with us this weekAsk an RV expertSeries we answer questions about the floor replacement in the mobile home.
Four of our most popular questions about replacing RV flooring are listed below. If you're looking to replace the flooring in your RV, this can help!
4 Frequently Asked Questions About Replacing RV Flooring
What is the best RV flooring?
My husband and I live in a 20 year old prefab home. We just put in a new roof and floor. We install sticky vinyl plank floors at the seller's suggestion. He told us he installed it in his father's camper van and was very happy with it.
For us it was a nightmare. It's coming off at the seams. Also, the rim is coming off and it's just my husband and I (no kids). We're trying to put in a new floor, so what do you suggest? Is laminate a good option?
The sticky pad isn't as simple as the ads would have you believe. I'm not a big fan for various reasons.
Glue is extremely difficult to work with, and you'll have a hard time making straight cuts if you don't have the right tools. It really takes an expert to install peel and stick flooring to keep it looking good and lasting.Click here to read the Lumber Liquidator Raw and Strip Floor Installation Guide.
I'm a big fan of what some call floating or laminate floors. They are tongue and groove boards that fit together to create a single floor plan.
You can find laminate flooring for less than $0.75 per square foot, but the average price is around $2.00.
We installed Lowe's cheapest brand in 2012 which accommodated up to 3 people and 4 pets very well.
There are a few things you need to know before buying floating floors.
First you need to buy all the floors at once to get the best mix (they make floors in batches). You will also need to buy an extra box or two as around 10-15% of boards are likely to have edge or corner damage (this is especially true for the cheaper brands). Second, you need to leave space around the room to allow it to expand and move.
For bathrooms and kitchens I prefer single ply vinyl. It acts as a great water barrier and some of the high quality vinyls have good padding which makes the position a bit more comfortable. i wrote aboutLuxury vinyl floor optionsBut the floor we had in our bathroom was all Lowe midweight vinyl and I was very happy with it.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to floating floors. First, many manufacturers will void their warranty if installed over carpet because the tongue and groove can break with this vertical movement. If you have bare carpeting (e.g. indoor or outdoor carpeting) it will likely void your warranty, but tongue and groove cannot break. In fact we have installed ours on lint free carpet and have been very happy for over 8 years.
Second, there is some controversy about thatYou can achieve energy efficiency by installing a floating floor covering over carpet🇧🇷 I've read both sides and each has decent arguments. I think any extra layer you can put between you and the floor is a good idea. However, if water does seep under the laminate floor, it will likely seep into the carpet and cause mold, so keep that in mind. In a room with water, definitely do not install a floating floor covering over a carpet.
Floors, IncThere is a video on how to install a floating floor on carpet🇧🇷 When one of America's largest flooring stores shows you how, it can't be that bad:
Can a real wood floor be laid in a mobile home?
We are selling our house in stick construction and reducing it to oneUsed mobile homein a wonderful waycooperative parknot ocean. As this is our forever home we would like to update it. I personally love the antique bleached oak cabinets including the built in china cabinet and will keep them.
Floors are cheap vinyl and carpet. I'd love to do hardwood floors throughout, but I can't find anything that tells me if "nailed" floors can be installed in an RV. you can tell me
Yes, you can definitely install a real wood floor in an RV. It's a great option!
There are a few things to consider. Perhaps the most important thing is to cross the marriage line in double or triple width. It's just not a good idea because it will be a hassle to remove the flooring if the house has to be moved for any reason. Over 90% of all prefab homes stay where they were originally placed, so it's not a big deal, just something to keep in mind. Subsidence can be another problem: if a pier settles and the house is uneven, you could have problems like split boards.
Another problem with real wood would be subfloors made of chipboard. Particle board is often used as a subfloor in prefabricated houses, although this should not actually be the case. It soaks up water like a sponge and the slightest leak can cause it to bend or warp. If you intend to use a real wood floor, you will probably want to first replace the subfloor with real plywood. It's not necessary, but it would be wise to do so to extend the life of your floor. Just make sure you put in a moisture barrier, especially in the kitchen, powder room, and bathrooms.
