Top Tips for Remodeling Your Manufactured Home Bathroom
After windows, roofing, and insulation updates we like to recommend that homeowners update their kitchens and bathrooms. We’ve put together some of our favorite examples and helpful tips for remodeling your manufactured home bathroom.
We’ve published a complete mobile home bathtub guide here. Learn the different types of mobile home tubs, sinks, and faucets. If you are going to remodel a mobile home bathroom you’ll want to read this post.
Please Hire a Plumber for your Tub/Shower Installation
Water is the most destructive force on earth. You don’t want a $300 bathtub to do $3,000 in damages because the drain wasn’t properly installed. If you can do the demolition yourself you can save a good deal of money. Use those savings to hire a licensed plumber to do your tub faucet and drain connections (you can probably handle the sink yourself).
Save Money by Keeping your Layout
A great way to save money on a bathroom remodel is to keep your layout the same so no plumbing pipes need to be modified. Changing the placement of the pipes is often the biggest expense when remodeling a bathroom.
Which Mobile Home Bathtub?
If you are remodeling your manufactured home bathroom yourself you will want to start with a detailed plan. Measure the room and everything in it first. If you want to get real fancy you can use a site like Room Sketcher to create a floor plan on paper.
Measuring the Bathtub Opening
You will need to make a few decisions based on the measurements such as the tub replacement. To measure your tub size you just need to measure the rough opening or the opening that the entire tub fits into. That’s it.
- The average bathtub size in a site built home is 60″ long and 30 or 32″ wide.
- The average bathtub size for manufactured housing is usually 54″ long and 27″ wide.
See the problem?
If your bathtub is mobile home sized you will need to decide whether you will order an exact fit tub from a mobile home parts store at a fairly high price or if you will retrofit a much cheaper standard size tub from your local home improvement store.
Mobile Home Sized Tub or a Standard Size tub from Lowe’s?
Mobile home sized tubs can be expensive and if you have to pay for shipping it will make it even more expensive. Last I looked, a tub and surround set can run about $622 online at Mobile Home Parts Store (affiliate link).
Standard Size Tub
The cheapest tub and surround at Lowe’s will run about $400. However, you need to factor in the costs of moving walls for this new tub size.
You can save money by going with a cheaper surround option. There are so many choices: tile, plastic, and VOG panels have all been used as bathtub surrounds.
There are a lot of variables in this decision. First, you have to have space. It will be a lot easier to retrofit a larger tub if your water heater sits directly behind your tub’s faucet wall (a very popular layout in the 1970’s).
Pushing a wall over a few inches is a lot more work than most people realize. You will need to figure out how you will deal with ceiling and the flooring. Scars from the wall will be obvious and those ceiling panels are a pain to repair.
This decision is also a cost versus convenience thing. Paying $622 for the mobile home size tub, plus all the extra supplies needed, will certainly be more convenient and probably the best decision for those that aren’t experienced in complex DIY projects. You could easily have the old tub out and the new tub installed in a day.
Left Hand or Right Hand Tub?
After deciding whether you go with a mobile home tub or a Lowe’s tub you will need to buy the tub. This isn’t as easy as it seems.
If you are not changing the placement of your plumbing lines you need to buy a tub or shower unit that works for your home using terms like left hand, right hand, or center drain.
Look at your tub as if you are about to step into it. Where’s your drain? A ‘left-hand bathtub’ has the drain on the left. A right-hand tub has the drain on the right. Center drains are, obviously, in the center closest to the back wall.
Bathtub Material and Support
Bathtubs can be made from a few different materials. Of course, you can save money by choosing the cheapest material (usually PVC) but if you can splurge a bit this is where you would probably want to. Fiberglass is a more expensive bathtub material but it is more rigid and insulated. That warm bubble bath will stay warm a little longer. There are new materials hitting the market, too. I found this info table on ashevillemobilehomes.com:
- Easy to work with. Very Lite Weight!
- Easier Installation.
- Economical price
- Will Deform rather than Crack for increased durability.
- Heavy Duty
- Completely Rigid and Sturdy.
- Beautiful Enamel Gel Coat Finish
- Highly insulated
A quick word about bathtub supports: you will need to speak to a qualified bathtub salesperson so they can help you choose the best support system and installation for your bathtub.
Surrounds and Supports
A plastic surround for a mobile home sized tubs runs around $210 without shipping. It’s about the same with Lowe’s surrounds. Here’s a mobile home supply site with a little more info about surrounds.
Here’s the part where I preach about having a professional install your tub/shower and tile the surround. If you have experience fine, but remodeling your manufactured home bathroom isn’t the place to start doing-it-yourself.
You can always bypass the whole bathtub situation and install a shower unit in place of your mobile home tub.
You will need to decide on the mobile home versus Lowe’s here, too, but it’s not quite as difficult with showers though.
As with your bathtubs, you will need to have the exact measurements of your drain and supply line if you are going to choose a single shower unit. The two most common mobile home shower pan sizes are full shower and shower stall. A full shower pan is the same size as your mobile home bathtub, 54″ x 27.” The shower stall sized pan is 32″ x 32″.
Kimberly did a complete manufactured home bathroom remodeling project. She replaced the walls, flooring, cabinets, toilet, and shower.
This is what your bathroom will probably look like after the tub has been removed. No plumbing change has been made at this point.
Kim saved money by keeping the plumbing layout intact. She was able to use the same supply and drain lines from the original bathroom with little modification for the one-piece shower unit.
How to Install a Bathtub
Mobile Home Repair has a great article about repairing or replacing a mobile home bathtub here.
You never know what you will find once you start remodeling your manufactured home bathroom so be prepared for anything when you start tearing out wall panels and bathtubs! Most experts agree that a 10% budget cushion is the minimum you should set aside for a home remodel.
Also, be sure to use LED light fixtures, low flow toilets, new faucets, and showerheads. Modern fixtures save electricity and water which saves money.
Check out this great article that shows that no job is too big to tackle!
Another great resource is our Mobile Home Bathroom Guide which will give you tips and tricks for that bathroom remodel. From the flooring to the bathtub it’s all in there. This article is a great tool to help you decide what you want and how to make that happen!
If you are just looking for some inspiration for remodeling your manufactured home bathroom our article featuring 7 before and after bathroom remodels may help.
Summary: Remodeling your Manufactured Home Bathroom
We hope these tips help inspire and motivate you to begin the process of remodeling your manufactured home bathroom. It’s a big project but with the right knowledge and plan, you can get the bathroom of your dreams!
Be sure to take pictures along the way and send them to us here at Mobile Home Living. We would love to share your experience with our readers!
Thanks for reading Mobile Home Living.