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New Project – the plywood floor

So, I was working on building my boys beds (this will be a different post) and finished Itai’s bed and realized that I did NOT want to put their beds in on the dirty carpet.  I had painted the boys room last year with a navy blue stripe around the room and decided perhaps a Ship theme?  I was going to get laminate for their floor but came across the concept of plywood floors on Pinterest (very dangerous and addicting website:))  This is the website that gave me the idea to do a plywood floor in the boys room:  Piklee

I really loved the idea- and knew it was going to be work!   I went to Home Depot and priced the plywood, looked for the best option.  I purchased 6 sheets of 1/2 in plywood, and had them cut into 4″x8′ strips. I really love the Home Depot guys close to my home- this time I had Rob and Kelly helping me.  Here is a photo of the plywood on the saw: IMG_0636

I purchased one gallon of Golden Oak stain, and 1 gallon of Polyurethane (oil based) (I need to check the brand name).  I sanded in batches- beveling the edges and sanding smooth as I could- stained and put a coat of Poly.  This raised the grain so after the Poly dried- I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper and put a second coat of poly.  When the first batch of boards were ready- I headed up to the room- where I promptly decided I needed to remove the door jam to the closet and replace it with matching boards to the floor.

So off came the door to the closet, then off came the door trim and jams.  I used a 1×6 ripped to the necessary width to put in the inside of the doorway.  I started the flooring in the closet- with pennies to seperate the boards and provide the necessary space for expansion.  I used my nail gun and 2″ 18 guage nails.  I got to the doorway and decided maybe I can use the doorway to go straight into the room (not such a good plan)

As you can see if this photo- the boards are slanting into the room-

slanted floor

(sorry for the blurry photo- my phone camera had an issue that has been fixed)

I really really didn’t want to – but I pulled up all of the boards, used a nail puller/clipper to cut off the nails, and hammered them flat into the subfloor.  I used a snap line to get a straight line and began re-laying the floor down- much better!

I had to sand , stain, and poly in batches because I only had limited sawhorses and tables to raise them off the ground- being the time of year it is- TX weather likes to be windy.  Also- Unseasonably- we have been getting a lot of rain- so it has taken at least a month to complete this project- not to mention working full time.  So here are a few pictures of progress:

photo 2photo 5

and there is nothing more annoying that getting to the end and discovering- you are short by 6 boards-

photo 2photo 1

so luckily I had some boards left over that hadn’t been stained so I stained and poly’d them and when dry installed them- so here is the mostly finished product:

photo 4photo 3

pay no attention to the hallway- that is another project- another day.


All that is left to do on the floor is to put three coats of polyurethane on it- put in the baseboards and door trim, and then the boys can move back in- so does my floor look good?

btw- I showed the pictures to Rob and Kelly in Home Depot and they were very impressed. :)

Kathrynh - October 8, 2013 - 2:33 am

You are a rock star! That floor looks fantastic, and I am green with envy! How did the tile on the stairs come out?

Love it!

Sheila Fling - October 9, 2013 - 8:57 pm

Ori, thoes floors are beautiful. You are truly muli talented! Thanks to Phil for sending me the post.

admin - October 9, 2013 - 9:18 pm

Hi Aunt Sheila- It was not Ori that installed those floors- it was Teresa :) I love you!

Ori - October 11, 2013 - 3:03 pm

My talent is finding and keeping a talented wife.

Shaun - May 4, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Your floor looks great! What kind of plywood did you use?

admin - May 16, 2014 - 11:46 am

I used the 24/sheet 1/2 inch plywood. It sands very nicely.

Jeffrey - August 9, 2014 - 7:40 pm

How did you shoot the nails in right on top or in the side

admin - August 20, 2014 - 6:12 pm

it depends on how the joints are- for the middle partitions I did the outside and bottom. Does that help? The directions from Ana White tell you how to connect the parts.

Tammy - November 17, 2014 - 10:26 pm

We are in the process of getting our living room finish ( no DYI skills here hired someone) still adding polyuritane doing 6 coats. It’s funny people think your crazy when u tell them what your doing until they see the results. Wish it would let me paste my picture on here.

stephanie - January 5, 2015 - 6:22 am

Just wondering if you had concrete under the plywood? If so how did you go about securing and not splitting the planks to secure them? If not is it possible to lay over concrete and be able to secure? Wanting to do this to my daughters room.

admin - July 14, 2015 - 1:05 am

Hi Stephanie- no- this is on the 2nd floor so it is a wooden subfloor. I think if you were laying it over concrete you shouldn’t do nails- use construction adhesive instead.

