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.

Next Up

How to Install Bamboo Flooring

Eco-friendly bamboo flooring gives a bedroom warmth and sophistication. Lean how to install bamboo flooring and find more ways to add character to rooms from Rip & Renew.

How to Install a Hardwood Floor

DIY experts give step-by-step instructions on how to install hardwood floors in any room.

Install Laminate Flooring

Learn how to install durable and inexpensive laminate flooring — it's a snap.

Install Tongue-and-Groove Wood-Veneer Flooring

No need for staples or glue with this "floating" floor. Just follow these step-by-step instructions.

How to Install Underlayment and Laminate Flooring

These step-by-step instructions will show you how to install underlayment and flooring to get beautiful laminate flooring in any room.

How to Install Tile Flooring

The experts show how to remove old carpet and replace it with a tile floor.

Install Bamboo Floors

Host Steve Watson shows homeowners how to install bamboo floors in their media room.

Installing Laminate Flooring

Installing a snap-together, floating laminate floor will give a room a beautiful new look.

How to Fix a Squeaky Floor

Keep it quiet with these troubleshooting tips.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Learn how to care for hardwood floors by using these natural cleaners and following these simple tips.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.