How to Use Plywood As Flooring


Plywood flooring is inexpensive compared to wood flooring, carpet or tile and it can be made attractive and durable with a few coats of paint, and a shiny clear coat. You may already have a plywood sub-floor underneath your existing flooring. Once you remove the existing flooring, you can begin decorating as long as the plywood is smooth and free of any rotted areas. If the sub-floor is made of particle board which is rough to the touch, install plywood sheets on top of the sub-floor for the best results.

Things You'll Need

  • Plywood sheets (three-eighths of an inch)
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Broom
  • Water based primer
  • Paint roller
  • Latex house paint
  • Clear coat polyurethane
  • Inspect the bare sub-floor. If the floor is mostly smooth and doesn't have any soft spots, you can continue. If the floor is very rough and appears to be made of many different pieces of wood fused together, it is particle board and needs to be covered with three-eighths of an inch plywood. Lay the plywood sheets onto the floor beginning in one corner and staple them directly to the sub-floor around the perimeter and in the center of each sheet to hold them firmly in place.

  • Sand the bare plywood floor with 220 grit sandpaper. Sanding the plywood will help the primer adhere to the surface of the wood. An electric sander can make sanding much faster and easier but it is not required.

  • Sweep any dust created from sanding out of the room with a broom. Make sure that all dirt and dust has been removed from the floor or it will become embedded in the paint.

  • Apply a water based primer to the floor with a paint roller. Let the primer dry completely.

  • Paint the floor with a latex interior house paint. If you are using more than one color of paint allow each color time to dry completely before you begin applying the next color.

  • Apply two to three coats of water based polyurethane clear coat to the floor with a paint roller when the paint is completely dry and you are satisfied with the design. The clear coat will help protect the floor and make it shine. Allow each coat time to dry completely before you begin the next.

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  • "Paint Saves the Day;" Lucianna Samu; 2009
  • "Installing & Finishing Flooring;" William P. Spence; 2003
  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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