Deb - October 17, 2015 - 12:59 pm

All the sites on pintrest for plywood flooring say Home Depot, Lowes cut the planks. NOT ONE of ours will cut. So we borrowed neighbors table saw. Anxious to see how it turns out!

Heather - December 10, 2015 - 3:35 am

So, I started a floor today in my daughter’s bedroom using your advice. I have used a nail gun and nailed the boards every 12″. I’m a little nervous about how well this is going to stay down. How do your floors look now? We’re thinking about doing the rest of the house but want some additional info first.

Judy - December 28, 2015 - 2:15 am

How much did Home Depot charge for all the cutting? Curious as to worth my investment or paying them to do it.

admin - December 28, 2015 - 5:10 am

They didn’t charge me for the cuts- I am there frequently and know most of them anyway :)

admin - December 28, 2015 - 5:11 am

Sorry- just saw this- The floors still look great- I had laminate installed in the game room and showed it to the installer and he thought it was hardwood :) triumph!

Vanessa - November 7, 2016 - 4:28 am

Hello. Your floors look great! How long has it been since installation? Do you still like them? Do they still look good? What grade of plywood did you use? Was it furniture grade or the rough that would need sanded? Thanks for your help. We’re considering plywood flooring for our craft room.

admin - November 7, 2016 - 4:34 am

they still look great- I really should post an updated pic. I chose the cheapest plywood, sanded it and filled in any knots with wood filler. I then sanded again, stained, sanded, polyed, sanded, and polyed again, and then it was like satin, so smooth. Once installed I put 3 more coats of poly, not sure if it made a difference but I don’t have any scratches despite 2 boys sharing that room. course now they are are 14 and 11, but still.

Vanessa - May 18, 2017 - 11:22 pm

Hello. Thanks for replying. Did you nail on top of the boards or on the side like tongue and groove? Have you noticed any of the edges pulling up or turning up? You didn’t use furniture grade plywood? I’m worried about all the sanding.
BTW our stores cut but now they have a sign up that it’s 50 cents a cut.
Thanks for your help!

Back to School Lockers from Aug 8, 2012

It is almost back to school time (20 days) and I am home alone with my 4 kids while my husband is away on business for 2.5 weeks. What is a woman to do? Find a project.
There has always been this weird little nitch in the front “formal living room” that I use as my photo studio. It is only 55 1/4 ” wide and 7″ deep so nothing I could find would fit there- I usually have a coat rack there- and last year I had my boys’ backpacks for school hung there. But… This year my twins are going off to school- which means 4 backpacks. Enter project! I modified the Small Locker Project ( and built the lockers to 1.) fit the space 2.)to fit their existing shoe baskets that used to be in an Ikea Expedit shelf.
I am soooo pleased with how they turned out.

Here is a pic of that weird nitchImage
I built this in pieces- first the bench, then the dividers and backing, and then the cubbies above. I built it using 1/2 in birch veneer plywood (that happens to be Purebond) from home depot. I had Home Depot cut the wood (which I normally do for the easiness factor- but this time it was a mistake. My favorite cutting guy was on vacation and I wanted to start now so I let Moose cut it. So not a good idea. One piece was 15″ wide at one end and 15 1/4 ” at the other… I gave him a cutting guide, hello?
Good thing I have my own table saw so I could fix it. (from when I built my girls beds:
I sanded and stained the wood with custom stain from Sherwin Williams. I then gave it 3 coats of waterbased Poly .(sanding between each one)
Then I glued and nailed it together (for the record, 1/2 plywood is harder to shoot nails into- just sayin’)
Then I had the wood cut for the dividers and back (sand, stain, poly, glue and nail, install)

Finally the cubbies at the top: (sand stain, poly glue and nail, install)
After that I put on the trim so now I have a built in lockers for my kids- their backpacks and shoe baskets fit exactly, and there is room for when they grow for the backpack hooks to move up. I plan to use chalkboard vinyl to put their names above the hooks. Thanks Ana again for inspiring me!!!!!!

The finished lockers: IMG_0392


Girls’ Beds Project Complete!

