Monthly Archives: January 2015

Update: A new adventure – volunteering at San Jacinto Monument, TX

PHOTO_20150130_145029.jpg We’re now settled in at San Jacinto Monument, La Porte, TX – This is where Texas was born – it is also where the Battleship Texas is located. We are here as volunteers, our first “workcamping” experience. There are no public campsites, but a few for volunteers. We’re looking forward to this two month adventure!

Project: Installing laminate flooring in living room

RVing and carpet don’t go well together.  We’ve found keeping the carpet clean to be a constant battle.  After considerable research we decided to go with Allure Trafficmaster laminate from Home Depot.  I’m not especially talented with it comes to stuff like this and from the Youtubes I watched and the reviews I read this project sounded like it was within my range of capabilities.

100_3695.JPG Removing the old carpet was easy enough.  Digging out the thousand staples used to nail it down was the hardest part.  After some research we decided to leave the carpet on the slides.  The “lip” of the carpet is necessary to cover the slide rollers and to cover openings to the outside air.  We also decided to leave the kitchen laminate in place.  It runs up under cabinets and walls and I was afraid I could easily get into trouble if I started messing with it.

We aren’t fans of dark floors because they show dirt so easily.  After looking at several samples of laminate we decided to go with one that matched the kitchen floor and woodwork  Obviously, color is a matter of taste, but we are satisfied with the results.

100_3699.JPG The laminate goes down on the existing sub-floor.  The tools I used were knee pads (I wouldn’t have made it without them), a rubber mallet for tightening down the glue strip after attaching a plank, a combination square to keep me cutting straight, a carpet knife, and some tin sheers which I used for more challenging cuts.   The planks come in a box and are separated by parchment paper.  I used the paper to make templates for corners, etc.

We probably invested three hours in carpet/staples removal, five hours putting down the floor itself, and one hour installing quarter-round.  We did these jobs over three days.  Physically, all my muscles from the back of my legs up to my waist were quite sore.  As I finished the quarter-round I nearly needed help getting up off the floor!

Our chairs and other furniture tend to slide on the laminate so we bought some rubber stick-on pads to combat the skidding.  I think they are going to help a lot.

We have a few concerns.  The biggest is how the flooring will handle the opening and closing of the slides.  In our case, the slides are designed to tip slightly when closed, so the leading edge of the slides is up above the floor three or four inches.  That will give us room to put some throw rugs down the center of the camper, between the slides.  From what I’ve read that is supposed to guard against the slide banging the floor as we drive down the road. (2017 note: we’ve had no problems with the slides damaging the floor)

The other concern has to do with the floating floor which supposedly expands and contracts in response to temperature changes.  I put the laminate up against the walls in the corners.  Of course, the longer runs are along the slides where the flooring has all the room it wants to expand or contract.  I’m thinking that the relative smallness of the the floor space will pretty much negate this issue.  Time will tell. (2017 note: we’ve had no issues at all with this)

100_3708.JPG Would we do it again?  Well, so long as neither of the two concerns I just described become an issue, and if the seams themselves remain tightly glued together over long term use, I’d say an enthusiastic “yes.”  We think it looks great and will be much easier to care for than the carpet we removed.

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