Bathrooms are the most remodeled rooms in mobile homes. There’s good reason for this: the tubs, sinks and faucets are often made from a thin material that can warp, discolor and crack easily. Weight is the main reason the products are used but once you have the home set, weight isn’t as much of an issue. Fortunately, you can replace bathroom fixtures easily and give your bathroom a complete new look that’s affordable and stylish. Below is a buying guide we’ve put together, this should get you started on that dream remodel you’ve been planning and allow you to decipher all the information that’s out there.

One point to remember: mobile home sinks, tubs and fixtures are often not the same size as the products you find at your everyday hardware store. You have 2 options: buy products specifically made for mobile homes and simply replace the old with the new or retrofit standard home products to fit the mobile home.

Mobile Home Bathroom Faucets

Faucets come in 5 varieties: center set, minispread, single hole, wall-mount or widespread.

  • Single Hole Faucets only require a single hole to be drilled on the counter. They usually come with one or two handles attached to the main spout. These can be tricky to operate for the very young or the elder as getting the right temperature is only controlled by one handle usually. You can buy them with temperature limiting valves to prevent scolding. If you are transforming from a center set to a single hole faucet, deck plates are available and often come with the faucet. This allows the modification to remain stylish and covers up the additional holes that are no longer needed.
  • Center Set Faucets are the most often used style in mobile homes.  The holes are drilled 4″ apart from the center of the holes. The water temperature is controlled completely through the handles as there are 2 lines, one for hot and one for cold and they are mixed together in the spout. They come in either 2 handle or 1 lever designs that are attached to the base. Their compact size is beneficial for small spaces.
  • 4″ Minispread Faucets are also classified as center set yet are a bit different. The have 3 separate pieces which give the look of a widespread faucet but you can still use the standard 4″ openings of a center set faucet. Each handle controls either the hot or the cold water. It’s mixed together in the spout.
  • Wall-Mounted Faucets are exactly what they say they are: wall mounted. These are becoming increasingly popular for small spaces because they don’t require additional counter room for the faucet. They are perfect for the modern vessel sink. Make sure to chose one that is the right length for the sink you want. It should extend to the exact middle of the sink upon installation.
  • Widespread Faucets come in either 8″ or even 16″ wide styles. The valves and temperature mixing chamber are below the counter. They are usually very large and should be used in the correct environment, with a large sink. Otherwise, the scale will be off and it will overpower everything in the room.

You can put any kind of faucet you want in your home, especially if you are changing out the counter and sink at the same time. If you are simply replacing a leaky faucet you should buy the style that fits the opening you have (most often its going to be 4″ center set in a mobile home). You can get a replacement faucet from a mobile home supply store for cheap or you can spend a bit more on a piece that really makes a statement in the room.

If you are completely remodeling the bathroom, your options are wide open! Most recommend that you buy the faucet first, then the sink based on the type of faucet you’ve selected. You’ll also want to choose a counter to put these new beauties on. All new faucets should come with a template to help you place the holes in the correct spot.

Mobile Home Bathroom Sinks

There are 6 basic sink types: vanity top, console, vessel, pedestal, wall mounted, under counter and counter top.

Vanity Top Sinks are a one piece sink and counter combination. They are simply installed on top of a cabinet or as part of a complete furniture piece. They come in several different types of materials and sizes.  Easy cleaning is one advantage but size and weight can be disadvantages.

Console Sinks are similar to vanity top sinks but they are often supported by 2 front legs in the front and wall mounting in the back. They are great for small spaces but there’s little to no storage space under the sink. They come in various materials and sizes. They are easy to clean since it’s one piece with legs.

Vessel Sinks are very popular these days. It’s basically a decorative bowl that sits either on top of the counter or inside the counter, though the top installation is far more popular. Numerous materials are available although glass seems to be the most popular. You must chose the correct faucet for vessel sinks.

