Make Your Own Flooring with 1×6 pine

hardwood flooring

 

Wood Floors – they’re the corner stone of a custom built, beautiful home. As lovely as they may be, doing them on a budget isn’t quite so easy, so we figured out how to get great wood floors on a small budget.

This post was shared exactly one year ago today. I still get emails nearly every week about how to do these, if they’ve held up, do I still love them, etc.

The short answer is yes. They have held up amazingly well with lots of daily traffic (and probably not cleaned enough.) I am so glad we choose this method, because I still love the fact that I got exactly what I wanted on an itty bitty budget. At this point I really need to put another coat of poly on them – but they’ll survive until life slows down a bit.

So… without further ado… here’s the post on where we did flooring our way:

`wood floors
Y’all know I’m not a conventional kinda girl. We’ve contemplated floors for our kitchen for over a year now. We’ve gone back and forth about a bajillion times – vinyl floors, prefab floors, peel and stick tiles – we’ve looked all over the place. But, in the end, we chose something that’s not even “truly” flooring. We figured that since we use 1×6 #2 yellow pine for everything else, floors made sense, too! We bought 8 ft planks for about $4 each, which equaled about out to about 75 cents a sq ft, once you add in all the stain and paint. It does not, however, factor in time.
DIY wood floors

 

First, Mr. SCC cut all the 8 ft planks into 4 ft pieces, then cut about 6 of those in half again to 2 ft sections. I sanded each board, one by one, top, ends and knocked the sharp edges off the corners for a worn farmhouse feel. (Yes, I did the sanding, hence no photos of that step.)
wood floors with jacobean stain
Next, we staggered the joints, starting with a 2 ft. plank, then the next row started with a 4 ft. plank. (Notice my lovely blue subfloors, which I tried for a bit to live with, just as painted floors.)
mobile home flooring options

 

We pre-drilled the holes, to prevent splinters and splitting. Then we used wood screws, attaching it straight to the sub-floors. We thought about using pin nails, but decided that the exposed nail heads were our favorite part of old farm house floors.
mobile home remodeling ideas

 

We used my favorite Minwax Jacobean stain, transforming the yellow pine into a warm brown tone.
hardwood flooring
As I sealed the floor with Helmspar satin poly (yeah, me again, so no pics), I made sure to fill in the tops of the screw heads to keep them from collecting too much dirt. I suggest 3 coats of poly for durability, letting them dry between each coat according to directions.
mobile home reno

 

I do get one question over and over about them:
Do they cup? No, we’ve not had any major cupping issues. Wood can cup, and ours have just a tiny bit, but it just makes them look real, ya know?
You can learn more about my floors {including many more questions answered} by checking out my other post on how to make your own flooring with 1×6 pine in the DIY Wood Floors Post

 

Real wood farmhouse floors for a fraction of the budget – now that’s my kind of flooring.

Comments

  1. Gina ~
    I just LOVE it!!!

  2. I love the look of that floor! :D

  3. Gina…love the look of your floor. So rustic farm house!!

  4. Y
    U
    M
    !
    !

  5. This is such a great idea! I’d love to use this one day on a potting shed.

  6. I love your floors, I need a new kitchen and living room floor and I really want to do this. But I’m not sure if we would be able to stay off of them for the time needed.
    You are so smart!

  7. Woman, you impress me every time. They look amazing.

    I know you probably plan on staying in that house forever, but would you recommend this method for somebody who might move someday? Does attaching the wood right to the subfloor impact the house’s value? It seems pretty permanent…

  8. my heart just exploded! love it!

  9. Hi, I just came over from LeAnna’s blog (Thoughts and Whatnots) and I love this flooring idea! My husband and I are mega DIYers and this is an AMAZING and most importantly inexpensive idea!!! I’m going to show this to him when he gets home! I just posted the first part (of two)of the pics of our home, it’s been a three and a half year project! I’m going to check out more of you blog now to get ideas for future projects!

