RV Flooring: Carpet, Hardwood, Laminate, or Vinyl?

rv-flooring:-carpet,-hardwood,-laminate,-or-vinyl?

Flooring is more than just a surface to walk on. When it comes to RV flooring especially, the choice you make is the foundation for the rest of your interior design decisions.

If it’s time to remodel your RV, start from the ground up: consider what type of flooring to use. How will it tie into the rest of your design decisions? How will it feel under your feet? How easy is it to clean and maintain? Does it fit in your budget?

We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation for you by breaking down the most popular RV flooring options. Renovating your RV can be fun! Remember to enjoy the process and take plenty of pictures along the way. Everyone loves a good before and after.

If you don’t know where to begin, consult with the Camping World Renovation & Collision team to get the ideas rolling.

Carpet

Carpet is one of the most classic and accessible flooring options for RVers. Often used in slide-outs and bedrooms, carpet can instantly make a space feel cozier.

Advantages:

Carpet is available in many different colors and styles, allowing you to truly customize your choice. If you and your family like to camp in colder climates, carpet provides a soft, warm barrier between your feet and the hard floor underneath. Carpet also has more traction than other popular options, which is a perk for older pets and people.

The most significant advantage to choosing carpet is cost. With a broad range contingent upon the quality (fiber type and thickness), you’re sure to find an option within your budget. Plus, installation is relatively cheap and easy as well.

Disadvantages:

Carpet, unfortunately, is the most difficult to clean in comparison to the other options. With camping comes mud, dirt, sand, and more which can stain and age the carpet much quicker than one would like. Vacuuming will become a daily task as a bare minimum effort to keep the carpet looking clean. Though we have some helpful tips for keeping your RV clean, carpet may feel like a lot of maintenance.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is common among any flooring conversations, including for your RV. But, just because hardwood is popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice. It’s worth mentioning that what’s best for a house isn’t always true when it comes to an RV.

Advantages:

Hardwood flooring is easy to clean for those long days when you bring the camp inside on the bottoms of your shoes. It doesn’t absorb odors or stain easily, plus it’s easy on bare feet.

Disadvantages:

The most significant disadvantage to hardwood flooring is weight. While that doesn’t matter much in a house, hardwood floors in an RV can add upwards of 200 pounds per 100 square feet to your cargo weight, affecting gas mileage and towing ability. Additionally, hardwoods can warp in humid climates and may scratch easily under pets and kids.

Laminate Flooring

While laminate planks are a type of vinyl flooring, they’re a step up from the original design found in most starter RVs. It’s the perfect marriage of vinyl flooring and hardwood flooring in that you get the look and feel of hardwood but with the benefits of vinyl.

Advantages:

Floating laminate flooring planks don’t have to stick directly to the subfloor. By laying down some insulation beforehand, you can get the added comfort of carpet without sacrificing plank flooring design. The insulation also helps keep the floor warmer in colder climates. Easy to clean and durable, laminate is a solid choice if you like the look of hardwoods but want something more waterproof and durable.

Disadvantages:

Laminate flooring isn’t perfect and still has the potential to warp over time. Since this flooring comes in planks, the install can be slightly more complicated for small, tight corners or curved areas. Traction is an issue as laminate planks can be slippery, especially for small kids or anyone wearing socks. It’s worth mentioning that the production of laminate planks can cause a pattern repeat, which means installation must be careful not to lay twin planks in close proximity.

Vinyl Flooring

Because of its superb waterproof qualities, vinyl flooring is easily the most popular choice for RV flooring. However, don’t let that sway or deter your decision one way or the other. Vinyl comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

Vinyl flooring is often the obvious choice for spaces potentially exposed to water. The surface is super smooth, making cleaning a breeze, whether it’s water or dirt tracked in. In houses, it’s used strictly in entryways or kitchens and bathrooms. When it comes to RVs, however, use vinyl flooring throughout for a cohesive feel.

It’s lightweight and cost-effective both in material and installation. With the multitude of colors, patterns, and prints, vinyl flooring is the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to giving your RV a new look.

Disadvantages:

Unfortunately, the biggest drawback for vinyl flooring is longevity. It just doesn’t hold up to the constant in and out and rigor of the RV lifestyle. Since it’s glued directly to the subfloor below, it can warp as the RV travels and moves about over time. Vinyl tends to be thinner than the other flooring options, which results in imperfections showing through.

Once vinyl flooring shows imperfections, like nails in the subfloor or a gap between the sections, cleaning becomes increasingly more difficult. Another disadvantage to being installed directly on top of the subfloor means there isn’t padding or insulation between the flooring material. As a result, the floor is harder, less comfortable to walk on than the other options, and its slippery nature can be a challenge for those who aren’t used to walking on it.

Ultimately, it’s a game of weighing the pros and cons. Deciding what matters the most and what is a deal-breaker can narrow down your choices. If you have any questions or are ready for an install, reach out to your local Camping World, where trained service technicians can help with all your RV flooring needs.

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