Tuesday, April 18, 2017

RV Flooring Replacement–The Prep Work…


In our previous blog I talked a bit about tools needed so now I will discuss prepping the floor for our future luxury vinyl tiles. The first step in taking out our old flooring was to decide where to start. Since we had one tile in the hallway that had bubbled up, I started there.


As I mentioned before most if not all RV’s have the flooring laid down before the cabinets are built. I really needed to find a solution to cutting as close to the cabinets as possible without damaging them. After hours consulting Google I came across the “toe kick saw”, a tool I had never heard of.

I decided to purchase one since I couldn’t find anyone who rented them.  I was delighted I did because it did exactly what I wanted it to do. All kitchen cabinets have a small shelf about four inches from the bottom and this is called the toe kick. I assume it was built this way originally because if it wasn’t there the owner’s toes would kick the cabinet.


The toe kick saw accomplished 80 percent of the cutting around the cabinets but another essential tool I discovered was the oscillating multi-tool. A multi-tool with one of its plunging saw blades proved perfect for tight corners to finish cutting the tile perimeter.


Once the perimeter was cut then I had to remove the tile. Our engineered tile was laid over a 1/8” luan subfloor material. What made this a challenge was that the flooring was glued to the 1/8” luan sub-floor and the luan sub-floor was glued on top of a 5/8 marine grade OSB board. This created a solid glued “sandwich” of materials and of course made it very difficult to remove the engineered flooring without damaging the 1/8” luan layer.

I found the best solution for removing the engineered flooring was to use the multi-tool with a scraper blade and with its high speed oscillations I was able to get a few inches under the flooring.  This allowed access for a 6” high quality scraper to be inserted and hammered in underneath the tile. After pushing about 4 inches under the tile I used a pry bar to lift up and break the tiles into pieces. Imagine this process over and over for hours to accomplish removing all of the engineered flooring. Back breaking!


After removing the engineered flooring it was evident that the luan layer was damaged a lot from this process of forcibly removing the tiles. So once again I used the same technique I used to 20170413_143503remove the engineered tiles to remove the luan. After all the luan was up the real sub-floor was revealed and as a result it exposed some new problems that I will discuss in the next blog…

Once the flooring tiles and the luan were removed I then focused on cutting out the water damaged OSB board. The long cut in the middle of our hallway was made with my skill saw after making a chalk line for cutting guidance. Then the multi-tool was used alongside the wall to get all of the rotted OSB out. Once I had cleaned it all up I cut a piece of marine grade 5/8” plywood to fit the hole I created. I will attach the patch later but it will keep us from going through the floor!!!

I am making really good progress on the flooring despite the fact my assistant, Sharon, has come down with a really bad cold (her first in years).I am looking forward to her getting better so I can have a bit of help!

NOTE: We are currently in our former home town, College Station until May 7th. Our plan is to replace our flooring and attempt to fit in a little fun along the way…


  1. That is a job, sure glad it's you and not me, looking forward to more pictures of the progress being made. Good luck.

  2. Ouch! My back hurts just looking at the effort this takes! Certainly looking forward to the next installment.

  3. Interesting process. Working on an RV is never easy.