Installing Wood Vinyl Flooring in my Casita Travel Trailer

My Casita is a 2006, and for a travel trailer of this age it’s in great shape!

But there was one area of my Casita that really showed its age; the vinyl floor you see in this photo.

Before and after photo of adding a vinyl floor to a Casita Travel Trailer CamperThe vinyl is stained and yellowed with a dull finish. It desperately needed updating, but I needed the new flooring to be lightweight and easy to install.

The answer: self-adhesive vinyl flooring.

One key consideration in choosing my vinyl flooring was making sure the old floor was still securely attached to the sub-flooring. It was, so I knew I could put a self-adhesive vinyl on top.

The steps that follow show how I added the flooring to my Casita.

Step 1: What Type of Flooring to Use?

Since the old vinyl was securely attached to the flooring below, I first thought about chalk painting the floor (I love the stuff!), but I couldn’t convince myself to put chalk paint on a surface so heavily used and abused.

So I decided to take a tour down the vinyl aisle at my local home improvement store.

I have to admit I have not shopped for vinyl since the 1980’s, and I was immediately impressed with the quality and variety of vinyl flooring options!

Vinyl floor in CamperA lot has changed!

Since I did not want to tear up my current vinyl floor, I chose the vinyl you see in this picture.

This vinyl is very thin, lightweight, easy to trim, and has a self-adhesive back.

It also has a quality feel to it, and looks like real wood (without the price tag).

 


Step 2: Organizing the Tools for the Project

These were the only tools I needed to install the vinyl flooring: my cutting mat, a cutting blade, and a pair of scissors. I actually used the scissors more than I thought I would!

The scissors became very useful for working around the angled and round shaped objects that are part of the flooring.

Tools used to put down vinyl flooring

Another tool I used, which is not pictured, is my L-Square. I placed this on the vinyl planks where I needed to make a straight cut to the correct length.

The one item I did not have on hand, which I regretted the days following this project, were Knee Pads (affiliate link). I highly recommend them if your knees are not as young as they use to be. I learned the hard way, and now I never work without them.

Step 3: Putting Down the First Piece of Vinyl Flooring

It is important to consider where the first piece should go, and in my Casita I determined that it was the place you see in the picture below. This spot helped assure that my planks would go in straight.

Putting down the first Piece of Vinyl Flooring in my Casita Travel Trailer

After I installed the first piece, I ran the vinyl planks in a row from front to back.

When I started the second row, I FIRST cut a plank of vinyl in half (with L-square) to create the staggered look of a natural wood floor.

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I also took the time to separate the tile planks when I took them out of the box.

I feel this is important step because each plank has its own pattern and color variations, and you want to make sure you do not place two of the same planks next to each other (there are duplicate planks within each box).

Step 4: Admiring the Finished Results

If you look closely in the picture below, you will see a brown heater by the kitchen cabinets. This is the only dark brown item in the camper, and because it is for the heater, I didn’t want to paint it.

After Picture of Casita Camper Flooring

So to help tie it in to the design, I chose a vinyl wood with a similar color (I was originally considering a grayish color — so popular right now).

Also note the two silver disks on the floor: These disks are for the table support polls (we removed them to make a permanent bed).

Cutting around these disks was the hardest part of putting down the vinyl floor. I could have removed them first, but chose not to; this is where using my scissors came in handy!

Although this is a small space, there was a lot of cutting to do! The project took me an entire day to complete, but I love the results!  It is hard for me to imagine that old faded and stained vinyl flooring is still underneath.

Vinyl flooring added to a Casita Travel Trailer

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This whole project cost me less than $50, and I still have leftovers, which I am saving for future repairs.  

Last Updated: August 15, 2017

UPDATE: 5.11.2016

A reader asked to see an image of how the vinyl flooring meets up with the door jamb. Because the planks I used are very thin vinyl, it was easy for me to use scissors to cut the piece to fit the space. (see image below)

Hopefully you can see how the piece was cut to fit around the metal jam.

Also note the small piece of vinyl between the larger plank and carpeted wall. This is a very small piece that angles up against the wall, and has never fallen out. But if any piece is going to come loose, this will be it, which is why I have saved several planks for when I have to fix something in the future.

Close up of vinyl at door

I’d also like to point out that I put this floor down in the summer of 2014 and it still looks great!

Preparation is key; make sure you have a clean, dry, level surface.


NOTE: The links below will take you to my other projects.


Mrs. Padilly’s  Series on her 17′ Spirit Deluxe Casita Travel Trailer’s Glamping Makeover:

Introduction:

Casita Glamping Makeover:


Amazon Associates Disclosure: Mrs. Padilly (aka DM Johnson) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

33 Comments  to  Installing Wood Vinyl Flooring in my Casita Travel Trailer

  1. Lisa says:

    Hello, do you remember which brand floor you purchased and the color? I love it. I know it was a while ago.

