manufactured home bathtubs

Manufactured Home Bathtubs Guide: 10 Ways To Ensure You Purchase The Right One

Not just any size or type of tub would be good for a manufactured home’s bathroom. From ceramic tile showers to drop-in soakers, there are dozens of styles of manufactured home bathtubs to choose.

Also, there are about eight commonly used materials of constructions, all of which have an impact on the durability and functionality of the tub.

You will need to consider all these factors when choosing the best tub for your mobile home bathroom.

What Are The Types Of Manufactured Home Bathtubs?

There are seven standard types of bathtubs for manufactured homes:

  1. Alcove
  2. Corner
  3. Oval
  4. Whirlpool
  5. Clawfoot
  6. Cloud
  7. Walk-in

Modern bathtubs come in a range of shapes that may influence your choices.

According to the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association, the ideal bathtub size in the United States is 60 in. X 30/32 in. but that’s not necessarily the ideal size for mobile homes.

1. Alcove Tubs

Alcove bathtubs used in mobile homes are a bit different from those found in site-built homes.

The standard alcove bathtubs fit for mobile homes are probably 6” smaller – both lengthwise and width – when compared to their counterparts in site-built homes.

There are two options for you if you want to offset the size difference, more so if you want a standard tub so bad:

  1. buy a builder-grade acrylic bathtub from your local bathroom supplies company or
  2. purchase one specifically made for manufactured homes.

Buying a tub from your local mobile home supplies store you may be a bit pocket unfriendly, but the whole process of dismantling the old tub and replacing it is easy.

The best alcove bathtubs for mobile homes measure between 54 in. L x 27 in. W and 60 in. L x 32 in. W.

These are standard dimensions for a tub for manufactured homes.

Here are a couple of great alcove tubs for a manufactured home bathroom:

Swiss Madison Voltaire 54 in. x 30 in. Acrylic White, Alcove, Integral, Left-Hand Drain, Apron Rectangular Bathtub in White

As we said, 54” is the ideal length of a tub made for mobile homes, and this is one of the tubs at Home Depot with that exact length. It features an inbuilt apron and armrests.

An integral tile flange has been included to prevent water leakage.

The high gloss white acrylic construction with fiberglass reinforcement is both durable and cute to the eye. It weighs just 52 lbs. and has a capacity of 56 gallons.

Kingston Brass Aqua Eden Jenny 54 in. Acrylic Left-Hand Drain Rectangular Alcove Bathtub in White

This tub too is made from acrylic and reinforced with fiberglass and resin which gives it a glossy white look and durability. It is UPC certified, weighs just 59.54 lbs. and holds 55 gallons of water.

2. Corner Tubs

Corner bathtubs are very popular in manufactured homes nowadays, especially those made between 1970 and 2010. They are pentagonal tubs – the two sides in contact with the walls in the corner are the longest of the five sides.

Some of the largest corner tubs can measure about 54 in. X 54 in. and cost between $700 and 750 to replace.

Site-built homes accommodate corner tubs measuring 60 in. X 60 in.

That’s a 6” difference compared to the ideal size of 54 in. x 54 in. counterparts made for mobile homes – the difference has struck again!

Here are a few corner tubs great for your mobile home bathroom:

JACUZZI CAPELLA 55 in. x 55 in. Acrylic Center Drain Corner Drop-In Whirlpool Bathtub with Heater in White – Cost: About $ 2,250 

The contoured backrest and armrests on this tub make sinking in and stretching out easy and comfortable. It also features original JACUZZI’s own optimal air and water therapy technology. It weighs 116 lbs. and holds 72 gallons of water.

If the above option looks expensive, consider this:

Pinnacle 5 ft. Corner Drop-In Non-Whirlpool Bathtub in White

For convenience purposes, this tub comes with pre-drilled drain and overflow openings. The thick acrylic construction for rigidity and strength is all you want to in a long-lasting tub. It weighs 100 lbs. and holds 55 gallons of water.

3. Oval Tubs

You will be surprised to realize that oval bathtubs for manufactured homes are bigger than those meant for average site-built homes.

There are two standard oval tubs for mobile homes

  1. 64 in. X 42 in. and
  2. 60 in. X 41 in.

