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Remodeling the Master Bathroom Without Breaking The Bank

We love when readers send us their remodeling success stories! Michael and Megan worked hard on remodeling the master bathroom in their 1998 Champion mobile home and it looks great. They purchased the manufactured home and a large piece of property in Missouri with the intention of building on it someday. Mobile homes are wonderful forever homes but they are also perfect ‘stepping stone homes’ to live in while saving or building a dream home.

Remodeling the Master Bathroom

The manufactured home was in great shape to be close to 20 years old, it was just a little dated in some rooms.

Michael commented, “The master bath was the most-dated room in the house, featuring dark green laminate counter tops, drop-in sinks, a huge and overbearing medicine cabinet, Hollywood light bars, and nasty, thick carpet (yuck!).” So, a remodel was definitely in order.

Why do they install carpet in bathrooms? 

One of the main things that sold the couple on their 1998 manufactured home was the fact that the entire interior, except the two bathrooms, were drywalled from the factory. The couple wasn’t big fans of the vinyl wall and batton strips that are in most factory-built homes. The couple decided to start with the master bathroom by updating the vinyl coated walls first and then replacing the major surfaces such as the countertops, flooring, lighting, and mirrors.

VOG Panels gets New Life

The first step of any manufactured home remodel is to figure out exactly what you want to accomplish. For Michael and Megan, they wanted to update the master bath’s aesthetics without gutting the whole room so they started the remodel by updating the VOG panels. 

Removing the Battens

First, the couple removed the battens or strips that conceal the seams when two panels meet. As you know this can be tricky work, Michael went through and tapped down all of the brads that held each 4×8 panel and used a razor blade to cut or remove any vinyl wallpaper that was bubbled, raised, or torn.

Next, he filled each gap with Painter’s Flexible Caulk. The big mess came in the form of using paper drywall tape and drywall mud (he used the premixed, low dust mud) to blend the seams that were caulked. Michael admits to never having done any drywall work before but after this project, he feels much more confident.

Related: We’ve shared a couple of articles about updating vinyl coated panels in mobile homes and a Q and A post with top questions about removing battens from vinyl coated wallboards.

The next step was to tear out the light fixtures, mirrors over the tub, the carpet, and the green counter tops and plastic sinks. Then Michael hired a drywall guy to come in and build a layer of drywall over the repaired vinyl. Sometimes, even with a job you hope to be DIY, you need to bring in a professional.

Remodeling the master bathroom -vinyl walls and carpet
Carpet and vinyl walls had to go.
Remodeling the master bathroom -vanity
The usual mirrors around the tub.
Remodeling the master bathroom -dated before look
Not loving the green countertops.

Related: 63 Affordable DIY Lighting Projects

Replacing Major Surfaces Makes for a Gorgeous Bathroom

The couple voted to reuse the vanity but Michael strengthened the inside with more bracing before ordering a bullnose laminate top from Menards. They ordered the glass vessel sinks and drains from Amazon, and went with quality, Delta tall waterfall faucets from Lowes. The honey oak beveled mirrors came from and the light fixtures came from Menards.

Related: Read our mobile home bathroom guide here

For the flooring they continued with the same flooring that they had used throughout the rest of the home, SmartCore luxury vinyl planks over Roberts 2-in-1 vapor/moisture barrier padding.

They finished off the project with a nine-inch-tall glass backsplash and put new baseboards all the way around. They also primed and painted the factory crown molding white before painting the whole room.

Remodeling the master bathroom-backsplash
Gorgeous backsplash.
Remodeling the master bathroom -vanity after
These sinks are very stylish.
Remodeling the master bathroom-finished drywall and floor
The finished look is much more appealing.

The Cost of Remodeling the Master Bathroom in a 1998 Clayton Manufactured Home

Michael and Megan were kind enough to share every detail about their remodel. He broke down the cost of the project for us:

The total cost of the project was about $1500.00. 
  • The mirrors: $200/pair
  • Both Sinks: $120/pair
  • The faucets: $300/pair
  • Both lights: $100/pair
  • Countertop: $200
  • Drywall work: $300
  • Floors: $2.89/sq ft.

Advice and Tips 

We asked Michael if he could share any tips or tricks that he learned during the project. He stressed the importance of researching and comparison shopping for the best prices. Many of the things they needed were available right at Lowe’s or Menards, but they made sure to comparison shop for the larger pieces to save money.

Michael had one very important piece of advice that anyone in the plumbing or remodeling business will back:

DO NOT cheap out on good faucets.

There are dozens of knock-off waterfall faucets on Amazon that have terrible reviews. Buy a good faucet with a good reputation and warranty. (Moen and Delta are a favorite of many master plumbers i know.)

Remodeling the master bathroom doesn’t have to include a complete gutting. Michael and Megan were able to keep costs down by keeping the tub, shower, and vanity cabinet and just updating the majopr surfaces in the bathroom. It’s always great when you can give a room a new look without breaking the bank!

Do you have a room or total mobile home remodel you would like to share with our readers? We would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!


  • Barbara Martinez
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I’ve been remodeling my master bath as well. I replaced the huge mirror over the double vanity with single framed mirrors, and replaced the plastic sinks with ceramic and oil rubbed bronze faucets. I also have a garden tub that I want to tear out, I’ve used it 3 times in the 13 years I’ve had the house. I want to put in a full length shower and put a linen closet where the shower stall is. The vanity is the standard site built cheap one, so eventually that will be replaced as well. Keep sharing ideas, I love them!

    • Crystal Adkins
      Posted September 18, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Barbara!

      I’d love to see (and share) your remodel, it sounds lovely! If you would like to share, you could email me at and we could do a quick interview and get some images from you.

      Thanks so much!

  • Linda
    Posted December 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    What happened to the garden tub? Did they take it out? I took mine out to make more room for a dresser; I don’t have room for dressers. I plugged up pipes. I never will take a tub bath? Interested in knowing how many people really keep them. I am going to remodel this coming spring and looking for tips.

    • Crystal Adkins
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Linda,

      They kept the tub, I think. They just updated the counters and such. I have a love/hate attitude about garden tubs. If there is enough room and it’s not too big I love them – a good soak every now and then is great. But if the bathroom is smaller and the tub is taking up most of the space, I’ll want to remove it. Be sure to take photos of your remodel – I have a tough time finding photos!


    • Diana S.
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 5:11 am

      I would never get rid of my garden tub! I love soaking in the bath and my bathroom is really big. My tub is yellow but it’s one of my favorite colors. I did have to tear out the shower due to leaking. Not sure I’m putting it back in because I redid the 2nd bath shower and made it into a 2 person shower. I could actually use the old shower enclosure for more closet space.

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