Asked on Dec 04, 2013

Mobile home walls and floor

Donna C
by Donna C
is there an easy way to remove the strips of wood that cover drywall on my 1979 Patriot Doublewide Mobile home with out damaging the drywall. Never liked the look. I also need to remove the damaged carpet caused by my ex-tenants dogs urinating on the carpet instead of being taken outside. will I need to replace subflooring? for now I am probably just going to lay down linoleum but eventually I want to tile all the rooms and if I do tile, what is the best to seal grout on floors. dont want my dog doing same thing on floor and the urine smell staying in grout and/or seeping to the subflooring. Due to finances I am going to have to sell my house and move back into the mobile home.
  24 answers
  • You will most likely want to and have to put in a new subfloor. I have seen floors rotted from pet urine and the smell will be there in the wood no matter what you do. Your dog will smell it and could start to "mark" his territory. Linoleum is a good choice for cost (and so is carpet). Tile will have to be laid on cement board and you will have to make sure the floor is level. Tile is nice but can be cold and slippery. Grout can be sealed but it is also porous but tile easy to clean. Tile can be put in with thin grout lines too. For the strips of wood that cover the drywall, those probably cover up the seams that were never finished which means you will have to finish the drywall. I would just paint over them the same color as the wall just to save on costs. Just use a good primer and paint. You could also use the "seams" of wood to your advantage and use them to divide the top and bottom of walls to paint a faux wainscotting and chair rail for a very beautiful look. I would love to see pics and give you more ideas. Good lucki
    • See 1 previous
    • Jill Jill on Dec 07, 2013
      @Donna C You can easily remove the tacking strips that cover the seams and putty and tape, just like regular drywall. The only issue is if you home is not leveled and it settles down the line cracks can form in those areas. My home had drywall in all but the bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen and closets. I simply puttied and taped, painted with a primer and then covered the walls in my bathroom with wallpaper instead of spraying a texture coating on the walls to finish and then paint them. Then to close the gap between the walls and the ceiling I put up crown molding and sealed it with a silicone gel, no putty and tape. This allowed for movement when needed. As far as the floor goes, yes, like the above post says, you will want to remove the subflooring and replace it. The pet urine smell will never leave it. While tiling is an option, the same goes for flooring in a mobile home as well as the walls. If the home is not on a permanent foundation (not pier pads and braces) the home will settle over time and require re-leveling. This can crack any tile or grout lines that you put down. I have seen someone that put tile down that did not use a thin set and had a heavy adhesive backing. They used a silicone grout that contained sand that gave as the flooring settled, but I don't know much more about it. I would think it lasted longer than a regular installed tile floor. Putting down linoleum will help to keep out the cold and possible moisture that can rise from under the home. Carpet and padding are always a good option as it helps to insulate the floors from cold too. I myself put down a laminated floor throughout my home, except for in the living room where I carpeted.
  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Dec 04, 2013
    I agree with C Renee Fuller about the new sub floor. You will never be able to completely get rid of that smell. Also a note about the tile... if it's going to be more tenants keep doing linoleum. Tile is expensive for tenant purposes and deposits don't cover the grief you'll keep putting yourself through to have a nice place. Been there and done that! About the wood on the walls... Drywall can be easily patched if something happens. Seriously! But make sure there is not a good reason for it being there to begin with. Does it replace joint tape? Is it the securing place for the drywall to be up on the wall? etc...
  • Donna, I live in a 1986 Double Wide and I have completely re-modeled our home, as far as the strips on the wall they are usually put up with staples, all I did was to take a putty knife and push behind the strips to get them started and then I just use my hands to pull them off, but be careful to not stick the staples in your hands, after I got them off, I went to Lowes Home Improvement store and bought some sheet rock putty and some sheet rock tape, I then filled in the cracks with the sheet rock putty and while it was still wet I put a piece of sheet rock tape over the crack you will need to take your putty knife and drag over the tape to stick it to the putty, when that dries then you will need to sand it lightly to get it smooth, then you will need to put another coat of putty over that and let it dry and repeat the sanding, do this until you have the wall smooth, but make sure you let each coat dry and then sand after each coat, after it was dry I used a primer, let that dry and painted all my walls with satin latex paint and the wall look like house walls, we redone all the floors too, the kitchen and the bathrooms was the only floors that we put a new subfloor, if you will send me your address on face book, I will be more than glad to send you some pictures of my walls, and my floors. Good luck.
    • Donna C Donna C on Dec 06, 2013
      @Carolyn Faye Blizzard Lanier I would love to see pictures. I use donna sanchez on facebook but friends said they found me with donna carroll-sanchez
  • Pat Hege Pat Hege on Dec 05, 2013
    Not sure if you know this but the carpet is put down before the walls are. going to be hard to get that carpet up completely. Also, those strips are either glued on or nailed, if glued heat with hair dryer and remove. You will have to sand the remaining glue off or heat again and pull off.
