Inexpensive DIY Flooring Options

I don’t think that Mike and I fall under the description of your “average” home builder.  We have never been home owners.  We lack any kind of professional experience that lends itself to building a house.  We are hoping to achieve the look and design of our dream home, without that “mad scrilla,” if you will, that most dream home builders have.

I have mentioned before that we are going for a “barn inspired northwest style” home.  Hello beautifully and naturally rugged barn wood floors! Your perfectly aged yet finished look will compliment my home in just the right way.

Hello nine dollars a square foot, even when we install them ourselves.  This is the moment where we get off the “ideal” track and get back on the “reality” track.  We looked at linoleum, bamboo, etc.  All in all we decided that we don’t want to spend money putting any kind of wood alternative down.  We would spend every moment looking at our new floors and thinking about when we can rip them out.  No thank you.

Early on our builder suggested that we could just seal the plywood subfloor.  Here is one example I found showing this idea exactly.

Sealed plywood floors. Photo from

While I think that a sealed plywood floor could have a rustic feel in the right setting, the geometric pattern sort of screams modern to me. We began researching other plywood floor options.  Shannon and her husband from Quarry Orchard wrote a fantastic tutorial that you can access here on plywood planked floors.  The picture below is the final product of their labor of love.

I still can not get over that these are made from plywood! Photo from

While searching Pinterest like a crazy woman again, I found this great painted plywood flooring tutorial from Lori at Frugal Farmhouse Design.  Kind of amazing that plywood and some Benjamin Moore paint can produce something as nice as this.

***update: The blog Frugal Farmhouse Design has been removed. If you click this link here this page has a lot of how to instructions in the comments section.***

Further research led to finding another fantastic blog.  Life in a Little Red Farmhouse  has many inspiring ideas for new home builders and I would imagine home owners as well!  When building their home, Kim and her family used  pine tongue and groove paneling… the kind you normally would see on a ceiling for their floor.  This kind of lumber is dramatically cheaper than the kind you might normally see on a floor, but almost identical.   This idea is so amazing I can hardly stand it. You can click here to go to their site and read about their flooring choice. Here is a photo of their wood floors.

It is hard for me to describe how excited this idea makes me! Photo From

Also from Life in a Little Red Farmhouse  we saw ANOTHER brilliant flooring idea.  This concrete floor would work perfectly in the basement.  This is an unpolished concrete floor that has been sealed. You can see their description of their concrete floor choice here, and a picture below.  It sounds so feasible and is exactly “that look” we are going for.

A perfect example of that "farmhouse" concrete look we have been trying to describe. Photo from

All these options involve time, work and probably an inevitable amount of frustration as we muck through figuring out how to DIY this. BUT none of these flooring options came very far over a dollar a square foot.  It gives me butterflies just thinking about it.

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3 thoughts on “Inexpensive DIY Flooring Options

  1. just popping by from pinterest to visit the gal who “thinks she likes white too.” :)
    that wedding profile picture is gorgeous. l like life in the little red farmhouse also. good luck with those floors. barn inspired northwest style ~ will be fun to see what you come up with. i have a barn that needs a home, but the heartland to washington, probably NOT gonna happen. lol

    • Hi Rebecca! I appreciate your white kitchen pinterest board… so much eye candy in one place! I have loved reading about your lovely farm life… and your boys are adorable! I am also quite curious to see how our design style turns into a home :-). Thanks for popping by.

  2. I didn’t know there are so many beautiful options! The plywood planks are my favorite, but the pine tongue and groove is a close second…

    I am so thankful you are doing this first so when it comes to my turn I can take advantage of all your tips and hints!!!

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