Pedestal Sinks are free standing sinks with a base. You often have to buy the 2 pieces separately but that gives you an opportunity to get the exact style you want. There’s no storage under these but they are beautiful and simple. Plumbing is often exposed.

Wall Mounted Sinks are self explanatory. The are attached to the wall and nothing else. They are often small in size and perfect for tight spaces.

Under Counter Sinks are set under the counter. This allows the inside of the counter to be seen around the opening of the sink so it should be decorative or one solid piece such as granite. They are installed under the counter with mounting kits. These are very popular as well and are often referred to as under mount sinks. They come in numerous materials, shapes and sizes.

Counter Top Sinks are the most popular style of any sink. The rim of the sink rests directly on top of the counter inside of a hole. The counter top material can be practically anything as long as it’s water proof. Materials choices are numerous and they come in several sizes and shapes.

Most mobile home bathroom sinks are set with clips placed under the sink opening. The parameter is sealed under the lip of the sink. Unscrew the clips and run a blade between the sink and counter and lift it out. Then replace them with what ever style you want!

Try to get a replacement product that has a warranty and a good company reputation. Kohler Bathroom sinks are known to be good quality with a lot of styles to chose from.

Yellowing Mobile Home Bathtubs

Most mobile home bathtubs turn yellow within 5-7 years. There’s not been 1 home spared as far as I’ve seen. It’s a chemical reaction to the sunlight or the air or just a very bad plastic coating or coloring breaking down over time. Who knows, but really it needs to stop. The manufacturers need to do better testing with the tub suppliers and refuse to install junk in the homes. This is 2013, we can have computers the size of a credit card but we can’t keep a plastic tub from yellowing over time? Really?

Replacing mobile home tubs isn’t that hard but you need to be aware of one main point:

The standard tub in your mobile home is likely not the same size as the tubs at your everyday hardware store for $139. There’s usually a 6″ difference. You can always make room by moving one wall and since the water heater is placed behind the wall that houses the tub faucets, there’s usually a way to nudge just enough room out of that area to use a standard sized tub. You’ll have to really look things over and plan accordingly. Always factor in a surround for the tub walls too. They usually run between $79 and $250 depending on style.

Of course, you can always buy a mobile home tub from any mobile home supplier. That’s going to be your easiest method but oddly enough, it is usually the most expensive. When we priced tubs a couple months back, the cheapest mobile home sized tub with a surround was running in the $400-500 range. That was for your basic tub with nothing fancy. We could knock an entire wall down, move it over 6.5 inches and rebuild,  then buy a standard $139 tub with surround and very nice tub hardware for a little over half the price of the mobile home tub.

Mobile Home Toilets

I was given some very good advice about mobile home toilets once. If you can’t find the model or the year that the mobile home was manufactured, look at the toilet tank. The year will be stamped on it. This assumes the toilet has never been replaced, of course. I can’t really say much about toilets in mobile homes. They’ve always stood the test of time with me. Of course, the guts needs replaced occasionally but that’s the case with any toilet.

Mobile home toilets are easily replaceable with any one on the market. You have 2 basic choices; a regular toilet or a handicapped one. The handicapped toilets are higher. All toilets you buy today are going to be low flow which is good, we don’t need to use 10 gallons every time we flush. It’s a waste of water.

Replacing toilets is not complicated: turn the water off, empty the water out of the tank and bowl. Unscrew and lift. Anytime you move or replace a toilet you must use a new wax ring. It’s just not smart to reuse them (yuck!). There’a little more to it but the magic is in making sure it’s level. If it’s not level, you are going to have complications. Leveling brings me to the last section:

Mobile Home Bathroom Floors

Mobile home bathroom flooring doesn’t come with any waterproofing so every drop of water that is allowed to reach the flooring (meaning the sub-floor, the studs or joists under it) is killing the wood. It will rot and cause weak spots and swelling. Chances are within 15 years of buying your home you will need to replace the bathroom floors completely if the appropriate precautions aren’t taken.

