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Old 03-01-2014, 07:48 PM   #1
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Flooring Options & General Issues

Ernie

Sandee and I are still debating the front flooring between engineered wood (EW), Plank Tile Flooring (PTF) & Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). With our 2 German Shepherds, water bowls and such, we are a tad concerned about EW and are not (yet?) thinking of pre-stressed/scratched EW. Because of our GSDs we don't think cork is a good match for us either. The exception is that we think we will still go with wood in the bedroom.

As you know, we have slate tile that will be removed from the front of the coach back to the bedroom. The bedroom carpet will be replace probably with wood probably in the same way you did the the Watkins' Mountain Aire. In the living room area our big slide is carpeted and is flush with the floor using a carpet skirt. We will replace that carpet in that slide with new carpet and keep the skirt because we will be using euro chairs and want them to be easy slide toward the center of the coach on occasion.

We are just looking for some general thoughts from our experience on some planning issues. So...consider these:

I *THINK* EW is nearly the same thickness as my current tile but would LVT or PTF require any kind of underlayment to match the tile thickness or for any other reason for that matter? Is that even important if we are stripping all the tile out in the first place?

If we go with LVT do you see any problems with grouted a installation?

We would like to start visiting local flooring outlets to see what we think looks good. Do you have a list of your brands/product lines you can suggest we start with that you have good access too?

Is there any thing to avoid or pay particular attention too?
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:04 AM   #2
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When tile is removed the mortar that is residue has to be removed. It always will gouge the main floor, especially if you have OSB. Granted, the gouges can be leveled but a new subfloor might have to be installed.
Floor levellors can be used to make a gradual slope to any existing material. Grouting anything is a PIA.
As far as engineered wood vs LVT- engineered wood can be fixed when scratched, LVT cannot.
Manufacturers that have proven their products to me are in no particular order: Columbia, Anderson, Mannington, Bruce, Armstrong, Wellmade, Teregren,
When engineered wood is adhered with urethane adhesive the floor is rock solid. No hollow sound and the floor doesn't move and no quarter round is required.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:51 PM   #3
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OK...we visited Home Depot & Lowes to get some hands on various products. We concentrated on EW and based on how they categorized them we may be severely confused. LOL

So...It appears that in EW the have what they call EW that appears to be glue down and then "Lock/Floating". I can see the differences with the edges of them so I guess the question is if you use both of them? I realize you do glue down but can you glue down the lock/float versions but would that be less than optimal?

In EW we are seeing 3" & 5" variations. Other than for esthetics, is there any reason to pick one width over another. BTW...I am assuming that varied lengths is the normal product we would use.

Our continued concern is our GSDs. Even the Armstrong web site put out a cautionary picture of the use of hardwoods with pets.

Pet Friendly Floors

Tomorrow we plan on exploring vinyl options. If we to with PTF it would most likely be in a wood grain and thus used through out the MH including the bedroom. OTOH, if we go with some kind of LVT in non-wood designs, then we would put wood in the bedroom.

One final questions for tonight. What is the widest tile you used in a MH? 12X12 would be my first choice but 18X18 opens up some more design options. If we go that route, we would be looking at turning them 45* off of the length of the coach if that isn't too complicated.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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I have laid tile in a dining room on a 45 degree slant. Make sure you get the initial tiles cut in half and get your lines all straight after that it is not too hard. cutting smaller than a half tile is not hard if you have a tile saw with a 45 degree guide.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:53 PM   #5
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I just was emailing a guy with a new DSDP. Pictures of his coach were great and it had 18" porcelain tiles. I'm not interested in the porcelain but the 18" tiles set at 45* looks very nice. 18" VLTs just went to the top of my list.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:20 PM   #6
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Don,
I am trying to figure out what to do in my coach. Currently strand bamboo (scraped and distressed) glued down is my leading candidate. If it gets scratched you can repair (deep scratches), surface fine scratches would still be an issue tho.

Curious how the LVT would hold up with slides rolling on them? I will need to poke around and see what installs look like. Certainly LVT would be easier to install except perhaps the edge of the slide.

Chris
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:27 PM   #7
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Don,
I am trying to figure out what to do in my coach. Currently strand bamboo (scraped and distressed) glued down is my leading candidate. If it gets scratched you can repair (deep scratches), surface fine scratches would still be an issue tho.

