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DIY Project: How To Install Plywood As Hardwood Flooring

Happy Monday Y’all!

I have an exciting DIY project to share with you today! While it was hard work, I am so happy with the way it turned out, and how much money I saved doing it!! 🙂 🙂

Here is the finished project painted in Waterlogue app

Katy Interior Designer

My 1905 Victorian cottage turned design studio came with an extra detached building that I decided to use as The Casa Vilora Classroom. In this building, I will be teaching decorating workshops and doing demos like “How To set A Thanksgiving Table”.

When I first signed the lease a year ago and entered this detached building, I made an immediate exit. It had a really gross stained carpet floor that smelled horribly. I knew that the carpet had to go….and fast.

Since I am leasing this building, I am always careful not to over-spend on the improvements I make to it. So I get really creative.

After removing the grossy carpet, I decided to look around for inexpensive hardwood flooring (or laminate), but everything was coming in over my budget. So I decided to take  a look at plywood. More and more plywood seemed like a great option.

I decided to purchase pre-sanded cabinet grade plywood for this project. I needed around twelve 4×8 sheets for the room which is roughly 15×18. I had the store cut them into 6″x96″ pieces. They do charge a fee for doing that many cuts (around $70), but my fee was waived because they accidentally cancelled my order. I love it when a bad situation turns out good 🙂

Katy Interior Designer

TIP: Be sure to get a nice thick plywood for this project. If you are okay with doing some heavy sanding, you can forego the pre-sanded cabinet grade to save money.

Here is what the cut up pieces look like in the room before we installed them

Katy Interior Designer

Notice how yucky the plywood subfloor is? It is very important to lay a moisture barrier before installing the plywood pieces.

Katy Interior Designer

With the help of my handyman Felipe, we cut and laid out the pieces of plywood just like you would laying pre-finished hardwood floors (staggering the seams). We used really small finish nails that will need to be counter-sunk and filled with wood filler later.

Here is the floor after all the pieces were nailed down

TIP: Lay out as many of the plywood pieces as possible before nailing them down to make sure there are no large gaps. Remember this is plywood cut by the store, so the cuts will not be perfect. Even the thickness from sheet to sheet may be off. If there are gaps, you will need to fill with wood filler.

Next I sanded the floor using medium grit sandpaper. Because I used the pre-sanded plywood, it didn’t require heavy sanding.

Next, vacuum up all the dust and wipe the floor with a damp rag. When it is completely dry, it is time for the stain! Yay!!!

Katy Interior Designer

I used a gray stain from Sherwin Williams called Rustic Gray. I was going for a beach house feel with this room. I applied the stain with a piece of an old white t-shirt and with another piece, I wiped some of the stain back off immediately. this allows the wood grain to show through, which is the look I was after.

If you are going for a more solid look, then skip the step where you wipe off, and you may even want to add a second coat.

Katy Interior Designer

Wait for the stain to dry ( at least 4-6 hours) and then lightly sand again with a fine grit sandpaper. Clean up and wait 24 hours before adding the polyurethane.

I used a satin finish polyurethane since I did not want the floor to be shiny.

Wait 24 hours before applying the second coat of polyurethane (I didn’t apply a second coat to my floor because I wanted a really rustic look. If you will have heavy traffic in your space, it is recommended that you add that second coat)

Here is the floor finished 🙂

Katy Interior Designer

Katy Interior Designer

We have already had an Art Show the day after the floors were finished, and the turn-out was great!

We have another Art Show and one demo (How To Set A Thanksgiving Table) coming up in November. Our workshops will begin in January 2015!

Time to add some furniture and window treatments in the classroom and we will be done! I scored a major deal with 6 chairs and 2 tables (pre-owned) for $80! 🙂

Well, this was really hard work. My knees and and arms hurt for days, but all in all, I enjoyed the process.

What are your thoughts on the plywood flooring? Would you take on this project?

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior designer/ Katy Interior Decorator

Veronica Solomon Owner/Lead Designer Casa Vilora Interiors

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