Note that oval tubs can take any style, for example, below is a clawfoot oval tub best for a mobile bathroom. For consistency, however, we will list one with a 54” length:

American Bath Factory Jester 30-in W x 54-in L White Acrylic Oval Reversible Drain Clawfoot Bathtub

This is one of those traditional ball-and-claw bathtubs finished with old world bronze. It weighs 100 lbs. and holds 55 gallons of water.

4. Whirlpool Tubs

Whirlpool tubs would be the best option for you if you love the feel of jets of water tickling your back. This type of bathtub is equipped with powerful jets at the bottom and sides.

They are hard to install and costly to maintain. You will need to hire an experienced electrician to add the correct wiring in the installation area before installing the tub.

The best part about whirlpool tubs is that they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes – you will find the right tub for your needs.

Example

American Standard EverClean 60 in. Acrylic Left Drain Rectangular Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub in White

Looks like Home Depot is the only place you can get this acrylic-made and fiberglass-reinforced tub. The backrest and armrest have been included. With a length of 60″, it is slightly longer than what we recommend, but it is gorgeous. It weighs just 92 lbs. and holds 70 gallons of water.

5. Clawfoot tubs

Clawfoot tubs stand on “feet”, so they won’t be fixed in one area in your bathroom, so the best thing about this class of tubs is that you can easily move them around as you wish.

Clawfoot tubs were something of luxury towards the end of the 19th century. Back then, they were mainly made from cast iron and a coating of porcelain.

Today, they are made from acrylic, fiberglass, and a range of cheaper materials that not only make them cheap to acquire but lightweight enough to be installed upstairs in a manufactured home.

6. Cloud tubs

Cloud tubs are becoming increasingly popular. They are freestanding tubs good for small bathrooms found in most manufactured homes.

They are often flare-shaped with a slightly curved base. You still can opt for the larger versions if your bathroom is sizeable.

7.Walk-in tubs

These tubs come with an opening in one corner to help you walk inside instead of climbing over. If you are disabled in such a way that climbing over a tub would be tough for you, this would be the best choice.

Related: Can You Take A Bath If The Water Heater Is Broken?

10 Things to Consider When Buying A Manufactured Home Bathtub

When selecting a bathtub for your manufactured home, you need to factor in a few things that a person in a site-built home probably wouldn’t consider as much. This is because the floor of your home doesn’t sit on a concrete foundation and the size of the bathroom may be a bit small.

1. Weight

The risk of purchasing a heavy tub is the destruction it will inflict on your floor.

If a home’s floor has a subfloor made from materials other than OSB (Oriented Strand Board) or plywood, there is a strong chance it will develop soft spots in areas that supports heavy weights.

This problem tends to worsen when the subfloor dampens due to moisture penetration from the overlying bathroom.

Plastic tubs can weigh as little as 50 lbs. when empty. Cost iron options can be as high as 1,000 lbs.

When you add up the weight of the tub, water, and the user, the weight can be significant.

You might want to add some reinforcement beneath the tub. Heavy tubs would be near impossible to use on the second floor or aged floor.

2. Material

With so many sizes and shapes to choose from, selecting a bathtub can be hard and overwhelming. The material of construction has an impact on the price, durability, and even the ease of cleaning.

Plastic

Plastic tubs are made from either acrylic or fiberglass. They offer greater design flexibility because they can easily be molded in an array of shapes.

They feel warm in your palms and provides superb insulation, meaning water won’t cool fast as it would in steel and enamel-based tubs.

Plastic is the lightest option, its tubs weigh between 60 lbs. and 70 lbs. hence perfect for even the oldest floors in oldest floor mobile homes.

While plastic tubs don’t chip easily like their ceramic counterparts, they are easily ruined by an abrasive cleaner.

Enameled-steel

Enameled-steel tubs are made from steel and a coat of porcelain-enamel.

They are surprisingly inexpensive (you’d expect to pay extra dollars for the porcelain coat, but no).

The only flaw in these tubs is the steel’s good conductivity of heat, which means your water will cool faster.

That one, and the fact that the porcelain coat is prone to chipping, can give you a lot to think about before selecting one.

They are twice heavier than plastic alternatives by the way.

Cast-iron

Cast-iron tubs come coated with enamel just like steel options.

However, they are not prone to chipping because the enamel is usually thicker. Also, cast iron is resistant to impact and comes out more durable than steel.

At first, cast iron will absorb heat from your water, but once heated, water will remain warm longer.

