We are beginners for sure, nope, never done this before. Vinyl directions say “intermediate”, uhm, of course. So, we’re reluctant, yes, a bit. But, as you can see we did it and the results are supa’ fly!
Days: about 7 of full time, goin’ for it, action.
Material: Armstrong felt back “Urban Settings, Gray Tweed” Vinyl.
Tools: Glue, seam sealer, proper sized trowel, special vinyl cutter, regular scissors for those hard to capture twists and turns. Plenty of soapy water, gloves and determination. Plus the use of dad’s garage.
1. Remove the old, nasty carpet. This also removed the funky smell from the bathroom. Two for one! We spent 20 minutes pulling the carpet out and two days cleaning the screws, glue and staples from the sub floor.
2. Preparing the sub floor. Our 1988 Lazy Daze has round-headed rivet/bolts, about 1.25″ diameter sticking up along the main beams of the coach. They would need to be covered to avoid breaking the vinyl. Also, the uneven, wavy, wood with old water stains and soft spots made adding sheet wood, underlayment, necessary. So, this complicated things a bit. We needed to buy and cut 4 pieces of “Bamply” underlayment to even the surface.
3. Cutting a template and fitting the underlayment. This was a huge task, all those little cuts and exact fits, plus getting the pieces into the side door and down on the floor, and around obstacles. The large bolt heads needed to be cut out to create a level surface. We tried to use the old carpet as a template but it was inaccurate (thick shag) and caused many measuring errors. We remeasured and remeasured again, cut and re-cut until the pieces fit. About a day and a half of cutting, screwing down and filling the holes with bondo.
4. Making a good template from paper. We used that red paper you find in the painting section at the home store. I laid it down in the motorhome and cut it right in place. No measuring and a perfectly fitting template appeared. Taped together we laid it face UP on the similarly face UP vinyl sheeting.
5. Cutting the Vinyl. Clean, rock free surface. The instructions said to cut 1.5″ additional around all your measured edges. We did this, however I would advise much less of a bleed be left for installation in an RV. Our edges and corners are so tight that this excess material was difficult to work and see around. If you have a good template .5″ should be fine. We ended up cutting excess off so we could lay it down and ultimately cut to much because we were in a tight corner. Bigger rooms allow for one or more raw sides to be flat, in the RV all four sides of the material are squeezing in at once.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Vinyl must be cut AND glued in the same 4 hour window. This detail freaked us out.”Will we make it? Will our time run out and the vinyl self destruct?” Well, actually it just shrinks in the changing temps from morning to afternoon, say. So, it’s best to not let it lay around. Yeah, we read the “how to” manuel inside and out. Too bad it didn’t mention anything about installation in an RV.
6. Gluing it down. Make sure to use the proper glue as stated in the papers when you get your flooring. Also the trowel is important to the type of flooring you have. We had felt backed so our trowel needed to suit that material (ask the guy at the hardware store). Laying the material, make safety cuts (not all the cuts, yet) and trowel the glue. We did an “all over” glue because we have a small space and the RV is a moving unit so it seemed best. We tried to work from the inside out but the small spaces and being half on top of the vinyl make it hard. We just worked fast to avoid the self destruct.
7. Molding. We used plastic cove molding instead of wood. Fearing the cutting process and a nail gun. The cove was difficult to wrap around tight spaces so we used booze bottles to hold it in place while it dried. In desperation the staple gun worked to hold it in place… forever. In hindsight this wasn’t the best option. We wish we’d used wood.
AWESOME. We made it and it looks amazing. Most importantly, it’s clean and can be cleaned easily while camping in all sorts of terrains. Our biggest fear was lack of insulation (for cold and warmth) and sound. So far, we haven’t heard any extra squeaks and the temperature change has been unnoticeable if at all. All around thumbs up.