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Hello, Lisa. I thought it was listed in one of the comments, but I see that it is not. Give me a couple days to see if I can remember. I did buy it at one of the two big box stores. I believe it was in 6” x 36”, and it was stocked on the shelf. I’ll figure it out and let you know. 😊

  2. Resa Gilbert says:

    We are looking to do this to a camper we just purchased with LOTS of carpet and 3 slide outs. Any suggestions as far as removing the carpet around the slide outs and replacing with the vinyl self adhesive flooring?

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Hi Resa. I don’t have any experience with slide outs as my trailers have never been that big.

      But I do know that when it comes to putting down any flooring, the condition of the sub-floor is most important. On my Casita, the old vinyl flooring was worn and yellowed, but it was firmly attached to the subfloor so I was able to put the new flooring on top with no problem. The old vinyl also made a great surface for the adhesive of the new vinyl to stick.

      However, when you have to remove the the current flooring, you never know what you might find underneath. If it were my trailer, I might peel a little of the carpet back to see what is underneath. If you have a nice subfloor (probably plywood), you should be okay. Just be selective with the vinyl flooring you purchase to make sure it indicates it will properly adhere to your subfloor material.

      Hope this information helps.

  3. Jodi_jones0819@yahoo.com says:

    What type of glue did you use? I used flooring glue and they still move.

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Hi Jodi, my vinyl flooring had self-adhesive, so I DID NOT use any glue.

      If you take a look at the photo under the heading, “Step 3” you will see a piece of flooring that has half the paper removed exposing the “sticky” side. For the flooring I used, this sticky material was very “sticky.” I simply peeled off the paper and stuck it on top of the original vinyl flooring. That was it. No glue needed.

      Since I have not personally used a flooring glue, I’m afraid I can’t accurately answer your question. But if I were to take an educated guess, maybe there is too much glue on the surface that is preventing it from drying properly?

      I know when you use glue to hang wallpaper (which is something I have done), you should roll a thin amount of glue on the paper, and a thin amount on the wall, then let is “set” a few minutes so it can get tacky. That helps the wallpaper better adhere to the wall. I know that may not be helpful, but maybe that information could possibly help you determine the problem.

      I hope you can get the problem resolved. If you do, please share here for other readers to learn about your solution.

  4. Bruce Wilson says:

    Have done this twice in our class C and each time the climate chances have allowed the product to move and shrink. I’m a carpenter so I do know how to do this. My joints were tight when installed and by the next summer I had 1/4 inch gaps. I installed wood in our new rig instead. You just can’t have carpet at the beach.

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Lol, sand and carpet do not mix. 😊 My vinyl has been down for over two years now, and still looks great. Has been to the beach, to desert, to mountains. No movement at all. Maybe the two piece shell of the Casita has less overall movement than more traditional RVs?

  5. Coty says:

    I have put similar stuff in my kids place house and it didn’t do so well but many times they leave the door open and it will get rain, dirt and wind in there.
    I’m thinking about putting the wood blanks in our camper. Do you have any pictures of how you did the entry way/door? I was wondering how you keep it doe coming up there and did you put some sort of stripping down.

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Hi Coty, and thank you for your question. My wood planks are vinyl with a sticky glue on back. They are very thin, and therefore easy to cut and apply.

      I applied them on top of my original vinyl flooring. It was is pretty good condition. I just cleaned and made sure it was dry. I have not had any problems with it pulling up, but it is protected from the elements such as rain.

      I have taken a close-up photo of where they vinyl planks met up with the door. Hopefully you can tell how I just used scissors to cut and put into place.

      I have placed this image at the end of my original post. Please take a look. Hope it helps you.

  6. victoria says:

    so we have a crack in our vinyl flooring, so do we have to remove the old to lay the new? or can we just glue old down and put new over the top?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have used it over previous vinyl, and it has done very well, but if the current vinyl is not adhering well, you may want to remove it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just finished a floor with this in my Toyota motorhome. If you adhere old vinyl down really well and use a filler to smooth out the uneven surface, the vinyl stick planks should do well. The key thing is floor prep and having surface as clean and smooth as possible.I also used a product called Henry’s vinyl floor prep (latex based) and this worked very well. I have been getting rave reviews on my new floor.

    • I just finished a floor with this in my Toyota motorhome. If you adhere old vinyl down really well and use a filler to smooth out the uneven surface, the vinyl stick planks should do well. The key thing is floor prep and having surface as clean and smooth as possible.I also used a product called Henry’s vinyl floor prep (latex based) and this worked very well. I have been getting rave reviews on my new floor.

  7. NANCY says:

    your floor in the casita is gorgeous and has inspired me to do mine in my ’86 Toyota motorhome. Carpet has got to go! My question is; I know the type of vinyl plank you used was allure at home depot…did it have a interlocking glue strip on the edge or did the whole backside of the plank have adhesive? I am trying to find that exact product as it would match my teak cabinets beautifully and needs to be able to withstand temperature changes. thanks

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Hi Nancy, sorry I’ve taken so long to respond, I’ve been traveling. The type of plank I used did not have an interlocking glue strip. The whole backside of the plank has adhesive. No problem sticking to my original flooring, but did make sure it was very clean and dry before putting down the vinyl planks. Have fun!

