R.V. or Recreational Vehicle lets you have fun while traveling and lodging on wheels. Keeping the R.V. comfy and making its interior look beautiful is essential as this will be the only abode of yours while you are on a vacation or RVing trip in a tranquil camping spot. And, what better way of redefining the RV look can be other than switching to laminate flooring?
You have probably come across the idea of ‘laminate flooring.’ But do you precisely know how to install laminate flooring in an R.V. with slide-outs? Laminate flooring is widely used in several spaces such as kitchens, offices, study, and bedrooms and obviously in RVs. This kind of flooring is quite budget-friendly and radiates pristine beauty to the area where it is used. So many reasons to switch to laminate flooring, you see?
In RVs, the laminate flooring can be installed by taking into account its sliding mechanism. RVs with slide-outs get a polished and elegant look when laminate flooring is used. A proper layout of the RV along with the adoption of preparatory methods in advance and voila! Laminate flooring will be installed, and the best part is that you can do all of these by yourself. Read on to know the techniques of doing so. Let’s start!
Tips to Follow While Drawing Out the Installation Plan
Tip #1: Removing the Old Flooring
To welcome something new, the old has to be bidden farewell. It is evident that your RV will have a default flooring that has to be removed to make room for laminate flooring. In a Recreational Vehicle, carpet is used to cover the floors, and the areas with carpets mainly include the bedrooms and the slide-outs.
The presence of carpets automatically directs towards the presence of staples. Having removed the rug, invest your energy in clearing the vehicle of all the probable staples that might be lying there.
To make the act of carpet removal a one-time task, make sure to put in enough of your strength and great force while pulling the carpet so that the staples also come out of it at the same time. Once it is done, check if any staples are left behind. Pliers can be used to get rid of the remaining staples.
Tip #2: Preparing a Foolproof Plan
Even though there is no certainty if things will go perfectly according to your plan, it is better to have a solid plan to ensure you have put effort to stick by it. A proper plan aids in attaining results that will be highly beneficial for you. Prepare a blueprint of the entire area of the RV that has to be covered.
If you intend to install laminate flooring throughout the RV, pitch a proper methodology of doing so. Special care must be taken of the uneven and hard-to-manage areas such as staircases, slide-out and similar elevated or irregular spaces.
Be careful while taking all the required measurements. Keep baseboard molding handy to cover up the gaps in the rough surfaces with it.
Tip #3: Abiding by The Installation Instruction as Specified by the Manufacturer
Before starting with the installation procedure, make sure you have gone through the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer in the package. The size of the RVs is dynamic as the planks undergo expansion with increasing temperature. Therefore, if you don’t keep its size expansion factor in mind, the laminate flooring will be exposed to cracks in the summer days.
Have a glance at the instructions to know about the tip of leaving spaces or gaps to allow the plank to grow and thus protect the beautiful laminate flooring from being marred by breaks.
Tip #4: Staying Cautious of the Slide-Outs!
Ensure that the planks are pretty thin and narrow so that these get easily accommodated under the slide-outs. Often, the planks get tarnished by scratches and collisions with the gliders. But, there is a solution to this problem. If you purchase a good-quality mat and place it under the slide-out, the planks will be saved from being scratched.
It is also crucial to plan how to make the transition area between the normal floor to the slide-out floor look. You will want to present it in a smooth, blended way without any roughness. For that purpose, certain modifications have to be made.
The planks have to be cut and shortened so that these get perfectly accommodated in the slide. But then, the seam will look grotesque.
Always plan out the presentation of the transition area by considering the type of slide you have. There are two kinds of slides- floating slides and flush slides.
If you have floating slides in your RV, using a super thin piece of edge trim on the slide’s lip will give you a professional and perfect finishing look.
In case your RV comes with flush slides, the task to get a good finishing look is a simple one. Just cut the wood to the desired size. Now, place the remaining piece in the chief flooring area. Following this step will put you in an advantageous position as when the slide will go out and be perfectly placed, the flooring will automatically get blended perfectly. No need for transition pieces! How great is that?
How to Install Laminate Flooring?
Step 1: Determining the Dimensions of the Area to be Covered
Be very clear about the length and breadth, that is, the dimensions of the slide and how you have planned the transition from the slide-outs to the main floor. The slides are never the same, which is why you have to obtain the area’s dimensions before starting with the installation procedure.
Usually, people prefer to keep the bedroom as it is and don’t take out the carpet. But if you wish to switch to laminate flooring completely, removing the rug is an obligatory step. Besides, you also have to find out the dimensions of the bedroom.
To put it in short and simple terms, it is essential to find out the area’s dimensions where the flooring will be installed. Once you have obtained the value after measuring the areas, you can fixate yourself regarding the number of planks required for the purpose.
Step 2: Removal of the Previous Flooring
Whatever flooring you had in your RV has to be removed now. Take pains to remove the furniture pieces first and then go about removing the carpets and the staples. You may get intimidated while removing the carpet. Using pliers will prove effective during the elimination of the staples. The carpet padding can be removed by using a multi-tool that suits the purpose.
The linoleum gets tightly fixed to the floor, and the situation worsens if excess glue was used at the time of manufacturing. You can use a utility knife to remove the linoleum and the remnants of the glue successfully.
Arm yourself with a pry bar to remove the carpet in areas where it gets way too challenging otherwise. Taking out the old flooring from under the slide-outs is a herculean task. In case you find it extremely difficult to remove the flooring from the tricky areas, you can leave it as it is if its presence in those areas does not hamper your installation of the laminate flooring.
