DIY Plywood Plank Floors

6 Materials
3 Days

Yes, that says Plywood Plank Floors! - Trust me, it's easier than you may think! We did this in a bedroom! - People think they look like high-end expensive floors... However, we have discovered since then that it would be cheaper to do tongue and groove 3/4" pine (the back side of wainscoting, which is the flat side, would be up - we plan to do the rest of our home with this). I'd say the bedroom, which is pretty good size, cost us about $225 total - including the lumber yard cutting the planks for us from the plywood sheets, the oil base stain and oil base satin finish polyurethane - we were advised to use oil base products for durability by a professional builder/remodeler friend, and the pine plywood seems to have a very hard surface. Because of squeaky floors, we put down sub-flooring first and then glued the back side of the planks with Liquid Nails, as well as used a pneumatic nail gun (note that we used large nail heads). We love the rustic old look it has! Perhaps someone can shed more light on the tongue and groove flooring idea. It makes sense cost-wise for us to do, and we have about 2,000 sq. ft. to cover yet! People online talk about using cheap finished 1 side plywood - we did a LOT of looking around our area (Western NY), and did not find anybody that carried anything like that.
Getting a good start!
Almost there! - and this went very quick with 2 people! - Maybe about 2 hours! I measured, he cut and applied the Liquid Nails, I placed the planks and used the Nail Gun! :)
Ready for sanding! Literally sat on my butt and used a palm sander, which is quite user friendly. We might try sanding before install next time, but it seems that all the "real" hardwood floor folks install then sand...
Stain before some more sanding! - This time, I did the sanding by hand (before applying the polyurethane) to have more control of the color. With the plywood planks (pine - finished one side), it sure soaked up the color! - Made me glad we chose a darker color stain!
After sitting on my butt, scooting around the room sanding by hand, to get the desired look . / I'm sorry I don't have pix of the finished room without furniture, etc. in it - but trust me, it's beautiful! - everyone's impressed!!!
Here we are with some furniture in the room - this is used as a guest room and for our new grandbaby when she is with us!
This gives you a good idea of the satin finish. It looks rich! - I, personally, am not in love with shiny wood floors, so this is our desired look. All in all, we would say this was a fairly easy project - started very early on a Saturday morning - did the cutting of the planks and install on Saturday, as well as sanding and applying the stain. Sunday, was light hand sanding and touch up stain where I thought it was needed - waited for it to dry - and applied the first coat of polyurethane before bed. Monday, got up early and applied the second coat before we took off for the week! Would DEFINITELY do this again!! - only with the 3/4" tongue and groove pine - flat side up!!!!! - just because of the cost factor ... unless someone out there can tell us where to find that CHEAP finished one side plywood!!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 115 questions
  • Djennieyy
    on Aug 8, 2019

    Hi! There was actually someone in the reviews of that specific product that had pictures of their shiplap project! It looked incredible! It would be fabulous to cover a room with wallpaper that you didn't want to take down or damaged walls. If you go to the Lowe's website and look at that item check out the reviews and the person put in pictures! Yes our house moves a lot too. It is 187 years old, 3000sq ft, and we are currently working on floor jacks to level the floors. We probably won't be able to do our flooring project until spring as this is such a slow process. I don't know if the flexibility of the Luan would be an asset or a detraction. I wonder if it might just move with the house? Might be worth it to try it in a small room & see? Once we get to that point I will let you know! Good luck with your project :-) thank you again for the inspiration!

    • Micheal
      on Aug 13, 2019

      You may like the nailing but if you have a frequent moving and adjustment issues with you home you may want to use a floating laminate flooring. It does not fit snug to the wall and you lay it over a sheeting to help with moisture. Use a 1/4 round or baseboard to cover next to walls. Then you floor moves with your home.

  • Tonya
    on Aug 14, 2019

    Do these warp at all or get any raised edges since not tongue and groove?

    • SHARI B
      on Aug 14, 2019

      No, they have not. Keep in mind we not only nailed them in, we also put down Liquid Nails.

  • Vicki Wicker
    on Aug 20, 2019

    I'm sorry , as compared to the plywood?

Join the conversation

2 of 576 comments
  • Vicki Wicker
    on Aug 20, 2019

    Your plywood floors are do you like the bamboo floors as compared to the bamboo? Which is easier to maintain?

  • Teach_manners
    on Nov 11, 2019

    hi, great inspirations! we had a professionally laid floating bamboo floor installed in our bedroom , and it cracks and moves and we are very unhappy with it!

    I believe a nail down floor is the best way to go.

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