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Tiles Approved For Prefab Homes

Prefab homes are trending and knowing the way to style them with tile (Oasis tile above) is a great way to personalize these manufactured homes to your client’s needs.

Sometimes great things don’t have to stay in the past , and such is the case with prefab homes. While they may be trending in the current economic climate and housing market, affordable prefab homes have been an option for many years. They were an integral part of Sear’s early day shopping catalogues and thrived under the expert craftsmanship of Frank Lloyd Wright (remember Usonian homes of the mid-twentieth century?) Today, these homes come in all shapes and sizes (yes, even tiny prefab homes exist!) and our goal is to review what prefab homes are, the types of prefab homes on the market, and how to use tile in a prefab home for gloriously unique design. 

What are prefab homes?

If you’re here, you either heard of prefab or manufactured homes, consider all prefab homes to be mobile homes or just typed a query into Google to learn more because you know zilch. Well, no matter the case, you’re in luck, because you’re about to learn exactly what prefab homes are as well as the various types that exist on the market. 

Prefab homes, technically put, are made from components that are constructed in a factory and then transported to a home lot to be assembled.They are known for their sustainability, and affordability which is why they’ve been around for well over 100 years. 

Zellige style ceramic (Silk Collection) tiles create contrast in this modern kitchen design.

When it comes to prefab homes, though, it’s not one-size-fits-all (even if that’s what you’re led to believe.) There are a medley of design types that encompass this residential home type and we’re going to give you the run-down on each one, right now:

Mobile Homes 

Midcentury mobile trailer home in Palm Springs. | Source: Country Living

Also known by the outdated term “mobile homes,” manufactured homes are built and transported in complete sections before being assembled on the home site. 

Modular Homes

Modular home in suburban neighborhood. | Source: Triumph Homes

Modular homes, however, involve making components off-site and then transfering the modules to a plot of land for final installation. Each module usually has all the basics, like plumbing, electrical, doors, and closets—and you can usually connect multiple modules to form a larger house.

Panelized Homes 

Panel of a panelized modular home being placed. | Source: Harvest Homes

As the name implies, panelized prefab homes are made from a set of panels that are delivered to a job site. Panelized homes are made from (you guessed it) whole panels or walls that are then transferred to the build site. They require more interior finishing work, so the on-site build time is longer. Kit homes can come in any shape or size and are like an elaborate Ikea bookshelf; pieces are made and cut in a factory and then shipped with instructions to a build site for construction.

Can you use tiles in a prefab or modular home?   

If you’re wondering if you can use tiles in a prefab home (or modular home), the short answer is: yes, you can! These homes, while requiring professional installment, are able to enjoy the benefits of porcelain wall tiles, ceramic backsplash tiles, feature wall tile designs and shower wall tiles. There is seemingly an unlimited amount of tile styles to use in prefabricated homes, as long as you know the best kind and have an idea of what you want. This is where we come in to help out!

A prefab home decorated in neutrals with stone backsplash tiles (Piacenza Tile) and modern industrial decor.

When it comes to choosing tiles for your prefab home, there are many things to consider. For one, it’s important to know each tile type and the benefits/cons of them to decide which is right for each area. You wouldn’t want to use ceramic tiles on a bathroom floor as it could lead to cracks, scratches and repairs. Yet, you’d likely find that a wood look porcelain tile can be a cozy alternative offering durability, support, and longevity.

It’s also important to note than when choosing tiles for prefab or manufactured homes, you need to keep in mind the weight of the tiles. You shouldn’t choose tile that’s too heavy or too large. The reason is simple: For tile installation in homes, you’ll need to use sub flooring. This will require consulting an expert to decide the best route. 

According to Donato Pompo on Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants website:

“First the subfloor can’t have any significant deflection. You might need to add support or bracing to the floor to stiffen it up. You can install a cementitious backer board over the subfloor and then adhere the tile to it. Of course the backer board has to be installed correctly per the manufacturers directions and the tile has to be installed correctly with the appropriate installation products.”

Striped mosaic tiles (Monaco Moneghetti Gris) in upscale kitchen design.

Here is a quick rundown of the different tile types and the spaces/ways they can be used within your modular home bathroom, prefab home kitchen or living room. 

Ceramic Tiles

Shown Above: Satin Collection

There are so many forms of ceramic tiles that are available to use; from zellige ceramic tiles to patterned ceramic tiles. These beautiful tiles are a great option for kitchen backsplashes, fireplaces and bathroom walls; however, when it comes to using ceramic tiles in watery (or wet) environments, it’s advised not to. The reason is simple: They are a bit more porous than other tile options, like glass tile or porcelain tile, which means that over time they can chip or discolor.

Porcelain Tiles 

Wood look hex tiles (Royal Wood Noce Hex) on the floor in a mudroom laundry room. 

Porcelain tile is the ultimate in versatility. This durable, low maintenance option can create covetable spaces in no time. Porcelain tile backsplashes can emulate the style of marble with stone look porcelain tiles or create trendy, terrazzo inspired floors of a residential or commercial space. This material can also create the appearance of wood with wood look mosaic floor tiles. This tile alone offers a large distribution of styles that can cover backsplashes, kitchen floors, bathroom tile needs.

Glass Tiles 

Hexagon glass tiles (Cordoba Moonstone) create a midcentury chic design in this prefab home bathroom.

There’s so much you can do with glass tile which is why it’s a covetable material and a go-to in interior design styles. You can add a bold glass feature wall tile to a bathroom and instantly create a focal point in the space. Alternatively, if your client is less comfortable with emboldened statements,  you can use a herringbone gray glass backsplash tile to evoke a sense of movement and make a creative design without the drama. Plus, they’re easy to care for, which means minimal maintenance for your client!

