Mobile home bathroom remodel

Mobile Home Bathroom Remodel Tips, Ideas & Makeover Cost

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Mobile homes can make homeownership easier to achieve. They can be moved and are cheaper compared to normal homes. Additionally, manufactured homes are consistently built to a high standard. Join me as I recommend a few remodel tips, ideas, and costs for a mobile home bathroom remodel.

Can I Remodel a Mobile Home Bathroom on a Budget?

Whether you are remodeling a single aspect of your bathroom or doing a full renovation, you need a budget. You can remodel a home and plan out steps to save money. It doesn’t matter if your budget is $500 or $5000. The end goal is to get a new bathroom. Doing a remodel on a budget is not as hard as it sounds. You have to be willing to put in some work.

Most mobile homes require unique considerations because they are different from permanent houses. Of course, it is important to note that you will have fewer options for fixtures and layouts because mobile homes are space-limiting. Therefore, your remodeling efforts should be focused on selecting space-saving items.

Tips for a Mobile Home Bathroom Remodel

Mobile home living can be the best option for an aspiring homeowner on a budget. Here are some helpful tips for a bathroom makeover that can be considered on a budget. I have put these tips together for the best outcome in your manufactured home bathroom.

1) Keep the Original Layout

Due to the limited space in a manufactured home bathroom, I recommend keeping the original layout. It will save you money in the long term. In addition, keeping the original layout means keeping all the plumbing pipes and electrical connections intact. Finally, I should point out that manufactured homes are not built the same as site-built or permanent homes.

Keep the original layout

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Changing the bathroom layout could cause more damage and hence more costs. Manufactured homes are built with vinyl over gypsum. Changing the electrical and plumbing would cause a lot of damage to the interior and exterior of the home.

2) Hire Professionals

Hiring a plumber and electrician to install your bathtub or shower area will save you money and time. Additionally, it will keep you safe from any potential electric tragedies. Additionally, water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to a mobile home. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to incur water damage that will cost more than the remodel.

Professional plumber

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Apart from well-installed faucets and drain pipes, you can easily handle the rest of the project yourself. You can also demolish a small bathroom since it doesn’t require professional help.

3) Pick a Style Beforehand

When I first got the idea to remodel the bathroom in my mobile home, I picked a style I liked and stuck to it. I wanted to bring more natural light into the space because it looked cramped and dull. Therefore, I picked a renovation design that I liked. I did this a few days before actually going in with the renovation.

Pick a bathroom style for your mobile home

Picking one style and committing to it saves money. I also chose a style I could tweak at no extra cost. For example, I wanted to improve the task lighting, and instead of installing the lights under the cabinets, I changed my mind. So I ended up installing twin lighting fixtures on each side of the sink.

4) Remodel Crucial Components First

The reason for crucial remodeling components first is to stay within the budget. I first changed the sink and the bathtub. These are the largest areas to remodel, so I did them first. I previously wanted to do away with the bathtub, but I decided against it and instead just replaced it.

Remodeling important parts to save money

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Remodeling the important parts will take up most of your budget. However, there’s nothing to worry about since the rest of the remodel will still be covered. The crucial components tend to stick out; if your sink or bathtub has dents and chips, they will be noticeable. Also, bathtubs tend to turn yellow, which isn’t a good look for something white.

5) Inexpensive Materials

Apart from the crucial components, I remodeled the rest of the mobile home bathroom with inexpensive but beautiful additions. When you assign a budget for extras like scented candles, new storage baskets, lighting fixtures, and new towels, it doesn’t cost much. Apart from the new tub and sink, the rest of the bathroom was fairly simple to remodel.

Affordable

I ensured everything I purchased would have a spot to stay on to eliminate clutter. I also purchased a makeup stand to eliminate all the makeup I leave on the sink. This drastically improved the overall look of the bathroom.

7) Budget

I wanted to maximize my space and enjoy it all on a budget. After much consideration and planning, I realized it doesn’t have to be hard. It is important to remember to pick a budget and stick to it. However, setting a different budget for extras ensured I wouldn’t go overboard with the small purchases. I also budgeted for the plumbing lines and electrical installation professionals with the amount I set aside.

Budgeting

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Budgeting also went into behind-the-scenes details earlier on. I did that to ensure that it would be covered if I had any structural damage. Mold is usually a common culprit, especially in bathrooms. You can also find that some of the walls might need replastering after ripping out existing fixtures. Therefore, it is important to set aside a budget for these costs.

Ideas for a Mobile Home Bathroom Remodel

Here are the ideas I implemented for my mobile bathroom.

a) Choosing a Paint Color

Since my mobile home bathroom is the only bathroom in the house, I wanted to ensure that there was no room for error. Remember that it can be very overwhelming, especially since I had to pick out numerous samples. However, I finally settled on white. But since white is a cliché color and every master bath is white, I opted for a two-tone scheme.

