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hyenas 12-13-2011 01:12 PM

Plywood floor tiles

I'm a complete flooring/diy newbie who's budget is about exhausted, I have a jigsaw, a crowbar, and the internet.

That said, what I'm attempting to do is the first picture on the following link.

The method: cutting 1/4" birch plywood in half with a jigsaw, putting it on the floor and using 9 screws on each "tile", while alternating the wood grain. Eventually sealing with mini-wax poly.

The madness: I'm about halfway done and the floor is looking pretty good but there are two issues that I'd like to resolve. One, what to fill the cracks between the wood tiles with and what to cover the countersunk screws with (I tried a wood filler, but it looks whacky, might be the only choice though). And what to do about the fact that my subfloor is OSB, old, and uneven? I'm not tearing it out, so don't mention that. Some of the tiles don't smoothly connect to the others. There's a ridge generally about a millimeter high from one tile to the next. I don't like that.

Any ideas?
(Please don't say that I shouldn't be doing this at all (too late) or that I need to replace my subfloor (not gonna happen.)

Bud Cline 12-13-2011 01:18 PM

Good luck with that concept.:thumbsup:

You have me laughing like a hyena.

rusty baker 12-13-2011 01:19 PM

I'm speechless.

hyenas 12-13-2011 01:27 PM

did you look at the link? it's a legit thing. also, the floor i'm covering was a hideous mess of peel and stick tile glue. this new floor is going to cost me about $100. and will be an improvement no matter what.

whether you think it will work or not surely you can recommend a wood filler or something to cover recessed screws, there's no need be a smartass about it.

Bud Cline 12-13-2011 01:38 PM

Oh's a legit thing.
I said "GOOD LUCK" with it.

It will never work or last and my bet is your installation looks nothing like what you are using (the pictures) to sell us on the concept. And then you use the name "hyena" which is a name usually more associated with "laughing hyena" so I thought my comment was appropriate considering how off the wall this whole idea is to begin with.

Smart ass has nothing to do with anything.

Your new floor is costing you about $100 dollars and when it's all done you will have a $100 floor.:)

hyenas 12-13-2011 01:56 PM

I'm not trying to sell anyone on any idea or anything like that. I'm spending a $100 on a floor that I hope will last at least a year or so. It's not b/c I think plywood is an oh so awesome choice, it's because I live in something close to a shack and work at a children's shelter. This is what I can do not what I want to do. Would everyone feel better if I rephrased the question as "I have a nail oak plank floor where the planks don't meet, what can i use to fill the gap (about 1/8") to make it level with the board and how do i make the color match?"

Sure, you're all professionals and I'm not but I doubt you could do my job so how about a little help?
Also Bud, adding a smiley face at the end of your post doesn't make it friendly. :)

titanoman 12-13-2011 02:02 PM

No offense, but it will look like you spent $100 on it.

Sent from a Samsung Galaxy S2

Bud Cline 12-13-2011 02:04 PM

You want free advice and you want it to be friendly too?

I'm sorry but what you are doing is kinda off the norm, you really don't expect blessings from a pro do you. I appreciate your "woe is me" position but we all have our problems.

You want an answer here it is.

There is no wood filler I am aware of that will cover a metal screw in a wood divot and stay in place. Especially when people are walking on the floor routinely. Coloring wood fillers usually is done by staining everything not necessarily coloring the filler material.

Birch plywood is not a suitable flooring surface and will not survive the next couple of seasonal changes. God help you if you get it wet, it will delaminate and blister quickly. Typically birch plywood is reserved for custom wood walls and cabinets.

If you will go back a read every one of my eight thousand posts that appear here you will see that I most always use a smiley face. trust me it wasn't for you I did it. It's just a habit I have:)

hyenas 12-13-2011 02:07 PM

Sigh. Is anyone capable of answering the questions? Which have absolutely nothing to do with what you think the floor will look like or what you think I should do instead?

titanoman 12-13-2011 02:10 PM


Originally Posted by hyenas (Post 793035)
Sigh. Is anyone capable of answering the questions? Which have absolutely nothing to do with what you think the floor will look like or what you think I should do instead?

That's because you are stuck with what you have. No carpenter can make it right.

rusty baker 12-13-2011 02:18 PM

I have installed flooring for almost 40 years and have also done woodworking for many years and have no idea. Trial and error may be what you have to do. Just be careful, plywood will have a lot of splinters.

Daniel Holzman 12-13-2011 06:47 PM

I am going to give you credit for trying to make an interesting floor on a low budget. So here are a few thoughts. You are using 1/4 inch thick plywood. I don't know how you countersunk your screws, the best way would have been using a countersinking bit, but at best you could have set the screws perhaps 1/16 inch or maybe 1/8 inch below the surface. So that is the amount of space you need to fill.

First off, if you use brass screws, they won't look too bad, you could leave them in place. If this is unacceptable, you can fill the gaps using birch colored woodworkers putty, available at any big box store. There are a number of companies that make the product, including Elmers, Minwax and Oatey. None of them are going to match the exact look of 1/4 inch birch plywood, but at least you will have a relatively flat floor until the putty pops loose, at which time you simply replace it.

As for the mismatch in elevation between the panels, that is difficult to handle, because sanding the plywood down will remove the birch veneer, which is probably only 1/64 inch, and you will see the substrate, which is unlikely to be hardwood, so will look very different than the rest of the floor. If you don't mind a different appearance, then sand it down, polyurethane the floor, and exalt in the multifaceted appearance. If you cannot live with differences, then you are going to have to live with elevation differences across the plywood pieces.

And consider the good side. Someday, if you have the money, you can put down hardwood over the plywood.

titanoman 12-13-2011 06:54 PM

You could probably get by with finish nails as long as you're using a good glue (liquid nails, eagle grip) the rest of the way.

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