Flooring is one of the most important parts of a home. It is the foundation of good design, protection from cold and an essential way to update your home. Not surprisingly, mobile home flooring is a tricky endeavor, especially if you’re in an older model home. You are probably not going to get anything perfectly squared  in an older mobile home. To be fair you’re not going to find to many square walls or floors in any older home though.

Some of the biggest issues in mobile home flooring are moisture damage, walls separating from the floor, bowing and sagging (although moisture is usually the reason for this as well). We recently had to replace sub-flooring in our hallway. Thankfully, it was a cheap and easy fix.

I’m currently on a mission to find the best flooring options for mobile homes. I want discount wood flooring or laminate flooring in every room except the bathroom. A dark walnut perhaps or a pink bamboo? The decisions are almost to much to bare!

I want tile in my bathroom, what kind exactly, is a tough decision. I’ve been researching tile in order to make sure I get the type that best fits my families lifestyle. Flooring is a sound investment in every home and I plan on making the smartest investment possible. I  have recently found out that tiles are rated from low to high in wear ability. It’s only smart to buy the highest rating for flooring, especially if it’s in a bathroom.

Ceramic tile contains feldspar and clay. The color is achieved from the glaze used on the surface during firing. There is also natural clay tiles, also known as Terra-cotta. I happen to know that natural unglazed terra-cotta absorbs water so it must be the glaze applied that makes it water resistant. The reddish orange color comes from the clay itself. There is also a white clay that is used in tile making. Ceramic is available in several finishes: high gloss, glass and matte.

Porcelain tile is a kind of ceramic tile. Porcelain contains a mineral called kaolin. Kaolin makes the tile very dense and strong. It would be a great choice for any high-traffic area in your home.

Stone tile is usually made from travertine, limestone, slate, sandstone, marble, and granite. Natural stone options are not perfect but that’s what makes them so beautiful in my opinion.When buying stone tiles it is smart to buy all that your going to need at one time. By purchasing in lots at the same time, you have a better chance that they all came from the same seam and at the same depth of the cut. Don’t forget to include a 10% overage allowance in case of breakage and installation mistakes.

With all the options available for flooring. It’s a wonder anyone ever narrows their choices down. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to change your mind several times. Lots of researching and price comparing is the only rational option for anyone about to invest in flooring. I hope you have an easier time than I have had.

I will eventually find the perfect flooring at the perfect price. Since I have it narrowed down to tile and wood I have gotten past the first decision, it should be all downhill from here. Of course, I could change my mind, again!

I’ll let you know when the final decision has been made.

As always, thanks for reading Mobile & Manufactured Home Living!

About The Author


Hello! I'm Crystal, the creator of Mobile Home Living and I appreciate you stopping by! I hope MHL is an inspiring and informative resource for you! Please consider letting me feature your remodels, room makeovers, and home improvement projects. There's not enough inspiration available for manufactured homeowners and I want to change that. Thanks!

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34 Responses

  1. Caroline

    We have a ’78 Marshfield mobile home, and just before everything froze for winter we had a fitting for our bathtub break and flood our bathroom… Now that everything is thawing for spring, our bathroom floor has started to sink and we are suspecting mold in subfloor which has gone completely soft under the linoleum (I’m in the north so referring to the stuff on a roll). We are trying decide the best way to go in replacing the subfloor, a friend suggested getting marine grade plywood and my dad suggested plastic decking(like the plastic wood)… We would like to find the cheapest yet most effective route possible (also we are figuring about 2 sheets of 4×8 would be what it would take to get the whole floor that’s been damaged as well as some over hang into daughter’s room where some water went but there’s currently been no softening her floor)
    Also wondering best option for reinforcing a sagging shelf bay window, would it be better to lift and reinforce from outside the trailer and cover the supports with decorative trim/skirting or essentially rebuild the whole window section (the owner before our family had plants in that window n must’ve frequently over watered and let the drained water just sit in the window shelf as you can see the staining and the peeling wood veneer)

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Caroline,

      You absolutely could use marine grade plywood. It would definitely add an additional layer of protection. However, if it were me, I’d put the money toward a plumbing system upgrade (insulated PEX for all water lines, upgrade the waste lines, etc) so the freezing and leaks don’t occur again and go with regular ole high-grade plywood. If money isn’t a problem absolutely go for the marine grade (I don’t think composite decking would be a good idea at all because you will feel the seams unless you tile and that would be a whole new factor of issues you’d need to consider).

      As far as the window, a pro really needs to look at that before making a decision but I’d bet rebuilding the frame would be the better choice. If you reinforce it from the exterior you’ll still have a chance of having rotting wood and leaks that you cannot detect. I’d tear it out and start anew.

      Best of luck to you! Take some photos if you don’t mind. I’m always looking for photos of homes being updated and repaired for articles.


