Maybe your mobile home flooring is starting to look like it has seen better days, or you are just ready for a refreshed look. Whichever situation you are in, choosing the perfect flooring option is the most crucial and arguably hardest decision to make.
Manufactured homes have evolved over the last few decades, meaning the flooring options for mobile homes have also taken a shift. Flooring options that used to be off-limit for mobile homeowners have become wide open. With the increased number of choices, it’s also easier to get confused and overwhelmed — and let’s not forget all the misinformation out there from DIY forums or the Home Depot Clark that will confuse you even more.
So, if you choose your mobile home floor in 2022, here is everything you need to know.
What Are the Best Flooring Options for Mobile Homes?
Contrary to popular belief, you can install tile in a mobile home.
You can lay tiles on pretty much anywhere in the house. However, you should avoid tile crossing at the marriage line in a double-wide. Otherwise, it can become unnecessarily painful in the future for you to move or add a new room.
Tiles are an excellent option for high moisture areas such as the kitchen, laundry room, or bathrooms.
However, the weight of the tile is a common concern for many people. Back in the old days, mobile homes used to have 1″×2″ studs, which was not ideal for tiles. Newer manufactured homes with 2″×4″ framing can handle modern lightweight tile if installed correctly. Ceramic tile and porcelain tile are preferred over stone tile for mobile homes that can get quite heavy.
Before you lay your tile, make sure the subfloor is strong and does not have any damage. You will probably want to use 1/2″ Durarock and the correct grout for that particular project area for floor tile. Additionally, if you are tiling a shower, buy the best shower pan system you can find.
Laminate floors have become popular in the past few years because of the wide variety of colors and designs it offers.
Laminate floors aka, floating floors, are ideal for mobile homes for two reasons.
First of all, the base subfloor of manufactured homes is prone to future sagging and movement. Second, even if they are high quality, the typical board subfloors of these houses are not designed for a lasting nail-hold of traditional nail-down hardwood floorings.
The advantage of installing laminate floors (also, other floating floors) is, it’s not attached to the subfloor. Therefore, the new floor will not be as affected by the movement of the subfloor. It is also less expensive to install because you will not need to remove the base floor.
Vinyl Tiles or Linoleum Flooring
Vinyl tiles or linoleum flooring are probably the most economical flooring options out there —offering a variety of designs and colors. They are ideal for high moisture areas as they are water-resistant.
Linoleum usually comes in a roll. All you have to do is unroll it, stretch it out, cut out as much as you need, and glue it down. However, the cutting process is not easy and does require some expertise. Hiring an expert installer might be a good idea if you don’t want to risk ruining your investment.
Vinyl tiles are comparatively easier to install as they come in tile-like square or rectangle shapes that you simply peel and stick or glue down using an adhesive. If you are cutting them yourself, buy a few extra pieces for errors, and you are good to go.
Wood flooring holds the top place for any house for its durability and aesthetics. It is also an excellent option for manufactured homes.
However, before installing real hardwood flooring in a mobile home, you should consider a few things.
Firstly, crossing the marriage line of a double-wide or a triple-wide is not a good idea in case you need to move the home in the future. Even though 90% of all manufactured homes stay in the same place forever, keeping your options open is the safest bet. Settling is another thing you need to keep in mind. Although, if you regularly check to see if your mobile home is level, you will not have to worry about the boards separating.
Secondly, you will need to replace subflooring if you have particleboard subflooring for traditional hardwood nail-down installation. For a lasting nail hold, any inferior sub-floorings should be removed or resurfaced using a minimum of 5/8″ plywood, 23/32″ AdvanTech, or 23/32″ OSB (Oriented Strand Board).
Carpet is the most popular and economical option for mobile homes.
However, when shopping for carpets, you should consider factors other than the color and the look. The quality and durability should go at the top of your checklist. The kind of fiber used, their density, and how they are twisted on the backing will determine the quality of the carpet. The durability of the traffic will assess its ability to withstand foot traffic or the weight of the furniture. Make sure to buy the most durable carpet for high-foot traffic areas such as hallways.
When budgeting for carpets, don’t forget about the padding, which can add a few hundred bucks to your final costs. Pay attention to the back of the rug to see how closely the fibers are attached. Usually, the denser it is, the slower it will start to matt down.
How Much Does Mobile Home Flooring Cost?
There are three main costs associated with flooring: the flooring material cost, labor cost, and subfloor cost. If your subfloor does not need replacing and you are DIYing the flooring project, the flooring material will dictate the final price of your floor.
Here is a price list of the most common mobile home flooring materials for a quick estimation:
|Material||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Vinyl Tiles or Linoleum||$3-$10|
Do You Need to Replace Subfloor?
You do not need to replace your subfloor when changing your floor covering if there is no damage. If there is damage, you will have to hire an experienced mobile home contractor since replacing the subfloor is a tedious job that requires expertise.
Water damage that causes soft spots and browning is the most common reason for replacing subflooring in a manufactured home. To check for damages, look for water damages in high moisture areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Also, look around doors and windows for signs of water damages. If you do not see anything concerning, you most probably would not need to change the subflooring. However, if you have OSB subflooring, you might want to take the opportunity to upgrade to a better material while you are redoing the floors.
Installing Flooring in a Mobile Home
You have picked up the flooring option to your liking, and now it’s time to install it. That’s when you realize you have purchased the wrong type of flooring. Even though you can get any flooring of your choice if you hire a professional, a few materials are off-limit if you are doing it yourself.
Whichever lane you choose, here are a few things to keep in mind about installation —
Hiring Professional Flooring Installers
Although hiring a professional is expensive, it can save you a lot of time and effort, also make the installation last longer. Some stores even offer free installation for purchase over a certain amount. However, free installation does not include replacing the subfloor.
If you pick carpet, tiles, or vinyl and linoleum (on rolls), hiring a professional would be the best way to go since they require special tools and expertise. For example, stretching a carpet or cutting the linoleum rolls is almost impossible without any construction experience. Installing tiles in the bathroom should always be done by a pro because otherwise, an improper installation might end up costing you more than hiring a professional in the first place.
Doing It Yourself
If you are on a budget and in no place to hire professionals, laminate floors or floating floors are ideal for you since they are comparatively easier to install. You can find laminate floors at most outlet stores for $19.99 for 21 square feet. Purchase for the entire area at once, including a 10% overage for a good match.
Vinyl tiles are another decent choice for DIY installers. However, you might need to spend some extra time prepping and getting the lines squared during the installation.
What are your favorite flooring options for mobile homes? Do you have any tips for choosing mobile home flooring?
Comment below and let us know!