  8. Katie says:

    Do I need to take up the carpet or could I put the vinyl over the carpet? Sounds lazy but if it works, OK. If not, how do I so rip the carpet out?

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Hi Katie. I’m not an expert in this area, and can only share my own experiences, but I would not put the vinyl over the carpet. I would be concerned it would not adhere properly and pull loose. As for pulling up the carpeting in the camper, again I have never done that, so don’t feel comfortable giving any advice on that. Sorry. Maybe a reader to this post might answer.

  9. Kim says:

    I was just wondering how your flooring has held up in your trailer? I have a trailer which was updated with stick vinyl flooring, and we have trouble with the glue sticking, on hot days some sections bubble up, and then on cold days other sections bubble up. I’m just wondering if its the type of flooring that was used, or if its a common problem for others who have done it. Thanks!

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Hi Kim, so sorry to hear you are having trouble with your vinyl flooring. For the most part I have found that it is such an easy material to work with, with good looking results.

      Thankfully, the vinyl in our Casita is holding up wonderfully! It’s been installed for about a year now, and has been used in temperatures as cold as 20 degrees, to sitting in storage when not in use, which means temps as high as 100 degrees here in Texas! No bubbles of any kind. No lifting of the vinyl strips. Looks great, and cleans easily.

      Maybe another reader of this blog has had an experience similar to yours. If so, hopefully they will make a comment to your question (I get many viewers reading this post each day). If there are some types of installations, or important tips that could be learned from those whose vinyl had problems sticking, it would be great for my readers, and me, to know.

      Thank you for your comment.

      • Tammy says:

        I’m curious – when you’re driving down the road and the trailer is moving, do the planks not pop off of each other at the seams?

  10. Anonymous says:

    We just put a vinyl floor in, very similar, in our camper! Love it!! Did you have a problem with glue on top? If so, any good suggestions on removing it. Our floor was very sticky and we were handling it with glue fingers so there is fingerprints throughout! Thanks

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      I did not have any problems with sticky fingers, but you might want to try rubbing alcohol to see if it gets the stickiness off (on a scrap piece). Another option is Goo Gone. Again, I would do it on a test strip. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      I just wanted to make an update my earlier reply regarding the glue. I just did another installation in a bigger room, and this time I was getting a lot of glue on my fingers. I happen to have some kitchen wipes around the house, the ones that also cut grease, and kept using them on my hands to remove the glue. It worked, which kept most of the glue from getting on the vinyl. What little glue I did get on them, I used the same wipes and it removed it. 🙂

  11. Rhonda says:

    “Awesome” is the right word to use to describe this flooring project! I love the dark hickory and am taking notes as I read. Thank you so much for your inspiration and helpful guidance! YAY! 🙂

  12. Melissa Collander Zieleniewski says:

    Your floor makeover is awesome! We have a 1999 Casita with the original carpet. Every time I step inside, it’s the one thing that screams… please rip me out! You have inspired me to do it. I love your blog, so many great ideas. Thanks for posting your remodel.
    Happy Trails,
    Melissa Zieleniewski

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Thank you, Melissa. I’m glad you have been inspired! These “wood look” vinyl tiles are so easy to work with, and create a big bang for the buck!

  13. cteachr says:

    Good choice of flooring. It looks so rich! I might replace my camper’s vanilla flooring with something like that next time I get the chance. The area is only about 3 x5. Shouldn’t take too long.

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Thank you, cteachr! It would not take you long at all to do your camper. In fact, my Home Depot sells the planks by the piece, for those who do not need a whole box.

  14. Tonita says:

    Oh,, We have much in common. Is this the Hickory color and the Allure brand sold at Home Depot? My tiny house is done in that as well as my normal size home. I took out all carpeting and installed it through out my whole home, every room. Everyone thinks it is real wood. It holds up pretty well. Finally after 7 years of HIGH traffic I am seeing some wear on the edges where white is showing through. I just take a felt pen and go over it. You can spill water on it and leave it with no problem. If you wreck a piece just heat it with a blow dryer, pull it up and replace it. I sound like a rep, huh? It is a great choice for the Casita and that flooring is much better than carpet I think. My Casita is 20 yrs old but every thing still looks so new so I have been hesitating to rip out the carpet for no real reason. Your Casita makeover is coming along really nice. Great flooring choice.

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Lol, Tonita, you are good. Yes, it is Hickory from Home Depot, and yes, you could be a rep. 🙂 I’m so glad to hear it stands up against the test of time, and how easy it is to repair!

      I’m looking forward to seeing the results of what you do to your Casita (your work on your tiny house is so beautiful!). One thing I love about the Casita, is that it’s design changes very little, yet if you have, say, an appliance that goes bad, it is easy to replace with the current model.

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