I am so happy to say the beds are built and completely done!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you are anxious for pictures- but lets look back at where I started.
In April I decided I was going to build the girls beds- Thanks to Ana White at Knock-Off Wood, I had the plans for the storage daybed, and I wasn’t afraid to use them. I was also really hoping she would make plans for the corner unit- basing it off the pb teen Store-It bed. I went out and bought the wood- found a great deal on cabinet grade 3/4 inch plywood for $23 each at Home Depot in Pflugerville. I had Orange cut the wood also. (on a side note, a lot of people have had trouble with their wood being cut being off on measurements- just find the carpenter that works there and you won’t have that problem, lol)
I took it home and filled in the cracks and knot wholes on the backside sanded the fire out of that wood. And then put sanding sealer on and sanded some more. I sanded both sides til it was as smooth as I could make it. Since this is for 3 year old little girls I didn’t want a single splinter to get in their fingers. Then I put the bottom half of the benches together, it looked something like this: only before the primerI had quite the assembly line going- since I was making two beds. So I had the benches built, and I wanted to prime them, but Texas weather in April and apparently now in June, is weird. Each day has been cloudy with a 20% chance of rain but one minute it would be sunny, and I would think I could prime, and the next minute I had to race to bring the benches back in. Now granted I could lift them by myself since they are only shells at the moment, but they are still a pain to move around. And about that time Yael decided the room had to be yellow.
So off to Home Depot we went- and Louisa and Sandy in paint helped me pick out the perfect yellow to match this room color:

We went home and I laid out the drop cloth and got my paint tray and rollers set up, and commenced painting the room. Well Ari decided he wanted to help- and he ran into the room and right through the paint tray, liberally annointing himself and the carpet with yellow paint. Now I was using latex paint, and I am sure I could have attempted removing it from the carpet, but those of you who read my blog (all one of you, lol) know I have a vendetta against my carpet since I have 4 children. So I yanked it up and found the cheapest swedish maple laminate I could find. My twin sister helped me scrape the subfloor and lay down the moisture barrier, quiet padding stuff, but I did the entire installation by myself. And it matched the yellow paint so well and looked totally awesome. I still need to install the stepdown from carpet to flooring. In the fullness of time.
So the floor and room sat for a while and got nothing while texas weather dilly-dallyed around. I bought the girls twin matresses because their cribs were about to fall apart because the girls removed some of the screws. Those mattresses sat on the floor until now.
I finally managed to get the beds primed, and then sanded before bringing them back inside, but then they sat some more, partyly due to weather, and partly because of Israeli Folkdancing. (which is a whole other topic for discussion:))
So finally on May 21st, Ana posted the plans for the corner unit, and that finally gave me the push I needed. I ran out to Home Depot that night to buy the supplies for the corner unit, brought home the boards and put the frame together, let the glue dry overnight. After the glue dried, I still felt it was a little wobbly (probably shoddy building heehee) so I put cross braces at the corner of the frame, and then put the facade on. I laid it on plastic in the girls room and gave it a primer coat , then sanded, then painted, then sanded, then painted, then poly, then sand, then poly. Then I turned it on its side and did the other part. So then the corner unit was done and I was working on the hutch. I started with the 1×6′s cut to length and sanded, primed, etc and this was outside, I was getting tired of TX weather taunting me so I braved it. I totally prepainted and polyed all the boards for the hutch before building it, and in hindsite- I wish I had done that with the beds. A few countersunk screws and woodfiller later, the hutch was built, installed, and touchup paint and poly applied. The corner unit was done!
Next up, painting the beds, and again stupid TX weather. So I set up my workstations in the living room- and started painting. I did the interiors first because I wanted to put the tops on (finally). You know the routine by now; paint, sand, paint, poly, sand, poly. And finally the benches were done. Just in time for me to put them in the girls room before Ari’s bday party.
Now remember, I still have 4 hoodlums running around, and for the last week have had my niece and nephew plus a couple of sleepover friends so things happen slow around here.
Next up- off to Home Depot (Pflugerville of course) to get trim. Eric helped me determine what would work best and I took home all the trim I needed strapped to the car. I layered two trims for the bottom and since it was preprimed (hooray) I just painted, sanded, painted, polyed, and polyed. I put 3 layers of poly on the trim for supershine. Installation time! Then I used lattice strips to cover where the benches were jointed. Woodfiller, Paint and Poly touch up, and I am thrilled to present pictures of the beds completed:
Next up: Bedding and Curtains- I have the fabric all picked out- just need to get it sewn together!

