plywood planked floors and walls

I feel like talking planks tonight.

My guy and I spent the day looking at flooring options for our family room that is connected to the kitchen
through the French doors.
It was time. We’ve been walking around on sub-flooring for oh, 9 months now?

We decided to go with finish-grade, maple hardwood plywood planks
(a.k.a. smooth maple plywood),
which meant getting comfy at Lowe’s for a couple of hours while 8 sheets of maple plywood
were ripped into sixty four 6-inch wide planks.

Their panel saw probably saved us sixty two hours of cutting the plywood ourselves.
(I love that saw and the employee who patiently cut our planks for us!)

If all goes as planned, the floors are going to be so lovely!

I hope.

I pray.

(I might even get one of those lucky troll dolls with the bright pink, fuzzy hair
that are a dime a dozen at B.I.N.G.O establishments.)

For $300 in materials (about $1 per sq. ft.),
I’ll get the maple look until we can invest in solid maple hardwoods throughout the entire house someday.
Of course, I’d love it if the maple plywood floors lasted forever.
In that room alone, it’s a difference of $1,766 from the maple hardwood sample that I cuddle up to at a local flooring shop
every time I step foot in there.
And, I’m sure there’s a reason for it.

I anticipate a dent or a ding here and there it’s totally okay with me.
I’m not staining or painting them, simply finishing them with a crystal clear, satin Varathane,
so little accidents here and there will just give those wide planks a barely noticeable, lived in charm.

I owe a big {thank you!} to Lori at Frugal Farmhouse Design for the initial inspiration to even consider
plywood flooring for anything but a sub-floor.
She shared her friend’s white plywood planked floors.
And, I’m so sad. I searched for Lori’s blog, but I don’t see it anymore.
I see that her shop, Whiteflower Farmhouse is now Flax & Spindle, so if anyone knows of a new blog, please let me know.
I have her photo of the floors in my inspiration file, but I won’t share without the original source to link it too.

Just wanted you to know my source of inspiration.
{Thank you, Lori!}

While we’re on the subject of planks,
I’ve been rearranging the planked wall in the kitchen.
I originally hung metal shelves on it HERE,
but decided to make it a bit more functional with commonly used kitchen tools at my fingertips.
Remember, I want a real cook’s kitchen.

I still have more nails and tools to add, but at least you can see where my thoughts are going.
The planks run floor to ceiling, so I have to be careful not to clutter it up too much.

As for the ‘other’ planked wall in the kitchen, I think I’ve finally decided on a little arrangement of frameless mirrors
to reflect the light from the only window in the kitchen, opposite this wall.
I’m going to keep it rather simple because the faded floral wall has enough going on.


Isn’t my blank wall so lovely?

As a resident blogger for The DIY Club, I’m sharing the quick tutorial for the narrow, horizontally planked wall
(the one with the kitchen tools) over there today. Just click the button below.

The DIY Club site is back up and running after a technical glitch and the monthly project party will resume next month, so start thinking about your entries.

Also, if you haven’t already entered my lettered & lined giveaway, click HERE and enter!
You have a chance to win TWO prints from the darling Etsy shop that made me this…

There’s also a 20% off coupon code for you, too.

Happy week, lovelies.
Thanks for planking with me.
(And that’s the fatigue talking now. I’m off to bed…I think it’s best if I catch up on my emails after a little sleep!)

Do you have any little projects in the hopper this week?


  1. SueAnn says:

    Love the idea of plywood floors…and for $1. per ft…can’t be beat!
    Can’t wait to see finished pics

  2. Jami can’t wait to see your new floors. I too loved Lori’s blog for a long time and had that post bookmarked but sadly it’s gone :( If ever I’m on the East end I’ll be sure to visit her shop and give an update.

  3. Emily says:

    I would have never thought of using plywood, but at that price it’s a no-brainer! Can’t wait to see how it looks :)
    Emily recently posted..Mirror Re-Do…AgainMy Profile

  4. Cindy says:

    Looking forward to seeing your floor finished. I would never have thought of using plywood for flooring after cutting it up. How long will it take to get finished?