Step 3: Deep-clean the Subfloor to Find Solutions to Damages
With the removal of the old flooring, it is time to invest your energy in cleaning the sub-floor. The sub-floors of the kitchen and washrooms usually undergo water damage. Besides, the debris is found lying on the sub-floor. It is crucial to clean the rubble either manually or by using a vacuum cleaner.
In case you come across any terrible damage on the floor, fix that first. A repair kit can smooth out the rugged areas. The focus would be to make the floor smooth and even before installing the laminate flooring.
Step 4: Laminate Installation
Purchase the laminate in advance and give it time to adapt to the temperature and climatic conditions of the new environment. After the cleaning of the floor is done, focus on the laminate installation. Begin with covering the living room or kitchen wall as the walls of these spaces are usually the longest.
As we had stressed before, leaving some gap between the laminate and the wall is essential to make room for expansion during the warm summer days. The laminate package contains a set of instructions that you need to follow to understand the installation procedure better.
So, here is how you should go about it. Firstly, lay a series of boards along the wall. When you come to the end of this series or row, cut the plank size according to the required size to complete the row.
Your second task will be to ensure the proper setting of the laminate planks. Unless you get a ‘clicking’ sound, you will understand that the laminate planks have not been locked with each other appropriately. If tapping or pressing by hand does not work, you can use a rubber mallet to set the planks firmly with each other.
Purchasing a laminate with the underlayment already done in it is a good idea as it will rescue you from the tiresome task of measurement and cutting processes.
Step 5: Side-Out Floor Installation
No doubt, this step is going to be the most challenging task. The transition zone or gap between the slide-outs and the main floor has to be covered wittily.
So, what can you do to cover this gap? One creative idea will be to place a laminate plank along the edge lengthwise. You may select a different edging block that matches the laminate flooring purchased by you.
Be very careful while positioning the first block piece. If needed, stick it with strong glue to eliminate any chances of movement or shifting and ensure that the slide-out is perfectly put into place. Once the blocks get locked in place, you will no longer feel the need to use glue.
Step 6: Placing Laminate in the Tricky Areas of the RV
An RV contains many undulating areas or tricky spaces where furniture, beds, or cabinets are placed. Placing the laminate planks in these areas will not be an easy job. You have to take loads of measurements and do a lot of cutting to adjust the laminate so that it sits firmly, even in those uneven spaces.
You may use a small knife or jigsaw for setting the plank properly. One thing is sure that you have to invest a lot of time in this particular task. So, make a proper schedule to laminate the problematic areas of the RV.
Step 7: Baseboard Installation
After the laminate planks are installed on the floor, you will inevitably come across some gaps or hollows that you had earlier left to make room for expansion. These gaps spoil the aesthetic beauty of the interior of the RV. To retain the beauty of laminate flooring, purchase a matching baseboard with the laminate design and install it to fill the empty spaces.
How Can You Easily Maintain the Laminate Flooring?
Now that you have installed the laminate flooring, you can’t sit back and relax. To retain the quality of the floor and prevent its beauty from getting spoiled, maintenance of the laminate at periodic intervals is necessary. Don’t worry! Maintaining the laminate floor is not at all tricky and challenging. It’s way too easy. Follow these tips to make the interior of your RV and its flooring look splendid.
Sweeping the Laminate Floor
Sweeping the floor is something that you have to do regularly. To prevent the layers of dust from accumulating on the floor, cleaning regularly is a good idea.
If you have a busy schedule and find it hard to do so every day, you may set the sweeping frequency according to your comfort. But make sure that the gap is not prolonged; else, the floor will get stained by heaps of dust and eventually get discolored and damaged.
Use a dry, soft microfiber cloth to prevent scratching on the floor and avoid using
brushes or brooms with hard bristles.
Clean the Spills Immediately
Laminate floors get easily damaged when they come into contact with water and liquid. If liquids like juice or milk spill on the floor, act immediately to wash the laminate floor.
Apart from these accidental spills, water leakage in an RV from a pipe or kitchen sink is common. Look out for seepage of water in the floor from these sources and immediately remove the water.
Keeping a mat near the kitchen sink and bathroom or any other water-saturated areas is a wise step to prevent the water from damaging the laminate.
Mopping The Floor
Mopping is necessary to give the laminate floors a polished look and remove the dust and dirt that was not released by sweeping. Avoid using any soap or robust cleaning solution for mopping.
If you wish to go for deep cleaning of the floor, use cleaning products that are particularly prepared for washing the laminate floors. If you use some other floor washing solution, the chances are that these will contain some strong chemicals that may damage the sensitive laminate.
The ideal option in this regard will be to use a spray cleaner. In this way, you will be sure that the floor is not subjected to much moisture and thus less prone to damage.
Purchase a Dehumidifier
Humidity and moisture are enemies of the laminate floor. Controlling excess humidity in an RV is necessary to keep the laminate of good quality.
While the reins of controlling the weather are not in your hand, you can purchase and use a dehumidifier. It will help you to regulate the humidity in the air and keep it at a lower level.
So, that was all about laminate flooring!
After knowing how to install laminate flooring in a RV with slide-outs, you may find it to be a bit challenging. However, the right gear and sequential way of going about it will make the task appear easy. Prepare a strategy and follow the steps meticulously. Pay special attention to the removal of the old floor/carpet and the subfloor. Work towards repairing the damage caused to the subfloor, if any.
Most importantly, leave gaps between the edges and the wall to allow space for expansion. Make it a point to take care of your lovely laminate by sweeping and mopping at regular intervals. Get excited to give your RV an attractive makeover. Enjoy your stay at your RV with pretty laminate flooring.