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Old 01-29-2014, 11:17 PM   #1
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Time to Replace the Carpet in the Motorhome

It is time to replace the carpet in the 2007 Monaco Diplomat. We are thinking laminate. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:07 AM   #2
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This topic seems to be a popular one in the RVing community. Forums such as IRV2 have members such as Ernie who has helped many RVers with this dilemma in the RV community (not a plug, I don't know or ever used him just noticed he seems to know a bit about this). He's located in Texas.

We all have our opinions. If you do go laminate go with a high quality laminate, you want a "commercial" type grade that has a thicker protective top coat over the very thin laminate that simulates the wood. Why? If you go laminate luckily for many years it's been just hook it in the groove way back when you had to glue the seam. However once it's locked in place it's very difficult to replace one piece if you do hurt it. Repairs can't be made once the laminate is exposed. Once you get to the fiber core laminate disintegrates very quickly.

This shouldn't happen for many years (the higher the quality the longer it lasts). An advantage over actual hardwood is it expands and contracts less but cannot be refinished. Laminate floats over the floor and needs a quarter inch or so room at the ends to allow expansion and contraction with the weather/humidity.

This can be hidden with quarter round or a few other techniques. Another big no-no with laminate is getting it wet. For example if a child leaves a watermelon slice on laminate it can cause swelling. Don't ask me how I know If you do spill you'll want to clean it up ASAP, pooling liquids and laminates don't mix. I would use a good combination vapour barrier/cushion underlayment for best results. I would like to remind people that when you install laminate stagger the joints between rows for better results (less likely to come apart). When it expands some laminate installs will attempt to grow little gaps between pieces (sometimes they grow to a quarter inchish a great dust magnet) be sure to butt the joints in all directions using the block when you install.

Imho a better alternative is a luxury composite vinyl. This is a vastly different beast from those el-cheaper peel and stick vinyl tiles you're probably thinking about. These are quite thick and durable. They are resilient (self cushiony) and warm/cool on the feet. In other words they don't shock you the way real tile does. Allure is a Home Depot exclusive version of this product (I think its made by Armstong). This man made material is peel and stick. You can cut it by scoring with a box cutter/exacto knife then bending the tile on the score line. It'll break clean. You can cut it fully with an box cutter for all those weird angles. Lightly heating the product will also make it more pliable.

If you use the individual tile version (a lot of luxury gas units use these tiles) they have a coloured grout that you can use to make it look alot like tile or you can just lay them side by side and achieve a look similar to wall-tile in your shower. If you do damage the decorative layer the soft-plasitc core doesn't self disintegrate like laminate does. You can also lift individual tiles and replace them. They are available in sizes such as 12"x12" and also 12"x24". Depending on your skills you can herringbone style lay them, diamond lay them or checkerboard them. If you go with two similar colours this tone on tone look is subtle yet elegant.

This product is also available in wood-floor style. If you want the wood look. This product resists dents/scratches more then laminate. A lot of retailers (such as Wal-Mart in certain markets) use this. since this is a very durable and realistic looking product. Easy-care. Composite vinyl tiles are also used by McDonalds (some locations use real others composite vinyl). To many at first glance it looks very similar to the floor it's simulating. Another advantage is that the composite vinyl is a bit more forgiving for minor underfloor imperfections relative to laminate.

I would suggest checking both out. Now if you go the self-route be prepared for lots of fun. I'll let those who have attempted remodels in motorhomes for further advice. Just wanted to let you know the composite vinyl route may yield more satisfactory results.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:58 PM   #3
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This gives me a lot to think about and a lot to research. Thanks for the definitive info.

Luke
Still in Quartzsite
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:10 AM   #4
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This is not a definitive answer, There are forum members who do this professionally in an RV, do a search there are many other topics on this. I've done quite a few installs in rental units / my home. This is my opinion others have different opinions. Some prefer the luxury vinyl others like laminate. If whatever you go with works then that's all that matters in the end.
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:42 AM   #5
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I like engineered wood. dimensionally stable, glue it down with urethane adhesive- you will love it.
every material will scratch-
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:55 AM   #6
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Follow "Ernie" or any of his posts on flooring. He's a pro at this. I wish I could get over his way to take care of our upcoming flooring needs. OOOPS didn't catch it but that's "Ernie" on post #5.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie Ekberg View Post
every material will scratch-
I prefer to think of it as "adding character"
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:09 AM   #8
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Ernie if i'm correct in thinking of the product your describing it's pretty much has all the qualities of a solid hardwood but with less expansion and contraction with temperature/humidity conditions but with the downsize that you can't sand and refinish a few times like you can with hardwood (probably not an issue with the average use/lifespan of an RV "house"). Engineered wood is kind of but not exactly a lumber bottom with a real veneer of hardwood at the top (not "fake" print of wood or molded vinyl or anything like that).
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:41 AM   #9
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you can sand it. how many times in our coach ownership have folks refinished their wood floor? The aluminum oxide finish that is present on the quality engineered wood, not from the box stores, lends itself to years of trouble free use. I have had our maple floors in the coach and before I moved our furniture back in, I scratched it. It adds character.
OH- if anyone is contemplating new floors and you pick an installer and he says something like- the slide has to be removed or anything else that just doesn't sound right, let me know. I'll steer you straight. I also can give you background info to approach a dealer or installer with information that you need so you won't get ripped off. Ernie
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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I can't speak enough for Ernie's advice! Definately listen to him and what he's saying. After bugging the #$@! out of him I tackled the job myself and it came out great. While i didn't do a "full" engineeded wood floor the install was the same with a few alterations becuase we kept some of the original tile. The wife wanted wood, tile & carpet (I think to just make my life harder!) And yes Ernie the scratches do give it character!
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:34 AM   #11
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Great job RAZZMAN!
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:55 AM   #12
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nice job- and also the required knee kicker.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
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And yes Ernie the scratches do give it character!
Absolutely !! ... why pay extra for "hand hewn" when you can do it yourself by not taking your shoes off
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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I installed Allure from home depot 5 years ago. I wanted a lighter floating floor. Easy to install even under slides. It needed to handle a lot of Westie activities.

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