    • Donna C Donna C on Dec 06, 2013
      @Pat Hege when I bought it, seller had replaced carpet. its laid it up against wall
  • Donna C Donna C on Dec 05, 2013
    thanks Carolynn here is link to my facebook:
  • Linda Linda on Dec 06, 2013
    In my friend's double wide, the wall panels look to me like a 'wallboard' that was popular in the 70's. Not really drywall....thinner and more compressed. I like the suggestion above of painting over. BUT here in my mid-70's brick rancher, which is all paneling (ick) except for the two bathrooms, which are that aforementioned 'wallboard' - the bathroom walls were already painted when we bought the house and I repainted them. In places, the paint formed a bubble which I couldn't do anything about after it was dry, which was when I noticed. Good luck!!
  • Lrc225795 Lrc225795 on Dec 06, 2013
    go to Ask questions. The person I had on the phone was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Dura Ceramic tile. Not cold and hard like ceramic tile. Will conform to floor surface. Use common sense when preparing floor surface. Yes, some people do not have construction common sense. Ask about the composition of material. The grout is acrylic so it does not need to be sealed. No diamond blades to cut it like ceramic. Use anything to cut it. Table saw, drill or anything. DO NOT use luaun. The natural oils in the wood will cause the glue to loosen. Don't be cheap and sorry. Use underlayment. Place over the subfloor. Follow the installation instructions. Subfloor in a double wide. Some double wides are from the trailer era when particle board was used. Double wides in the last 10-15 years are of house construction and have plywood floors. Problem with particle board is that a little water or much water will cause it to crumble. At the lumber yard the loader of material said [and I wholeheartedly agree] particle board has 3 uses: speaker boxes, counter tops and trailer floors. Use plywood to repair a particle board floor, then top with UNDERLAYMENT NOT luaun. Our Dura Ceramic floor turned out great. In for a few years in high traffic area and no problems and no dings. First time to lay tile, followed instructions carefully, worked great. Like any project, do not rush just to get it done. If you have a lot of scratches, dings and nasty marks, learn to live properly. Nothing in a home will hold up to gymnasium rip and tear!
  • 153091 153091 on Dec 06, 2013
    The strips IF stapled will pop off once you get it started..just keep pulling..try starting at bottom and pull upwards. Make sure all the staples are out. You can get a great look by getting a bucket of drywall mud and first fill in the tiny crack where the panels met, then get a trowl and start putting it on the walls in swirls, any direction, no special pattern..but not to thick. When it is dry just paint color of your choice. Gives a very unique look and hides everything.
  • Donna C Donna C on Dec 06, 2013
    I have wallboard throughout. The was had been redone before I bought it. to save time the seller just put wood strips over the seams of the wallboard.
  • Barbara Brewer Barbara Brewer on Dec 06, 2013
    just pull strips off tape and fill in cracks let dry paint if sheet rock ......probabily wallboard.......not always good to paint
  • Karan F Karan F on Dec 06, 2013
    Donna, We lived in our 1979 14x60 mobile home for over 17 years. So you can imagine that we had done quite a bit of repair and remodeling. My kitchen cabinets I sanded and painted over, I also done the same with wood paneled walls, But my pride and joy of remodeling was the flooring in the living room after we took out the Old carpet we saw the nasty chipped board sub floor :P Yuck was deteriorating, So my husband was going to replace it with 3/4" plywood. Well I decided to sand and stain the plywood then I put 4 coats of polyurethane sanding and drying well in between coats. With the 4x8 sheets it a quick easy process for my husband to put this down. It was a Beautiful hardwood floor :) and so easy to keep clean. I Loved it so much we did the same in the bedrooms too. We have since gotten rid of our mobile home and in the process of building a house. I have attached a photo, unfortunately it was after we had moved out so the floor is not showing to it's highest beauty, but mopped and waxed it was so pretty :) I am planing on using this same Technic in our new home for wood flooring :)
  • Cynthia E Cynthia E on Dec 06, 2013
    I agree you will need to replace subfloor -- although I have seen kilz painted over work to stop smell. I saw a great tutorial here on replacing flooring inexpensively they had hardware store cut plywood sheets into strips (free) and they laid wood plank floors, stained etc. looked great. (I pinned it) as to the strips (I live in a trailer that had these) 1 wall paneling adjacent wall wallboard all around room (it drove me nuts) I removed all strips , washed wall and lightly sanded them, I then filled in all grooves and where strips were with joint compound. let dry . then I did a stucco texture all over walls painted when dry - you can no longer tell it used to be 2 different surfaces and it is holding up great. Cost less than 100.00 to texture all walls in a 3bd 3 ba doublewide ( paint was extra)
  • Judy Judy on Dec 06, 2013
    As a dog person & one who lives in a mobile home I have a couple of answers for you. First the dog urine. Vinegar will mask the urine smell. When I housebreak a puppy & they have an accident on the rug I soak it up as best I can with an old towel & then spray the area generously with vinegar. They don't go back to the same place to urinate again. So if the floor under the carpet is solid just give it a good spraying with vinegar, let it dry & then lay your new flooring or carpet. If your mobile is anything like mine those "wood" strips on the walls are actually plastic with a coating to make them look like wood. If you can pry them away from the wall top or bottom you can usually just peel them right off. If you make a little dent in the drywall some spackle will cover it nicely. You'll want to tape & mud the seams properly anyhow.
