Plywood Plank Floors

There were two things I was very sure of when we bought our house.

1. I really wanted to paint everything white.

2. I really wanted white plank floors.

Im not sure what it is about white floors, but I love them! So clean, quaint, and depending how you decorate, a little funky. I think that’s what sold me, the versatility. For a fickle eclectic like myself that is very appealing! Right now I would say my style is leaning towards the rustic modern vibe floating around…I love the simplicity and warmth.

The white floor choice also fit very neatly into our teeny tiny budget. We have a lot of updating to do around here so I wanted to make our renoing dollars stretch as much as possible. I adored the old oak floors in our last house, but the dark stain was a choice I wasn’t planning on repeating. They were lovely and warm but showed every scratch and speak of dust, and ended up making me crazy.

So we did something a bit unconventional…but not at all unique. While scouring for ideas, I came across the blog “Frugal Farmhouse Design” by designer Lori Guyer who had installed plywood plank floors in a client’s home. I thought it was genius! Unfortunately her blog is no longer available so I can’t share a link, but you can see how they turned out here. She’d even posted an update after a year saying the floors had worn well and were very practical. There are lots of other plywood plank  floors out there, so if you are looking for more inspiration you won’t have to dig too deep.

Here’s how ours turned out:

dining room floor

This is the dinning room, you might remember it use to look like this:


Wee bit different!

We are extremely pleased with how it all turned out and for roughly $1.00 a square foot  (not including paint) the price was unbeatable!

Plywood has come a long way. We used a birch veneered plywood that could also be stained. I wasn’t too concerned with how it looked because I knew we would be using paint, but I did want it to be smooth. The veneer gives a smooth surface without adding too much to the cost.

After a bit of math debating we settled on 8″ wide planks and spent one afternoon cutting the massive sheets in our garage with the perfect jerry rig set up.

table saw get up

I then wasted a bunch of time sanding the edges…which in hindsight wasn’t really necessary…there was a bit of splintering so I like to think I was being thorough.

I then spent 1 day pre-painting all the planks

dinning boards

I then lined them up all over the front hall and family room to dry

floor boards drying

Ron then screwed them in using pennies as fancy spacers, and then filled all the holes with filler.


filling the holes

After sanding the filler I gave it another coat of paint. It still needs another round of filler and touch up sanding, one more coat of paint and then a top coat of gloss varathane.

Phew! Yes, it was a lot of work, but we are stubborn, silly and really wouldn’t want it any other way! And seriously a buck a sq. foot!!!

Shoot! That was just too tempting to pass up.


9 thoughts on “Plywood Plank Floors

  1. Lisa, you are inspiring! Your floors look amazing, please post photos when your furniture is in!!!
    Since following your blog I have completed a ‘reno’ on my hubby’s IKEA desk……which I have hated since we got married, but something always comes along that needs the $ more….so after 15 years I finally did something about it and love it. In true Lisa form I painted it white:) I thought of you the whole time! Now I’m redoing my daughters nightstand and dresser…which were mine…so they’re old and badly in need of some TLC.

    Keep the posts coming!

    • Thank-you Sherri!! Ya to your desk…and other projects!!! How do you like the white? I bet it looks fantastic! I love how paint can give old things a new lease on life!

  2. Awesome! We just used brad nails on ours but I really like the screws. Are you filling them or leaving them exposed?

  3. Thanks Deb! Oh brad nailing would have been good too! I actually wanted to glue the planks so we would have no holes to fill…but the plywood we used was a bit thicker and we were worried about shifting so we made sure, and screwed those suckers down. I did fill all the holes…but we debated leaving them cause it looked kinda neat. I think if they had been nails I would have left them. Screws didn’t look as pretty 🙂

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