Just like in a brick-and-mortar home, replacing the flooring in your RV can provide the space with an instant update and give the whole place a new feeling. You can instantly modernize your old RV with a magnificent newly remodeled look. The job of removing and replacing carpeting or another flooring option can often be a do-it-yourself job, so don’t shy away from the project if it sounds intimidating at first thought.
You Can Do It Yourself
Although there are professionals who specialize in after-market RV flooring, like the service technicians at your local Camping World, some jobs are small enough—and easy enough— for RVers to attempt on their own. There are multiple videos out there that walk you through the installation process and products needed to update your RV.
Vehicles without slide-outs are best for do-it-yourselfers. We suggest using a special carpet-cutting tool to go along the perimeter of the RV or motorhome to cut the old carpet making it easier to pull out. If you do this well enough, the piece you cut out can be used as a template when cutting the new flooring.
It’s best to consult a flooring or home improvement expert on the best way to install and keep a new carpet down. Although, some RVers say anchoring it by placing furniture on top of it is a good option as it allows the carpet to be periodically removed and cleaned.
When it comes to rugs, 100 percent nylon-constructed rugs are best for RV use. Make sure to check the “remnants” section of your local carpeting store for the best deals. Since you probably won’t need to purchase a significant amount to cover the space desired. On occasion, you can snag a pretty decent deal simply by asking.
When considering new floor options, remember the importance of not adding too much weight to the floor of your RV. For example, to get the look of hardwood flooring without the additional weight, try a laminate product instead. Laminate flooring and tile are also good RV options. They’re easy to clean and maintain, they’re just not as comfortable or warm as some of the other options available. As far as those options go, it’s always best to weigh the pros and cons of each RV flooring type before deciding.
Popular Flooring Options for Your RV
When it comes to choosing your new flooring material, there are a few options that tend to be the most popular among RV enthusiasts both for their appearance and their longevity.
- Carpet. It’s 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 cozy and inviting.
- Laminate. It’s the perfect marriage of vinyl flooring and hardwood flooring in that you get the look and feel of hardwood but the benefits of vinyl.
- Vinyl. It’s easily the most popular choice for the RV lifestyle because of its superb waterproof qualities. It’s the easiest to maintain and keep clean allowing it to look newer for longer.
A Few Tips for DIYers
These are a few tips on updating and replacing your RV flooring:
- Sketch out your RV and make a diagram of the inside furniture, walls, etc. This drawing will give you a visual of the best place to start your install and highlight any potential problem areas so you’re aware of them before you begin.
- Clear furniture and start removing the current floor. You will probably have to use a flathead screwdriver to get the flooring up. Note that most factory-installed flooring runs underneath the cabinets. Most, if not all, renovations (especially the DIY kind) choose to leave the cabinets in place and, consequently, the flooring underneath them as well.
- Clean and level the floors as thoroughly as possible. You want your subfloor as smooth as possible before beginning the install of your new flooring.
- Depending upon which flooring material is chosen, you’ll need adhesive and a few tools to ensure a smooth installation. It’s worth it to take extra care and spend quality time installing the first piece of flooring as it will serve as the guide for the subsequent pieces. Remember to measure at least twice before making any cuts.
- After the floors are successfully installed, wait a day or two before reloading the furniture into your RV. Doing so will allow the floor to settle and any imperfections to reveal themselves. Then you can address them, if necessary, without having to move the furniture around several times.
Like an old boat, if the floor is damp or has mildew or mold, then you will need to replace that section of the floor first before proceeding with the installation of the new flooring. While you are doing that, check for any other damp or wet spots that may need attention. Addressing them all at once can save you time, money, and a headache further down the road. It is recommended to use plywood you would use for a boat.
Installing new flooring in your RV can be a challenging task, but with patience and a little hard work, you can replace your outdated floors and be back on the road looking and feeling brand new in record time. It’s worth warning you though, one upgrade can easily lead to another.
With your shiny, new floors, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to update furnishings and the rest of your RV as well. Take it one project at a time. Your RV is designed to get you from destination to destination, you should be enjoying every step of the journey along the way.
Note: It’s always wise to wear protective eye gear when working with tools. It is also recommended to wear a mask due to the possibility of mold. Safety first, always.
Have you updated the flooring in your RV? Do you have any other tips for a successful demo or installation? We would love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below!