DIY Plywood Plank Floors

6 Materials
$225
3 Days
Easy
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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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 122 questions
  • Carol Cole Carol Cole on Mar 09, 2021

    I love the job but not the darkness. Would you come do my floors? I have wanted to do this to my dinning room and living room for a long time.

  • Terry Terry on Aug 15, 2021

    Considering this as a cheaper alternative for a rental did you bevel the edges and how well does it hold up to dents and scrathes

  • Suze Suze on Aug 15, 2021

    How did you finish up the doorway? Would have liked to see a photo of that, as I doubt you left it with the raw edges in the doorway


    Also, think this would be workable in a light traffic area, such as bedroom, where furniture isn't likely moved often.

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  • April April on Jan 02, 2022

    I wish I would have thought about something like this in our home. We spent a ton of money on a wood floating floor that lasted 2 years to date ironically. The installation was great & the floors were beautiful, then our house shifted and planks started to separate & pop up. I’m a very determined woman, my hubby not so much! Your floor is beautiful & I love this idea! If I can convince my husband to try it, I’ll post pics!! Thank you for sharing!!

    • SHARI B SHARI B on Jan 02, 2022

      You're welcome! And, I hear you - that is SOOOO disappointing after you spend money on a project like that. I, personally, am not a fan of floating floors - have seen others with the same issues you mentioned. We ended up getting a really great deal on solid bamboo flooring at 0% interest, so we installed that in the rest of our home. We nailed it in, because our house moves with the seasons...it's crazy, but it does for sure! So, we wanted something that would be a forever floor, and going on just over 2 years, we are beyond happy with it. Wish we would've done the plywood planks in our summer cottage though. We bought a pallet of cheaper laminate wood look flooring, and we all know what happens if it gets wet...I just think the plywood planks would have been more durable for the long haul! Would love to see your project when you post!!!!! ;)

  • April April on Jan 03, 2022

    You’re a great inspiration girl:) Not crazy at all about your house shifting with all 4 seasons. Lol 😂 not crazy at all to me because our home does the very same, I have a sign that says “welcome to the 4 seasons” I’m from Louisiana & our home sits on concrete pillars in what we refer to as gumbo mud. I’ll check into the bamboo flooring and fingers crossed 🤞 we can make magic happen! Thank you once again for another brilliant idea 😊

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