Right Under Your Toes: Manufactured Home Floors

Learn how a manufactured home's foundation and flooring is made, from the frame to the insulation, decking and floor covering.

Curious about common manufactured home building practices? Here are the ins and outs of how many manufactured home foundations are built and what it means if you want to renovate later!

Besides a standard wood frame, many manufactured homes are reinforced with metal frames, which are often made of steel. Then a vapor barrier is put on top of the metal frame. The floors also have a layer of insulation filling the spaces in the metal and wood frames.

The mobile home's wood frame is usually made of 2X6, 2X8 or 2X10 floor joists. Then plywood, particleboard or OSB is placed on top of the wood frame to create the subfloor, also called the decking.

Subfloor Materials

Your mobile home subfloor may be made out of:

  • OSB (oriented strand board)—made of pressed wood strips and resin adhesives somewhat like particle board. This is what most Clayton home builders use for your subfloor material.
  • Plywood—made of pressed together sheets of wood veneer
  • Particleboard—made of pressed together woodchips, sawmill shavings, synthetic resin and sometimes sawdust

Floor Coverings

After this floor foundation is created, a flooring specialist installs the floor covering. New Clayton manufactured and modular homes can come with carpeting, laminate, vinyl or wood floor covering. Carpeting is a common floor covering for main living areas and resilient vinyl flooring is one of our most common floor covering options.

If you ever consider redoing the floor covering in your mobile home, it’s important to consider what materials you put down as an underlayment. You need cushioning between the subfloor and the floor covering, but the padding type varies for the floor coverings listed below.

Carpet Padding

Most homeowners want a padding with a thickness between 4/16 and 7/16 inch. General home carpet padding types include waffle rubber, fiber, rebond, frothed foam and slab rubber. The type of carpet padding you put down in any home depends on the type of carpet you install.

For instance, if you put down berber carpet, manufacturers recommend not exceeding a padding thickness of 3/8 inch. Wool or fiber pads are usually used for berber carpets. 

Hardwood and Laminate Padding

Carpet padding under hardwood in your mobile home will not give your floor a softer feel. When choosing a new hardwood or laminate, you want to look at what your specific hardwood or laminate manufacturer approves.

Some types of underlayment include standard foam, felt, combo, upgraded and cork. Key uses of a hardwood underlayer are to provide a vapor or moisture barrier and to reduce sound.

Tile Underlayment

Most Clayton homes do not have tile floor coverings. However, it could be an option depending on the home building facility building your new home.

If you do have tile or decide to add it later, you need a firm underlayment to ensure your tiles don’t crack because tiles are fragile. Tile underlayment types include cement board and DITRA membrane. Cement boards are made of cement mortar and fiberglass mesh.

Some home builders may use plywood because it gives a smooth consistent bonding surface for the tile. 

Home Building

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