In the 80’s some manufacturers had the bright idea to put carpeting in the master bathrooms. What a total mess that decision made! If you have carpet in your bathroom or floating floor without a waterproof membrane under it, get it out now! The mold growing under it is not healthy and I will guarantee that it’s there, you may just not realize it.  In my 34 years of living in a manufactured home, I’ve been involved with no less than 5 total bathroom floor replacements. It’s not easy but it’s absolutely possible. Getting the studs level and straight is the biggest complication but once that’s done you simply lay your sub-flooring down and screw it into the studs. Use a waterproof membrane, it will help keep the wood dry and will allow you some peace of mind that you won’t have to do it all again.

If you’re ready to do a complete bathroom renovation in your mobile home, begin from the bottom and work your way up. There’s no since in buying all the fancy new gadgets if the flooring isn’t correct. Factoring in sub-flooring and giving the studs (joists) a good look over before you install anything is the best move.

Alright, that should get you started on planning your bathroom remodel. Good luck!

As always, thank you for reading Mobile & Manufactured Home Living

12 Responses

  1. Shirlee

    Hi again Crystal. Did you move your site to wordpress? It doesn't always show up on my blogger list plus a few times I could not get your site to load. But I think it's a problem on my end, computers have a way of not co-operating every once and a while.

    I don't know who came up with the carpet in the bathroom idea but what a bad one that was! Double ick factor there. Interesting to know about the difference in bathtub size. We never had to do a bathroom reno when we owned a mobile home. We lived with the harvest gold fixtures since it was short term, but I do remember flooring issues.

    Hope all is well with you! Have a great weekend.

  2. Crystal

    Hi Shirlee! I'm so glad to hear from you again!! I did move the site to WordPress and it's caused all kinds of problems! I promise it's nothing to do with your computer, it's all on my end unfortunately. I've hired a webmaster to fix all the issues though so hopefully in the next week it will all be better. Right now, the list is pretty long: browser compatibility issues (not appearing on computers), the RSS feed needs fixed and all the past comments (all 1248) are not showing on the site, although I can see them all in the admin. I thought I could handle the transition but it was way over my head! Lesson learned, hire professionals from the get go on things you know absolutely nothing about…lol. Don't give up on me yet!

    I hope all is well with you and your enjoying the spring. Take care!

  3. Crystal

    Hi Shirlee! I'm so glad to hear from you again!! I did move the site to WordPress and it's caused all kinds of problems! I promise it's nothing to do with your computer, it's all on my end unfortunately. I've hired a webmaster to fix all the issues though so hopefully in the next week it will all be better. Right now, the list is pretty long: browser compatibility issues (not appearing on computers), the RSS feed needs fixed and all the past comments (all 1248) are not showing on the site, although I can see them all in the admin. I thought I could handle the transition but it was way over my head! Lesson learned, hire professionals from the get go on things you know absolutely nothing about…lol. Don't give up on me yet!

    I hope all is well with you and your enjoying the spring. Take care!

    • Albert

      Choose a plumbing company that is the best in the business at your locality, because you cannot hand over the responsibility of plumbing installation and, maintenance to each and everyone, without being sure about their performance level. Luckily, I have found plumbers Pretoria with the most satisfying services I have ever received in the last couple of, since I built up my home in this city.

  4. lauralou

    Tell you what I think is the ultimate bathroom design – when you have a glass sink with live fish in the basin part of the sink. I’ve seen this a couple of times and it’s such a clever idea!

  5. Allison

    Crystal, have you heard of anyone boxing in or otherwise remodeling one of those darn garden tubs?

    I’ve got one in the master bath in our new-to-us 2007 double wide, and I’m planning on remodeling the room in an Old Mexico style.

    So tile will be a major decorative element; I want to sort of recreate the feeling of a fountain in the zocalo with the tub, so I’m thinking building a box around the present (stepped) sides and ??? over the rim.

