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Cork Flooring Installation Modification

 

Recently we decided to replace our worn out carpet and tile flooring.  I sealed the deal with one hard smack to the existing tile floor at which time my wife took a deep breath and said "Here we go". 

We started first by removing the aforementioned cracked tile which came up easily.  Approximately 50% of the tiles were still well attached and we discovered that the subfloor plywood had been severely gouged to help the tile bond.  The plywood under the carpet was in perfect condition. 

Around the toilet the subfloor was rotted and we pulled that section up and replaced with new plywood.  We filled in the gouge holes with an epoxy/sawdust filler and sealed the bathroom and kitchen plywood with an epoxy paint to protect it from future water damage. 

We decided to install a cork laminate floating floor for several reasons.  Cork is very easy on your feet and legs vs. tile and is a natural insulator.  The tiles and joints were treated at the factory to resist water damage.  Installation was straight forward but tedious due to all the cuts.  Overall, we have found the cork flooring exceptional.  We recently took a 4500 mile trip from Florida to Washington state and found that the road noise was actually decreased.  We used a US Floors product which we found on the internet. 

One important note about cork flooring products:  Avoid products that have been manufactured outside the US.  They use formaldehyde in their process which creates a bad odor.  Our flooring is virtually odorless.

 

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by Bob Rozek 1997 U320 40'

I got the original idea/information from flite2010 on this forum.

Yes, I did this myself.  Piece of cake!!!  In our previous coach (a sob) we removed the carpet and installed solid wood flooring that was 3/4" thick by about 2 1/4" wide. It was quite a job.  This cork is a MUCH better product for an RV.  IMHO, it makes a great floor for a RV..As I'm sure you know, cork has thermal and sound insulating qualities, that lend themselves well for RVs.  Easy maintenance, no Formaldehyde (important in a small, enclosed area), easy install. 

I did remove the pilot/co pilot chairs (you'll need help with this), but left the couch in place.  I removed all the removable panels from the couch, cut the carpet back from the edge, maybe 6 to 8 inches.  When you re-install the panels, it looks like its completely under the couch.  Didn't have to modify any of the doors.  On the advice of Mike Rogers at MOT I left brake pedal in place and carefully cut-out (took a while and some scrap pieces for this) for the brake pedal mounting...It really came out great.

We have a U320 that has a wood floor in the galley area and tile in the bath.  Left all the galley floor in place and just used a real nice transition piece (trim) to cover the small gap between the new cork and the existing galley floor. The existing galley floor is 7/16" and the cork  that we used is 1/2".  It looks great. The galley wood had a rounded radius in one corner, that I just used a skill saw to cut to  45° to make installing the trim piece easier..This came out great.  Again, just used a transition piece from the bath tile to the cork in the bedroom. I did use pre-stained real wood trim around the entry door and edges, etc.

Here's a link to the USFloors website: US Floors: Natural Cork, Bamboo, Linoleum, Hardwood Floors   Some very useful information on this website.
Link to the family of cork products we used:  New Dimensions: Natural Cork Flooring - Tiles | USFloors
Link to the specific product:   Narrow Plank Lago | USFloors

I bought from an online company.  I tried to give some local brick and mortars a chance, but they couldn't come close on price. Here's a link:   QualityFlooring4less.com: Porcelain Tile, Bamboo, Hardwood & Cork Floors, Vinyl

I was in southern Arizona at the time, and just dropped shipped to a shipping terminal in Tucson.

ps.  I did have to buy and inexpensive table saw (that I later re-gifted).  When we sold our house to full time, I sold all my big tools.

The cork is the sound barrier, doesn't require a vapor barrier, and the floor floats.  That is: floor is not fastened down anywhere.  I had a lot of trouble getting ready for not nailing, but after 16 months, have not had any problems.  Its a great product.

Here's a link to a lot of technical documents: USFloors Technical Documents | USFloors

The hardest part of the project, was removing old carpet..The installers were not afraid to use their staple guns!!!

We removed the chairs completely, although you could leave the base plate in place and install flooring around the base plate..The skirting around the chairs would cover everything.  It just seemed easier to remove the chairs (they are heavy/awkward) to make a clean install.  To re-install the chairs, I went under the coach, and drilled up through the mounting holes until the bit just started through the floor, then finished drilling the hole from the top.   

In the driver and entry steps area, we left the carpet (beige in color) in place on the vertical walls. By leaving the carpet in place, it made the color transitions from the dash area to the new cork flooring look good.

On the color I would call it light with dark highlights (can't believe I just used that phrase!!). here's link to the product: Narrow Plank Lago | USFloors

Still trying to find some of the pics that we took during installation.  I kept a couple of leftover pieces, that are appox 8" x 12", that I use to show folks how it locks into place.  I would be glad to ship one in the mail, so you could look it over..Really, this would be no problem.

I looked up my old invoices, and I bought 158 sq ft.  Since it comes 14.4 sq ft to the box, I had 11 boxes.  I did overbuy, my usual practice, and I had one complete box left over, that I donated. BTW, it looks like I paid $5.19 per sq ft. by Dave Abel 2000 U320 36'

© Barry Brideau 2003-2017