Building, DIY, Home, Loft Conversion, Project, Property, Renovation, Uncategorized
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To ply or not to ply – A floor quandary

We’ve uhmmed and ahhed about what to do with the loft bedroom flooring for ages now.


As i’m going all out Scandinavian for the bedroom design, a blonde wood floor seemed the obvious choice. But then, to save some money and get this room finished in time for Christmas, we played around with the idea of simply painting the chipboard subfloor black (to which the builder just sighed and shook his head).

After going around in circles for several weeks, mentally noting the pros and cons of both options, we finally decided on floor boards. Done.


Having an actual floor laid meant I finally got to work with my fave joiners again, Bare Joinery. Which is always a pleasure, as they’re always up for a challenge and happy(ish) to experiment with materials, the design, the process, and most importantly, they don’t sigh and shake their heads at my less than conventional ideas. Not within view anyway.

Our plan to lay floorboards sounds pretty standard, apart from the fact I didn’t want them to be actual floorboards, as in, boards specifically made for floors. We wanted to continue the plywood vibe, carrying it on from the staircase into oversized boards made from ply which would run from the new landing area and into the bedroom.


After doing some research into plywoods and the grades they came in, the husband visited several timber yards where he struck lucky at Arnold Lavers where we finally settled on 13 sheets of their 6mm Poplar plywood. The woodgrain was all kinds of heavenly.


My joiners handpicked the best boards for the job, each one being cut into three equal sheets of 40cm x 250cm. After loading them onto their van and bringing the freshly cut sheets here, we started playing with the layout, mixing some of the blonder more uniform boards in with other boards with more grain, colour variation and markings.


Once the layout was set and boards cut and scribed exactly to size, they were adhered directly onto the subfloor, just like tiles I guess, then, left to dry before the floor sanded completely smooth. Finally, the entire room was hoovered and cleaned to get rid of all the dust in preparation for its first coat of polyurethane seal.


This was applied with a velvet flock mini roller for a super even, bubble-free finish and left  to dry for 24 hours.

The following day, the hubster gave the floor another very light hand sand with 240 grit paper, followed by a good hoover and wipe with a damp cloth to pick up any specs of dust before its second and final coat of sealer. This was left to dry for another 24 hours.


And here it is, touch dry after its second coat.


Our 2.5m long x 40cm wide, 6mm poplar plywood boards in all their glory. Seems a shame to put the rug down now doesn’t it?


The room is starting to look just as i’d imagined it months ago. Exposed brick, white walls, our conduit lighting and now the blonde, wide plank floor boards. So so satisfying. Next time you see this space I reckon it will be in 2017 for the final reveal. And I caaaaan’t wait.

Would love to hear what you think. Do you guys like what we’ve done? I’m really interested to see how they fare as an alternative floor covering. Am already planning on writing a review post in about a year’s time. Only time will tell I guess…



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