Cheap flooring DIY idea

Would you believe me if I told you this floor was laid for around $1 per square metre? One Dollar people! And it looks fantastic! It's DIY. It's easy and its the cheapest darn floor you'll ever get looking this good... I found this project over at Design Dazzle and it's really quite genius. It's made from ply sheeting!

You can pick up at your local hardware for around $10 per sheet or if you have a bit more time, you can save even more cash by having a look on eBay or Grays Online where there are often auctions for bulk quantities and then you can save a bundle.
Cut into 15cm wide strips the length of your sheets.

Start laying them on your prepped floor! These were stuck down with Liquid Nails, given a light sand (as ply can be a little splintery and rough) and then stained. Stain-wise I would tend to go for either a darker chocolate colour stain or a whitewash for a more contemporary finish. 

Varnish Tip: Remember that if you use a stain with a built in varnish (or any varnish for any job), go for a water based one over oil based to avoid yellowing later.

Staining Tip: Always start at the end of the room furthest from the door so as not to "paint yourself into a corner" so to speak...

Laying Tip: Cut your boards to at least 3 different lengths so that your joins don't fall into a uniform pattern like this. The end result will be much better with a more random join configuration.

To finish, these floors were given a polyurethane coating, which gives a glossy and smooth finish and makes the floors more resiliant to scratches. I think the result looks fantastic! Especially for the price! But even without the cost consideration I prefer this to the knotty pine floors we have in our place... Such a great idea - colour me impressed!


  1. this is the BEST idea. We're potentially buying a house where the bottom floor is all one open space. We were dreading how much it was going to cost to floor the 80m2, but not anymore!!!

  2. Hi! This is fabulous and wish I would have found this before we spent $1700 on laminate for two rooms but I am looking to do the two bedrooms and possibly bathroom. What type of plywood did you purchase for this job? We have natural hardwood under our carpet but it has separated a lot and would cost a fortune to refinish. Would you suggest an underlay and possibly nailing down as to not further damage the floors beneath? Thank You!

  3. Love this idea. Shared it on Twitter.

  4. A lot of homeowners are fond of DIY home improvement projects. This article that you have shared about flooring ideas which they can do by themselves is truly great. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is the best idea for renovating or buying a house. With the cheapest idea that can fit in your budget, it's really good idea for planning a house.

  6. What a fantastic idea. We were considering the brown paper bag floor for our dining room but now I'm thinking this could be our flooring happy ending!

    1. I have to agree with your idea that its kinda fantastic or should I say its a brilliant one.If given the chance to choose between the images above I for sure would take a lot of time thinking which is which but for sure, I could have only one. Anyway, thank you for sharing such post, I really enjoyed reading and watching all the post plus reading all the nice comments. Anyway if you got time, try to visit my site laminate flooring. Thank you.

  7. How think does the ply wood need to be?

  8. Hi does anyone know how thick the ply wood has to be?

  9. How think does the ply wood need to be?

  10. Looks impressive and $1 per sq meter is even more impressive. can this be done by a person without any experience at all?

  11. After you cut the plywood in strips, do you tongue and grove it? Do you have a step by step instructions for this? Thank you!


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