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,

Steve

4 thoughts on “Installing new vinyl floor in an RV

  1. I want to remove my carpet in a 1983 Coachman motor home. I see that you have good luck with vinyl squares. How about the Allure from Home Depot that has the adhesive already on it? Any problem with the corners coming up when it gets hot inside the camper?
    Cay

    • I have not found the corners lifting on stick-ons due to heat. I have no familiarity with the brand you noted.

      Steve

  2. Good Morning, we have a camper that due to heat the floor has buckled on the edge of floor. We were wondering if square of vinyl would work,, there is a lot of tight and very small areas. Was thinking they would be the easiest was to get into those areas but did not know if squares would be good.???
    thank you so much for your help in advance..
    Danna

    • Danna,

      Yes, you can use vinyl squares. Actually the manufacturers use them in a great many models. I also have used them in countless RVs with no problem. The one thing you might run into is getting them to stay stuck. If adhesion is a problem, I use 3M spray adhesive that you can find in any Lowers or Home Depot.

      Good luck on your project,

      Steve

      In order to reach me, it best to use my email address as I do not check my blog every day. mroeditor@chartertn.net

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