Can you put laminate flooring in a caravan? Absolutely. If you’re looking for new RV flooring, here are a few reasons why laminate is a really good choice.
Here’s a little rundown of why we decided to replace caravan flooring with laminate. Plus, some before and after pictures.
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Is Carpet The Best Caravan or RV Flooring?
I’ve never really understood the trend for carpets in a caravan. I know that people like the warmth and grip of carpet — over hard flooring. But the dirt element really puts me off! RV flooring should be practical and easy to clean. Not a mud/dust trap!
Vinyl flooring — even the cheap self-adhesive floor tiles — would be a much better option for caravan flooring.
The best solution to muddy boots and grass is hard-flooring. Something that can easily be mopped down and wiped clean at the end of the day.
This was pre the brilliant Bosch cordless vacuum that we take everywhere now.
And —as electric hook-up is not available in a festival field (for normal folk anyway) — vacuuming the floor when we were camping was nigh on impossible back then. It’s definitely something that had to be done when you’re back home.
A dustpan and brush, followed by a mopping down is the best way to keep a caravan floor clean when you’re off adventuring.
But not when there’s carpet on the floor.
Changing Carpet To Laminate Flooring
I’ve previously written about Dolly II — our second caravan. And how we had performed a caravan makeover, on quite a grand scale.
In this post I talk about changing the carpet to laminate flooring.
We’d bought Dolly II over the summer to replace our original van; also named Dolly. (This was due to the fact that it was impossible to convince our babies that a caravan could possibly have another name).
When we bought Dolly II home, she was in a sorry state.
Ugly, brown wooden cabinetry, beige walls but the worst offender — in my mind anyway — was the caravan flooring.
I’m not sure whether it was original but the van floor was swathed in the most revolting red carpet.
The kind of carpet that, no matter how may times you vacuum — or VAX it — still looks dirty. A petri-dish for heaven’s knows what — and I’d really rather not dwell on this — the only solution was to replace it.
What Flooring is Used in Caravans?
So — apart from carpet — what flooring is used in caravans? Lino? Vinyl?
Laminate flooring in a caravan is definitely my favourite choice. I wanted something light in colour and easy to maintain. Cue a swift trip to Carpetright.
Despite what their name may suggest, Carpetright also sell a fantastic range of hard-flooring; everything from laminate to on-the-roll vinyl flooring and luxury vinyl tiles.
We decided on a hard-wearing lightweight laminate flooring and after much deliberation, went for Supernatural Classic Aspen Oak; a cool white/grey which would lighten up the van and compliment the fab yellow wallpaper we’d already chosen.
It’s not dissimilar to the laminate that I put in my she-shed.
How To Lay Laminate Flooring in a Caravan
For those of you who have not fitted laminate before, it needs basic DIY skills.
Mr D laid it over a couple of weekends and we decided to use the original underlay — and carpet — as a sub-base, to give good insulation and keep warmth in the van.
‘Proper’ floor fitter would probably balk at that! But it worked for us.
You cut the lengths, as needed, and simply slot them together — a little like grown up Lego — really simple and very gratifying too, as you can cover a decent space in quite a short space of time.
Once the floor was totally covered, the only thing left to do was add beading around the edges to hide the gaps and give a lovely finish.
We chose white —to tie in with the painted woodwork.
So Would We Recommend Putting Laminate in a Caravan?
In short yes.
One word of warning. Make sure the laminate is lightweight — make sure that it’s not too heavy for the structure of the van. Subtract the weight of the flooring from the payload.
But, for me, having a paler floor covering in the caravan makes the world of difference. The light has increased ten-fold.
And it looks so much fresher too. No longer a harborer of bacteria and dirt, it can be easily cleaned with a broom and a mop. Even after a long weekend of being stomped over with muddy boots, it looks as good as new in no time.
It just goes to show that laminate flooring doesn’t just need to be restricted to use in the home. It’s the perfect floor-covering for a caravan or motorhome. Hard-wearing and easy to clean. And it looks fabulous too.
There’s really no need to be stuck with a dated, dirty old carpet. RV flooring can be lovely and contemporary.
And — best of all — practical.
Other Caravan Flooring Ideas
If you’re considering caravan floor replacement, you’ll want something durable, easy to clean, and relatively lightweight.
Here are several other practical RV flooring options:
Vinyl Plank Flooring
This is a popular choice because it mimics the look of hardwood but is lightweight, durable, and resistant to moisture. Plus, it’s easy to install and clean.
Linoleum is eco-friendly, made from natural materials, and is resilient to wear and tear. It’s also anti-static and can help reduce the amount of dirt and dust in your RV.
This flooring option is lightweight, strong, and eco-friendly. It gives a caravan floor a contemporary look and holds up well against wear and tear. However, it can be more sensitive to moisture and extreme temperature fluctuations.
Cork flooring is another eco-friendly option. It’s naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and pests. Cork also acts as an insulator, which can help regulate the temperature inside the caravan.
Rubber flooring is durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean. It can be ideal for certain areas of the RV, like entrances, because of its non-slip nature.
Peel and Stick Tiles
These are affordable and relatively easy to install. They come in various styles and can mimic the look of more expensive flooring options.
Unlike vinyl planks, sheet vinyl comes in large rolls and can cover large areas without seams. It’s water-resistant and easy to clean.
Finally, just remember, if you’re looking to replace caravan flooring, always consider the weight of the material. As I’ve already mentioned, make sure that it’s not too heavy for the structure of your van.
Check your RV’s overall weight limit. Then check the weight of the caravan flooring you’ve chosen. Make sure that the two combined don’t exceed the overall payload.
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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.