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Using Plywood For Flooring

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Has anyone had any experience with making wood flooring out of lumber or plywood? Our carpet is awful and needs to be taken out. I was just wondering if it's possible to lay lumber and then sand and stain?

By jdelmart from Crosby, TX

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Dan B.02/05/2013

Yes plywood is a lot of work, but if you do a good job and get the right type of plywood. It should hold up for a while. Stay away from veneer plywood because the veneer is like a 64th of and inch thick and with wear off in no time.

Sanded plywood is nice looking and if sawed into planks can look almost like real wood flooring but not warp and move as much. Because of the make up of the layers of the plywood being turned 90 degrees in every other layer.

By nomonmakesitfun-er04/17/2010

I'm renting a place where I have to and enjoy doing repairs, upgrades, etc. Outside my bedroom window is a 15'x15' space of clay and gofer holes. It's very uneven and sterile so I covered with some plywood sheets available and made livable ghetto deck. I never sealed it but did screw it down to 2x4s underneath and it went through a season of wet weather with minor warp-age. But I don't care, it least its potted flowers, not mud and no mowing.

Got this deck sealer on clearance and wondering, if don't want to paint out the grain I should stain then seal right? And the stain is just gonna be? Uuh...diluted light base interior latex with old acylic artist tube paint pigment added for color ; many different colors. BTW I'm not going to sand or sweat to much. In fact I might paint with my footprints.
So Hey....what do you think? No I do not live in a ghetto ....but if I did! Being creative is a learning experience for sure.

Quick question? Can I just add pigment to the sealer like it was a base medium? Anyone know?

By Mary Lynn06/26/2009

My father built the home I grew up in and used 'tongue in groove' flooring. I believe it was pine and could be easily stained and finished. It would most likely be more expensive than plywood but it would be a good long lasting floor.

By Sarah [1]06/25/2009

A few years ago, friends of mine redid their floors with plywood. They sanded it down, then started spreading several coats of varathane with a very soft material. Between each coat, they let dry, then sand lightly. They chose not to use stain and let the natural pattern come through. It was so beautiful and a lot of work, but worth it. Good luck to you.

By LEONA LABINE [40]06/25/2009

I have seen it done on DIY shows. Some have even used a saw and made shallow cuts on the plywood to make it look like slats of wood nailed together.

By Lynda [4]06/23/2009

Yes indeedy, jmart. We went to a fancy/smancy Italian restaurant in the mall in the trendy section of Tampa, Fl. The floors and walls in the room they put us in (for a fancy b-day party with 100+ guests) were plywood! They were stained and sealed and glossed with polyurethane I presume. They had very large mirrors interspersed on the wall of the same plywood and chandeliers.. Breathtaking! Call a lumberyard and ask what products to use. I've already decided to one day redo the indoor outdoor carpet in our Fl room this way when we can afford to rip this old carpet out and buy the plywood and products to get this beautiful effect. I don't believe we will use large ornate mirrors and chandeliers though. LOL But to answer your question, Yes indeed! Good luck! Let us know if you do this and maybe include a pic of your new floors.

By Cyinda [214]06/23/2009

I have a raw plywood floor in my craft room that's an add-on to my mobile home. I've had great success with using stick-on vinyl floor squares from the dollar store & sticking them to the plywood. You can buy them at Dollar Tree or order them from their web site by the case. You get 3 for $1 & they are 12" x 12"... So you can do 30 square feet for $10. I heated them up with a blow dryer or heat gun after they were stuck down then rubbed a soft towel over them & pressed down at the same time to make the glue on the back stick even better. By the time, money & energy you put into sanding & staining the plywood you could cover the plywood with these easy-to-apply vinyl floor tiles. The ones I chose are VERY classy looking & looked like wood in 3 different shades with a diamond shape weaving behind another shade of "wood"... In fact everyone thinks that these stick-on vinyl tiles are REAL wood! Dollar Tree has 8 or so designs to choose from & all are nice. If you need the squ number to order them I can find mine. They also sell these stick-on vinyl tiles at Home Depot but they cost 2 for $1 instead of 3 for $1. Also look at liquidation stores!

