I recently inherited a doublewide 'mobile home' manufactured in 1976 which is
located in a 55+ Mobile Home Park cooperative so I own the land) in an expensive
seaside town in Northern California (Santa Cruz).. The 'mobile home' presently
has wall to wall carpeting or sheet vinyl flooring (with many soft-spots). I
would like to install hardwood floors throughout with the exception of bathrooms
and bedrooms. I realize laminate floors would be both expected and less
expensive however we have pets and to me they always look like plastic (mobile
homes are plastic enough with out adding more plastic) and emit toxic fumes
thus, are an option I would prefer to avoid. Is it possible to install real hard
wood floors? Is there a pre-finished hardwood floor that doesn't look like it is
coated in plastic and emit toxic gasses? and can be sanded? Our goal is to make
the place as un-trailer-like as is possible but not spend a fortune. Any
knowledge if advice to share?
"Soft spots" is troubling because they usually use particle board in
those things and if it is compromised you may have problems. If you do
go with solid hardwood (3/4") make sure you lay it across the
stringers, not in line with them. That will mitigate minor problems
with the substrate. If they are serious, replace the bad spots.
prefinished hardwood should be no problem at all. The good stuff has
a satin finish, not the high-gloss plastic look, and it is an aluminum
oxide based finish so it is almost as hard as a diamond.. It CAN be
sanded if necessary, but it WILL eat sandpaper. You want the 1/2 inch
or thicker planks, and you will LIKELY have to replace the
termite-spit subfloor that came standard equipment on most of those
"redneck bungalows" (which is why there are "soft spots"
Based on the age of your mobile and the description of "soft spots", I'm
betting your subfloor is a cheap grade particle board. That was quite
common in older mobile homes. Unfortunately, those particle board subfloors
will not hold the nails used to fasten "real" hardwood floors. You'll end
up with squeaks, popping nails, gaps opening between boards, etc.
You could certainly add a layer of plywood to the subfloor that would allow
you to install hardwood, but that will add a great deal of additional cost.
That's probably not a wise investment for an old mobile home.
It would be smarter to choose a floating floor system. There are many
options available from the cheapest "plastic" laminate floors, up to
expensive real laminated wood flooring. It just depends how much you want
I recommend you make a trip down to the local home center and look at the
various flooring options. You can choose how "real" you can afford to go.
:) I think you will be surprised at the quality available in modern
On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 11:52:02 PM UTC-4, HerHusband wrote:
Agree with you and Gfre on the "soft spots" being an issue and that
the subfloor may be a problem. But if it is, I don't think a floating
installation solves it. AFAIK they all require a solid subfloor.
If the subfloor can be made sufficient, then I'd go with one of the
engineered hardwoods. They are less expensive, factory finished, and
have enough thickness that they can be refinished a couple of times
I agree, many of the new laminates look really good and might be
better suited to the application. But even they need a solid
Absolutely. I was just suggesting a particle board floor may not hold nails
very well. He'll still need to fix any "soft spots" before installing new
Since I have never done it, I'm curious how many people actually refinish
their wood floors? If so, how often have you done it?
I wonder if the original poster will actually ever refinish the floors once
they are installed? Will that mobile home still be around 20-30 years from
If he still wants real hardwood floors, he might check with Lumber
Liquidators. That's where we got our prefinished Australian Cypress
flooring. We saved a little money and 13 years later the floors still look
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