My previous project in this room makeover was the installation of the sliding door for the closet. You can check all the details about that project HERE.
The floor didn't look good at that moment, I know. The carpet had been removed and I painted the sub-floor, getting it ready for the new flooring.
The room used to have carpet as you can see in the picture below (A before pic of the closet). It didn't look bad in this pic, but believe me, after 15 years of use it needed to go.
My main choice for the carpet replacement was hardwood floors. For about a year I kept on tracking the prices for 3/4" - 4-5" planks, the lowest it went was $3.10/sq-ft. Not a bad price but when adding other supplies + tools and having in mind that I wanted to replace the carpet in the entire second level of our home, the total cost would have been around $3,200. Still not a bad price for an area of about 900 sq ft.
However, I went the DIY route because of savings. Having a girl in college and another kid quickly approaching the same route, I have to save money the most I can. And since this is the second level of our home, which is not used as much as the first level, I thought using a lower level material here wouldn't be that bad.
I followed this tutorial from Addicted2Projects. You should check and read all the valuable info they give if you really want to give the Wide plank Plywood Flooring a try.
This is my experience:
The material: Rough sheets of pine plywood I bought at Home Depot for around $23. For this room, which is the guinea pig for this project I bought 5 sheets. The good people at HD ripped each of the plywood sheets in 8" planks for free.
From each plywood sheet I got 5 planks that were exactly 8" wide, the last plank was about 7½" due to the amount of material the blade eats.
This material is rough, it has markings. When I was looking at this stuff there in the store I was a bit hesitant because it has lots of knots, rips and overall it didn't look nice. But having in mind my inspiration, I went ahead and bought it. Besides I'm going for a rustic-industrial look in this room. ;)
Once at home the first task was to give all the planks a good sanding. I used 100 grid sand paper to smooth out the top part and sides of each plank. The marks disappear after some sanding.
The next step is to choose your stain. Those two boards in the above picture were sample boards. The one on the left was at 25% and the other at 50% strength. The stain I chose was Varathane wood Stain - Ash.
My family chose a very dark color - The full strength of the Ash stain. I was trying to convince them to go towards a "white-ish" flooring but nope, they kept on asking for a dark stain.
The stain was applied with those stain pads you can also find at Home Depot.
Once the stain dries, you need to sand all the planks. I used a 120 grid sand paper for this.
This is how my garage looked when in the middle of it all. I worked on the table on the right hand side and kept on moving the planks.
For this first coat I used foam pad/brushes like the one you see in this picture, but that was a bad idea.
When the poly is applied it looks blue-ish, after it dries is clear. The planks felt a bit rough as you can see in the picture below. It could've been from applying the be poly with the foam, I spotted little bits of it here and there.
Again, a light sanding is needed.
For the 2nd and 3rd coats of poly I used a Purdy brush and ahhh, what a difference! It went really fast. After the second coat I hand sand a couple of boards where I felt a bump or two.
The poly was applied on the top of each plank and on all of their sides.
This is how they looked at the end.
Here the whole pile, ready to be installed.
At this point they felt very smooth. One more coat of poly is going to be applied after installation, which will be one of my next posts.
My overall view so far:
It looks like a lot of work and it is. However, it's not a harsh harsh work.
For me, the hardest part was the sanding and not because the planks needed lots of sanding. It was hard on my hand because of the weight of the sander. Even though I took my time, my right hand was in pain. (though my hand has been hurting since building the closet where I used some clamps that were very hard to open and close!)
I liked that I was able to work on this project while standing up, no back or knee pain which is what you get when the floor is already installed.
It takes time, I allowed the coats of poly to dry for at least 24 hours before applying a new coat.
This is a small room - From the 30 planks I got from the 5 sheets of plywood I only finished 26 because I thought 4 of them look too bad, two of those were the ones I used to try the stain.
Well, that's all I can think of it so far.
For all the info about How to Install the Plywood Planks click HERE.
The following are all the links to each of the projects done in this room: