps you've recently renovated the rest of your RV and want to tie everything together with new flooring. Whatever the reason, if you want a change, a flooring replacement is a great way to make it happen.

Types of RV Flooring

Before we dive into the process of replacing your RV's flooring, it's important to understand the different options available to you. Here are some of the most common types of flooring used in RVs:

  • Carpet: Carpet is a popular choice for RV flooring due to its comfort and warmth underfoot. It's also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. However, carpet can be more difficult to clean and maintain than other options, and it may not hold up as well to heavy use or wet conditions.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is another affordable option that's popular in RVs. It's durable, easy to clean, and available in a wide range of colors and patterns. However, it can be a bit slippery underfoot and may not be as comfortable as other options.
  • Laminate: Laminate flooring is a popular choice for those looking for the look of wood without the price tag. It's relatively easy to install and can be quite durable, although it may not hold up as well to heavy use or moisture as some other options.
  • Tile: This is a great choice for RV flooring if you're looking for something durable and easy to clean. It can be a bit more expensive and time-consuming to install, but it's worth it if you want a floor that will last for years to come.

Comparison Of Different Types of Flooring for RVs

Flooring Type Durability Cost Weight Installation Difficulty
Vinyl Plank Good $$ Moderate Easy
Laminate Good $$$ Moderate Moderate
Tile Excellent $$$$ Heavy Difficult
Hardwood Excellent $$$$$ Heavy Difficult
Carpet Good $ Light Easy

Cost Breakdown Of Different Types of Flooring for RVs

Flooring Type Cost of Flooring Cost of Underlayment/Moisture Barrier Cost of Installation Total Cost
Vinyl Plank $1-3/sq. ft. $0-1/sq. ft. $2-4/sq. ft. $3-8/sq. ft.
Laminate $2-4/sq. ft. $0-1/sq. ft. $2-4/sq. ft. $4-9/sq. ft.
Tile $3-10/sq. ft. $0-1/sq. ft. $4-10/sq. ft. $7-21/sq. ft.
Hardwood $5-10/sq. ft. $0-1/sq. ft. $4-10/sq. ft. $9-21/sq. ft.
Carpet $1-4/sq. ft. $0-1/sq. ft. $2-4/sq. ft. $3-9/sq. ft.

Preparation

Before you start tearing out your old flooring and installing new, there are a few key steps you'll need to take to prepare. These include:

  • Measure your RV: Make sure you have accurate measurements of the floor space in your RV. This will help you figure out how much material you'll need and ensure that you have a good fit when you install the new flooring.
  • Gather your tools: Depending on the type of flooring you're installing, you may need a variety of tools. Some common items you might need include a saw, drill, hammer, level, tape measure, and utility knife. Make sure you have everything you need before you begin the project.
  • Remove the old flooring: Depending on the type of flooring you're removing, this step may be easier said than done. If you're dealing with carpet, you'll need to cut it into strips and pull it up by hand. If you're removing vinyl or laminate, you may need to use a pry bar or other tools to carefully lift the flooring. Be sure to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the underlying substrate.

  • Repair any damage: Once you've removed the old flooring, take a close look at the underlying substrate. If you notice any damage, such as cracks or holes, you'll need to repair it before you can install the new flooring. This may involve using a patching compound, sanding, or other techniques to smooth out the surface.

  • Clean and prep the surface: Once you've repaired any damage, it's important to give the surface a thorough cleaning. This will help ensure that the new flooring adheres properly and doesn't have any problems down the road. Use a vacuum and a scrub brush to remove any dirt, dust, or debris, and then wipe the surface down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining grime.

Things to consider

Once you've prepared the surface and gathered your tools, it's time to think about the materials you'll need for the project. Here are some things to consider:

  • Type of flooring: As we mentioned earlier, there are several different types of flooring you can use in your RV. Each has its own pros and cons, so it's important to choose the one that best meets your needs.

