Carpet replacment. vinyl? laminate? hardwood?

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Just Lou

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If you were to replace the worn/soiled carpet in your motorhome, what would you replace it with?

Vinyl?    Carpet?  laminate?  hardwood?  etc..?

I'm not talking a high end coach in my case.  I have an older Bounder, but it's the BEST Bounder I've got and I want it to look, and live, the best that it can.

I'm handy and experienced enough to tackle any of the listed installations mentioned so that is not a problem.  I'm just interested in what you, as RV owners, think would be the most appealing and practical flooring in an older RV.

I'm leaning toward laminate in the forward coach and replacing the carpet in the bedroom. 

My co-owner is a German Shepard Husky mix and sheds continually.  The less carpet the better when it comes to up-keep.

Please give me some ideas.  I don't want to turn the RV into something no one would want to own.

lou

 

Jim Godward

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I personally don't have a problem with any of the above and we may be doing something along that same line next year IF not sooner.  Depends on SWMBO!  VBG

One thought that was passed on to me is that the carpet/pad is both an insulator and a sound deadener.  That had caused me to stop and drag my heels a little and I want to do more research on this.  I have seen several postings on other lists where laminate has been used and I want to search those people out and get their reactions now that they have lived with their change a while.  I'll check back if/when i get any additional information.
 

Betty Brewer

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OnaQuest said:
If you were to replace the worn/soiled carpet in your motorhome, what would you replace it with? vinyl?? ? Carpet?? ?laminate?? hardwood?? etc..?

Lou,
Depending on the weight your rig can handle, I woud suggest tile as a flooring replacement .  It cleans well, lasts long and looks good! 

Betty Brewer
1/2 tile in rig.
 

Clay L

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X Full Timer Now Palisade CO
We are going with laminate.

We are on the way to the Winnebago factory now to have some slide topper hail damage repaired and they are also going to remove the slides and replace the bars across the bottom of the slides.
The new bars have a carpet material on the bottom so they don't damage the laminate.

Carpet, full timing with 2 dogs and a cat, RV parks without grass and with grass and grassburrs, just don't make for a good mix.

We plan to put down washable throw rugs and runners.
 
N

Neva

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If you want a female opinion, for a dog that size, I would go with the hardwood or linoleum rather than laminate.  I had laminate in a house I use to own and the top finish is done in photo material.  It scratches and gouges (even though the manufacturer says it won't) fairly easily and requires a lot of care.  I bought mine and got a product that was relatively high end and still had some problems with it.  I had to care for it with products that are specially made for that type of floor.  I didn't care for it myself.

You can get linoleum that looks like old Spanish tile that looks great and is low maintenance.  You can get hardwood that looks great and takes less maintenance than laminate, but is a bit pricier.

Anyway, that's my humble opinion.  Hope it helps.  Good luck.

Neva
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm with Neva - many laminates have a glossy finish that scratches easily. Sand or bits of gravel from a campsite on the bottom of your shoes can really mess it up.  And laminate cannot be refinished like real wood.  Get one that has a matte finish or one of the stone/tile imitations.

That said, we will likley be putting some sort of laminate or tile floor in ours when it is time to replace the carpet (soon and its only 4.5 years old)
 

Wendy

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Bit of a different take here but that German Shepherd Husky mix is going to get old and have bad hips and arthritis and have trouble getting up and down. It's a whole lot easier for the four-legged beasts to get up off carpet as opposed to sliding around on linoleum, tile, or hardwood. Just something to keep in mind.
 

Kenneth

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Here's an option I like ! CORK flooring , durable , soft to walk on and a great sound deadener.


The cork flooring products come in a variety of patterns and colors. The texture of the flooring is extremely unique. Try to block the image of a bulletin board from your mind. Some cork flooring patterns resemble burled lumber. Other cork products have a speckled appearance. Trust me, it is very smart looking. The colorations of cork range from light to deep browns. It can also be purchased in a brilliant white color.

You can purchase cork with factory applied clear acrylic, urethane or wax finishes. The acrylic finish is very similar to that used by the pre-finished wood floor companies. Under normal residential use it can withstand nearly 4 years of foot traffic. Urethane finishes are the same as you might apply to a traditional hardwood floor. You can renew acrylic or urethane finishes by simply applying a periodic coat of clear floor urethane. Urethane finishes tend to be harder than the acrylic finishes.

Cork, because of its closed cell nature, is unaffected by moisture. However, some cells on the bottom and top of flooring pieces get opened up during the sanding process. Water that enters these open cells can cause cork flooring to discolor and/or expand. If you can avoid floods or massive quantities of standing water, kitchens and bathrooms are excellent places to use cork flooring.