  10. Hi Gina,

    This is a great project. It reminds me a little of the plywood floor project over at Quarry Orchard.

    Just goes to show that beautiful floors don’t necessarily require a big wallet.

    Gina

  11. Wow, those are amazing floors! And on such a great budget. I love these, and your ingenuity! They really have that old, timeworn, farm house feel. Great job!

    Best,

    Kimberly

  12. What a beautiful floor, Gina! You certainly know how to create on a budget, girl! :)

    xoxo laurie

  13. This is a terrific idea and you are very fortunate to have such a handy husband!
    Do you think this method would work for
    painted floors, as well as stained floors?
    I think the paint would wear more, but I
    would like the imperfection of it.

    • You could paint with Milk paint. It absorbs fully into the raw wood and is almost impossible to remove. You have to actually sand it off, stripper won’t take in out of raw wood. You can also use milk paint mixed thinner as a coloured stain as well. I use and sell Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and it is amazing on raw wood. Then you could seal with a poly coat or with hemp oil or tung oil.

  14. Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I love the floors..What a nice job..
    Janet

  17. I love this! What an awesome idea. If I didn’t love our floors already, I would definitely consider doing this. They turned out looking great.

  18. where have you been all my life?!?

    love it.

    i shall spend this weekend obsessing over your site.

    http://clayrachael.blogspot.com/

  19. Wow! Your floors look amazing! I love how unconventional, yet beautiful they are! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  20. love this blog – so glad i found it x

  21. @Kimberly Knoess I’d *think* it would work with painted floors. Use oil based paint (it’s tougher) and thin the first coat with paint thinner by 1/3, so it go into the wood. Then, after it’s dry, coat it with 2 layers of paint. Top it off with 3 coats of poly and it should withstand daily traffic. Hope this helps!

  22. I love these floors!! Now you’ve got me plotting and planning a project… thanks! Connie

  23. Great floor DIY! We have Jacobean stain on our floors too, and it’s great. I wanted darker, but my builder and the flooring people sort of manipulated me out of it. I was mad at first, but now I realize that it’s the right shade — not too dark so dirt shows, and not too light so dirt shows. :)

  24. This is brilliant! Wish I could talk Mr. Magoo into this for my sewing room!

  25. Great post! I did this in my kitchen and LOVE it! I didn’t stain it though, I paint it a different colour each season. I linked this to my hardwood floors post too, well done!

  26. oh my goodness girl…beautiful…but all that work…you must be long suffering and patient :)

  27. Gina! Your floors are beautiful and I’m totally obsessing over this project now. After laying the floors down and screwing them in, did you have to sand the surface to make sure the boards were even with one another? Thanks!!!

  28. I’ve been looking for an inexpensive solution to our great room. I hate the wall to wall carpet but we can’t afford to replace it. It is a huge room, so anything we do won’t be cheap.
    I absolutely love the look of your floors, and this is similar to what I really really want in there! I’m going to show this to my husband and hopefully he will say yeah, ok! (fingers crossed)
    Thanks so much for this tutorial, it is perfect.
    Debbie :)

  29. I have commented twice about questions concerning the fact that a simple butt joint between the boards is NOT a good idea as seasonal expansion and contraction of the wood will cause cracks to open up which will trap dirt. This is why wood flooring is made with a tongue and groove joint to accommodate for this movement. You are doing your readers a disservice by not mentioning this. Many people may choose to proceed with your style of installation anyway as the savings is considerable, but they should be made aware of the drawbacks. I’m sure you will choose not to post this comment, just as you have deleted my past two statements. Very, VERY disturbing.

  30. I’m really sorry that the spam filter caught your other comments – but you do make a great point! We haven’t had much issue with it, but it is very possible.

    Thanks for your insight!

    • Thanks for posting my comment, Gina. Your tutorial gives an inexpensive option for flooring that many people will undoubtedly choose, even knowing the potential drawbacks, but they should be aware. Money is tight for ME and from time to time I build things that may not be entirely proper, but it’s what I can afford or it uses materials that I have on hand and I have decided I can live with the less than perfect results dictated. Nothing wrong as long as full disclosure is made.

