Vinyl, PVC, laminate, fabric or a cork floor? There are so many options, so which is the best floor to use in a camper in 2023? When purchasing a floor for your motorhome, you want a beautiful floor that lasts a long time and fits into your budget, right? Read further to find the best floor to use in a camper.
What Are the Best Floor Options?
All floors have their advantages and disadvantages. That is why we have listed several options in which we specifically look at the characteristics, budget, method of use and duration of the product. Hopefully, you will find your favourite that best suits your lifestyle!
Article: Adventures in a Camper
Simply put, a linoleum floor is a plastic floor covering. There are several layers on the floor, the top of which consists of a hard, wear-resistant layer. The article above shows the installation of a linoleum floor and the results.
- The product is light in weight, which is ideal for the total weight of the motorhome
- It is maintenance-friendly: you can easily clean it (vacuum and mop) and you do not need to have it treated
- Most vinyl floors are sound-absorbing and moisture-resistant
- Please note, the vinyl floor can shrink when the surface of the floor warms up and cools down! This can occur in a motorhome
You can easily cut the product with a Stanley knife and then glue it with universal floor glue. It is therefore easy to install in a camper!
Vinyl floors are generally quite cheap, but the wide range of vinyl floors differ in quality. The thickness of the wear layer is very important here, it offers protection against wear, but also scratches and stains.
The floor lasts around 10-20 years (possibly shorter in a motorhome due to intensive use) and vinyl can also be reused. The product is thermoplastic, meaning the floor can be melted down and recycled.
In a nutshell, the product is affordable, easy to use, moisture-resistant and durable. Nevertheless, the floor can shrink, so take this into account when you lay the floor and pay attention to the quality of the product before buying. Some floors have a thin wear layer and may look very artificial.
Article: Fibreglass RV
This floor is made from the bark of cork oak. A cork floor is a type of floor covering made of cork. Here you find an example of a cork floor in a camper.
- Cork is light, which is ideal in a motorhome
- It provides good insulation
- Is fire retardant, so safer
- Cork is water resistant in itself, and with an extra top layer completely waterproof
- In addition, it is a sustainable product
There are different types of cork floors, an example is the click cork floor. You place the strips next to each other in a certain pattern, such as with laminate or PVC floors.
Cork is normally a bit more expensive than laminate, vinyl or PVC floors. Depending on the thickness and weight (the higher the density, the more expensive and more durable the product is).
Cork has the advantage that it is extremely durable, the product is made from cork oak and this is 100% natural. Within 3 years, the bark of the oak grows back, which means that the tree is not subjected to much stress.
The product is light in weight, water resistant, hygienic and warm to the touch. The disadvantage is, due to the lightweight, that the cork damages more quickly and sometimes it stays in place permanently. Furthermore, it cannot withstand UV rays, which can cause discolouration and to keep the product waterproof, you must apply a top layer and redo it regularly.
Article: RV Roadtrips
Just like vinyl, carpet falls under the floor covering, but this product consists of textiles. Carpet is not an ideal flooring solution, though it is often used as a wall covering for campers and boats. This article tells you how to install a carpet flooring in your motorhome, don’t forget to check the results!
- Carpet is nice and soft, retains heat (warm feet are also nice) and is cosy!
- It’s sound-absorbing
- Funny but true, carpet provides better acoustics in the room
- There are many different carpets on the market: high and low pile carpets, and also made of different types of material
- It is not resistant to damp places, eventually, it can start to mould
Carpet is easy to install on the floor. You cut the carpet to the right size, and then you can apply it separately or glue it.
Carpet is one of the cheaper floors on the market and can be applied directly to the subfloor.
It does not last as long as other floor coverings when used intensively. It must be cleaned regularly and it is not reusable.
The product is affordable and gives a lot of comforts. However, carpet is difficult to keep clean, especially in a camper with intensive use. It is not resistant to moisture, and you can ventilate your camper, but with a lot of moisture or a splash of water, the carpet may mould. This is not ideal.