If you decide to use the new laminate flooring materials, be sure to consider using cork underlayment beneath them. This is how the laminate flooring products are installed in Europe. The cork underlayment takes away the hollow sound these floors sometimes exhibit.

The people who own your home 50 - 75 years from now will thank you. Cork can easily last that long. If you don't believe me, just visit the First Congregational Church in Chicago, Illinois. The cork floor you will walk on was installed in 1890!

http://www.askthebuilder.com/183_Cork_-_It_s_Captivating_.shtml

 

Just Lou

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I want to thank you all again for your ideas, opinions, cautions and especially the concerns for my four legged partner.  Any animal lover is a friend of mine.  Reddog appreciates your concern as well, and now that you've let the "cat out of the bag", so to speak, he'll not let me make the wrong choice.

This will proably be a winter project since I'm hesitant to take the rig off the road with some nice fall RVing weather coming up soon.  I'll post my progress reports.

lou
 

Just Lou

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Well, I haven't made the final decision of flooring material yet, but I am getting closer to an actual installation date.  I think I'm finished traveling for this year so I'm getting anxious to start this project.

Keep in mind that this is a modest older Bounder, not intended to be a full timer, nor will it be entered in the "Parade of Homes". 
I have about eliminated the laminate (i.e. floating) floors and hardwood flooring options for several reasons.  Weight, cost, installation difficulty, maintenance, etc...

I have been looking at linoleum and tile options available at Lowe's and HD.  They both have 12/12" self stick vinyl tiles (wood, stone and marble patterns) that may work OK in my old coach.  The best quality ones (still reasonably priced) are about 1/8" thick and have a fairly thick wear layer.  Lifetime wear through warranty - FWIW.  Installation would be so much easier than cutting and laying full sheet vinyl.

Does anyone have any experience with this tile? 
Will it last? 
Will it stay down?
Will it look as good as the store displays?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I've installed the better quality 12x12 self stick tiles, made by Armstrong and selling for around $3 each, and they are excellent in appearance and wear. Not in an RV, but in a manufactured home.  However, the surface prep needs to be good to have them stick well.  The first time I laid a floor on particle board subfloor I cleaned it but did not prime the surface and the tiles worked loose within a year because the top layer of the particle board scrubed loose.  Armstrong advised putting a primer paint on the subfloor and sure enough that solved the problem, though it of course involved taking up the tiles and later re-laying them (most tiles were salvaged). If carefully done, you won't even see the seams in the tiles. And they've got some great new stuff in stone-like patterns.

I've also laid inexpensive imitation-parquet, self-stick vinyl tiles over a concrete floor and that worked very well. Once again, be sure to follow the prep instructions carefully.
 

RRBob

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We also are planing on replacing the carpet in our class C.

On of my concerns with anything that glues down is how it will hold up in the freezing weather.
Instructions on some of the vinyl squares I have looked at say not for use in an unheated area.
It is my understanding that some of the laminate floors "Float" and are not glued down??
The cork sounds intersting, I will have to look into that.

Thanks
 

Just Lou

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I also thought the cork was a good choice.  I only discounted it based on the cost versus the value of my old coach.

We don't get too many below freezing days here in the Carolina's so I'm not too afraid of the glue down vinyl.  I just don't know if I'll like it as much as a hardwood or maybe  a wood pattern laminate.

I did buy some sample tiles at Lowe's and laid them out in the coach.  I was surprised when I liked the lighter colors in each pattern the best.  I think I'll like the way it brightens the place up a bit.
 

cuts_up

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Texas
I have laminate in my kitchen.  It looks nice, but I don't love it.  Water is not it's friend, and it's hard for me to wash dishes without splashes.  Our dog hates it and refuses to walk through the kitchen now, he walks around to get to the other side.  He isn't in the house much, but it's funny to watch him come to a screeching halt when he gets to the kitchen door.  I've even tried pushing and pulling him into the kitchen, and he won't go.  That said, I do like it much better than the spill-magnet carpet that was there when we bought the house. 

Laminate installation calls for a foam padding.  You can upgrade the padding and thatl help with insulation. 


 

ROUTE 66 RV

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Yorba Linda, CA
aka Porky said:
If you were to replace the worn/soiled carpet in your motorhome, what would you replace it with?

Vinyl?    Carpet?  laminate?  hardwood?  etc..?

I'm not talking a high end coach in my case.  I have an older Bounder, but it's the BEST Bounder I've got and I want it to look, and live, the best that it can.

I'm leaning toward laminate in the forward coach and replacing the carpet in the bedroom. 

