A Guide to Installing Laminate Flooring in an RV with Slide Outs
Owning a recreational vehicle is a lot like owning a brick-and-mortar home. It provides years of enjoyment while serving as a vehicle for great memories. Configuring the space in an RV with slide-outs can be tricky, and remodeling can seem like a daunting task. However, small changes can have a big impact on its look and functionality. A good area to focus on upgrading is the flooring; laminate flooring is both a practical and attractive choice. You may be tempted to call in a contractor, but you can install it on your own with a little planning and preparation. This guide will help you save time, money, energy and stress by showing you how to install laminate flooring in your RV with slide-outs easily in just three phases.
Phase 1: Prepare the Space
Before starting the installation, you’ll want to be sure you’ve measured the space accurately and mapped out an installation plan. Instead of writing down the dimensions, draw up a blueprint. You’ll need to refer to this drawing frequently, especially when applying the laminate flooring to the slide-out. Next, you’ll need to remove the existing flooring. Remove carpet easily by taking out a few staples in one area and pulling up on the carpet. If there are stubborn staples, use a pair of pliers to remove them. If your existing flooring is linoleum, use a box cutter or pry bar to remove it, paying close attention to the slide-out. Now that you’ve removed the existing flooring, prepare the subfloor. Sweep up any dirt from the subfloor and check for any damage; you’ll especially need to look for water damage. It’s not a good idea to install your new flooring on top of a damaged subfloor, so address any issues before proceeding.
Pro Tip: When removing the old flooring from the slide-out, you may not be able to remove it from the entire area. Leave the inaccessible flooring in place if you can complete the rest of the job successfully.
Phase 2: Install Laminate Flooring
Now that you’ve prepared the space, you can begin the installation process. Take care to read the instructions on your laminate flooring thoroughly before starting. Using laminate that comes with underlayment already installed will ensure more level flooring and save you time and elbow grease. Next, choose where to start. It’s not crucial to begin in one place or another. However, no matter where you begin, it is crucial to leave a bit of space between the wall and laminate planks. This accommodates for any incidental expansion due to temperature changes inside the RV. When you’re ready to install flooring on the slide-out, note how the slide-out and main floor come together. Measure the gap between them, cut a laminate board, and lay it along the length of the space. There are several ways to close the space between your slide out and the main floor, but this method works exceptionally well. After the gap is covered, you can lay the rest of the flooring on the slide-out. Another challenge you may encounter installing your laminate flooring is around counters, cabinetry, the kitchen island, and the like. You’ll want to measure and cut the planks so that the area is consistent with the rest of the space.
Pro Tip: Use a jigsaw to cut the planks that will go around your kitchen island. Be sure to make room between the wall and the plank (no more than 2 inches) to allow for expansion.
Phase 3: Finish With Baseboard Installation
Once you’ve laid the flooring in the main space and slide it out, it’s time to move on to the final step: installing the baseboard. Baseboard is not just aesthetically pleasing; it serves an important purpose as well. The baseboard covers the gap between the wall and flooring, protecting it from lifting and warping. Start by measuring and cutting the baseboard pieces on the ends at a 45-degree angle; use a 90-degree angle around door trim. Use a miter saw for more accurate-fitting pieces. Next, attach the baseboard joining the slanted ends together to create 90-degree angles; use brad nails for better results. Fill the nail holes and sand down any excess filler. Then, caulk any gaps between the baseboard and walls. Finally, add a coat of paint and let the baseboard dry before wiping it clean.
Also Read: How To Make a Jack Knife Sofa Comfortable
Pro Tip: For a more streamlined look, choose a baseboard color that closely matches the flooring.
Maintain Your New Laminate Flooring
To increase the life of your laminate flooring, regular maintenance is a must. Be vigilant when handling spills as laminate flooring is water-sensitive. You can dry mop your floors for a deeper clean by spraying a laminate-safe cleaning solution directly onto the mop; avoid oversaturating the mop. Keep your floors clean of dust and dirt by using a soft material like microfiber to avoid scratching the laminate.
Enjoy Your New Floors
Installing laminate flooring in your RV with slide outs is a do-it-yourself project that can be done with careful planning and a little patience. Using this guide, you’ll be enjoying a refreshed and renewed space.