What is the Alternative to Carpet Lining in a Van? [Best Options]

If you’re considering van carpeting, you might be wondering if there are alternative options available. While carpet lining is a popular choice for many van owners, it’s not the only solution out there. In this …

alternative to carpet lining van

If you’re considering van carpeting, you might be wondering if there are alternative options available. While carpet lining is a popular choice for many van owners, it’s not the only solution out there.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best alternatives to carpet lining and provide you with insights, user advice, and materials to consider for lining your van’s interior.

The Problem with Carpet Lining in Vans

Carpet lining is a popular option for van owners who want to add some comfort and warmth to their vehicle’s interior.

However, while it may seem like a good idea at first, carpet lining can cause a lot of problems in the long run.

For starters, it is difficult to clean and maintain, which means that over time it can become stained, dirty, and smelly.

This is especially true if you use your van for outdoor activities like camping or hiking. Additionally, carpet lining is prone to wear and tear.

If you’re constantly loading and unloading heavy items into your van or have pets that ride with you frequently, the carpet will quickly show signs of damage. And because carpet absorbs moisture easily, it can lead to mold growth and rust on the metal floor underneath.

What Can You Use Instead of Carpet in a Campervan?

When it comes to campervan interiors, durability, functionality, and aesthetics are key factors to consider.

While carpet lining offers a cozy and comfortable feel, it may not always be the most practical choice. Here are a few alternatives that you can explore:

  1. Vinyl Flooring: Vinyl flooring is a versatile option that provides excellent durability and ease of maintenance. It’s resistant to stains, water, and general wear and tear, making it suitable for campervan adventures. Vinyl flooring comes in various styles and designs, allowing you to customize your van’s interior to your liking.
  2. Rubber Matting: If you’re looking for a more rugged and utilitarian option, rubber matting can be an excellent alternative. It provides excellent protection against spills, dirt, and heavy use. Rubber matting is easy to clean and offers good traction, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and those with active lifestyles.
  3. Laminate Flooring: Laminate flooring is another popular choice for van conversions. It’s affordable, easy to install, and offers a wide range of designs. Laminate flooring is resistant to scratches and moisture, making it a practical choice for campervans. However, it’s important to note that laminate may not be as durable as some other options and can be prone to damage from excessive moisture.
  4. Cork Flooring: Cork flooring is a unique and eco-friendly alternative for van interiors. It provides excellent insulation, reducing noise and temperature fluctuations. Cork is also antimicrobial, making it a great choice for those concerned about allergens or mold. Additionally, cork flooring offers a natural and warm aesthetic, adding a touch of sophistication to your campervan.

Best Materials to Line a Van

When choosing materials to line your van, it’s essential to consider factors such as durability, insulation, weight, and ease of installation.

Here are some of the best materials commonly used for van lining:

  • Plywood: Plywood is a popular choice due to its affordability, versatility, and availability. It comes in different thicknesses and can be easily cut and shaped to fit the van’s interior. Plywood provides decent insulation and can be painted or varnished to achieve the desired aesthetic.
  • Sound Deadening Mat: Sound deadening mats are often used in combination with other lining materials to improve insulation and reduce noise. These mats are made from materials like butyl rubber and help dampen vibrations and road noise, creating a quieter and more comfortable ride.
  • Spray-on Liners: Spray-on liners offer a robust and protective coating for van interiors. They are applied as a liquid and dry to form a durable, textured surface. Spray-on liners provide excellent impact resistance, waterproofing, and corrosion protection. However, professional installation is recommended for best results.

Spray-on Liners

Alternative to Carpet Lining a Van: User Advice

Now that we’ve explored some alternative options for van lining, let’s take a look at what van owners have to say about their experiences:

Main Points
4-way stretch carpet lining is great due to its stretch and coverage but tends to bobble if rubbed frequently. Looking for harder-wearing options for only covering ply panels.
Recommends checking out Coverdale for a lining carpet that seems quite hard-wearing.
Considers using a type of suede/alcantara or vinyl for a different look.
Considers covering only specific areas like ply panels with vinyl or similar materials. Concerns about excessive condensation if too much bare metal is left uncovered.
Prefers not using carpet due to having a dog and using the van for various purposes. Considers keeping the interior metal work as is or using a plastic lining kit.
Used vinyl to cover rear panels and added rubber trim for a good finish and durability.
Suggests alternatives such as using fabric on the walls, using sheets of paneling, or using thin sheets of white melamine with wood trim. Mentions the use of paneling for easy cleaning and avoiding odors. Encourages exploring different stores for unique options.

Remember, everyone’s needs and preferences may differ, so it’s essential to consider your specific requirements and budget when choosing the right lining material for your van.

4-way stretch carpet for vans lining

4 way stretch carpet for vans
4 way stretch carpet

What is a Modern Alternative To Carpet a Van?

As van conversions continue to evolve, so do the materials used for interior lining.

One modern alternative to carpeting is the use of synthetic fabric panels. These panels are made from materials like nylon or polyester and are designed to be durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.

Synthetic fabric panels offer a sleek and modern appearance, while also providing insulation and sound absorption properties.

Upholstery Fabric

If you’re looking for an alternative to carpet lining in your van, upholstery fabric is definitely an option worth considering.

Not only is it easy to clean, but it also provides a more luxurious feel than traditional carpet.

Plus, there are so many different types and patterns available that you can customize your van’s interior to match your personal style. One of the biggest benefits of using upholstery fabric in your van is how easy it is to clean.

Unlike carpeting, which can be difficult to remove stains from, upholstery fabric can typically be wiped clean with a damp cloth or sponge.

This makes it ideal for those who plan on using their vans for outdoor activities or who have pets that may leave behind hair or other messes.

A More Luxurious Feel

In addition to being practical, upholstery fabric also adds a touch of luxury to your van’s interior. Whereas carpeting can be seen as utilitarian or basic, upholstered walls and ceilings give the space a more finished look and feel. Plus, there are so many different colors and patterns available that you can really make the space your own.

When choosing upholstery fabric for your van’s interior, consider factors such as durability (if you plan on using the space frequently), color (do you want something neutral or bold?), and pattern (do you want something geometric or floral?). Some popular types of upholstery fabrics include vinyls, leatherettes, velvets and chenilles.

What Do You Line Van Walls With?

When it comes to lining van walls, there are various options available.

Here are a few popular choices:

  • Fabric: Using fabric panels or upholstery can add a touch of style and comfort to your van’s interior. Fabric panels are easy to install and can be customized to match your desired aesthetic.
  • Wallpaper or Vinyl Wraps: Applying wallpaper or vinyl wraps to your van walls allows for endless design possibilities. It’s a great way to personalize your space and create a unique atmosphere.
  • Insulation and Vapor Barrier: Before installing any lining material, it’s crucial to ensure proper insulation and vapor barrier installation. This helps regulate temperature, prevent condensation, and protect against moisture-related issues.
  • Storage Solutions: Consider incorporating storage solutions like shelving, hooks, or magnetic panels into your van walls to optimize space and keep your belongings organized.


While carpet lining is a popular choice for van interiors, there are several alternatives available that offer durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal.

From vinyl flooring and rubber matting to fiberglass panels and synthetic fabric panels, the options are diverse.

Consider your specific needs, preferences, and budget when selecting the best materials to line your van. With the right choice, you can create a comfortable and stylish interior that perfectly suits your van lifestyle.

About the Author

author pic

Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.

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