    • Katherine says:

      I love how you handled this commenter. I think dirt is a part of owning this style of floor. For me that is what I love about it; dirt friendly!! I have an old dog, a new to me home that is older with no landscape. Tearing out my carpet and laying this down will accommodate my situation. My loveable, old dog can track in all the dirt he can carry and I will no longer concern myself with it…. a sweep and a mop and it’s all good…. so long dirty carpet!

  31. Sonya Pearson says:

    Do you have to stain the wood or can it be left natural color??? Can you do all the sanding, and varnishing of each board before you start nailing it down???

  32. How much space did you leave between the boards? Do you have to put the wood inside for a period of time like you do with typical wood flooring before installation?
    Thanks!

  33. I love your floors! I have wanted wood floors in my home forever and have searched for ideas on how to do it ourselves, and this is it! Thank you

  34. Katherine says:

    I’ve seen other tutorials that have used strips of plywood. I was considering it as well, but then there is the time consuming venture of cutting each piece. Your idea is much more appealing. I can’t wait to do this in the Spring! There are so many possibilities; paint, stain, stencil on top of paint/stain – I get so excited thinking about it!! Thank you for sharing your ideas with us, what you do is appreciated!
    Kat

  35. We have a bar in the basement and we are in the process of redoing it. Your 1×6 plank flooring would be perfect for the area, look and cost. But have you ever tried it on a basement floor?

  36. Thanks for your advice, my husband and I just installed pine wood floors in our heaviest traveled room (see if it holds up). If it does (and looking good so far), we’ll do many other rooms. Also, thank you heaps for the suggestion to go to a sawmill! We didn’t even know that we had one 12 miles from our house. Mr. Howell ( crakersawmill.com ) sold us tongue and groove 8 in boards for 80 cents a linear foot! Same price as plank, and cheaper than the big box stores! Your blog is very helpful

  37. Hi! i have a question. I have a tiled floor where i would like to do this. How can I stick the wood to a tiled floor so it doesn’t move? any ideas, has anybody done it?

  38. How big of space between each plank did you varnish after you stained

  39. Amanda Carper says:

    I Am so doing this!!! Question- did you have a lot of issues with the boards not being straight and then throwing off the flow of the boards? The lumber guy has me a bit freaked about that.

  40. Justin Lorenzen says:

    I recently came across your blog and did this floor in an older house and it turned out awesome! I did a few things different like hand planning all my boards for the “hand scraped” look and staggered my joints with a few different size boards. I also used Minwax polyurethane fast drying for floor in a clear satin and stressed the planks a little with different items. Everyone that sees this loves it!! Thank you for the blog!!

    • Ohhh, I would love to see a picture of that!!! I bet it’s awesomely beautiful! I have to redo my living room floor in a very old house and have chosen to use 1×4 wood. I haven’t decided if I want to stain or paint. I’m on a tight budget but very crafty.
      Thanks for your great ideas and for this awesome blog!

    • What kind of wood screws did you use? (stainless steel, galvanized? length?)

  41. I’m planning to do this in our kitchen and dining room (to replace the carpet that my 3 little ones love to drop food onto). But I’m coming up with much different numbers. I’ve priced everything and it comes to about $2 a sq ft. One thing I’m spending a little more for is a finish that is less toxic (I’m looking at either Waterlox or PolyWhey). But then I noticed something on this article. You say you spent $4 a board for 8ft 1x6s, and your total cost was $.75 a sq ft. But wouldn’t an 8ft 1×6 at $4 be $1 a sq ft? Please correct my math.

  42. Were did you find the pine for $4. i have looked at my local lumber company and the pine is $8. per 8foot piece.

  43. We are using 8×4 wall studs cut down.much cheaper.
    We’re getting 4 strips per borad.then we cut them
    in the length and width we want.I think he paid 3 or 4
    dollars per stud.

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