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Putting In Our New Floors

We decided to cover our nasty yellowing floors with vinyl 'wood' planks. I had a hard time finding out how others did it. I saw that they did, but not the specifics of how, so I thought I'd share how we did it.  

First, we looked for the floor we wanted. We talked with different floor guys and discussed laminate vs vinyl. We found that Laminate can't hold up to any water and since our floor is in a moving room the tongue and grove floors have a tendency to pop up. Vinyl is almost impenetrable, water and movement have no effect on it and it handle the wear and tear of travel and camping; especially with sliding gear in and out of the camper. We found that Lowes is about $20 cheaper per box than Home Depot. Another bonus of vinyl is the cutting. Since we did not decide to remove our cabinets we had to do a lot of cutting. A razor blade  vs a saw was a no brainer. The box we purchased covered 65 sq ft and cost $54.  We had several planks left over.   On to the prep work: We opened the box and separated the planks by design. So that we didn't put the same planks next to one another. 

Next we cleaned the floors with a bucket of warm water with a few drops of Dawn soap and vinegar.  After the floor dried we took a sanding sponge to the floor and roughed it up a bit for better adhesion. Then we wiped it down again.  Once the floor was completely dry, it was time to find the straightest line through the camper. Do not start up against a wall, these campers are not straight and you'll end up with some crazy looking floors by the time you reach the other side. The original flooring gave us our line. We found the line in the original flooring that went straight from one end of the camper floor to the other and we used that as our beginning point. The original floor came in handy quite a bit. We knew it was straight and since the squares were six inches wide and so was the width of the new floor planks, it helped us to keep our lines in check. Next we thought about the pattern. We about read so many many ideas, but we settled on this one and it turned out amazing! Basically you begin at your starting position butting one against the other until you reach the other side at which point you will make your first cut. The left over piece will be your new beginning piece creating a beautiful staggered look.

Be sure to always place the cut end up against a cabinet or wall and the manufactured cut up against the other planks it works out much better that way.  Also, there are arrows on the bottom of your pieces, make sure they all go in the same direction. Oh and don't forget to save the little pieces, you'll need them as you work around the edges, but remember keep factory cuts with factory cuts and the arrows in the same direction.  We wrote on the paper the arrow direction if the original arrow was cut off and we wrote which side is the wall side or the cut side.

That was it!  Be sure to have a nice sharp razor blade, scissors, a square for those straigt cuts, measuring tape, dry erase marker (we used this when we needed to make marks on the top of our planks for cutting that would wipe off), pen, paper, a knee pad, and LOTS of patience!  

Did you do something different to your floors? We'd like to see it!

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