Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Outside Coffee In The Morning And Then We Got Busy

It was of one those mornings where my only thought is “Oh how beautiful” and I take my cup of coffee outside and enjoy the first hour of sunshine. And I am just grateful that I am able to enjoy this.

It didn’t take too long until Jim came sauntering over, coffee-in-hand and ready for a little chat.

Our mission today: Purchasing flooring material at Home Depot, removal of the old carpet in Jim’s rig and maybe even get started on the new flooring.

At Home Depot I led Jim right over to the vinyl-type flooring and I think he was “floored” by all that choice there was on the shelves. Finally Jim decided on a tile-type flooring with light coloured slate design. The tiles have the adhesive underneath and all one has to do is removing a protective paper and position it correctly on the underfloor.
We took all the carpet out, cleaned the floor and by 3pm we had even gotten a few rows of new tiles on the floor.
And if you ever decide to do the same in your rig (a carpeted floor in the washroom is not very desirable) I can give a few basic tips and hints how to go about it. Putting down flooring was part of my 3-year apprentice time with my Dad.
In order to make a plan you start by calculating the total square footage of your entire floor. Don’t subtract benches or closets.
Divide the floor in sections and measure length and width, multiply length with width of each section. Write that down. Add all sections together and you get xxx square inch. Divide that by 144 (total square inch pr. square foot) and you arrive at the total square footage. When buying the new floor you will find the square footage pr. packet on each box. We needed 105 sqft. and took 4 packets at 30sqft. each. Any full untouched packet can be taken back to the store.

First you need to remove the old carpet. Usually the carpet has been put in first and all furniture is put over top of it, which means you need a very sharp carpet knife to cut out the carpet all around the furniture. Be aware of that your knife will make contact with many staples which have been used to hold down the carpet. You will need a number of new blades for your carpet knife in order to keep the knife sharp.

When you have made cuts all round the carpet you can start pulling it up. Use gloves for this work as there will be plenty of staples following with the carpet and they tend to hurt in your skin.
When you have advanced to the toilet you want to remove the collar around the foot of the toilet. It’s usually held together with a snapper or a screw. Only when this collar is removed you will be able to put the new vinyl flooring around the toilet.

Once the carpet itself is out you will most likely be looking at a foam-type underlay. That also needs to be removed together with all the staples. For removing staples I use a flat screwdriver and hammer that under the staple. A plier will be great to grab the staple with and pull it out.

Next step will be a thorough cleaning of the floor. Sweeping the floor will not do it alone. Use a vac to get up dust and loose particles. Even using a wet cloth can be necessary.

Before you start laying down the new vinyl you need to find out where to start. usually it’s a good idea to start along the front edge of your couch, if you have one. Lay down a few tiles with the paper still on and find a square angle to work with. Find also out how many tiles you need across the width of your floor.

Now you can just start working your way across the floor. There might be corners, edges or even curves along the furniture where you need to measure and cut. It’s time consuming to do this right and you will use most time when arriving in the washroom. The smaller the room the more time you need pr. square foot of flooring.

Some vinyl flooring is available in “planks”. These have adhesive lips along the long and narrow side, but the material is not glued to the ground. It “floats” on the underfloor. The adhesive just connects the planks with each other. Planks are generally more complicated to work with than the much smaller tiles. (1sqft.)

Now, I know some RVers have gone with laminate flooring. Laminate flooring might be OK as long you don’t have some sort of “water accident” aka FLOODING in your rig. Even though it says L A M I N A T E  it is still made out of wood. And wood swells up when in contact with water. Laminate flooring also requires a SAW for cutting. Vinyl flooring is available in all kind of designs from wood grain to slate to marble to all kind of other patterns. Jim’s tiles were 99cts./sqft. while the cheapest planks ran $1.79/sqft. So tiles are also cheaper, even though the material is exactly the same as the planks.

I hope this little write-up can help you one day when you need to get the job done.
By-the-way I keep my phone # a secret. Haha…


  1. Jim did put those tiles down in our kitchen area so I know he could do the rest of the place but he's getting old (don't tell him I said that) and he can't get down like he used to. However we didn't have to pull up any carpet which made it a whole lot easier.

  2. We got rid of most of the carpet in our motorhome too. Carpet is too hard to keep clean when you're out in the desert and have a dog.

  3. The only thing I would add to the list (at least in my case anyway) would be a set of good knee pads. Just need that extra support. It makes all the difference.
    Fun to help out with a project. Then if it's not *completely* finished, you can just leave at the end of the day anyway.

  4. You are making good progress on Jim's flooring its going to be great when all done.

  5. I think we're going to be pulling our carpet up in the living room, also. Having Hampton (our English mastiff pup, who sheds entirely too much) sleep on the couch for his 'bed', has just left too much of a 'dog' smell in the carpet-- he's never had an accident, it's just the hair! Ugh)
    Thank you so much for the little lesson on how to do this!

  6. Glad you fixed your floor. Good luck to you and your endeavours.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  7. Yeah, but we know where you live! :) Too bad it's so far away.

    Thanks for the tips. I'm doing a cut/paste of this information and putting it in my RV file for mods. I don't know when I'll pull up the carpet, but I expect I will some day. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished job. :)

  8. So nice of you to help Jim out with his looks good too from his picture. I almost cried when I saw your dog picture - looks so much like a younger version of our beloved Poppy. We miss her still even though we have new dogs now.

  9. Peter, you have a great set of detailed instructions for putting new flooring in an RV. We have a Lazy Daze, and someday, we'll be doing the same thing as Jimbo. So nice of you to help him get that job done. You are a fine gentleman. I agree with Donna. I've always admired the photos of your dog, since she reminds me so much of our Poppy. We'll always miss her, but it's sure nice to see pictures of other dogs that remind me of her. Thanks for sharing. (Hey, it was sure nice of you to help Barbara and Katie when The Palms was stuck, too!)


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