As you may already know, in addition to collision repair work, we also do RV remodeling and upgrades. One question we get asked a lot involves flooring upgrades. Let’s face it, the most used and worn out parts of an RV are often the flooring and seating surfaces.
When it comes time to update or simply replace a floor covering, it can be challenging to determine what is your best option. Unlike homes, you cannot simply apply any type of flooring available. Some flooring options are well suited to RV’s while others are not compatible at all.
However just like making decisions for your home, updating RV flooring is expensive, even if you do the work yourself, and once you make your choice, for better or for worse, you are stuck with it!
Most RV’s come with a combination of soft and hard flooring. Typically in most coaches, the hard flooring is located in the kitchen and bath areas. In some, it is installed in part or all of the main living area as well, with carpet covering everything else.
However, the manufacturer’s first goal is always to save money and provide a good-looking RV, with little regard to the wearability of the floor covering.
Your Current RV Floor Covering
When used regularly, your RV flooring is likely to only last five to eight years. The wear and tear are accelerated due to the normal subjecting that you will do to the floors from all sorts of soil types, sand, and mud as well as water, spills, and pets.
No matter the type, all of these floors are difficult to maintain, so when you choose your favorite, make sure you understand that there will not be one perfect solution.
It will be up to you to decide on the option that you think will work best in your RV based on the version of RV lifestyle that you lead.
Carpet is probably the easiest of all the flooring to replace. It is also the least expensive. But it wears the worst and needs to be replaced most frequently.
In many cases, the RV manufacturers’ use of light colors to make coaches look bigger and more luxurious. Carpet also helps dampen sound inside the RV, which is especially important for motorhomes. Carpet like this, however, is difficult to keep clean, can mildew or retain moisture and can hold odors. Eventually, the carpet padding crumbles, bare spots appear, and stains become impossible to remove.
Enough of this will wear and tear and upkeep will naturally persuade any owner to replace it with something more long-lasting.
Manufacturers will often put three types of vinyl flooring in an RV: sheet, plank and tile squares. Vinyl is water resistant, easy to maintain, and most of all it is really durable. But vinyl is trickier to install as it must be installed over smooth surfaces, makes RV’s sound more hollow, and voids the material’s warranty when installed in RV’s.
Problems with planks
Vinyl plank has become a popular option for RV owners with their real wood aesthetics, but there are issues when used in RV’s. Vinyl planks expand and contract when the weather warms or cools that can lead to buckling or separation due to road vibrations and fast climate changes.
Some RV owners have also have had problems with “off-gassing”. This phenomenon happens once the planks are installed and exposed to air, where the chemicals trapped inside start to escape. Sometimes they dissipate after several days or months, but sometimes they remain permanently.
When looking into RV flooring it is best to work with a company that does RV remodeling, such a Coach Specialists, who can ensure that you are getting a vinyl flooring that will wear and tear properly and not make you sick from the fumes.
Laminate is another material that people consider for Rv’s because it is inexpensive and can easily be installed. However, it is really moisture sensitive and has all of the same problems as vinyl. Laminate floors do not wear and tear well in RV’s.
Hardwood is a better option than laminate, and some manufacturers offer hardwood in their bathrooms and kitchens, but requires maintenance, care and is heavy.
Which Flooring Covering Is Best For RVs?
It all comes down to what you feel is the best match for your personality, tastes and the lifestyle you lead in your RV. If your RV is more of a toy hauler and you find yourself outdoors in mud and dirt, carpet might not be your best option. If you are staying mainly in campgrounds and do your sightseeing via tour groups and tour buses, then carpet might be your cheapest option.
Regardless of what you choose, having the work done professionally and using the proper materials will save you a ton of work and look fantastic.
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