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The Types of Subfloor Materials in Mobile Homes

Jack Monroe

A subfloor is the base, bottom layer of wood flooring supporting carpet, tile and other types of flooring. Over the years manufacturers used different types of subfloors in mobile homes. Different mobile home manufactures choose different subfloor materials based on considerations such as the overall price, the type of flooring installed and the area where the mobile home will be sold.

Particle Board

Particleboard is one type of material used in mobile home subfloors. Particleboard is made from pressed sawdust or wood chips, molded and held together with resin or glue. During the 1970s most all mobile home subfloors were composed entirely of particleboard. Particleboard is not resistant to spills or flooding. Overflowing commodes, tubs, sinks and even typical household spills, over a period of time, may cause soft spots to form in particleboard subfloors, causing the need for carpet or other flooring to be ripped up in order to replace the damaged particleboard.


Another type of material used in mobile home subfloors is plywood, a manufactured wood formed from sheets of wood veneer. Several layers of thin veneer sheets or are glued together to make one section of plywood. While plywood is not waterproof, it will not damage as quickly as particleboard when exposed to spills. Plywood comes in different grades and can be purchased in a water resistant grade. Companies also manufacturer exterior grade plywood, which is meant for outside use and will not become damaged when exposed to the elements. Interior grade plywood exposed to water will rot and mildew over time.

Oriented Strand Board

Oriented strand board is a manufactured wood board made by combining thousands of solid wood strands together, overlapping the strands, applying a wood glue and forming the board using both pressure and heat. Like plywood, oriented stand board is manufactured in different grades, including a water resistant grade and an exterior grade. Use oriented strand board as a subfloor in mobile homes for most flooring applications; however, it is not recommended if installing tile.


When redoing mobile home flooring, the type of subfloor needed will greatly depend on the flooring being installed. Oriented strand board, plywood and particleboard are all manufactured in different thicknesses and the thickness used will differ depending on the application. The grades of the subfloor boards also differ and should only be used in certain applications.