Article: Our Boler Adventures
Laminate flooring consists of several layers glued together. The top layer, just like vinyl, is a wear-resistant layer. Under the decor layer is a part of compressed wood chips.
- The product wears less quickly than on other floors.
- It is maintenance-friendly, easy to clean and hygienic
- You can use laminate with underfloor heating
- Laminate is generally not moisture resistant; the layer of compressed wood chips curls up when there is too much moisture
- The water-resistant variety is normally thicker, and heavier and comes at a higher cost
Installing laminate is more difficult than installing a carpet or vinyl floor. When in doubt, take click laminate. Here you slide the planks into each other.
There are many different types of laminate and it is available at various prices, yet the purchase price is generally quite low.
Since laminate is less resistant to moisture, there is a good chance that it will eventually bend, making it less durable.
However, the product is more environmentally friendly than other floors. Laminate consists of several layers of wood, and is often made from compressed wood chips.
Laminate is hygienic, affordable and available in a variety of colours and patterns. However, it is not ideal for a motorhome: it cannot withstand moisture and is more difficult to apply. We’ll take a closer look!
PVC/ Vinyl planks
Article: The DIY Mommy
PVC (also called vinyl planks) or polyvinyl chloride is the plastic that the floor consists of. It is heavier than linoleum and laminate, and the big advantage is that it is highly resistant to water.
- It is easy to maintain
- It is stronger than laminate and vinyl (breaks and wears less quickly)
- PVC is sound-absorbing and heat-resistant
- Most PVC floors are waterproof
- Because it is stronger than other floors, it is also somewhat heavier
Like laminate, PVC is more difficult to apply than carpet and vinyl. It is precise work where you also have to engrave and break the pieces precisely.
PVC is more expensive than other floors, especially if you want to purchase a better-quality floor. We bought our PVC floor at a discount and calculated in advance how many packs we needed to lay the floor, and we then arrived at around the same price as a vinyl floor.
PVC is durable. It lasts a long time, especially since it can withstand moisture so well. In addition, PVC is an environmentally friendly plastic.
PVC is easy to maintain, waterproof (a great advantage) and available in beautiful wood colours. Disadvantages are: it is relatively heavy (more weight), more expensive than most floor types and takes more time to install than other types of floors.
So, What Is the Best Floor for Your Camper?
First of all, the carpet falls off for us. It is easy to apply and nice and warm in winter. But, less pleasant in the summer. Furthermore, you can hardly avoid taking dirt from the camper such as sand and hair. This is difficult to clean. Carpet can mould with a lot of moisture, making it unhygienic. Carpet may not be an ideal solution for flooring though it can be a great option for wall covering or hiding some of those tricky edges around a camper.
Laminate flooring is also not ideal. It generally cannot withstand moisture or compensates for water resistance with a thicker and heavier profile with a bigger price tag. A camper simply has a little moisture, even if you continue to ventilate. It is not uncommon for a glass of water to fall on the floor (we speak from experience). It’s a shame if you have to replace the floor after a few months (or years) because it curls up.
However, there are also waterproof laminate floors for sale, which we installed in our first camper build. This type of floor is heavier than PVC and a bit more expensive, but certainly a possible choice.
When building our second camper, we were in doubt about whether we should purchase a vinyl floor or a PVC floor. In the end, we chose PVC because this floor cannot shrink, it is stronger (lasts longer) and we preferred the available styles. Still, when we possibly carry out a third camper conversion, we will include cork flooring in our final choice. It may be a bit more expensive, but the advantage is that you can lay cork as both insulation and the top floor, so a 2-in-1. In addition, it is light and durable.
PVC, Vinyl, Cork and waterproof laminate are all ideal for a camper. Vinyl is lightweight and easy to apply, and generally less expensive but it can shrink and expand over time. PVC is stronger but more expensive and more difficult to apply. Cork is sustainable and can be used as insulation and floor covering, but is sensitive to light and needs to be repainted once in a while. And, waterproof laminate looks beautiful and is very strong, however, it is more expensive and heavier.
The best floor for you depends entirely on what you consider important. Hopefully, we have helped you a step further in finding the right floor for your motorhome. Good luck!
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