  2. Paul Wyble

    I have a 2008 Fleetwood doublewide I bought new. It is sitting on my property in central Texas and I don’t plan on moving it… ever. Can you run vinyl wood flooring across the marriage line on the floor? I have an open kitchen that goes into living room. Currently there is carpet in living room and cheap linoleum in the kitchen.

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Paul,

      Vinyl and carpet are used often across marriage line. Floating floor works well, too. Tile isn’t recommended because of the potential for the grout to crack and the mess it creates should the home ever need to be moved.

      (PS Where I come from, we call vinyl flooring the stuff that comes on a big roll. ‘Wood’ can be real wood planks or the engineered wood that connects to each other and ‘floats’ with no true attachment to anything. Just want to make sure I’m not confusing you. I’ve noticed different parts of the country call it differently.)

      Best of luck!

  3. Becky Williams

    I had a pipe break under my kitchen sink. Can we say “flood.” The flooring has to be replaced; kitchen, dining, and main living room and hallway. I want to use the same flooring all the way through. Home is 1997 in AZ. Getting bids now but still confused which direction to go. I picked up samples from Lowes that are vinyl. Going between this and laminate. My son said to go with engineered wood. What do you recommend? Help, please!

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Becky!

      So sorry you’ve had to deal with such a mess! Hopefully, this is one of those accidents that end up being beneficial in the long run because you get to update your home.

      I’m a HUGE fan of the laminate floating floor (I’ve noticed different parts of the country call it different things). It’s easy to install and comes in all price ranges. We installed the .79 sq foot kind from Lowe’s and it has stood up to 4 years of abuse. I can only imagine how well the expensive choices could hold up.

      With that said, I do not like to install any kind of wood or laminate in kitchens or baths unless you put the waterproof barrier down firs. The possibility of water damage to your subfloor is too great for my comfort. If it were me, I would go with quality vinyl (it’s thicker) or tile. The Transition from laminate to tile looks a little better than vinyl because of the similar thickness.

      Hope that helps! If possible, lay the good plywood down (not the particle board or OSB). Best of luck!

  4. Dana Smith

    Hi there Crystal,
    My mom has a 1976 Royal Oak and we want to replace the existing flooring. She has linoleum in kitchen/dining room and carpet through out the rest. I have heard that a mobile home this old (which I imagine still has the axles under the skirting) it is not a good idea to put in anything other than linoleum or carpet in due to the shifting the mobile home will do through out the year. We live in South East Washington state and it is very flat and very windy (it is not uncommon to get wind storms with gusts from 60 mph to on occasion 90+mph) usually in the spring. Can you give us some suggestions as to the best flooring options she would have. Side note, she has 4 small dogs so it would need to with stand the occasional accident. She really would like it to look like slate or wood flooring. Oh also, on a budget as she is retired! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    Dana S.

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Dana,

      Shifting is an issue but there are still a lot of good choices. As above, floating floor is a favorite of mine. It allows plenty of shifting and settling. Carpet and vinyl are good choices too. Tile can be a decent choice if it’s just small spaces that don’t cross the marriage line and the right setup and grout is used.

      Pretty much any of the choices mentioned above will be OK for you.

      Best of luck!

  5. Chris

    We bought a single wide mobile home almost 6 years ago and at the time It was 10 year’s old. I want to remove the wall between living room and so called dining room. The wall is approximately 5 feet in length. My husband said it can’t be done. Can someone please tell me if it can or cannot be removed? Thanks

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Chris,

      I’m no architect but it is my understanding that the only load bearing walls in a single wide is the perimeter, or exterior, walls. They are constructed so that their structural integrity is derived from the roof and the exterior walls so interior walls are not load-bearing. Of course, every home is different so it’s important you have a professional check the structure out before you knock any walls out.

      Best of luck and thanks so much for reading MHL!

  6. Jean

    I have water damage to my floors. I am in a 1995 single wide mobile home. The insulation is what came with it. I’ve read that I should keep the insulation below the wiring and pipes. Is this true? Or does heat get under the flooring from the heat duct? I’m tired of being cold!! What is the best subflooring to use?? Also, if the water has damaged the walls — how should I go about repairing them??

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Jean,

      Yes, you will want to keep insulation under the venting, plumbing, and wiring. This helps the heat that escapes from the heating vents to raise up into the home. If at all possible add as much insulation as you can under your home. You can use the pink insulation of the foam – depending on how much you want to use. Here’s an article where a family used foam under the home: http://mobilehomeliving.org/insulating-under-a-mobile-home-with-foam-board/

      Best of luck!

      • Art

        In replacing my sub floors I added R13 to the existing insulation and ran it under existing wiring and plumbing after I repaired all sub part mfg ductwork.

  7. barb

    I have a 1993 manufactured home doublewide, full basement. Isnt there anything that works beside a floating floor in these homes.? Trying to remove old carpet, which is partly gone since we already removed a fireplace and closet.