We get a lot of questions about replacing RV floors with real wood. Using real wood in your home is a great idea, although it is a bit pricey, its warmth and beauty make the expense worth it.
Do I need to replace my subfloor?
I have original mats in a double width factory. My house was built in 2001 and I want to replace the carpet in the dining room, living room and two hallways with laminate flooring. Do I need to replace the underbody to make the change? I plan to buy flooring from Lowe's, but since Lowe's says they don't do flooring in mobile homes, I have to use an independent contractor to do it.
You don't have to replace the subfloor when you change the flooring unless there is damage.
Weakness and sagging are the two most common reasons why sub floors in an RV need replacing and this is most likely due to water damage. I would first remove the flooring in the kitchen and bathroom and see if it shows any signs of water damage. Also look at the doors and windows and your laundry room. If you don't find any damage, you can simply replace the floor covering.
If there is damage, you will need to hire an experienced mobile home contractor as subfloor replacement is a very large project (requiring specialized knowledge). Lowe's only installs flooring over solid sub-floors in mobile homes (or at least in RVs).
If your house has a standard OSB subfloor you can take this opportunity to upgrade it to a better material, but if the original flooring is undamaged or you have already upgraded the plywood this is not necessary.
Laminate is my favorite motor home floor. Since you have carpet, you can install the laminate directly over the carpet (assuming you don't need to replace the subfloor). This saves you money since you don't have to remove the carpet and adds a small layer of insulation (anything helps). It will also reduce noise pollution a bit.
Read our answers to the most frequently asked questions about motorhome fairing here.
Doubts about replacing mobile home floors with tiles are another common question. You can use tiles in prefab houses, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
Can you use tiles in a prefab house?
I bought a 1979 mobile home last year and am ready to replace the flooring and remodel the bathrooms. The information you have provided on the tread is tremendous, thank you. A company came to quote me for bathroom renovations. When I asked about tiles on the floor and walls I was told that in mobile homes the walls are not designed to support the weight of the tiles and neither is the floor. This surprised me as they are by no means large bathrooms. Is there a way to prep my walls around the tub to have tile instead of molded fixtures? So for the master bathroom, are the walls and floor ready for a shower and tile floor?
In the past, mobile homes could have 1" x 2" studs, today you get at least 2" x 4" (most builders opt for the standard 2" x 6"). It was difficult to install and set up, but these days we have national regulations so shifting and sagging are kept to a minimum. Simply put, the old rules were based on old houses.
A newly made home with a minimum 2" x 4" frame can support lightweight modern tile as long as it's done right. You can't use the heavier Italian marble tiles, but the lightweight composite tiles on the market today should work just fine. Modern prefab homes can handle significant weight per square inch (starting at around 40 pounds per square inch I believe) and high wind speeds (110 miles per hour). They're not the campers or RVs of the old days. They are engineering marvels!
Make sure the sub-floor is strong (both joists and sub-floor). For tiling, you'll likely want to use 1/2" Durarock and the correct grout for that particular area of the project. If you're tiling a shower, buy the best shower tray system you can find. In the past few years, the tiling industry has evolved done some things.
Tile is great, but I don't like that it crosses the line of marriage. It's a real pain when you have to move.
Our Ask a Mobile Home Expert series continues next week!
We hope you found our RV flooring replacement questions helpful! If you have any questions about the apartment please add them below and we will do our best to help you. We've responded to over 6,000 comments, questions, and emails over the past 6 years, so we're getting pretty good at it!
Check out our article How to replace the flooring in a mobile home here.
Or comment your question below and we'll try to find an answer! Be sure to check back next week.Ask an RV expertwhen we look at removing walls in an RV.
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Disclosure: The answers to the questions asked and the recommendations or information contained in this document should not be used as a substitute for an expert or other relevant professional who has personally investigated the issues.