The only problem with cast iron is the weight, an average cast iron tub weighs between 350 lbs. and 500 lbs. meaning you’d need to evaluate the strength of your floor before installing it on the second floor.

Cast-polymer

Cast-polymer tubs normally imitate the look of granite, onyx, and marble. They are also available in a wide range of solid colors.

This type of tubs is a bit costly compared to acrylic options. With the time of use, the gel coating on these tubs can become brittle, break off, and reveals the beneath material. Cracks may follow.

Propriety composites

Propriety composites are new entrants in the industry. These materials include porcelain enamel, resins, and heavy-gauge steel.

When these materials are combined, you end up with a tub with features of cast iron tub but with half its weight.

Cultured marble

Cultured marble is a man-made material consisting of crushed limestone and polyester resins finished with gel.

Although they offer a wide range of color and pattern options, maintenance can be tough. Cultured marble tubs are cute to an eye though expensive and prone to cracking.

3. Type of the tub and installation requirements

Different types of tubs will need to be installed differently.

For example, because alcove tubs are recessed, they are mainly installed closer to the three walls.

Clawfoot tubs, on another hand, will be placed anywhere in the bathroom but close to the plumbing because they are freestanding tubs.

Corner tubs can only be installed in corners.

4. What Do You Want?

What do you want the tub to do for you? If you are looking for a tub that provides a spa experience, whirlpool tubs would be the best option for you.

If you want a tub that will provide extra-deep dimensions for complete submersion and relaxation, you will need to choose soaking tubs.

If you don’t like fixed tubs and would rather go with the movable types, clawfoot tubs would be a perfect choice.

5. Space

How much space are you willing to leave aside for the tub of your choice? You need to understand what your bathroom can comfortably accommodate.

The largest space you can leave for the tub is 60” L x 30” W x 14” H although you still need to put into account the range of shapes and sizes available in the market.

Also, note the location of the drain on your floor and ensure that the tub design of your choice will work flawlessly with it.

6. Comfort factor

Don’t be shy to check the comfort the tub provides before you buy it. Climb inside the tub, settle back in comfort, and imagine yourself splashing and soaking, do you like the experience? If you don’t feel it, there is no need of selecting it.

7. The Heater Factor

You might want to accompany your tub with a heater so that you can have a warm soak every morning.

The bigger the tub, the more the water to heat, hence the higher the energy expenses.

For an average bath, 2/3 hot water and 1/3 cold water is enough to give you a lukewarm soak. There is a likelihood you have a hot water tank ready installed, determine whether the tank can supply the tub with enough hot water.

Bathtubs come in different sizes normally ranging between 25 and 150 gallons. If your water heater is capable of filling 2/3 of your tub in a reasonable period, you are good to buy that specific tub.

8. Any special considerations?

Some tubs require you to consider a few special factors. If you are considering buying a jetted tub, for example, you will need to make plans or air switch, electric timer, and the pump.

Many pumps easily fit within the bathtub unit although many manufactures are increasingly shipping their products with remotely-located pumps about 5″ from the tub.

The air switch, normally nonelectric, may be placed on the bathtub unit.

It is prudent to install the electric timer a reasonable and safe distance from your tub, about 5″, to satisfy housing code requirements.

9. Personal needs

How you plan to use the tube can influence your choices.

If you are having mobility problems or disabled in a certain way, you will not want a tall tub that poses trouble when climbing inside. In such a case, a walk-in tub would be the best option or you.

10. Cost

Cost is yet another important factor worth considering. After all, you want a tub with a price tag that falls in the margins of your budget.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installing a new bathtub is $3,306.

Basically, the healthy range is $1,132 – $6,082 because the project may require a specific type of tub. It also depends on the modification requirements.

The average cost of the bathtub itself can anywhere between $200 and $5,000 or slightly more. In a nutshell, the average cost of installing or installing a bathtub is:

National Average: $3,599 

Typical range: $1,130 – $6,071

Low End – High End: $185 – $10,000

It is important to consider the cost of transferring the tubs to your home and the labor costs accrued from hiring the contractor.

Conclusion

With a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, and even materials of construction, choosing the right bathtub for your manufactured home can be a daunting task.

The ideal size of tubs for mobile homes is 54” x 27”. When selecting one, put into consideration your needs, the cost, size, weight, and similar factors.

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