My co-owner is a German Shepard Husky mix and sheds continually.  The less carpet the better when it comes to up-keep.

Please give me some ideas.  I don't want to turn the RV into something no one would want to own.

lou


While this post was made a few years back, it is still very relevant today.  The reality of things is that your flooring choice, whether in your home or your motor home, is a reflection of you.  In one's home, there are few factors that stand in the way of finding the look that you want, whereas motor home's angled or rounded cuts, dependency on low weight and higher gas milage, and of course, moving parts (i.e., slideouts, floor platforms, etc.), can all be a factor to finding a floor that merely works in one's home of wheels.

When making a selection of the right floor for you, you should first decide what is more important to you, something soft and comfortable (an escape if you will from the cold and rough outdoors) or something durable enough to stand up to whatever is brought in from the outdoors.  For our customers, the durability of a hard surface is always attractive, as it cleans up easily and it is resilient to almost anything you can throw at it.  Unfortunately, if you have slideouts, many hard surfaces are restrictive to your ability to install such floors all the way under the slideouts (without adjusting the slideout's height totally and completely).  If you can squeeze some hard surfaces under your slideout, many manufacturers of hard surface products wouldn't recommend it.  Each hard surface floor is attributed to what is called a PSI rating (or the amount of pressure in pounds a floor can sustain before it will dent, chip, splinter, crack, etc.).  As such, the mere height of the floor isn't the only factor under a slideout. 

We at Route 66 RV caution our customers away from tile and hardwood as a result, and we recommend High Pressure Laminate and Luxury Vinyl Tile to those in need of a hard surface option.  Unlike tile and hardwood which are extremely heavy and susceptible to all kinds of problems in a moving coach traveling from one humidity level to another, High Pressure Laminate and Luxury Vinyl Tile won't crack or buckle when installed properly.  They are made to expand and contract mildly by comparison to hardwood, and they are much less weight than any other hard surface option.

While there is one particular High Pressure Laminate on the market which is actually warranted for RVs, laminate floors are free-floating, meaning they are clicked together without ever being secured to the subfloor with glue or nails.  As such, the only thing holding them in place are trim pieces (Quarter Round, End Caps, T-Moldings, Reducers, Stair Nosing, etc.).  When you bring this floor of nearly a 1/2" height up to a slideout, a reducer is needed to cap the edge of this surface.  That reducer must cup the top of that floor, increasing the height of that threshold even more.  When all is said and done, the height of laminate could be, and usually is, a deal breaker.  All other laminate products, outside of the high pressure umbrella, are known as direct pressure (such as nearly every material made by Pergo, Quick Step, Armstrong, Fabrica, Shaw, Mohawk, etc.).  The problem with these floors is that the amount of pressure exerted by your slideout will ultimately scratch, scuff, or crack these surfaces.  As such, I would not recommend them.

Luxury vinyl tile on the other hand is a great option in that it comes in both hardwood plank forms or stone-like tiles, and best of all, this low-profile floor gets glued directly to the subfloor.  As a result, you get the look you want in a durable, "softer hard surface" composed with vinyl that is low-profile enough to be installed under any slideout.  If durability is a fear - don't worry about it, as this floor is being installed now in supermarkets, malls, and other high traffic areas due to its ability to stand up to the elements.  Unlike laminate though, which rests above the surface of the floors, the only complex part about luxury vinyl is the floor prep it takes to smooth out your staple-ridden and uneven subfloor before gluing this new floor in place.

Lastly, the quality of carpet has radically changed in the past few years as well.  In the past, carpet, while soft and comfortable, was detrimental to one's ability to maintain cleanliness in a motor home, soaking up spills and dirt tracked in from outside.  Cheaper carpets utilized by RV manufacturers of all qualities in an effort to save money meant fuzzy fiber that couldn't sustain heavy traffic.  Today though, carpet is a very practical option.  With stain-resistant nylons or inherently stain-resistant polymers now on the market, RV owners can experience the softness they desire with a product that cleans up the way it should.  Carpet is now made with a continuous filament construction too.  This method doesn't fuzz up, leaving you with carpet that will maintain its fiber content and last longer!  The cost of these new polymer fibers are also far less than traditional nylons, as they combine either ethanol or plastic recycling resources to sustain low costs versus crude-oil dependent nylon fiber.

Ultimately, there is never going to be a "perfect floor" for every RV, but the right floor for your needs is out there.
 

mrsax2000

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Jul 7, 2009
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WI
We have heated tile in the middle and carpet up front.  Since we show dogs, we'll eventually replace the carpet.  But it's OK for now.  It would be nice to have tile all the way through and put down a runner or small area rug.  Tile ads weight though.
 

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