    • Jami says:

      Thank you, Cindy! I’m pretty confident we’ll get it done in a day. I have a cordless finishing nail gun so that will speed things up. It’s just a matter of rolling out the padded underlayment and nailing each plank down. (I’ll have to make some cuts with my mitre saw to shorten boards & stagger the planks, but that shouldn’t be too time consuming.) I will let you know for sure though!

  5. Jill Flory says:

    Your floor sounds great! And I bet it last longer than you think! KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms has a painted plywood floor in her bedroom – so cool looking it makes me wanna do it too!
    Jill Flory recently posted..Cake Pops!My Profile

    • Jami says:

      Ooh. Yes…Kari’s bedroom floors are gorgeous with that checkerboard pattern that I fall in love with whenever I see Swedish farmhouses. I’ll actually be sharing her floors and a few others that I found on Pinterest in a future plywood flooring post to show all the different ways it can be done. I hope mine are as durable as the others. Seems like most use 3/4″ plywood. I wanted a finish grade, which was only available in 1/4″. We purchased the padded underlayment just to be extra safe, so I’m hoping they will last a very very long time. Thank you, Jill!

  6. Anne says:

    LOVE this idea Jamie! They are going to look beautiful!! Oh yes I would love to rip out our carpet and do this too.But this will be saved away for a someday project.I will dream through you :-)
    Anne recently posted..A Simple Easter Spring CenterpieceMy Profile

  7. They’re going to be fabulous…just like EVERYTHING you do! Can’t wait to see them! xo
    Kimberly ~Serendipity Refined recently posted..Spring Carrot Easter Candy Holder {Easy Craft}My Profile

  8. Melinda says:

    Oh Jami, Your walls look fantastic!!! And I love how you hung your stainless steel kitchen tools on it!!
    I can’t wait to see how your floors turn out!
    Hope you have a beautiful week.

  9. can’t wait to see your floors! this is something i’d like to do–tfs, jami:)
    lynn at shabby story recently posted..come to the ball…My Profile

  10. JIlly says:

    I can’t WAIT to see how yours turn out! I am going to be doing a kitchen remodel this summer, and plywood planked floors are on my list! I’m so excited to see yours finished and can’t wait to hear what you think of them once they are in! I’m so happy you are blogging again!

  11. Hi Jami, I too loved Lori’s use of plywood planks in her projects and my sister even installed painted plywood planks in her farmhouse’s kitchen and dining room after we saw that on her blog. Speaking of Lori’s blog, I miss it terribly. Her son passed away unexpectedly at the end of 2012 and she took down the blog at that time. I didn’t realize White Flower Farmhouse wasn’t in existence any more. :( Anyway, GOOD LUCK on the floors! No doubt they’ll be beautiful and I’ve always wondered if hardwood plywood would resist dents better that pine plywood.

    Take care,
    Erin @ Carolina Country Living recently posted..The Perfect Antidote to a Grey and Dreary DayMy Profile

  12. Please go over how you do this. I would LOVE to use this in my sewing room! I’m saving and saving and don’t feel like I’m ever closer to getting new floors in there. If I could use this I could put them in tomorrow.

  13. Renee says:

    Looks so pretty. Can’t wait to see it all done!
    Renee recently posted..Powder Room Reveal: Don Your SunglassesMy Profile

  14. Marian says:

    Using cut maple sub-flooring is brilliant and should look awesome in your house. There is something about using humble materials in a new way that just appeals to me. I used simple aspen 1x2s as trim around a glass tile wall inset. Just like you, no paint, just a nice coating of clear poly-urithane. I built a long shallow box out of aspen sheeting, maybe 24 in by 36 inches by 1in, screwed the frameless mirror and light fixture into it, put the open side against the wall, and made a really cool looking vanity mirror. For the ugly white laminate cabinets, I just cut smooth panels of the aspen sheeting and poly’d the tar out of them, then used construction adhesive to attach them right over the cathedral style, out dated cabinet panels. Add a home made, machine washable, faux linen shower curtain, some light blue paint, a stainless steel shelf from Ikea, and a pair of clearance candle fixtures from Khols and Boom! for less than $500, I took a super outdated 80′s bathroom and made it into a clean lined, modern spa. It’s about 5 years later and I still love it.

