DIY, Renovation
comments 11

The Plywood Floor – 15 months on…

Plywood Floorboards

Feature image – MADE

It’s been 15 months since we laid the plywood floor in our loft space. We converted our second floor back in autumn/winter 2016 and finally completed the project in Spring 2017.

Plywood Flooring

Since then a load of people have been contacting me about the floor in our loft space and how it’s held up. Well, I did promise a review after a year, so I am a little behind, but i’ve finally gotten around to taking some pics of the floor as it is now, 15 months after it was laid and since lived on.

Time to hand in my homework.

I’ve taken some of the furniture out so you can see more of the boards for yourself. I’m really happy with how it’s fared and so glad we took a punt on an alternative flooring.

Sure, it’s taken a few dinks, but then it’s a floor, so ya know, it’s what they do. In fact, it was me that gave it its first scar by rolling a mini filing cabinet from the bedroom to the landing. You can just about see a faint line where i’ve made an indent.

The Poplar plywood sheets, although a hardwood actually behave more like a softwood, like Pine for example. It’s absolutely fine with feet, shoes, but a pair of heels for example wouldn’t be too great on it.

A lot of people have asked if any of the boards had flipped up or come loose seeing as most of them were only glued down. And the answer is: “No.” They’re as flat now as the day they were laid.

The joiners used something called Bona R848 to glue the boards down directly onto the subfloor which worked a treat. Any boards that did need a bit of extra help to stay down were pinned with a small nail gun. You can just about see one in the top right corner of the bottom left board above.

Once laid, the floor had two coats of Intercoat Water Based Satin Lacquer. And it’s not been touched since. We’ve had a few spills up there (what with me and my penchant for Speedy Gonzales plant watering and the hubster’s ability to knock a glass of anything over from across the house) and it’s just wiped dry. So the lacquer did the trick in protecting the timber and making it water resistant.

The only noticeable change since the floor was laid, is the colour. Which you can only really tell when you drag the rug back.

The tone of the wood has definitely warmed over the past year and a bit. But that’s just what happens with wood. It doesn’t bother me, especially as we’ll be keeping that exact rug there for many years to come. But for those of you hoping to keep that very pale, pinky/white tone, just know that over time it will darken and deepen slightly.

A view from the bedroom onto the landing where we continued the flooring straight through. So nice not to have a threshold!

So that’s your lot for today. Would I recommend it?

Yes – for this space. It’s not high traffic, it doesn’t get walked on with shoes.

No – for a high traffic area like a hallway. Probably not a kitchen either given the amount of hard edged items that get dropped on the floor. And definitely not a bathroom.

Anyway, I hope this update helps some of you out there with your own flooring quandaries. Let me know if you’re toying with a similar idea!


  1. it still looks great doesn’t it! such a lovely light space up there too. I actually prefer the new, darker colour than the paler colour. looks great!

  2. Jill says

    we’re planning to make a small shelving unit for our study out of plywood but the b&q stuff looks a bit rough around the edges if you know what I mean! There seems to be lots of different types available, do you know what sort was used for your shelving (in your boy’s room I think?) I wish we had a loft to convert, yours is lovely including the floor

  3. Heather says

    Hi there! beautiful floor! I was about to do the very same thing in the room over my garage – I’ve turned into a bedroom for the kids & just Ripped out 55 year-old carpet (🤮)
    When you installed this floor how why did you cut your planks and did you use A finished plywood or did you sand it yourself? Did you bevel or sand the edges at all ??

  4. Anonymous says

    That floor looks beautiful! I never would’ve thought to use poplar on a floor. It’s one of the softest hardwoods available. Oak, maple, and hickory are the hardest woods commonly available for floors. If I were to do the same thing, i would go for a maple or oak plywood.

  5. Deborah Simmons says

    Hi, I have almost identical flooring throughout my flat and it’s getting pretty worn in the kitchen area where it gets wet frequently and stuff gets dropped on it more than in other areas. I really don’t want to let it get too worn, but I wasn’t sure what I can do to keep it in good condition – I think I recall the previous owner telling me it could be sanded and re-treated. Do you know about this? Thanks!

    • Karen Knox says

      If it’s a veneer like ours, I wouldn’t sand it back and you’ll just sand the veneer off and be left with an uneven surface. Hard for me to say about your own floor as i’d need to know what material it’s actually made of.

    • Paul Rutherford says

      If it’s birch plywood. Then lightly sand it with a sand paper with a P300 rate and then go to Toolstation and buy the Rustins floor varnish interior. Give it at least 4 coats. Should last you a good few years. Depending on how wild you are when washing up etc.

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