  • Quantity: You'll need to figure out how much flooring you'll need based on the size of your RV and the dimensions of the flooring material. Be sure to add a little extra to allow for waste and any mistakes you might make during installation.

  • Adhesive: Depending on the type of flooring you choose, you may need to use an adhesive to help it stay in place. Be sure to choose an adhesive that's specifically designed for use with the type of flooring you're installing.

Pros and Cons Of Different Types of Flooring for RVs

Flooring Type Pros Cons
Vinyl Plank Durable, water-resistant, easy to install and maintain, affordable May not be as comfortable underfoot as some other options, can scratch or fade over time
Laminate Durable, easy to clean, affordable, can mimic the look of wood or stone May not be as water-resistant as some other options, can scratch or fade over time
Tile Durable, easy to clean, can withstand harsh weather conditions Expensive and time-consuming to install, heavy and may require additional support
Hardwood Durable, attractive, adds value to the RV Expensive and time-consuming installation process. Heavy and may require additional support, can be damaged by water or harsh weather conditions
Carpet Soft and comfortable underfoot, affordable, easy to install May not be as durable or water-resistant as some other options, can be more difficult to clean and maintain

Installation

Now that you've gathered your materials and prepared the surface, it's time to start installing the new flooring. Here are the general steps you'll need to follow:

  1. Lay out the flooring: Before you start attaching the flooring to the RV, it's a good idea to lay it out and make sure it fits properly. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments and ensure that you have a good, seamless fit.
  2. Cut the flooring to fit: If you need to cut the flooring to fit around any obstacles or irregular shapes, do so now. Use a saw or utility knife to carefully trim the material as needed.
  3. Apply the adhesive: If you're using an adhesive, it's important to apply it evenly and according to the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to use the right amount and allow it to dry for the recommended amount of time before proceeding.
  4. Attach the flooring: Once the adhesive is dry, it's time to attach the flooring to the RV. Depending on the type of flooring you're using, you may need to use nails, staples, or some other fastening method. Work slowly and carefully to ensure a secure, even attachment.
  5. Finish the edges: Once you've attached the main body of the flooring, you'll need to finish the edges. This may involve using trim or another type of edge finishing material to cover the gap between the flooring and the walls.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few additional tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your RV flooring replacement project:

  1. Take your time: Don't try to rush through the project. Work slowly and carefully, and be willing to take breaks if you need them. This will help you avoid mistakes and ensure that you end up with a high-quality, professional-looking result.
  2. Use a helper: It's always easier to work with an extra pair of hands, so consider recruiting a friend or family member to help you with the project. They can hold things in place, hand you tools, and generally make the process go more smoothly.
  3. Use a template: If you're installing a new flooring material that comes in small pieces, such as tile or wood planks, it can be helpful to use a template to ensure an even, symmetrical layout. This can be as simple as drawing a rough outline on the RV floor with a pencil or using a more complex system like a laser level.
  4. Use a vapor barrier: If you're installing new flooring over an old, moisture-damaged subfloor, it's a good idea to use a vapor barrier to help prevent future problems. This can be a sheet of plastic or a special moisture-blocking adhesive.
  5. Consider hiring a professional: If you're not comfortable tackling the project yourself, or if you don't have the time or resources to do it properly, you might want to consider hiring a professional to do the job. While it will cost a bit more, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that the job was done correctly and that you have a warranty in case something goes wrong.

Can you put laminate flooring in a camper with slide outs?

Yes, it is possible to install laminate flooring in a camper with slide outs. However, there are a few things to consider before making this decision.

First, it's important to make sure that the laminate flooring you choose is suitable for use in an RV. Look for products that are specifically designed for use in RVs or that are marked as "water-resistant" or "waterproof." This will help ensure that the flooring can withstand the rigors of life on the road.

Next, you'll need to consider the installation process. Installing laminate flooring in a camper with slide outs can be more challenging than in a traditional home because of the limited space and irregular shapes. You may need to cut the flooring to fit around the slide outs and other obstacles, which can be time-consuming and require specialized tools.

