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Vinyl All the Way

Posted 09-24-2018 at 02:44 PM by CountryFit
Updated 04-21-2020 at 07:46 PM by CountryFit

I had been researching and planning the vinyl flooring upgrade for quite a while. Why am I going with vinyl not wood, engineered wood, or wood laminate? In a nutshell, good vinyl flooring on RV has some advantages over others; the biggest pluses are easy to install and waterproof.

This project is to replace the entire flooring with vinyl, including bathroom and driver feet area, but not to touch the unseen areas under the couches

Before start, let's look at the original flooring which came with tiles in kitchen and bathroom, and the rest with carpet.

One of the big challenges in this project is probably cleaning up the grout under the tiles. It's super hard and strong. I have read that some people used a wood chisel and a hammer, knocked it down inch by inch, others used grinder but made whole house full of dust…

I bought a shop vac and made a tool for using a grinder. Notice two openings on the clear box - one end is connected to shop vac, another hole is for my hand in to do the grinding. When doing it, the dirt was sucked into the vac before it could escape to the air. It works!

Now the material - I had been looking for Brazillian Cherry vinyl planks (I like old fashion), unfortunately unlike wood or laminate which has all kinds of colors to choose from, vinyl planks are very limited in color and mostly pale and cold. At the end, I chose one with a name of "Brazillian Cherry" but very close to oak which happens to match with my furniture's - Tranquility 4 mm with click lock, from Lumber Liquidator.

Started from stair top. Flat stair nose.

The stair nose and the adjacent plank were glued down to subfloor. The entire third row from front to bedroom is glued down. All of the rest (left and right) are floating.

Here is the photo showing 3 rows...

For the carpet under the couch - I removed the drawer and two pieces of "face panels" to its left and right, cut the carpet about 5 inches from the drawer surface. After the install and put the drawer and face panels back on, nobody could see the carpet under there...

During the install, another big challenge is the extensive cuts. That really tests my patience and my tedium handling ability . On my coach, the fridge, shower and cabinets are all with columns (pillars) and recesses. Since I couldn't use quarter rounds or kick boards like how one would do in a house, I have to cut each board to the target curves, maintaining the smallest gaps possible. It looks good.

In the past, I installed wood laminate throughout my home with quarter-round all along the edges. It looked great. But on the coach, some areas like galley are narrow. Not only doesn't the quarter-round blend in well, but also it could be easily stepped on. Additionally I surely don't want to nail the quarter-round to the coach or furniture walls...

My careful cuts seem pretty good. The gaps between the planks and vertical walls are mostly within 1/8".

Under the dinette:

Kitchen area:

This is another sleeper couch in living room slide. The planks are placed very deep, sitting on opposing couch couldn't see the carpet under it.

Below photo shows before the drawer is on.

Another tough task is placing planks in front of driver's seat. Granted there are a lot of cutoffs, also the metal base plates holding brake pedal, fuel pedal and the steering column come to play.

The bedroom is done as well:

The last segment of this project - bathroom has some twists. Again a lot of cuts are required and the height of the base has to be level with the new flooring’s.

The following photos show the bathroom floor before and after the install of the toilet.

This project is one of major upgrades on my coach. It is a good move but not for the faint of heart. Looking at the result, it’s obvious a big enhancement to the interior. Though not as easy as doing other minor jobs, it’s well worth the effort!
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  1. Old Comment
    Why did you choose to glue the center strips and float the rest?
    Posted 09-27-2018 at 02:20 PM by Travelwrench Travelwrench is offline
  2. Old Comment
    CountryFit's Avatar
    Vinyl flooring, as well as hard wood and laminate, tends to shift in RV application when RV is in motion. It must be affixed on to the subfloor so to prevent it from happening.

    And, vinyl is subject to expansion and contraction when temperature changes. After click-locked together, the whole piece will expand and contract big. Gluing it down at center and letting the rest float will prevent the shifting, bulging and gapping between neighboring planks.