Curious how the LVT would hold up with slides rolling on them? I will need to poke around and see what installs look like. Certainly LVT would be easier to install except perhaps the edge of the slide.

Chris
We are probably going to put a carpet ring like we currently have for the rollers to ride up on in the living room for the big slide. Even if we went EW we are planning the same. BUT...before I say that is exactly what I will do...I'm gonna listen to Ernie!
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:36 PM   #8
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I take back my comment on easier to install after viewing the alterra installation guide. Like installing tile.

chris
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:48 PM   #9
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I installed LVT (Armstrong) in my coach last year. Took the front dash panels out and started from under the dash and went all the way to the back of the coach including bedroom. I installed with grout, about 1/8 th spacing.

I put the tiles on top of the factory installed EW which looked terrible.
(humidity affected it severely). Dealer had put linoleum on top which I did not like, so removed.

Went under the slide rollers by lifting the slides to get under.

Have travelled 6000 miles since and am very happy. No marks from rollers. No cracks in the grout. BTW grout supplied by Armstrong.

The only concern I had (and still have) is the tile has a white soft to medium hard core and a very thin looks like vinyl cover to give it the color and texture; if you were to drop a knife or anything sharp for instance (albeit unlikely) and the surface of the tile was scratched, it would be like you have a cracked tile... only thing to do is replace that tile. I think that would be fairly easy as the tiles are glued, looks like contact cement, supplied by Armstrong also.

Was helped by a friend, we spent about 35 hours together and I did the bedroom in about 10 more hours. Keep areas clean, clean, clean. Cut and install dry first and then glue.

Would do it again!
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
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I forgot to mention, I still have carpet (new) under pedals, under couch, under elevated dinette booth and over engine bump at the back.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:32 AM   #11
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I would never install any new material over any existing floor covering.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I would never install any new material over any existing floor covering.
My friend and I originally looked to remove the wood laminate to go straight on to the sub-floor. We removed a small piece and because it was so well glued and fairly thin (about 3/8") we decided to leave it on.
We scraped the glue of the laminate (from the lino install) for hours and then sanded the laminate for the best possible grip. The Armstrong glue is like a contact cement.

The tiles I installed were a bit thicker than the linoleum so I felt leaving the existing made sense with regards to the total thickness of floor. I did not really want to replace all my slide rollers. We ended up getting the tiles under the rollers so the slides don't have to climb on to the tiles and possibly mark or rip them out.

Not trying to debate your suggestion, just trying to justify my method. Read many of your posts before I did this job and must say I highly respect your work and input. Must say my friend, who has done a few of these installs also played a major role, I learned a lot with this project.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:15 AM   #13
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Must say my friend, who has done a few of these installs also played a major role, I learned a lot with this project.
Let me preface by saying I am not critical of your install method as all.

Just made me laugh when I read your post, thinking of it from your friends perspective. IF I WAS YOUR FRIEND, the conversation would go something like this:

"Wow, this factory laminate is fricken impossible to get up" "Whoofah, hey, can I have another beer" "Um, what if we just glued the new stuff on top, umm, ya, that's the ticket!"

;-)

BTW, do you have any pics of the finished product?

Chris
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:31 AM   #14
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Let me preface by saying I am not critical of your install method as all.

Just made me laugh when I read your post, thinking of it from your friends perspective. IF I WAS YOUR FRIEND, the conversation would go something like this:

"Wow, this factory laminate is fricken impossible to get up" "Whoofah, hey, can I have another beer" "Um, what if we just glued the new stuff on top, umm, ya, that's the ticket!"

;-)

BTW, do you have any pics of the finished product?

Chris
LOL, but... you've underestimated both myself and my friend. When I pulled that little piece of laminate, it was glued so well (by Newmar) that I felt 100 percent about leaving it on there. After all, its wood on wood, just like adding another small layer of sub floor such as luan. Trust me, I do NOT cut corners, anything to do with my precious coach. If I had had to cut a corner doing this project, I would not have started it!

And, my friend was paid by the hour... And he is as anal as can be with regards to quality of work. He is a FTimer, owns a RV lot at HHI.

Do you still have doubts???

I'm getting the coach ready to leave soon so yes I will take a couple of pictures and put them up later today!
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