Flooring is more than just a surface to walk on. When it comes to RV flooring especially, your choice is the foundation for the rest of your interior design decisions. If it’s time to remodel your RV, start from the ground up: consider what type of flooring to use.
How will it tie into the rest of your design decisions? How will it feel under your feet? How easy is it to clean and maintain? Does it fit in your budget?
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation for you by breaking down the most popular RV flooring options. Renovating your RV can be fun! Remember to enjoy the process and take plenty of pictures along the way. Everyone loves a good before and after.
If you don’t know where to begin, consult with the Camping World Renovation & Collision team to get the ideas rolling. Or stop into your nearest Camping World Design Center to speak with a design specialist about replacing the flooring in your RV.
Carpet is one of the most classic and accessible flooring options for RVers. Often used in slide-outs and bedrooms, carpet can instantly make a space feel cozier.
Carpet is available in many different colors and styles, allowing you to truly customize your choice. If you and your family like to camp in colder climates, carpet provides a soft, warm barrier between your feet and the hard floor underneath. Carpet also has more traction than other popular options, which is a perk for older pets and people.
The most significant advantage to choosing an RV carpet is cost. With a broad range contingent upon the quality (fiber type and thickness), you’re sure to find an option within your budget. Plus, installation is relatively cheap and easy as well.
Unfortunately, carpet is the most difficult to clean compared to the other options. With camping comes mud, dirt, sand, and more which can stain and age the carpet much quicker than one would like. Carpet also tends to be more susceptible to water damage than other types of RV flooring.
Vacuuming will become a daily task as a bare minimum effort to keep the carpet looking clean. Though we have some helpful tips for keeping your RV clean, carpet may feel like a lot of maintenance.
RV Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring is common in any flooring conversations, including for your RV. But, just because hardwood is popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice. It’s worth mentioning that what’s best for a house isn’t always true when it comes to an RV.
Wood flooring is easy to clean for those long days when you bring the camp inside on the bottoms of your shoes. It doesn’t absorb odors or stains easily, plus it’s easy on bare feet.
The most significant disadvantage to real wood flooring is weight. While that doesn’t matter much in a house, hardwood floors in an RV can add upwards of 200 pounds per 100 square feet to your cargo weight, affecting gas mileage and towing ability. Additionally, hardwoods can warp in humid climates and may scratch easily under pets and kids.
RV Laminate Flooring
While laminate planks are a type of vinyl flooring, they’re a step up from the original design found in most starter RVs. It’s the perfect marriage of vinyl flooring and hardwood flooring in that you get the look and feel of hardwood but with the benefits of vinyl.
Floating laminate flooring planks don’t have to stick directly to the subfloor. By laying down some insulation beforehand, you can get the added comfort of carpet without sacrificing plank flooring design. The insulation also helps keep the floor warmer in colder climates. Easy to clean and durable, laminate is a solid choice if you like the look of hardwoods but want something more waterproof and durable.
Laminate flooring isn’t perfect and still has the potential to warp over time. Since this flooring comes in planks, the installation can be slightly more complicated for small, tight corners or curved areas. Traction is an issue as laminate planks can be slippery, especially for small kids or anyone wearing socks.
It’s worth mentioning that the production of laminate planks can cause a pattern repeat, which means installation must be careful not to lay twin planks in close proximity.
RV Vinyl Flooring
Because of its superb water-resistant qualities, vinyl plank flooring is easily the most popular choice for RV flooring. However, don’t let that sway or deter your decision one way or the other. Vinyl comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Vinyl flooring is often the obvious choice for spaces potentially exposed to water. The surface is super smooth, making cleaning a breeze, whether it’s water or dirt tracked in. In houses, it’s used strictly in entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas that get heavy-duty use. However, when it comes to RVs, use vinyl flooring throughout for a cohesive feel.
It’s lightweight, cost-effective, and easy to install. With the multitude of colors, patterns, and prints, vinyl flooring is the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to giving your RV a new look.
Unfortunately, the biggest drawback for vinyl flooring is longevity. It’s just not the most durable flooring option for your RV lifestyle. Since it’s glued directly to the subfloor below, it can warp as the RV travels and moves about over time. Vinyl tiles tend to be thinner than the other flooring options, resulting in imperfections.
Once vinyl flooring shows imperfections, like nails in the subfloor or a gap between the sections, cleaning becomes increasingly more difficult. Another disadvantage to being installed directly on the subfloor is that there isn’t padding or insulation between the flooring material.
As a result, the vinyl stick tiles are harder and less comfortable to walk on than the other options, and their slippery nature can be a challenge for those who aren’t used to walking on them.
Ultimately, RV owners must weigh the pros and cons of these RV flooring choices. Get a good idea of what matters the most to you before narrowing down your choices. If you have any questions about how to replace your RV flooring, speak to a design specialist at a Camping World Design Center.
Do you have any experience removing and replacing RV flooring? What tips or advice can you share with your fellow readers?