Girls Beds


Girls’ Beds Project update from May 21, 2010

Ana of Knock-Off finally posted the plans for the corner unit- you have no idea how excited I am. I went this morning to buy the wood, John from the Home Depot in Pflugerville cut them spot on! I sanded the hutch pieces and put sanding sealer on them. It is finally a nice enough day to put the beds outside so I have the primer drying and plan on sanding them so I can put the first coat of color on this weekend. The excitement!!!!!!! Oh and Ori will be home tonight after him traveling for two weeks. Hooray!
If you haven’t heard of Knock-Off Wood, let me tell you! Ana is a housewife who is married to a RAM (Real Alaska Man) and they have built their house in Alaska from the ground up- literally! She had the bright idea to make a piece of furniture like Pottery Barn sells, using normal materials you can get at Home Depot or Lowes, for way cheaper than you can buy the original. The plans are free! She started the blog and started posting the plans and has empowered women (and men too) to build their own furniture. I could never have afforded to buy the original of the beds that I am making for the girls. I can’t see paying that much for a bed for kids anyway. Since I discovered her, after seeing what Shanty2Chic built, I have made the girls beds, painted their walls, replaced their carpet after Ari ran right through the paint tray, and built a bookshelf. I have learned how to use a nail gun and a table saw. Not to mention my new best friend the sliding miter saw. I discovered I am a perfectionist when it comes to making furniture and have been known the pull the nails out of the wood and refasten it if needed. I sanded the beds, put sanding sealer on it, and sanded again to make sure the finish is extra smooth. I am priming, then sanding, then coating with color, and sanding, and another coat of color, and sanding again. Then I will poly it- not sure how many coats, I bet Sandy in the paint dept at the Home Depot will be able to answer that question. I am thinking of taking some pics of my favorite people at HD to blog about. They are super helpful!


The Girls’ Beds Project from April 18, 2010

The snowball effect hits the girls room!


Have you ever noticed that if you start a project, it will often snowball on you? So I was waiting for there to be a nice enough day to paint the girls beds with the spray painter and meanwhile Yael asked for yellow walls based on this picture we found on Inspired Design:
so I said sure, why not, so we made a trip to Home Depot (I know my Home Depot employees mostly by name at this point:)) and picked out the perfect yellow paint (Sunshine Yellow) and got drop clothes, rollers, a plastic liner for the paint tray, and took my treasures home. I took my time working around the room around the trim, carefully lining it because it is a stupidly textured wall and so those trim lining tools don’t work, HMPH! So I got all the way around the bottom, top, doorways, and window and was ready to get started rolling. Poured my paint into the tray on the drop cloth and started rolling. Ari heard me painting and came running in- RIGHT THROUGH THE PAINT TRAY!!!!!! I managed to catch him just as he was about to run off the drop cloth and onto the carpet, so I was thinking phew, that was close, until I noticed the big spiral spray across the end of the drop cloth. I tried warm soapy water and the shop vac- no go. Now I had always daydreamed about replacing the carpet in the whole house, but wasn’t really planning on doing it so soon. So the girls room got a new floor this weekend.
Happily our tax refund is almost in so I was able to go buy some laminate floor for the girls on Saturday morning. I ripped the carpet up and used a carpet knife to cut it in smaller strips for disposal. I bought 250 sq ft of Swedish Maple 6mm laminate flooring. I worked and worked, and finished it 30 minutes ago. So the walls are yellow, and the floor the light maple color and it looks totally, totally awesome! I am so happy with it. All I have left to do to the flooring is install the threshold pieces (between the carpet and laminate) and the shoe moulding around the perimeter, and then the girls can move their matresses back in from the spare bedroom.
Meanwhile, the bathtub with bathsalts and warm water is calling my name and I totally want to relax. That was a lot of being down on my hands and knees, and going up and down the stairs everytime I needed to make a cut. Since it was my first time doing this type of flooring, I made some miscuts and I managed to waste an entire piece by cutting it wrong but overall, I would say I did well. My knees are sore and my back is protesting, but the girls room is coming together. Can’t wait to finish the girls beds and start sewing their comforters!
Oh, and I am putting window moulding around the window- don’t know why the builders left that plain but I think it will add a nice touch, like you can see it behind the curtains I plan on putting up, but anyways:)