OK, got 'er done!
The DW has been wanting to remove the carpet and ceramic tile and put down a premium vinyl tile. Below is a blow-by-blow of the process.
These shots are what the old carpet and tile looked like. Actually, they don't show how BAD the old carpet was and the cracks in the ceramic tile!
Getting the old carpet out was easy, except for pulling out hundreds of staples that were holding the foam carpet pad! The carpet was stapled around the perimeter, but those staples pulled out with the carpet. I had to use a small pair of side snips to individually pull every staple!
Than came the real fun, getting the ceramic tile up! I had to use an old wood chisel (about 1 1/2" wide) and a hammer to chisel up those squares, usually breaking them up into about a dozen pieces! Once in a while I would get lucky and the entire tile would pop up, but not often! If you have a hammer drill that will vibrate and not rotate, and a chisel bit, you can save yourself a TON of work! After getting all the ceramic tiles up, then I had to chip up all the grout and the cement that was used to stick the tiles down! Monaco sure didn't use any cheap cement to stick that stuff down! Many times chunks of the OSB board, which was under the carpet and tile, pulled up with the tile. I used the Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty to fill all these holes. BTW, I highly recommend that putty! It is easy to mix and dries fast! I had a tendency to put too much water but I got the hang of it after a while.
After the floor was reasonably clean and level, the next step was to put down the Luan board. I had never heard of this until the building supply store showed it to me. It's thinner than 1/4" plywood and has some flex which helps in tight places. I wanted to make each piece as large as possible in order to have fewer seams or joints, because those usually must be leveled using the putty. You've heard of the old saying "measure twice, cut once" ? Well, in this case you better measure SEVERAL times and cut once! Don't ask me how I know that!
I decided not to use cement under the Luan, but chose to screw it down securely. I used #6 x 1" coarse thread drywall screws. Monaco told me that there were two layers of 1/2" OSB, and I didn't want the screws to go through into the basement and risk puncturing cables or water pipes. I didn't want any squeaks in the floor so I put the screws 6" apart around the perimeter and 8" apart throughout the board. That took close to 100 screws per 4'x8' board! You have to run the screws in so the head is pulled below the surface of the board. You can't take a chance on the head sticking up to cause a raised spot in the vinyl over a period of time. Next step is to use the putty to fill and level every single screw hole!! That's HUNDREDS of holes! But wait, you're not through yet! After it dries then you've got to sand every one of those patches! Of course, if you're good enough with the putty so it's perfectly smooth, they you can skip that last step. I wasn't!! Below is what it looked like when it was finally ready for the tile to be laid.
I didn't attempt to lay the tile myself. I'm really not that dumb! The professional installer came in and completed the job in one day, which included installing new hardwood shoe mold that I had stained to match the cabinets. I was pretty proud of myself for matching the color so closely! He only charged me $190, including his helper, and he provided the glue. I thought that was very reasonable!
I worked HARD for about a week getting it to the point where he could lay the tile! My knees are worn completely out (yes, I used knee-pads), and I'm sore in places that I didn't even know I had places! If you're a young whipper-snapper in good physical shape, reasonably handy at that sort of thing, then go for it! If you're a fat old geezer like me and can squeeze out the money to pay Ernie or some other professional to do the entire job, then by all means do it!
I haven't figured my total cost for the project, but if anyone is interested I will post that later.
We're gonna replace the carpet in the cockpit area and on the slide at a later time.
Below are pics of the completed project. The first shot towards the front shows the true color of the tile. The others came out off-color for some reason.