  15. Debbie w says:

    Loved them all….especially the custom rules and custom state ! So, please pick me! Thanks!

  16. Debbie w says:

    I liked L&L on Facebook. Thanks agin for the chance to win!

  17. Ann says:

    So glad you are back! If I could figure out how to do these floors on my own I would do it in a heart beat. I don’t have the tools or a husband who is handy! He has many gifts but knowing how to lay a floor is not one of them. Ha! I have been living with not-so-great floors for so long that I’ve become very good at ignoring them. Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out!
    Ann recently posted..Easter Tablescape 2013My Profile

  18. Sandy says:

    Good morning! Love your kitchen table by the way! Also love the idea of mirrors to reflect light. Have you ever tried using a large mirror in the center of a mirror collection with a frameless oil painting hung over it? I love hanging oils over mirrors. I usually use a small vintage chain or velvet ribbon would work as well. It is like using the mirror as your frame and adds great color and texture to the room.. I found my favorite painting at a thrift store and used it as a “guide on ” for all the colors in my house. It has hung in our house over the fireplace (over a mirror) for almost 10 years and I never tire of it. I recently had the painting repaired and learned it dated back into the early 1800′s! I had never looked at the brackets on the corners which were clearly dated. The painting continues to give me joy and tell me its story one tidbit at a time………… on to researching the artist! enjoy your day and good luck with the floors!

  19. Lorna says:

    I love this idea! I have so many times admired and relished the simple pine flooring in the Swedish and farmhouse interiors. You make it sound so simple and easy. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Donna@d.Reyné says:

    You just know I love anything planked! I have a small fortune of planking and beaded board in our home now!
    I too look forward to seeing yours though, we are considering using a similar flooring option in the new entry.
    Have a wonderful rest of the day!
    hugs to you

  21. Jo says:

    I love your blog. I’m so glad you are back. One ‘problem’ I have, tho, is all your pictures have a pinkish cast. None of the other blogs I read do, so I’m wondering if there’s some sort of adjustment i should make so i can see your photos in normal colors. It’s so odd. Like this entry, you are talking about wood and it’s pink. It’s very odd. Does anyone else have this problem?

  22. laurie says:

    I think (if my memory serves me right) that Lori isn’t blogging any longer because she recently lost her son to an illness (or accident)? She’s still running White Flower Farmhouse though, I believe, Courtney.

    xoxo laurie
    laurie recently posted..Dream Catchers, Crochet, and RosesMy Profile

  23. laurie says:

    Oops! I meant, Jami! :)
    laurie recently posted..Dream Catchers, Crochet, and RosesMy Profile

  24. Isabella says:

    Your floors will be lovely at a great price. I did not read through all the comments, but perhaps someone mentioned that Laurie’s 14-year-old son passed away suddenly, and she closed her blog and a good friend now runs her online shop.

  25. Michele / Finch Rest says:

    This will look great. We, on the other hand, just ordered wideplank hardwood flooring a few weeks ago for the entire downstairs.

    I think I had to sell my eldest to do so.

    We just did Berber throughout 2 years ago, but it’s just too darned difficult to keep clean, I am spending a fortune on steam cleaning – and every time I have it done the carpet is a little worse for the wear. I may miss it’s “light and bright” but not its “high and costly maintenance!”

    Looking forward to reading up on how you fare with this big project. won’t be easy, but will definately look awesome when done.

  26. Starr says:

    Hi Jamie. I am really interested in your flooring project. Are you gluing the wood plywood strips down to concrete or wood? I have a townhouse that needs flooring and this sounds great. Please let me know. Thanks

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