Alternatives to carpet lining

Hi everyone, me and the mr are mid design on our renault conversion, I need some great alternatives to carpet lining walls, I think it will make the van to cluttered so would like some ideas of easy to fit, clean and also looks bright, we’re going for the tongue and groove roof lining, and still undecided on a good flooring any help would be fabulous! Happy vanning!


There are several alternatives to having a carpet-lined wall and floor. If you like the cozy, textured look that it would have, you can always use fabric on the walls. Some people will use the felt lining that’s often found in speaker fabric, too. It still looks nice and is easy to work with.

You can use sheets of paneling, which are pretty flexible and would help with the curved walls.

To keep things really bright, light and clean, I’ve seen some people just use thin sheets of white (or off-white) melamine with wood trim to match the ceiling in order to keep it light yet attractive. There’s also white chalkboard paint that you could then use colored chalk on if you’re so inclined.

To use fabric, just adhere it to any thin, cheap paneling with spray glue. You could even lay down a thin foam layer first to give it a softer look. Then, if you like, you can attach those decorative button thingys (excuse the technical jargon) that indent the fabric a bit into the foam and to the thin piece of paneling the foam and fabric are adhered to.

As much as I like the cozy fabric look on a wall, I might just stick with one of the many different designs you can get with paneling so you can wipe down the surface to clean it. If you plan to cook in your van, cooking odors get trapped in fabric/carpeting.

Try going to different stores (home improvement and otherwise) to see what jumps out at you. You never know if you’ll find something to use that’s different than its original intent, but would look great!

Just for the sake of bouncing around ideas: Paint a mural or build a jigsaw puzzle and laminate it to some paneling. It doesn’t have to cover the whole wall so it wouldn’t look too busy. Have family you’ll miss? Get a picture of them and have it made into a puzzle to do it with.

You can also just install cheap paneling, paint it, and then apply a coat of sealant over it. If you want textured walls, spackle with joint compound first and let it dry before painting and sealing it.

Would love to see pictures of whatever you decide! Have fun!

Another thought: Just use white shiplap to keep the build uniform with the wood look. I think a whitewashed shiplap with your ceiling would be a great look that you could turn into a cottage or seaside look. Your decor and choice of flooring would decide that.

As for the floor, a lot of people go with vinyl or linoleum to keep it light, water-resistant and easy to clean. They have great looks these days and it lasts for years. The bonus is that it’s cheap enough to replace should you need to, or just want a new look.

If you have a little extra money, cork floors are fantastic! Cork is softer and warmer to walk on and it enhances your insulation because of its thermal properties. This is my first choice for flooring, especially if you plan to be in colder climate at all. You can even stain the cork tiles to get the shade you like. Just be sure to put a coating of polyurethane on it to protect it and help it keep it’s water-resistent qualities. (The sealant requires re-applying every 4-5 years to ensure it keeps it’s water-resistence.)

Another possibility is the interlocking foam floor tiles that are “anti-fatigue” and even used in kids playrooms. It’s easy to replace just one if it should get damaged, instead of replacing a whole floor.

P.S. I highly recommend staying away from vinyl planking. Water can get between the planks easily (even if professionally installed) and warp easily. That would also damage your floor insulation and any plywood subflooring that you put down.

Some really great alternatives there thankyou some I havent even realised you could use, however I really want a more wood cabin/warm autumn feel but not too claustraphobic, think i could encorperate white shiplap into it somehow maybe i’ll do a 50/50 style
Thankyou for all of your suggestions time to talk to the other half,

You’re very welcome! Don’t forget pictures! You never know who they’ll inspire!

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