  • Rebecca Duff Rebecca Duff on Dec 13, 2013
    I must disagree with the above concerning the dog urine/stains.....first, if the floor is still sturdy, paint it with KILZ. Use the brand that is oil based, meaning it must be cleaned up with turpentine, or the like. I have lived in a mobile home for over 20 years and with the way the fall apart I feel like I am almost an 'expert' in !!!! The Kilz will take care of the odor and also give it a nice clean smell.Those little strips should easily pop off without damage to the wall, as I have taken mine off a couple of times easily and put back. Trying to fill in the crack and paint was a real job, and in some rooms I just painted right over them. Good Luck with your project!
  • Margie Osgood Margie Osgood on Dec 13, 2013
    Yep, use Kilz, it was the only thing that cut the cat urine odor in our doublewide's subflooring, and it worked wonders!!!
  • Judy Judy on Dec 14, 2013
    Thanks ladies. I'd never heard of Kilz before. It sounds almost miraculous.
  • Lrc225795 Lrc225795 on Dec 15, 2013
    Use B-I-N Ultimate Stain Blocker oil base. Far superior to KILZ. Yes, KILZ has been in business for years but the B-I-N by Zinsser is much better. There is a spray can by B-I-N that is great for white ceiling tile if you want to do a touch up for water spots. It will seal the stain and cover the stain. If you do not want to paint the whole ceiling, it is close enough to let it as is especially in a rental. It will seal so you can paint the whole ceiling so it will match if you want. It can also be sprayed on the dropped ceiling rails to make them look like new. Use sense by spraying 2 or more thin coats. Let dry about 10 minutes between coats. I know, most people like to hurry and end up with a mess by trying to do it in one application. Do yourself a favor to take the time to do it right. Obviously the spray will not remove any sags or bumps from the tile getting wet. That is another project. B-I-N can be used on glass or metal as well if you want a great primer (interior or exterior) so the finish paint will stick. B-I-N is available at home improvement stores such as Lowe's, etc.
  • Rebecca Duff Rebecca Duff on Dec 17, 2013
    If it will block stains, I'm all for it!! Never heard of B-I-N but I will definitely check it out! I'll be painting the walls in my mobile home the first of the year and have water stains myself..Thanks for the tip!
  • Min645137 Min645137 on Oct 10, 2014
    We replaced all the subflooring in our double wide. If you don't have to, don't do it. It is very difficult to not tweak the floor joists and takes a lot of time, money and work to level the floor. We did have to due to mold and disintegrating area in the floor where an animal had peed repeatedly. When that cardboard looking subfloor gets wet it swells and if it happens multiple times it just disintegrates.
  • Sonya Sonya on Apr 27, 2015
    I had the same problem when we bought a mobile home all we did I'd just removed the strip and tape and bedded the walls we applied texted to walls be for paint and the floor what I did I'd just applied a coat of normal cheap paint to the floor and that worked and we did not have to replace the subfloor I used some free paint from Craigslist we found
  • Mary Barber Mary Barber on Apr 27, 2015
    Here is what I did almost 20 years ago and my walls still look great today. My walls were thin drywall with a vinyl wallpaper looking vinyl covering. First, I pulled the strips off the wall and removed any staples or nails that remained. The next thing I did was roll on a layer of Kilz (any good oil based primer will do). This is very important because anything you do may not stick to the vinyl. After the primer has dried, I taped and bed the spaces between the wall board. After that has dried, I took regular dry wall mud and a 6" trowel and with sweeping motions I applied an 'old world' plaster look to the walls. Once you are satisfied with the texture and it has dried, roll on another coat of primer. This one can be water based which is much easier to work with and not so smelly. Once that has dried you can either paint it or do a faux finish that makes it even more 'old world' lookish....I just made up that word. If you prefer a smooth texture just trowel it on smoothly and sand it lightly once its dried. Let me know if you need more clarification.
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Nov 20, 2015
    Hi Donna, I too have an older manufactured home. The original subfloors are MDF (medium density fiberboard) which will swell over time due to any liquid (or pet urine), which should be removed to the joists before installing new plywood, then new flooring. It's a lot of work, but well worth the time. "Do it right the first time!" is the motto I live by. The strips in the walls can be safely removed with little or no damage using a putty knife. Remove the staples, patch the holes, sand, wipe off, prime then paint. Embrace the work and then enjoy your "new" older home that you are creating!
  • Les and Gina Les and Gina on Jan 21, 2016
    We always used a utility knife to score each side of the strips before we remove them it does less damage to the walls. When you remove your carpet buy some mistake paint and paint all your floors it will seal the press wood so if any water gets on them it won't ruin the floor we do that to all our trailers put a couple of coats on around the windows, door, bathrooms,kitchen sinks, laundry room. for more ideas
  • Rdr2130050 Rdr2130050 on Apr 30, 2016
    A number of years a go I removed the wood strip and taped and beded the walls. After it dried I sanded is level with the dry wall. That done I took a large spine and textured Te walls. Use the spung to apply the texter. Right over the vinyl wall covering. Looked great and held up well. Sealing the sub floor will work well. I used Kilz.