How our plywood floors held up after a full year, plus price estimates

Well, it’s September of 2014, and it’s been over a year now that we’ve had the plywood plank floors installed. If you’ve watched my video series or read my other posts here and here, you might have wondered how they’ve held up.

In short… they’ve held up great! Way better than I expected.

Here’s a quick video to show you what I’m talking about:

As you can see, they are in just as good of shape as they were when we first installed them.

We were a little worried that as the seasons changed, the big, wide planks would react & start to move. I had visions of them cupping, bowing, cracking, splitting…. you name it. And none of it really happened at all.

They didn’t move and nothing cracked… it was a pleasant sigh of relief. The only thing I really noticed was that after about a month or so,  1 or 2 nails popped up near the bottom of the stair case for whatever reason. I hammered them back in, and they’ve been fine ever since.

Also, there’s no new floor squeaks, just a couple of old ones that were always there in the subfloor. Before we installed these floors, I walked over the sub-floors everywhere and screwed down any squeaks I could find. I guess a couple of them escaped me that day.

Some people have asked how hard they are to clean. Well, they’re really no big deal at all.

First off… yes, the gaps do get some stuff in them sometimes. No biggie.

We sweep them, then do a very slight damp mop with one of those Swiffer mops with the squirter thingy up front… and every once in a while, if a gap looks like it has some gunk built up, we run the vacuum over it. They’re really easy to clean.

It probably also helps that we don’t wear shoes in the house very often, and we don’t have any kids or pets. I could see there being an issue if a pet wasn’t potty trained or a kid threw up on them several times or constantly spilled drinks. But just think how much worse it would be with carpet!

So how much did they really cost?

Someone asked if I could put together a price estimate of what the floors actually cost us, so I checked out prices again today to knock out a list for you if you’re interested.

We bought all our supplies & materials at Menards, so I used their current prices (as of the writing of this post) for this estimate.


1/2″ x 4′ x 8′ cdx sheathing plywood: ~$18/sheet

1-1/2″ 16 Gauge straight finish nails (for air nail gun): ~$8/box of 2500 … ~$4/box of 1000

Flooring Adhesive (pl 400): ~$5/big tube (28oz)

Floor Polyurethane: ~$40/gallon

Floor Sander Rental: ~$55/ 3 hours

Floor Finish Applicator: ~$7

Floor Finish Pads: ~$4

(We already had a table saw, palm sanders & discs, and left over paint for the white wash.)


We estimated that we needed to cover about 1500 sq ft, so this is what we bought:

50 sheets plywood: $900
8500 nails: $28
6 tubes adhesive: $30
5 gallons poly: $200
Sander rental: $55
1 Finish applicator & 2 pads: $15

(Looking back, I should have bought the polyurethane in the bigger 2.5 gallon buckets, which are only ~$70 each… that would have chopped around $60 off the total price).

That’s about $1228 for 1500 sq feet ….   so roughly $.82/sq ft  finished out (+ blood, sweat, & tears)


The awesome part about Menards is that we bought everything during one of their 11% off, store-wide rebate deals they do every 2 or 3 months.

So if you subtract the 11% … we ended up paying about  $1092.92 ($1093) … so roughly $.72/sq ft finished out (+ blood, sweat, & tears)

That’s pretty darn-tootin’ cheap if you ask me! I know these floors aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we really like them, and they turned out really awesome for a killer price. Yes, there was hard work involved, but the price savings just might make them very tempting if you’re on the fence.

I hope this post helps you out if you’re thinking about trying something like this out and were wondering how well they’ve held up & just how much they really cost.