Before

Image Source: mhvillage.com

I finally landed on a light grey paired with white. Of course, I wanted the white to be much more visible; therefore, I used grey as an accent color. Since I’m a seasoned DIY fellow, painting was the easiest part for me. Grey paired with white will always be great for an entire space.

After

Image Source: claytonhomesofowensboro.com

When painting a fresh coat of paint in a mobile home bathroom, prep work is the most important thing to do. It will be of use to remember that most mobile homes have paneled walls instead of drywall-type walls. Therefore anything less than excellent prep work will cause chipping earlier on. But, of course, that’s if the paint sticks.

b) Remove the Double Sink

A double sink has pros and cons depending on how you look. For example, the double sink makes sense if you live with someone or people who live busy lives. However, a double sink only takes up space if you don’t have such an arrangement or live yourself. Removing the double sink and replacing it with a single sink gave me more storage space.

Before

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Additionally, I had more counter space which reduced my frustration levels greatly. Trying to get ready in the morning is easier, especially because of the extra counter. With a space for all my beauty products and appliances in one area, there is no confusion in the morning. The new look and my new sink are convenient in their functionality.

After

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When it comes to plumbing, removing one sink is easy since both sinks use the same drainage plumbing lines. However, removing the twin sinks was more practical because my bathroom is not a shared one.

c) Installing Task Lighting

Before I decided to use task lighting, I had single-stand lamps for additional lighting because the main ceiling lighting wasn’t enough. However, the lamps took up much-needed space in a bathroom with limited space. However, with this remodel, adding task lighting is the best decision.

Before

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I didn’t have to connect the task lighting with the main electric wiring. Instead, I selected inexpensive plug-in pendant lights that need a nearby outlet to work. Apart from being inexpensive, the lights work like a charm and don’t raise my electricity bill. Furthermore, I like that I can move the lights anywhere around the bathroom.

After

Image Source: newhomeoc.com

The lights can be fitted under the sink cabinets, on top of the bathroom windows, or the underside of the bathtub. They aren’t permanent, so I don’t have to bother much as long as the wiring can reach the outlet and plug in. However, I got different lights for all these spaces.

This meant I had to do a little cable management with zip ties and cable covers. It wasn’t a lot of work because the wires weren’t many.

d) Changing the Flooring

When it came to flooring, I didn’t want anything fancy. I preferred my old flooring, but it was old. So I opted to go with peel-and-stick vinyl tile floors. The flooring had to be done by a professional. It didn’t take long to complete a small bathr0om, and the flooring is waterproof, which is perfect for a bathroom.

Before

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However, I knew this flooring was not a permanent solution. It is great as a short-term or a quick fix. Therefore in a few years, I will have to change it again. I am okay with that because I like remodeling my home. However, if you prefer a permanent solution, a flooring solution that lasts at least 10 years would be beneficial.

After

Image Source: hench’s.com

Other options for quick-fix flooring include carpeting and tile stickers. With all the options available in the market, I prefer the choice to be waterproof for a bathroom, with the best underlayment for peel-and-stick tiles. All bathrooms are used for showering, meaning water droplets and mist will be abundant. A floor that’s not waterproof will accumulate mold and mildew.

e) Replacing the Bathtub

The bathtub is the most expensive purchase. A mobile home bathtub is more expensive than a standard bathtub. In addition, a mobile home bathtub is smaller than its standard counterpart; therefore, before you change the bathtub, ensure it’s something you need to replace. Otherwise, if you can go a few more months with it, it’s better to do so.

Before

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Sometimes, switching the bathtub area for a standing shower might be cheaper. It just depends on what type of bathroom you want. I replaced the tub because I couldn’t give up the long soaks after a hard day. However, I didn’t want to retrofit a standard tub because installing it would cost more. A standard tub would also take up more space.

After

Image Source: Sanantoniomobilehomes.com

So I went with the mobile home bathtub size. It cost me about $600 for the bathtub and its accessories. However, it was cheaper because the drainage would still be reconnected in the same place. Therefore, there were no special remodel actions needed. Additionally, I left the toilet in its original space.

f) Installing Studs For Necessary Fixtures

Understanding the needs of a mobile home will help you to keep your home in good condition for a long time. For example, since the walls of mobile homes are thinner than other walls, they cannot accommodate plastic screw anchors. This meant I couldn’t drill screws in the wall; instead, I had to install studs for fixtures like a towel holder.