    • Crystal Adkins

      Absolutely Barb! You can install just about anything you want. I’ve seen plywood stained and used as a floor covering, tile, vinyl, even slate. There’s no hard rules, only suggestions. Tile is a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens though I don’t recommend you cross the marriage line (it can still be done but if the home has to be moved in the future it will be a mess). Weight should be considered too. If it can be done in a site-built home it can be done in a manufactured home – you may just have to tweak it a bit.

      You will likely have to cut the carpet out as the builders usually installs the floor covering first and then the walls. You can always install the laminated floating floor over the carpet though. That helps add a layer of insulation too.

      Best of luck!

  8. David Visser

    We have a 1999 Schultz double wide. In 2011, we installed 18″ porcelain tile. We installed the backer board over the subflooring for stability. For the last two years, the grout lines are coming up. We have tried to re-grout but the same areas are still coming up. We want to replace the tile with the floating laminate flooring. Can we keep the backer board (after cleaning the compound off)? Or do we need a new backer board? Thank you

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi David!

      I’d probably recommend new backer board simply because that compound is really hard to get off. Backer board nowadays isn’t as expensive as they used to be and the time you save will probably be well worth the added cost.

      PS I’d also make sure your home is level. All manufactured homes have to be re-leveled every 3-5 years. You can buy a water level for $25 online or just hire a pro – it’s not as expensive or hard a job as you’d think.

      Best of luck!

  9. Thomas Leone

    I just purchased a 1989 single wide mobile home. I would like to take out the carpet in the two bedrooms and living room and replace with floating laminate flooring. Is this recommended? If not, what would you recommend?

    • Crystal Adkins

      Absolutely Thomas! We LOVE our laminate flooring – it’s so much easier to clean! You won’t even have to remove the carpet, just install the floating floor over the carpet. It helps add insulating value to the floor and provides the new flooring with a nice padding. Just be sure to leave the space around the perimeter walls so the new floor can shift and flex properly. It’s a win-win!

      We bought the cheapest floating laminate flooring at Lowe’s for around .70 per square foot (roughly $20 per box) and it’s held up wonderfully for 4 years now. I’m very pleased with the product.

      Best of luck!

  10. Heather Wright


    I am wanting to up date my 1992 manufacture home, starting wit the floors. This home is on a foundation, it has been from the beginning. I would like to put in wood flooring in the main rooms of this home; I am not sure which will work best. I live in Northern NV and not sure where to start. I how you can give me some Ideas and point me in a good direction.
    Thanks Heather

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Heather,

      I always recommend laminate flooring (aka floating). I’m not a big fan of crossing a marriage line but if installed properly you shouldn’t have any issues. Just make sure you give the recommended space on the perimeter. It comes in all wood styles and all price ranges (from .79 sq ft and up).

      Best of luck!

  11. Natasha Snyder

    We just purchased a 1999 24×48 double wide home and we plan to remodel the whole thing one room at a time. My question is that I want to put the “wood” look tile in the laundry, kitchen and living room…what is your opinion on installing tile in a mobile home? The home will never be moved nor has it been moved since the original owner had it set on the acreage. Thank You for your help :)

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Natasha,

      Personally, I’m not a big fan of tile in large areas. There’s a few different reasons, weight is probably the main one- those tiles are heavy and it can affect your home’s levelness over time. Secondly, I would never put tile across the marriage line of a double wide because it can affect the settling of the two sides differently and cause issues. Tile is a more permanent choice and can be a real burden if you have water damage and have to pull an area up or if you decide you don’t like the design anymore – it’s gonna be a real pain to remove. Finally, tile is not so great when it comes to water unless it is installed 100% correctly (with proper liners, etc) and that’s expensive which is why a lot of homeowners cut corners. Typically, the original sub-flooring will not be able to withstand the weight of tile so it will need to be replaced with a better material (plywood instead of OSB). Also, manufactured homes have to be re-leveled every 5 years or so and when that happens all the grout lines will crack and rip.

      Take a look at floating laminate flooring. There are some that have the look of tile that will be a lot easier to install, a lot less damaging to the home, and a lot cheaper. You can typically install it right over the original sub-flooring and the only thing you’ll need is a cheap foam backed liner ($20 a roll). You’ll still get the look of wood too!

      Best of luck! Let me know what you decide or find!

  12. Karen L Rodgers

    I have a question, we have a 1967 Magnolia single wide,mobile home, 12’x 63′ , with a front step up kitchen . I would like to strip out the kitchen and lower the floor so it would be the same level as the rest of the house for our retirement years. Is a raised kitchen framed up on an existing sub floor so it could be removed?? I would really appreciate your help in this matter. We need new cupboards, appliances etc so would be a complete renovation.

