What could be more important than your mobile home floor? It’s literally the ground you stand on! As you can imagine a mobile home’s floor comes under a lot of pressure over time. Unlike traditional stick-built homes, mobile homes don’t necessarily have a full foundation that supports the whole underbelly. Although the building standards for mobile homes have increased dramatically and the underbelly should be well supported by horizontal beams, there will still be some natural “settling” of the home. This “settling” can cause enough damage that you’ll need to replace your floor. In this article, we will walk you through completing a mobile home floor replacement yourself.
How far apart are floor joists in a mobile home?
The spacing of floor joists in a mobile home can vary depending on the specific design and construction standards used by the manufacturer. However, a common spacing for floor joists in mobile homes is 16 inches on center (16″ OC).
This means that the centerline of each floor joist is typically positioned 16 inches away from the centerline of the adjacent joist. This spacing provides structural support and helps distribute the weight of the floor evenly.
Replace the flooring
What you will need
- Circular saw
- Carpet knife
- New plywood flooring (usually ¾” or ⅝”)
- Planks to reinforce the floor joists
- Wood screws
- Nail adhesive
- Corner guards strips (optional)
- Carpet pads
- Insulation material (optional)
- Measuring tape
- New floor cover
- Tiles; or
Step by step
1. Remove the floor cover
If you have a carpet or other cover over your plywood floor you should remove this first. It might be secured around the perimeter of the room with corner strips. Both can be removed simply enough by using screwdrivers, carpet knives, and the hammer by prying out nails or staples and pulling them up.
Some corner guards will break so it’s a good idea to stock up on new ones. If there are doors in the room you might also need to remove the door trim. Usually, these remove easily enough and you shouldn’t need a new one.
2. Remove the plywood floor
You could go about this in two ways: replacing only the affected areas or replacing the whole floor. The first is actually more difficult because you will need to cut piece by piece and be very precise so that the new plywood floor fits correctly. If you plan to replace the whole floor, simply follow the perimeter of the room and the cut between the joists to remove it.
When sawing through the plywood be very careful! You do not want to touch the floor joists underneath. Set the saw at ⅝” first and then ¾” if you aren’t through yet.
3. Making sure you have the right materials
You will need to check your flooring to make sure what materials you need. The most common type is plywood and we will focus on it. Measure its thickness, the most common sizes are ¾” and ⅝”.
Also, check whether any of the joists are damaged. You can either reinforce the floor joists or replace them (a much harder task).
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4. Repair the floor joists and add insulation
If you see any damaged floor joists you can either reinforce them by using some lumber and screwing it to the sides of the floor joists. This is an excellent and easy way to strengthen affected areas. Also, remove all old nails from the floor joists.
Now is also a good time to add some insulation to your home if it’s inadequate or if there are areas with damaged or inconsistent insulation. This is as easy as taking whatever insulating material (mats, foam, spray foam, or beads) and filling the area up.
5. Fix new plywood flooring
Depending on whether you are replacing individual areas or the entire floor you will now simply cut your new plywood into appropriate dimensions. You will need to keep track of where the joists are. A simple way is to measure the distance between them and mark these intervals off on the new plywood flooring.
Along where the joists run, fix the plywood flooring to the joists using the drill and screws. You can also use the nailing adhesive if you don’t have a floor covering. A screw every 6 inches should do the trick. The flooring should run perpendicular to the joists. Make sure that each part of the floor is level before moving on.
6. Replace the cover
You can now easily replace the cover. There is a good chance that the cover would’ve been damaged during the removal process so you might want to buy a new one. Carpets are usually fixed in place with glue and an industrial stapler around the edges.
However, if the flooring was done in the bathroom you should use vinyl or tiles to protect the floor from water damage. Vinyl simply glues back down to the surface, but tiles require a little more work.
Complete your own mobile home floor replacement
It’s really that simple! The difficulty of the job is very dependant on you and the type of floor covering you have, the main task of replacing the flooring is straightforward. We hope this guide has given you the confidence to tackle that floor repair project. Sooner is always better than later when it comes to your floor.