Before

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Ensuring that all fixtures are easily accessible should be the first thing you consider before you install them. I didn’t consider this at first, and I installed the towel bar on the far right. I thought it might be easier to reach out even when I had a soak in the bathtub, but I was wrong. It takes more effort, given the bathtub is very slippery.

After

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I had to redo the whole fixture again and place the towel bar on top of the bathtub. This would make it easier to reach for a towel, and I wouldn’t have to get out of the tub to access a towel. Did you know there is a way studs should be placed? Check out how far apart studs are and how to find them here.

g) Add a Shallow Medicine Cabinet

Before

Image source: ecotoneltd.com

A standard medicine cabinet would probably not fit in a mobile home bathroom wall because there is no support to hold it. However, you can easily install a smaller, shallow cabinet to help with storage. I selected a shallow 2-inch cabinet that was easy to install since I mounted it on plastic studs.

After

Image Source: mobilehomeideas.com

It is easier to mount on studs than to drill into the wall. As I have previously mentioned, drilling into a mobile home bathroom wall will tear the wall. A small cabinet won’t cause any damage, and you can use it for extra storage. It is worth noting that the cabinet is a small expense I made at the last minute.

Cost of a Bathroom Makeover

There are several factors to think about before doing a bathroom makeover. Before we get into it, I should mention that this was my first bathroom remodel in a mobile home. Of course, there are things I also learned along the way, which I will detail. In total, I spent $3000 on the whole project.

i) Labor Costs

Sometimes labor makes up the biggest expense. Hence, high labor costs are why I decided not to go with a full-scale remodel and kept the original layout. I had to get a professional plumber to reconnect the drainage. I didn’t want water damage or leakage issues in the future.

Labor costs

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I also had to hire a professional to install my flooring because it’s better to err on the side of professional work than go in with limited knowledge. Apart from that, I completed the rest of the remodel myself.

ii) Materials

As a homeowner, I felt inclined to buy new materials since it was my first remodel project since I moved here. However, I will not do that again because yard sales have cheaper materials. I will also be changing things that need repair, like a leaky faucet.

Materials

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I purchased the materials based on the activity I was tackling. This cost more because I would change my mind at the store. In retrospect buying all my materials at one go and searching for bargain sales would have cost me less.

iii) Hidden Costs

Hidden costs can greatly impact your budget. I felt the sting of hidden costs when the measurements for the stud fittings weren’t accurate. Additionally, I also realized that not all finishes are created equal. For instance, installing the bathtub took longer than anticipated because the drain was on the left. On my bathroom floor, the drain was on the right.

Hidden costs can incur more costs

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I had to send the bathtub back and get a replacement. Hidden costs can break your set budget. This is why ensuring you have budgeted for extra and unexpected costs is important.

iv) Leave Nothing to Chance (Set a Budget)

I set my budget and stuck to it. However, what helped was setting a separate budget for hidden costs. I broke up the budget into sections of what I considered most important and least important. Accessories are important. However, they can always be added at a later time, which is why I set a budget for a few items to accessorize my space.

Setting a budget and sticking to it

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Sticking to your budget no matter what will enable you to accomplish everything. From the get-go, always get done with the professionals and get them out of your hair. Accomplish this as soon as possible. Your stress levels will be reduced.

Steps I Took to Remodel my Bathroom

Before I started remodeling, I wrote down the steps I took to remodel my mobile home bathroom. These steps ensured I completed the project in the time I had allocated myself.

1) Remove the Bathroom Fixtures

With some dedication and time, I managed to remove any unwanted fixtures. Before gutting the bathroom, I turned off the water and removed the bathtub tile to the bottom. The insulation came next. With insulation, it is not recommended to use a hammer, so I used a saw. The cabinets, sinks, and mirror were last.

2) Install the New Tub

The new tub is required to be installed by a professional. It was done in half a day. Additionally, I was pleased to learn that my subfloors had no water damage. Therefore, the installation went smoothly.

3) Lay the New Floors

My new floors didn’t require much effort. However, I required help with the underlayment, which is where the tiling professional came in. The floor took a whole day. I went slow because I wanted to be as accurate as possible with the tiling.

4) Painting

The next step was to apply paint. I prepped and primed the walls, sanded down old paint, and then applied the paint. I refilled every hole and chip with drywall mud during the prepping. I had to wait for the first coat of paint to dry before applying a second coat. It’s noteworthy that I used to paint with a semi-gloss finish. The semi-gloss finish can be wiped down and is resistant to mold and mildew.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want to do the project yourself or hire professionals, as long as you get the bathroom of your dreams. It is important to lay out your options and everything that could make or break the project. It would help to note that patience is key when doing highly stressful remodels.

Featured Image Source: modularhomeblog.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.