    (I am aware that some people glued every piece of the planks... Well, it'll serve the purpose of preventing from shifting, bulging and gapping, but it will also make it very hard to repair or replace planks down the road. I wouldn't recommend it.)
    Posted 09-27-2018 at 06:22 PM by CountryFit CountryFit is offline
    Updated 10-04-2018 at 09:45 AM by CountryFit
  3. Old Comment
    NLOVNIT's Avatar
    All I can say is WOW! That looks beautiful. You did a wonderful job.

    When can I drop off my coach for new flooring?
    Posted 09-27-2018 at 06:57 PM by NLOVNIT NLOVNIT is offline
  4. Old Comment
    CountryFit's Avatar
    Hi Lori, Yes drop your coach off any time I just need 2-3 weeks
    Posted 09-27-2018 at 10:19 PM by CountryFit CountryFit is offline
  5. Old Comment
    MEWright's Avatar
    Very nice. I really like the dust collection solution. How long did it take to clean the grout off the sub floor?
    Posted 10-08-2018 at 08:32 PM by MEWright MEWright is offline
  6. Old Comment
    CountryFit's Avatar
    Yep, it really helped.
    I used 2 good days to clean the grout.
    Posted 10-10-2018 at 10:30 AM by CountryFit CountryFit is offline
    Updated 10-27-2018 at 04:49 AM by CountryFit
  7. Old Comment
    Hi, great looking job. I've used glue-down vinyl planks over the plywood subfloor in the coach; it worked well. However, the front compartment has a metal floor under the driver & passenger seats. That area of the floor gets very warm because of the front engine. I've removed the old carpeting and plan to first glue down a layer of the heat barrier mat (about 3/8" thick), then a thin sheet of plywood to provide a hard, level surface on which to glue the vinyl tiles. Think this will work? Tom
    Posted 05-26-2019 at 09:44 PM by tomkattl tomkattl is offline
  8. Old Comment
    We replaced the floor in a 32' trailer with vinyl planks and it worked great. We are now doing the same project in our 40' pusher. The original laminate floor in the kitchen is raised 1/4" compared to the carpet. My concern are the rollers for the slide, since they are on the laminate. Do I need to keep the rollers at this height or will they adjust the 1/4" to the new floor height?
    Posted 05-27-2019 at 09:32 AM by KTMJRV KTMJRV is offline
  9. Old Comment
    CountryFit's Avatar
    Tom - that sounds like a good plan!
    Posted 05-28-2019 at 12:24 AM by CountryFit CountryFit is offline
  10. Old Comment
    CountryFit's Avatar
    KTMJRV - That could be tricky. On my coach, the slide does not touch the floor, so it was easy for me. In your case, I would recommend you try it first. After removing the old laminate, lay either laminate or vinyl planks with 1/4" thinner/lower in the same area and move in and out the slide. Then you would know if the floor can be lowered by 1/4" in that area. Hopefully it'll work for you. Good luck!
    Posted 05-28-2019 at 12:39 AM by CountryFit CountryFit is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Mainecoons's Avatar
    Wow, wonderful work. Love the dust control idea, that is useful also for projects involving plaster. I'm going to steal it!
    Posted 07-22-2019 at 11:15 AM by Mainecoons Mainecoons is offline
  12. Old Comment
    CountryFit's Avatar
    Mainecoons - Take it, free .
    Posted 07-28-2019 at 09:09 PM by CountryFit CountryFit is offline
  13. Old Comment
    You have done an excellent job. I like the view down the kitchen and head area. Gives the coach a larger feeling. On my coach the base light oak is stained from years of washing etc. I plan to refinish about 2" from the floor up with stain etc.
    I am planning to leave carpet under couch and stair well and under driver/rider seats to set off the wood flooring or tile flooring. Haven't made up my mind yet. Carpet in the bedroom will stay. Carpet is in great shape but not in living area.
    As I see it the marble tile in the kitchen bath area has to go. It is quite possibly the ugliest tile I have ever seen. Has little marks in the tile that look like dirt stains.
    I have re-upholstered the two helm seats in real leather and it really made flooring look bad. Couch is next.
    Great job and thanks for the info. and pictures. Don
    Posted 04-24-2020 at 11:13 AM by Lacota Lacota is offline
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