How-To: Updated Living Room Flooring

Another post in our modification series. This project involves replacing the carpet in our living room with vinyl plank flooring. We saw another rig at the national HOC rally a couple weeks ago where this was done and we were sold. Plus, the carpet in these units is never the best quality. Ours was already showing a bit of wear. For reference, here is a before picture, showing our living room before we started the project.

Before.

Before.

The first task was to pull up the old carpet. We started near the front door and worked our way toward the back. The carpet also had padding that we pulled up as well. The carpet was stapled down around the perimeter, so we had a lot of little staples to pull out of the floor as we went. It also made removing the carpet from the corners behind the slides a bit tricky.

Carpet partially removed

Carpet partially removed

As we got to the back of the living room (near the kitchen), we worked on removing the step up into the kitchen. We had originally debated on leaving it carpeted, but decided to strip it down and rebuild it without carpet. The carpet pad was glued down on the step, making it fun to find the screws holding the step onto the box.

Finding the screws

Finding the screws

The step was removed from the box and it was found the box was screwed down to the floor with four screws. Once those were removed, everything was stored away. The only things left to do were to remove the linoleum from the front half of the living room and then pull all the little staples still sticking out of the floor.

Step removed, linoleum left to remove.

Step removed, linoleum left to remove.

Once the linoleum and staples were removed and all the edges and corners cleaned up as good as possible, the entire floor was swept a couple times to remove all the dirt and debris possible.

Floor ready for flooring.

Floor ready for flooring.

We started the first run of planks along the front edge of the door side slide frame (flipping up the carpet lip to get to it). To keep the slide rollers from pushing the planks when the slide is retracted, we used some Liquid Nails adhesive to stick down that row of planks. Another plank just fit between that row and the front door. Here’s the first two rows down.

First rows down.

First rows down.

From that starting point, it was primarily a tedious job of interlocking planks from front to back, left to right towards the other slide. The rows between the slides were not glued down but left to float.

Two-thirds done.

Two-thirds done.

The last row in front of the right-hand slide was cut lengthwise to fit and glued down, as well, to keep that slide from pushing the planks. Our friend that did his floor said he’s never had the floor buckle since the sides don’t float.

Completed floor

Completed floor

With the main floor complete, it was time to rebuild the step. We started by screwing down the cleaned up box to the floor.

Cleaned up step box

Cleaned up step box

We glued a plank lengthwise along the front and side of the box then screwed down a new stair tread (basically a 5/8″ x 12″ particle board cut to length).

Trimmed sides and new stair tread

Trimmed sides and new stair tread

We debated between putting kitchen tile on the step or wood planks. We decided on wood planks. Two were locked together and glued down onto the tread.

Wood on the step

Wood on the step

We used some bullnose (batten) in the same color and tidied up the front and side edges of the step.

FInished step

Finished step

With the carpet removed from the step and the box, we found that the handrail sat about an inch above the step where it used to sit right on the step. We used a piece of the particle board we cut off and shimmed it with a couple pieces of the vinyl plank and used it to fill in the gap so that the handrail could be solidly mounted. We trimmed it all up with quarter round.

Completed step and handrail

Completed step and handrail

The rest of the project involved running quarter round trim around the base at front and rear of the living room and trimming up the corners next to the slides. Here is the finished project.

Completed project.

Completed project.

We decided to leave the carpet on the slides as it is in good shape and the overlap helps to hide the slide mechanism. We’ve seen a few installations where people have put the plank flooring in the slides and used some creativity with trim molding to finish the front edges, but we think the carpet will hold up better in the long run.

Here is the flooring we used – Shaw vinyl plank flooring in Gunstock Oak.

Flooring used

Flooring used

Total project costs:

Three boxes of vinyl plank flooring – $163.80

Liquid Nails, one tube – $7.63

Five sticks of quarter round – $51.50

Outside corner trim – $6.97

Bullnose trim – $2.97

Total, with tax: $252.08

Note that we had a one-time charge of $101.69 for a air-driven brad nailer, brads, miter box and saw. All of these items can be reused for other projects.

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4 thoughts on “How-To: Updated Living Room Flooring

  1. Great JOB! I would like to make this modification to my Big Horn. Could use your expertise, but the pictures and dialog really helped to understand the overall project.
    Jim

  2. Wowser, Great Job – and I honestly am surprized by the price… for some reason I would expect it to have been more… I see this floor in my bedroom or Kitchen soon….

  3. Looks great and thanks to you I now have to do this. One question I have is; why did you go barefoot during the tear-up on this project? You enjoy stepping on staples?

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