On to the floors! This will likely be pretty boring for you non-camper fixer uppers…my apologies. The original floor covering was carpet that looked like this…
…except for the kitchen. It was this lovely adhesive vinyl sheet. Don’t mind the electrical tape. That’s me planning new floor plans.
Scott tore the dinette, overhead cabinets, couch, foldout tables, and carpet out and I got to work prepping the subfloor (aka pulling out a gajillion staples). Obviously, this was done before painting and the process woulda made more sense in the one original post but again, waaaay tooooo loooong and…ain’t nobody got time for that!
Anywho, remember that condensation I told you about in the paint post? Yeah, around the outer edges of the floor (under the windows) the particle board plywood was starting to rot and that is a VERY BAD THING! So, after drying it out with fans and running the dehumidifier to suck as much moisture out as possible, we used this super awesome stuff from Lowe’s called Elmer’s Rotted Wood Stabilizer Surface Repair.
It costs like $10 a bottle, and ideally, you want to replace sections of rotting floor in any situation. But to do that properly in an Airstream you have to detach the entire outer shell of the camper from its frame and put down a whole new subfoor onto the chassis. That also means the who thing has to be gutted first. We do NOT have the means to accomplish that!! Besides, we’re already living in here! So, we bought and used every bottle of stabilizer our local Lowe’s had (and needed more), but we also picked up some Elmer’s Wood Filler and used that for the rest. Fortunately, our floor was just beginning to show the signs of water damage. Yes, that’s me in denial because we have no other choice. : /
When Scott tore out the dinette, he found that there was a spot that had just about completely rotted through, so I came home that night to a 1×2 foot hole in the floor. Fun times! We cleaned everything up, filled the hole with spray insulation (bought 3 cans, needed 4) and then patched it with a piece of higher quality plywood and bolted it to the frame. Then we used the Elmers wood stabilizer and filler to take care of the small gaps around the patch. This took several days to dry but you don’t want to rush it.
Next, I painted the floors with the same Zinsser paint I used on the walls. If you asked my husband, he’d probably say it was overkill, but hello! I’d just scrubbed mold off my walls and repaired rotting wood. Why not add an extra layer of protection to the floors? Even if it was just for peace of [my] mind. Plus, I am allergic to just about everything: dust, mold, ragweed, pollen, etc. So yeah, I made sure I kilt it all! LOL
You can barely see the wood putty in the corners I was still waiting to dry for paint. Finally, it was almost time to lay new flooring. Unfortunately, we had quite an uneven floor going on due to all the various sections–subfloor, new subfloor patch, and old vinyl that I decided not to remove. So I used underlayment in various places to even everything up. It actually worked. I know, professionals would be scoffing right now!
After extensive research, I decided to go with Smartcore flooring, a luxury vinyl tile type flooring. It is 100% waterproof, floats well over uneven floors, is easy to install, and handles lots of movement…super important in a moving home. I was also able to cut it easily with a jigsaw, which is a really good thing when you have rounded walls. ; ) I bought it at Lowe’s.
So, we had a few issues as far as the not so even floor goes, but as long as we laid a few rows at a time, we were able to work all the kinks out and now we have a full floor with no problems. Yay!
I think it took us about 8 hours to get about 140 sq ft laid, but that’s not too bad considering the not-so-desirable working conditions, two young kids running around and needing stuff, and having to shuffle everything from spot to spot as we added more flooring. Cramped quarters; gotta love it! This is, of course, in just half of the rv, but all that’s left to do to it is add trim.
Here’s your keeping it real photo of the day…
Yup, that’s primer. And that’s AFTER I cleaned it up.It was dripped down the cabinets and everything. On the toilet… Lost a good bath towel that’s now an added step in wiping feet before entering our humble abode. Good thing all the carpet is going bye-bye! I.Can’t.Wait.