Another way you could go is to lay down vinyl flooring that looks like hardwood... We did this in our kitchen before we sold our house & everyone thought the vinyl flooring was REAL hardwood (it looked just like it!)... It costs very little & is easy to clean & install which sanding & sealing plywood isn't! ...They have a brand that bends & is soft so it's MUCH easier to self install, unlike the older brands. In fact Armstrong will guarantee your self-installation if you spend $20 & also buy their installation directions & template... If you buy this kit along with your flooring & you make a mistake then THEY will pay for brand new flooring for you! ...This also comes in a hardwood wood or parquet look-a-like. We figured it would cost about $80 - $100 for a bedroom sized piece from Home Depot. But then you wouldn't have to rent the sander or buy 4 or 5 gallons of varathine to seal the plywood!

You can also buy used industrial carpeting that they take out of businesses for almost nothing (then they don't have to pay to take it to the dump!) This industrial carpeting can look like new & is so sturdy it lasts almost forever. Put a note up on Craig's List that you want some "like new" wall to wall industrial carpeting or call one of those places that takes the goodies out of buildings for recycling.

My friend had a plywood floor for years until they could afford real wood & she had the hardest time keeping it clean! If I was to do what you're thinking about, I would thin down a dark color of 100% acrylic paint in a color I liked (50-50 paint to water) then using a mop, I'd stain it with a color (like a dark emerald or olive green, med brown or indigo blue) & lastly, using a new mop, seal it with at least 2 or 3 coats of water-based varathine. Water-based doesn't last as long as oil-based & isn't as durable, but it dries quicker & isn't nearly as toxic. You can buy 100% Acrylic paint at Home Depot (not to be confused with Latex paint) Acrylic paint sticks better & lasts longer than Latex. A gallon is just under $20. For more details write me here on ThriftyFun. Remember, always use oil-based paint with oil-based sealer & water-based with water-based!
---> GOOD LUCK! <---

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Archive: Using Plywood For Flooring

I recently bought a house and will be doing a lot of work on it. I pulled all the carpet up and it does have hardwood floors and they are in great condition. The house was built about 40 years ago and the flooring has wide spaces between the pieces. I have thought about using some type of filler to fill the gaps then thought about using wood laminate on top, but after checking the prices it would cost me several thousand to do the whole house.

I am re thinking that, unless I can find it on clearance. So, what I am thinking now is using plywood as the floor and staining it. I am thinking of taking large pieces of plywood and cutting them into strips or using the whole pieces, but I think cutting it would look better. What type of wood is best for floors that won't dent easy, and what thickness of wood is best? Wood laminate is thin so can plywood of the same thickness be used?

I don't like the idea of nails showing so would it work to use a liquid nail or a wood glue? I am looking for any ideas and help that anyone can offer and if anyone has ever done this and can share a picture.

Stacie from Columbia, SC


RE: Using Plywood For Flooring

If you are going to use whole sheets of plywood, you can get a router and make the lines in the plywood to look like real hardwood floors (09/10/2008)

By PICO

RE: Using Plywood For Flooring

PICO's idea is good! If you do that, use wood screws drilled down below plywood surface, putty cover those screw hole 'dents' with the closest matching wood putty as possible of the plywood color and be sure to double or triple varnish coat entire floor because every single spill on virgin wood will show otherwise, especially plywood.

It might behoove you to pinch your pennies and go ahead and purchase something like Pergo Flooring instead though and just do each room as you can afford. If I remember correctly it has a lifetime warranty. And it definitely looks like wood, holds up better than wood and holds up well even against scratches and water! BTW, how far apart are the spaces on the current flooring? I am intrigued about that. (09/10/2008)

By Deeli

RE: Using Plywood For Flooring

I think you should find out if the flooring you have, if it is really hardwood, can be refinished. This would make a much better floor, and likely much less expensive than plywood or laminate. Hardwood is a much better material. (09/10/2008)

By louel53

RE: Using Plywood For Flooring

The gaps in the floor are about 1" wide. I was told that when this house was built they did that with floors to save on wood. The day after I sent a request with this question I found my answer. It will be Pergo or a brand with the same lifetime warranty and this is the reason why.

The salon I work in has laminate wood floors. It's not pergo but a cheaper look alike. A water pipe busted and it sat for 2 days. The floor is now warped and peeling up like paper. The floor is less than 2 years old and between the scratches all over it and now the warping it looks terrible. The entire salon floor has to be replaced.

So, I have decided to not try and save money on the house flooring. I am not and will not be living in this house so I do have plenty of time to complete this project. I will buy a few boxes along the way while doing all the other projects. I am doing a total face lift on this house and in no hurry. I will check out fast floors, thanks for that info and if anyone has any other ideas please let me know. (09/11/2008)

By Stacie

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