How to Install Plywood Floor Tiles

Plywood is an inexpensive flooring alternative. Use a single type of wood for a standard look or use particle board for a more patterned look.


Tools and Materials:

birch plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
spreadable liquid nail
notched trowel
clear polyurethane
table saw
miter saw
ring shank nails


1. If necessary, remove old flooring and baseboards. If you are going over old flooring, make any adjustments to be sure it is level. Clean the floor of any leftover residue.

2. Cut the plywood into uniform squares, we did our 11-inches square. By using a bigger size tile, or laying down the plywood sheets whole, you’re less likely to have warping and an uneven floor. Use a router to cut a 1/8-inch chamfer edge on each on all sides of the square.



3. Measure the width of the tile, then add 1/4” inch. Take that number and measure out from the starting wall then snap a chalk line. Starting a 1/4” away from the wall will ensure that you start in a true straight line rather than following the contours of a possibly-crooked wall. If your wall is crooked, you may have to adjust the size of some of the tiles to accommodate the difference.



3. Use a notched towel to spread the liquid-nail adhesive on the floor. Work in small section of a few feet at a time. Lay the chamfered edges up. If the tiles are not laying down flat, insert ring shank nails. Create a pattern with the nails, you will have a uniform industrial look.



4. Allow the liquid nail to set for at least 24 hours. Then stain or paint as desired.

5. Apply polyurethane. Multiple coats will ensure a more durable finish. Allow each to dry completely before applying the next.

6. Reinstall baseboards.

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