Installing new vinyl floor in an RV

One of the simplest improvement you can make in your RV is installing a new vinyl floor. Easy to do as long as your underlying floor is solid and dry. Much better than many of the horrible installs I see done by folks who use the laminate flooring that is currently popular. Laminate flooring, by the way, is often used by folks who try to hide a water damaged floor, so I automatically assume the floor has had water damage when I see new laminate in a trade-in (you should too!).

Installing new vinyl goes like this:

1. Remove any floor registers and all the trim around the old vinyl. Be careful removing the existing trim as it is much easier to reuse it than to use new quarter round.

2. Take up the old vinyl flooring. If it runs under carpet, the carpet will be stapled into place over the vinyl. Remove all the staples and vaccum up any dirt under the carpet. The floor needs to be clean under the new vinyl. If the existing vinyl is in good shape, you can use it as a pattern on the new vinyl.

3. If you can not use the old vinyl as a pattern, using sheets of poster board cardboard purchased at WalMart, make a pattern of the old vinyl floor. Patience and careful work in this step pay off highly in the finished result. Now, lay the pattern on the the backside of new vinyl and trace around it. I normally cut the new vinyl using a heavy household scissors.

4. Lay the new vinyl in place. There is no need to use adhesive and many manufacturers do not. If you do use adhesive, follow the instructions on the can. More is not better! Tuck the new vinyl under the carpet, if that is how it was originally installed.

5. Normally, you can use double-side carpet tape to secure the edge of the carpet on the vinyl.

6. Finally, put the old trim back in place. Now here is a trick. If you cut the vinyl a little too small, you can use colored caulking matching the color of the trim and neatly go around the edge of the vinyl. You will never be able to see it, if you work carefully and use only a narrow bead of caulking.

Remember, if a repair is done correctly, no one should be able to tell you have worked on your RV. Leaving trim off or cutting new trim without using miters makes a mess and is a dead give away you have worked on your camper.

Good luck,


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