Flooring Options for RVs

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Just because your RV is an older model, doesn’t mean it’s still not running perfectly, cranking out the miles on family road trips, year after year. You might also have a newer model, but hate the flooring that the manufacturer installed. Changing the flooring inside your RV can change the entire look and feel of your motorhome, making an older model feel modern, or taking a dreary look and brightening the mood.

What are Your Options?

Just like in your home, there are numerous options for flooring in your RV. In fact, if you don’t like the flooring options that you find at your local RV, home, or hardware stores, you can order custom flooring from retailers or online. Most retailers offer full-service installation and design. But you can also buy the floor tiles or squares or flooring kits for a do-it-yourself (DIY) project. Vinyl Tile: This product is nice because it mimics other natural flooring, like slate, wood, or marble and is available in many colors and patterns at a lower cost than the real materials. Vinyl is also lower in profile than ceramic tile, and you don’t have to mess with grout lines. Vinyl tile is also known to be warmer underfoot than ceramic or wood and is very durable, which is great for families with small children and dogs. Vinyl tile is also 100 percent waterproof, so you don’t have to worry too much about muddy feet, spills, or splashes. Vinyl is also super easy to clean and makes using your RV for camping a breeze. Solid Hardwood: Hardwood flooring is one of the most durable flooring options, but also one of the most expensive. Solid oak, maple, ash, or cherry are all very attractive and stand up over time. They can be easily refinished multiple times to fix any imperfections that may occur. These floors can have protectant coats and glosses over them, so spills don’t stain them. They can easily be wiped up, cleaning is quick and easy, and maintenance is no problem. Engineered Wood: This kind of wood is man-made wood created to resemble real hardwood. These wood planks are made with several layers of cross-grained wood that make them sturdy. Engineered wood is also resistant to shrinking and warping, which is a huge plus for RV floors that are sensitive to humidity and temperature changes. Another great benefit that comes with engineered wood is that the 1/8” top layer is actual hardwood. So, you still get the authentic look of hardwood at a fraction of the cost. Bamboo: This looks very much like hardwood, but is a green product that grows much quicker than oak. It features a five-year growth span, compared to 30 years. Bamboo is also carbon negative and absorbs more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than trees. Bamboo flooring is darkened through a steaming process, rather than chemical staining. Bamboo flooring is sensitive to high humidity and should not be used in rooms where it may regularly encounter moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Laminate: If you need flooring that is affordable and practical, but still looks good, laminate flooring could be your best option. Laminate flooring is made in layers, just like engineered wood. However, there is an image layer with laminate flooring. Rather than a thin piece of hardwood, a high-quality picture of hardwood, layered with resin and polymer, is used to create planks. Cleaning these planks is easy, they just need to be swept. No need for scrubbing or mopping. These floors also help to deaden sounds, like footsteps. There are many different colors and patterns available. Vinyl Sheet: Vinyl sheeting is the cheapest option for RV flooring and comes as a roll of vinyl that mimics slate, stone, tile, or hardwood. You can glue or staple it to your RV floor. This flooring is resistant to stains and scuffing, but does not last nearly as long as the other flooring options. Vinyl is a great option for a quick, cheap fix. Carpet: Carpet is frequently used in RVs in the slideout areas and bedrooms. Carpet can also be used to make coordinating rugs for dining areas. There are many different varieties of carpet that RV owners can choose from. Nylon, polyester, and smartstrand are just a few. Polyester carpet does not fade as quickly as nylon, but nylon is more abrasion resistant. Smartstrand carpet is environmentally friendly and made from corn husk silk. If you choose carpet for your RV, make sure to consider the main use of your RV and talk to the retailer’s carpet experts about the best choice for you. Make sure you don’t forget the carpet pad, either. This helps with dampening the sounds and keeping the heat in. Ceramic Tile: Ceramic is man-made, but mimics the elegance of natural stone and tile. Ceramic is a premium flooring option that outperforms any other flooring option. But it costs you much more. Ceramic is easy to clean, doesn’t stain, and is extremely durable. In an RV, you typically see ceramic on the countertops and used in backsplashes. But using it as flooring is rare, mostly due to the cost. There are several options when you are ready to upgrade the flooring in your RV. Which would you choose, and why?