    Having no luck at googling this kind of alteration to a garden tub- maybe you’re run across something?

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Allison,

      I always feel like if there’s a will, there’s a way, especially when it comes to’m pretty sure I understand exactly what you’re wanting to do, and if I’m close, it would look awesome!! Your only worry would be the waterproofing aspect of it all but all the new tiling products that are out on the market these days it would make the job a lot easier than it would’ve been, say, 10 years ago.

      To box in the tub you would simply need to line the area (under the tub if possible) with a liner or pan and frame out the structure with waterproof tile board. Once you have it all tiled and the grout is dry you would want to be extra careful with the sealing between the tub and the tile and coat it all with a waterproof membrane type product. The liner or pan may be a little bit of an overkill but it would keep the floor safe and that’s a big priority whenever dealing with a tub or shower install.

      If you don’t mind, click this link and scroll down to the bathtub with the tile being installed around it. You’ll see how that was done and it would work for covering the steps on the other side. It’s a job my husband did inside a double side. We advised against the fireplace but the owners wanted it so it was done. Still, I wish they would’ve let us set in the wall along with some added protection to ensure it could never end up in the tub, especially when water is in it!

      Good luck!

  6. Lora Worthan

    Hello Crystal, I stumbled upon your website while looking for decorating ideas for my 1963 mobile home bathroom. My husbands sister gave us our home last year when she got married. It has been one project after another. After almost one year, I finally completed my landscaping project. I am so proud of how my yard looks now. My neighbors all love it. Even if your home is older, it can still look fabulous. Now I am working on the inside and wondered if you might have any tips. The color of the bathtub, sink basin, and toilet is hard to describe. My sister-in-law says it is peach, but it is too dark. I compared it to different paints and I think it is closer to a coral or maybe salmon. Sometimes it looks more brown than pink depending on the light. They were all painted white, but it was chipping off bad so I stripped the paint. Now nothing matches. The cabinet doors and front of vanity were painted sea foam green and the walls were a light peach. The floor tiles are white with tiny blue and brown flowers. The vanity top is white linoleum with grey marbling. I really do not want to refinish the fixtures again. I currently have a tropical sunset themed shower curtain which works perfect with the coral colored tub and toilet. I took pictures and used Sherwin Williams’ paint visualizer to compare color pallets, but I have no eye for decorating. I feel like the darker grayish blues looked best on the walls (Naval or indigo). On all of the doors, drawers, and ceiling I was going to try a color called Bungalow Beige. It is an eggshell color with a barely noticeable hint of blush. I have wood trim around the door and along the bottom of the walls. They are currently dark brown, but I was thinking of going with a dark color in the red family like Arresting Auburn. I have a brown wood mirrored medicine chest on the side wall above the sink. I thought I should paint it the same as the vanity doors. I tried lighter colors on the walls, but nothing worked with the sink and vanity top. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have. I realize it is hard without photos. Thank you!

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Lora!

      We’ve been trying to update our bathroom too – I swear I think it’s the hardest room to makeover on a budget. I’ve decided to just buy a new tub cause while there has been a lot of advances in the tub painting industry, I just don’t think it’s worth the time and cost to try yet. Maybe in a few more years they can figure it all out! Till then, I think painting the cabinetry and adding some kind of texture on the walls is probably the easiest way to update a bathroom.

      We spent $30 on several rolls of discontinued wallpaper at Lowe’s and wallpapered around our mirror in a wheat grass paper that was very textured. Then painted the built-in cabinetry a dark brown (I had it white but white cabinetry in the bathroom was just too hard to keep clean) and then painted the walls a dark teal. It works OK till we can completely rip it all out.

      You should be able to get lots of great ideas on Pinterest, just search bathroom decorating ideas. There’s lots of great ideas here on Mobile home Living for bathrooms too – here’s all the articles that comes up when you search bathroom:

      Good luck!


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