Finally, you'll need to think about the weight of the laminate flooring. RVs have weight limits that you need to be aware of, and adding heavy flooring can quickly push you over the limit. Be sure to check the weight of the flooring you're considering and make sure it won't exceed your RV's weight capacity.

It is very possible to put laminate flooring in a camper with slide outs, but it may require some extra planning and effort. If you're not comfortable tackling the project yourself, it may be a good idea to hire a professional to install the flooring for you.

What is the best flooring for a RV camper?

There is no one "best" flooring for an RV camper, as the right choice will depend on your personal preferences and needs. However, there are a few flooring options that tend to be popular among RVers. These include:

  • Vinyl: Vinyl is a durable, water-resistant flooring option that is popular in RVs. It's available in a wide range of colors and patterns, and it's relatively easy to install and maintain.

  • Laminate: Laminate flooring is another popular choice for RVs. It's durable and easy to clean, and it can give the appearance of wood or stone without the high price tag.

  • Tile: Tile is a durable and easy-to-clean flooring option that is well-suited for RVs. It's a bit more expensive and time-consuming to install than some other options, but it can last for many years with proper care.

The best flooring for your RV camper will depend on your budget, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Be sure to consider your needs and do some research to find the option that's right for you.

Can I use vinyl plank flooring in an RV?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring is a popular choice for use in RVs. It's durable, water-resistant, and easy to install, making it a great choice for life on the road.

One of the main benefits of vinyl plank flooring is that it's available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can choose the look that best matches your RV's decor. Additionally, vinyl plank flooring is easy to clean and maintain, making it a practical choice for busy RVers.

There are a few things to consider when using vinyl plank flooring in an RV. First, you'll need to make sure that the flooring is suitable for use in an RV. Look for products that are marked as "water-resistant" or "waterproof," as these will be better able to withstand the rigors of life on the road. You'll also want to be mindful of the weight of the flooring, as RVs have weight limits that you'll need to adhere to.

These types of flooring are a great choice for use in an RV. It's durable, easy to maintain, and available in a wide range of styles, making it a practical and attractive flooring option.

Is vinyl plank flooring too heavy for RV?

Vinyl plank flooring can be heavier than some other types of flooring, but it's generally not too heavy for use in an RV. However, it's important to be mindful of the weight of the flooring and make sure it won't exceed your RV's weight capacity.

RVs have weight limits that you'll need to be aware of, and adding heavy flooring can quickly push you over the limit. Be sure to check the weight of the vinyl plank flooring you're considering and make sure it won't exceed your RV's weight capacity. If you're unsure, you can consult your RV's owner's manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.

Do peel and stick tiles work in RV?

Peel and stick tiles can be a great option for use in an RV, as they are relatively easy to install and can be removed and replaced if needed. However, there are a few things to consider before choosing peel and stick tiles for your RV.

First, you'll need to make sure that the tiles are suitable for use in an RV. Look for tiles that are marked as "water-resistant" or "waterproof," as these will be better able to withstand the rigors of life on the road. You'll also want to be mindful of the weight of the tiles and make sure they won't exceed your RV's weight capacity.

Peel and stick tiles can be a great choice for use in an RV, as long as you choose the right product and take the necessary precautions.

It's also a good idea to test the tiles in a small area before committing to using them throughout your RV. This will give you a chance to see how well they hold up and whether or not you like the look and feel of them.

Is it better to leave RV slides in or out?

There are pros and cons to both leaving your RV slides in and taking them out. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Leaving slides in: There are a few advantages to leaving your RV slides in. First, it can help protect the slides from damage. Slides are exposed to the elements when they're extended, which can lead to wear and tear over time. Keeping them in can help extend their lifespan. Additionally, leaving the slides in can make your RV more stable and secure, as the additional weight helps anchor it to the ground.

