While "trailer" has fallen from popularity as a name for a mobile home or towable RV, the wood flooring options for them have increased over the years. Many older trailers suffer from sagging floors caused largely by age, moisture problems, and original flooring materials that had a definite shelf life. Today there are better products, and in some cases you can put them right over the old flooring.
Plywood has been around for more than 100 years, according to the Engineered Wood Association. Plywood is made of successive thin sheets of veneer bonded together in a cross-lapped pattern, and can be bought in 4-by-8-foot sheets of varying thicknesses. There's interior-grade plywood and exterior-grade plywood, and there's even a marine-grade plywood that can be used underwater. The higher grades of plywood are suitable for using as the finished floor; for example, sanded, Grade N or Grade A interior plywood are made with a high-quality veneer that will have an attractive grain. Glue these panels over the top of existing floors using construction adhesive, but use nothing thinner than 3/4-inch panels. Then stain and seal, or simply seal.
Laminate Wood Flooring
Sold under many brands, the laminate wood flooring options have exploded during the past 10 years. Many of these products are made from compressed and glued wood chips that have a resin coating, which makes them extremely durable and scratch resistant. They were originally quite challenging to put down, but today they're easy to install--the days of gluing tongues and grooves and then painstakingly fitting them together are gone. Now products snap together, and the most tedious part of the process is making sure to adjust for the room's out-of-square conditions. In trailers with badly bowed floors, or with holes where the floors used to be, you need to first put down a plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sub floor that's at least 3/4 of an inch thick.
Three-quarter-inch-thick planks of varying widths make for an attractive floor, though you have to use straight, high-quality planks. You can glue them down or use decorative nails. A hundred years ago many floors were made just this way, and today there are companies that specialize in recreating their look. Use Number 1 planks of pine, poplar, cedar or oak, and stain them with a color that brings out their rich grain.
- Photo Credit Floor image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com
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