Monday, July 16, 2012

trailer modification: vinyl floor

Who thought carpet was a good idea in a trailer dressing room? I'd replaced mine two years ago when I bought my new-to-me trailer, it had been moldy and smelled funny. New indoor-outdoor carpet installed, looked good, for about a week. Then hay and dirt and mud and everything else got embedded in it. Sweep it out, shop vac? I'm not very neat in the rest of my life, but it was driving me crazy! After being closed up weird smells would arise. Yuck.

I decided to replace the carpet with some sort of vinyl/linoleum floor. There are just a few steps:

1. Find cheap vinyl remnant. I'd looked at the big box stores ($40) and was gonna hit up the smaller places, when I searched on craigslist and found a perfect piece, $10. (Even better my awesome SO picked it up for me, it was closer to his work. And weird seller wanted to talk too much, glad it wasn't me.)

2. Take out existing trailer carpet, or make a template. I used the old carpet as a template, worked great. And when I took up the carpet and saw gross stains and tons of dirt underneath, I was vindicated!
dirty floor beneath carpet, though some is old carpet glue
3. Make sure it is more than 100 degrees in your garage. Don't wait till it is cooler because you are impatient. Suffer and sweat. It also helps if there is a huge forest fire less than 20 miles from your house, so it is really smoky and gross.

4. Assemble tools. Not much is needed: pencil, razor knife, long straight edge, that's about it. I needed tape too as my piece was a little wide but short. Patched with Gorilla tape, looks great, no problem.
old carpet on top of vinyl as template

template cut-outs for support beams, every trailer is different

patch for too short piece, go gorilla tape!

all trimmed, with tools used
5. Have a cool cat supervising. Shoo off cool cat because she is annoying and not helping. So she goes and uses a rock for a pillow, because life is hard.

gratuitous Tomas the cat picture because she's too darn cute

6. Take everything out of the trailer again, and roll out the cut vinyl. Trim if there are some places that don't fit.

rolling vinyl out in trailer
trim to fit, looks awesome!

7. Put all crap back in the trailer. This vinyl seems nice and thick, and seems to stay down without any glue or caulk. All the stuff holds it down too. Cheaper vinyl may roll up, then you'd need to use glue.

never be this clean again

will usually have more stuff in it than this too!

8. Sit back and admire the floor that will never look this nice again. And is nicer than parts of my house. And get antsy to actually USE the trailer and go somewhere!


  1. The floor looks great! I had pulled the carpet out of mine once I stopped showing and started distance riding, since that was when I learned what mud and dirt were. Ended up coating the floor with the spray-in truck bed liner material, but I like the look of the vinyl much better.

    1. oh, that spray in stuff is a good idea. I've considered having the horse area of the trailer done in that, save on maintenance. For $10 and part of a day's work, I figured this should work for now!

    2. Yes, I did the horse area in that, too -- the dressing room area was an after-thought. It's definitely worth getting the horse area done. I honestly don't know if I'd do it again in another dressing room area...seems like the vinyl is an easier-to-replace (and looks better) option.

  2. Looks good, great idea. I have carpet in my midget tack room but since it's a 2 horse with the tack under the feeders and the only part I see is by the door where I pull stuff But if I had a real tack, I'd be doing this!

  3. Love it! Especially step 3. That's a very Funderiffic step.

    I kept ALMOST doing this in my trailer - I even bought a box of stick-on vinyl tiles for $20 - but my husband kept talking me out of it, saying it'll be too slippery. So please don't break an ankle or anything, but let me know if it IS slippery when you step in there with muddy feet?!

    My current carpet isn't nailed or glued in any way, and it's not TOO hard to unload all the crap from the floor, pull the carpet, and shake the hay and dirt off. I guess. I still *want* vinyl flooring though.

    1. Funderiffic, my new favorite word! But yes, I often operate in less than ideal situation because I have to get it done RIGHT NOW (for no reason). Drives my SO crazy.

      The vinyl is patterned and matte finish, but it could be slippery. But I have a large rubber-backed industrial door mat that sits right inside the door. It is about 2 x 3 (but didn't look nice in the pictures!) I am hoping it will catch most of the dirt and wet, and the rest will be easy to sweep out.

      I thought about stick-on vinyl tiles, but metal expands and contracts so much, I worried about how they would hold up. And cutting one piece was just so easy. If I don't hurt myself, maybe you can use it as proof of a good idea!

    2. "yes, I often operate in less than ideal situation because I have to get it done RIGHT NOW (for no reason). Drives my SO crazy."

      OMG! I thought it was just me... Looks great!


  4. This looks fantastic! My trailer has wood floors with mats over it so no cool flooring possibilities but between you and Funder if I ever need modifications you girls can help!

  5. This looks great... almost too fancy!! I would be afraid to damage it but it is supposed to be indestructible. ! You couldn't lose with that kind of price.. Nice work

    1. It looks fancy, but $20 is cheap if in a couple years it looks crummy again. We'll see how it holds up, a horse trailer is a lot rougher place than a kitchen!