How-To Use Tiles In Prefab Homes

In the Shower

Yes, you can enjoy the beauty of tiles in the shower in modular or prefab homes! This means that unique creation and individuality is easy to do. Below we provide a few examples of shower wall tiles or shower floor tiles to inspire you.


White herringbone glass tiles (Mirage White 1×3 Herringbone Gloss) with decorative pattern in a panelized home shower design.

For those that want to shimmer and shine, then glass tiles deliver. Using these fun, sparkling waterproof tiles in a shower is a great way to add a luxury treatment to even the smallest spaces. They offer depth, design, and creativity in the best way. Using various tones of glass tiles and pairing with a pattern floor tile in the shower, you get a dimensional space that wows.

Glass herringbone tiles (Cobblestone 1/3 Herringbone Gloss) create a feature wall design in a contemporary shower.

As we mentioned previously, glass tiles make a great option in prefab homes thanks to their lightweight bodies and glossy (or matte!) facades. The sheer volume of styles, colors and finishes available make these tiles the perfect shower tile design option. There are endless shower tile ideas to run with, but one that has our contemporary cravings fulfilled is the above shower design. Using a herringbone glass tile in a dark gray, and contrasting it with silver shower fixtures and matte white surfaces, the result is a spectacularly stylish room that wows.

A bold blue pattern floor tile (Urbana Wood Blue) creates an urban, artistic atmosphere in this prefab home bathroom.

Porcelain tiles are versatile. Gone are the days when you’d find simple subway tiles or penny round tiles adorning the walls and floors of a shower in a home. Now, things can get a little wild and that’s for the best! Take for example this gorgeous blue wood look floor tile. Complete with a geo chic pattern, the small space bathroom has tailored tastes and an artistically driven design that is immediately noticeable and impressionable. 

In the Bathroom 

Showers aside, there are plenty of other areas to use gorgeous tile designs in a bathroom. You can create astounding backsplash tile designs in a bathroom or a feature wall tile design behind a tub. To excite your mind and get those creative juices flowing, below are a few prime examples of bathroom tile designs.

Gray square mosaic backsplash tiles (Sugar Cookie) adorn a coastal, contemporary bathroom in mobile home.

Mosaic lovers unite! While it may seem like the most traditional and “safe” tile type to use, mosaic tiles offer a variety of styles that can create a covetable space. Plus, these tiles are timeless and can undergo several decor shifts in a bathroom without needing to reinvest in a backsplash tile or wall tile design. A major perk. For example, this stunning, contemporary and clean bathroom backsplash. Using a gray mosaic tile on the wall, it makes an airy, bright and light aesthetic. It can easily transtion in time if the homeowner wants to make a more traditional or industrial chic space.

Terrazzo tiles (Terra Blue Speckled) create a modern work of art in this prefab home bathroom.

Ceramic tiles are in a league of their own; They are a traditional staple in design and date back hundreds of years. While there were many styles that fit the bill of timeless–think, neutral tiles–ceramic tiles can also be made trendy. Case-in-point hexagon ceramic tiles with a terrazzo facade. In the heart of the bathroom of this prefab home is a unique, blue speckled hex tiles on the wall. Matching the bathroom vanity, the result is an almost monochromatic design that instills a sense of modern beauty. 

Wood look glass tiles (Sierra Silver Pine) in modern farmhouse bathroom.

Another way to elevate a prefab home’s bathroom? Glass tiles with a wood look. That’s right, using multidimensional glass tiles offer a great way to create a cozy, homey bathroom and do it on a limited budget. Wood look tiles made from glass have an iridescence and shine that’s hard to miss and create spaciousness no matter the actual size of the room.

In the Kitchen 

Multitonal glass hex tiles (Saint Tropez Daybreak) paint a beautiful design in this sleek kitchen.

Last but far from least is using tiles in the kitchen of prefab homes! Like the other rooms in these home types, it is fully possible to craft a unique design that stands the test of time. Below we review a few inspirational tile designs.

Wood look marble hex tiles (Timbuktu) in a traditional kitchen. 

If adding a cozy touch to a kitchen design in prefab homes is of interest to you, nothing delivers like wood hex tiles. Made with wooden gray marble, these tiles have beautiful, natural variations thanks to the stone’s veining. The result is a diverse and textural design experience that gives a muted statement for a kitchen with a touch of stone sophistication. 

A white marble herringbone tile creates a clean aesthetic in a modern farmhouse kitchen.

When marble meets pattern, the result is a tile design that’s classy and chic. With cool tones, thanks to the natural variation of the stone tile’s veining, the result is intricate details that form a timeless kitchen look. Paired in the above space with navy blue cabinetry, there’s an organic detailing that complements the overall design of the space.

Yellow and gray mosaic tile (Alma Collection) backsplash in an urban mobile home’s kitchen. 

If adding visual interest and extra dimension is what you want to achieve in your prefab home’s kitchen, using colorful mosaic tiles as a backsplash is a great way to do that. Mosaic glass tiles are a brilliant way to add some shimmer, sparkle, and a bit of drama in modern and contemporary settings like seen in this transitional kitchen’s backsplash.

Bold blue mosaic tile (Alma Collection) backsplash in a contemporary, minimalist kitchen. 

A well-thought out space with a sense of cohesion means that colors, textures and finishes are taken into account. This beautiful blue mosaic backsplash tile works as a central visual point in the ultra contemporary kitchen design complete with monochromatic, high gloss white kitchen cabinetry. It showcases how mosaic tiles can give a space edge and character–Just divine!

If you want even more tile options for prefab homes, be sure to check out our on-site tile design gallery to keep getting more inspired. If you see something you love, be sure to email: info(at)mir-mosaic(dot)com for more information on purchasing!


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