  • Taking slides out: On the other hand, there are also benefits to taking your RV slides out. First, it can make your RV more fuel-efficient, as the reduced wind resistance can help improve your mileage. Additionally, taking the slides out can make it easier to access and maintain the slides and their mechanisms, as you'll have better access to the inside of the slides.

Be sure to consider the pros and cons and make the decision that's right for you.

Why do RV slides have carpet?

RV slides often have carpet for a few reasons. First, carpet provides a soft, comfortable surface for RVers to walk on. This can be especially important if you're spending a lot of time in your RV, as it can help reduce fatigue and make the space feel more homey.

Carpet is also a good insulator, which can help keep the inside of your RV warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This can help improve the overall comfort level of your RV and make it easier to regulate the temperature.

Carpet is also relatively easy to install and maintain, which makes it a practical choice for use in RVs. It's available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can choose the look that best matches your RV's decor.

Carpet is a popular choice for use in RV slides because it's comfortable, insulating, and easy to maintain. While it may require a bit more cleaning and upkeep than some other flooring options, it can add a lot of warmth and comfort to your RV.

What are the disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring?

While vinyl plank flooring has many advantages, there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider. Here are a few of the main disadvantages:

  • Durability: While vinyl plank flooring is generally very durable, it can be prone to scratching, staining, and fading over time. It may not hold up as well as some other types of flooring in high-traffic areas or when exposed to harsh weather conditions.

  • Comfort: Some people find vinyl plank flooring to be less comfortable underfoot than other types of flooring, such as carpet or hardwood. It can be a bit hard and cold to the touch, which can be uncomfortable for some people.

  • Cost: Vinyl plank flooring can be more expensive than some other types of flooring, such as linoleum or vinyl sheet. This may be a consideration if you're on a tight budget.

While vinyl plank flooring has many benefits, it's important to be aware of its potential drawbacks and choose the right product for your needs.

Do I need underlayment for vinyl plank flooring in RV?

This will depend on the specific product you're using and the condition of the underlying surface. In general, underlayment can provide several benefits, including:

  • Sound insulation: Underlayment can help reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted through the floor, making it a good choice if you're concerned about noise levels in your RV.

  • Moisture protection: Underlayment can help protect against moisture, which can be especially important in an RV where the floor may be exposed to spills or leaks.

  • Improved comfort: Underlayment can add a layer of cushioning under your vinyl plank flooring, which can make it more comfortable to walk on.

Not all vinyl plank flooring products require underlayment, so it's important to check the manufacturer's recommendations before making a decision. If in doubt, it's always a good idea to consult with a professional or the manufacturer for guidance.

Should I put anything under my vinyl plank flooring?

Whether or not you should put anything under your vinyl plank flooring will depend on the specific product you're using and the condition of the underlying surface. In general, there are a few things you might want to consider using under your vinyl plank flooring, including:

  • Underlayment: As we mentioned earlier, underlayment can provide a number of benefits, including sound insulation, moisture protection, and improved comfort.

  • Moisture barrier: If you're concerned about moisture, you may want to consider using a moisture barrier under your vinyl plank flooring. This can help protect against spills and leaks, and can help extend the life of your flooring.

  • Subfloor: If you're installing your vinyl plank flooring over an existing subfloor, you may want to make sure that the subfloor is in good condition and properly prepared. This might include cleaning it, smoothing out any uneven areas, or adding a moisture barrier.

Be sure to consider the condition of the underlying surface and consult with a professional or the manufacturer for guidance if you're unsure. Overall, taking the time to properly prepare the underlying surface can help ensure a successful installation and a long-lasting, high-quality floor.

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Conclusion

Replacing the flooring in your RV can be a big undertaking, but it can also be a very rewarding project. Whether you're looking to fix damaged flooring, update an outdated look, or simply personalize your RV, a flooring replacement can make a huge difference. With a little planning, preparation, and attention to detail, you can enjoy a beautiful, durable new floor that will enhance your RV's style and functionality for years to come.

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