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Karen,

      Our single wide has the exact same step-up kitchen! I love it right now but I can see it will be an issue later on, especially with my arthritis. On our home, the floor is framed up (there’s a frame on top of a frame) so to lower it we would need to remove the subflooring and the additional framing (and reinforce the ‘new’ framing and then lay the subflooring back down). I would probably leave the areas under the cabinets alone so it wouldn’t be such a huge job. Instead of lowering the floor under the counters, stove, and refrigerator, I would look into cutting down the cabinetry from the top and then perhaps only needing to change the flooring under the stove and fridge. You’ll lose a bit of cabinet space but I think it would be a much easier and more affordable way to handle the issue. You at least wouldn’t need to gut the entire kitchen. That’s how my home is laid out though – yours may be different. You may be able to add a ramp too – It would need to be designed to transition very slightly though. You’d lose some flooring space like that but it would aid in livability.

      Basically, there are a few different ways you could accomplish what you want. Cost and convenience would be the ultimate deciding factor on how you could do it. Best of luck!

  13. Brenda

    We have laminate in our 1983 mobile and now it’s separating in places and it looks horrible. We have it through most of the home except bathroom. Does anyone know if it’s fixable, and if not, what would be the best flooring to lay down?

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Brenda!

      The word laminate throws me off sometimes cause it is used to describe a few different types of flooring. In WV, I’ve heard laminate used to describe both vinyl and floating flooring. Luckily, you can remove any type of flooring. If it’s a vinyl like material (which I assume it is cause they didn’t really have floating flooring as we know it in 1983) then you may be able to just install floating flooring right over it. That way you won’t have to remove anything and you’ll get a new floor. Unless an old floor is 100% wood, old flooring isn’t really worth trying to repair – either rip it up and install new or install the modern floating floor right over it.

      Lowe’s has floating floor for around .80 cents per sq ft. and it is simple to install. Best of luck!

  14. Janelle

    I have heard conflicting reports of tile in manufactured homes… some say ‘no way,’ others say, it’s just fine. Do you have any feedback on this? I have a 2005 manufactured home that is level with good subflooring…

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Janelle!

      I do have a few words of advice when it comes to tile.

      Most importantly, I believe tile should only be used in homes that will never be moved again. If there’s a chance the home will have to be moved I’d go with vinyl.

      I recommend tile only be used in small rooms or spaces such as bathrooms, small kitchens, and entry ways and I never like to see tile being used over the marriage line – shifting, moving, and settling can cause a lot of headaches. I’ve noticed that manufactured homes that have been sitting for a few years have the least amount of issue. Adding tile to a newly installed home is kinda asking for trouble in my humble opinion.

      If you’re using tile near water you should always spend the extra money to buy the best backer board, waterproof membrane, and/or grout that you can afford. There’s been a lot of advancement in tile technology in the last 10 years so you’ll be able to find specialized products for just about any installation.

      If you have kids (or messy adults) you may want to pass on smaller tiles and go for the larger sized tiles around the tub and shower. It’s probably best to leave the small tile for accents.

      That’s about it. Tile is a great material. Heck, it’s been used in home building for thousands of years. Most people don’t like tile in manufactured homes because of the movement and settling but it’s 2014 and thankfully the tile industry has came up with some remarkable products that remedy most of the old issues. I’ve even seen specialized tile for RV’s and travel trailers!

      Good luck!

  15. CrystalMHL

    Tish, I would certainly LOVE to have your pics! I am always looking
    for mobile home remodels to share and help others see what is possible
    with a mobile home! Send them to me:
    crystaladkins@mobilehomeliving.org..Thanks so much, I have been asked
    a few times if laminate is good for bathrooms and kitchens and I think
    it all depends if the top layer is \”waterproof\” some are and some
    aren't. Also with floating floor I don't think it would be a good idea
    as the floor does just \”float\” over the sub-flooring and water can get
    in between them…thanks so much for your warning..Good ole' vinyl is
    probably the best bet in any water prone areas guys!!! Sorry about
    your little spot, in any remodel nothing ever goes perfectly..hope to
    hear from you!

  16. Tish Ybarra

    We have a 1979 something or other moble home. When we first bought it we actually couldn't use the larger of the 2 bedrooms, because the floor was rotted. We in a hurry put burber carpet in the 10'x10' bdrm and our queen size bed barely fit, with the built in closet and dresser. We tuffed it out till spring and replaced the floor, sub floor and all in the larger bedroom. We used a laminate, "lock n seal" advanced flooring in a brazialan cherry. I quite like its color, price and ease of use. The only problem I have with it is, it rained unexpectedly one day and I had the windows open, one spot on the edge of the flooring bubbled a little. Not bad damage for what it is, it now just makes me a little over cautious. I would love to share pics as our remodel comes along.
    We turned our smaller bedroom into an office that we are kinda proud of. We will be working on our kitchen in April.


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