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Updating The Floors

October 19, 2012

We’ve just replaced the carpet in our “living room” with more vinyl flooring.  The photo above shows what our home on wheels looks like today after this latest project.

This is where we started

Before we ever moved in to our 1998 Holiday Rambler motorhome, we replaced the standard, uncomfortable fold-out couch with a recliner/loveseat, and we removed the captain’s chair behind the front co-pilot seat.  Then, last January, we did some major redo’s inside the motorhome.  We painted the walls throughout, and removed the window surrounds.  We re-covered the valances and reinstalled them, installed mini-blinds, and Nell made new curtains.  To get an idea what it was like to do all that while we were living in the motorhome, click here.

Over the next couple of months, we had all the tires replaced in Conroe, Texas, and had the fogged windows replaced at the Fog Dr. in Searcy, Arkansas.  We also replaced all of the 12 volt light fixtures with new ones, including the original overhead “mirror-ball” fixture.  And we ordered and installed new front windshield curtains, replacing the old ones that had become faded and stained.  Of course, all of this was documented as we went along.  To read the details, go back to the blog’s beginnings.

One of the major things we did in January, was to install new vinyl tile over the original linoleum in the kitchen/dining area, bathroom, and hallway.  We weren’t thrilled with the carpet in the “living room” area, but we decided to wait and maybe pay someone to do that work at a later date.

After we settled in for a few weeks stay here in the Houston area, we decided we were overdue for some hard work, and went to Home Depot.  We came home with new blades for the utility knife and four cartons of the same flooring we had installed previously.  For the record, it’s Armstrong TrafficMaster Allure.  The design is called Ashlar.  We used the 12” x 36” “planks”.

The first step was to remove the carpet.  We chose to stop at the mounting plates for the chairs, just at the back of the engine cowling, also called the “dog house”.  We were a little concerned about a couple of things:  We weren’t sure just what might be involved in removing the captain’s chairs; and we felt we might lose some of the engine noise dampening that the carpet and padding might be providing us when we’re on the move.  And… it didn’t take long after we started trying to remove the old carpet along the walls for us to decide we’d rather not tackle the cockpit carpet for now.

The wood flooring was in very good shape and perfectly smooth.  We didn’t have to do any prep work for the vinyl tile.  Keep in mind, these are self-locking pieces of tile with adhesive strips along two sides.  It’s a “floating” flooring that lays down directly onto the floor surface, but without any adhesive holding it down. Very simple to install.  The hard part is measuring all the little cutouts, notches, and corners, and making the cuts.  There’s a lot of up and down.  Older knees and backs do take a beating.

It took a considerable amount of trial and error, and some work, to cut off four bolts that had held the old chair in place behind the copilot seat.  They were apparently welded to the structure below.   With no access under the floor, the only way to remove them was to cut them off with a grinding blade attached to my power drill.  That little chore alone took two trips to Home Depot.

We really didn’t want to wrestle the loveseat out the door, so we found a convenient place to store it while we worked.  Other items were stacked on the table, in the hallway, and on and beside the bed.

The photo above shows where we stopped the tile installation last time.  The carpeted area is original.

Because of the angled edge where the tile met the carpet, we had to remove almost every section there.  That’s a slow, careful process because the sticky edges really do stick together tightly, and we didn’t want to damage the edges of the pieces that would remain.

In the step well (do two steps make a staircase?), we removed the carpet from the sides and steps.

Since we had decided to leave the carpet in the cockpit space, we cut the vinyl flooring around the chair base plates, and used metal transition strips between the carpet and the vinyl.  We’ll do the cockpit area eventually.

Up to this point, we had spread the work over three days and had everything done except to finish the cutout for the front furnace register and the steps.  On Thursday morning, I got the floor register installed and we took the rest of the day off.  We had lunch with our oldest daughter and then did nothing much after that.

Friday morning, while Nell supervised from the loveseat, I worked on the step area.

I cut tile sections for the vertical sides, then mitered the corners of rubber edging from Home Depot.  The tile is held in place by the screws along the rubber edging and the carpet at the bottom.  We had installed a gray utility-grade carpet remnant on the steps earlier in the year.  It has served us well and was still in good shape, so we  reattached to the wood steps with screws.

The touches in the stairwell really give the whole job a finished look.

The whole space now feels cleaner and more up to date.  It was a lot of work for us, producing some sore muscles and an urge to sleep late for a couple of days.  In spite of that, we’re really pleased with how this project turned out.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Yorky permalink
    October 20, 2012 3:56 am

    Nice job Ralph.

  2. William R Moore permalink
    October 20, 2012 11:32 am

    Lookin’ good, Ralph.

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