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Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Art Of Pallet Wood Flooring

NOTE:  This blog and photos may not be shared or reproduced without the express written consent of A Building We Shall Go!
Copyright 2013 A Building We Shall Go!
All rights reserved

We have blogged Pallets Repurposed where we explained how we took the pallets apart.
abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com

We have blogged Just The Plane Facts where we told you how all the pallet wood was prepared, to be used as flooring.
abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com

We have blogged Prep Time where we shared with you how we installed the sub floor.
abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com

We have blogged Pioneering where we explained some of the difficulties we have had and solutions we found, while installing the pallet wood flooring.
abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com

What we haven't blogged is the finished product!


Are You Ready?


It took us several weeks to put all the pallet wood down.
This was not an easy task!

We didn't want a pattern on the floor but we also didn't want the same type of pallet wood together in the same spots.
We had four widths of planks. (2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch and 5 inch)
There are so many different types of pallet wood, it was almost like putting a puzzle together without any idea of what it is suppose to look like. 
abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com

We started by sorting light wood and dark wood.
We then top nailed the wood down with our new dinosaur, alternating light and dark.
Doing our best to mix the textures of the wood.
We ended up setting a patten by placing a row of 2", followed by four rows of 3", then adding a row of 4", following again with four rows of 3", nailing the 5" planks and placing the last four rows of 3" planks before the pattern started over.
It worked out perfectly!
Each set of the pattern was 4 feet wide.

This is where Flower Boy and I realized we are not young!
Being on our hands and knees for hours at a time is not an easy thing when you are in your 40's!

We got to the half way point in the room and ran out of prepared pallet wood!
Another lesson learned...
There is a difference between board feet and square feet.
This was not an issue for us, as there was other construction going on in the house at this time.
The stopping point allowed the other contractors less worry of damaging the wood with the amount of traffic needed to go across the floor in order to complete their projects.
It was also a time when Flower Boy was gone for training, so Drewman and I had plenty of time to prepare the remainder of the wood.
Funny how things have a way of working themselves out!
No need for panic!
Just look for the positive and move forward!
When Flower Boy returned, the contractors were finished with their projects, Drewman and I had the rest of the planks ready
AND
we finished nailing the pallet wood down.
Princess Sheba likes the new floor!

The floor set for a few weeks while the remainder of the construction was complete in the house.
We didn't cover it with paper to protect it.
We wanted the Dust, Dirt and Grime to distress the wood.
After the entire house was dust free, Flower Boy and I started the sealing process of the flooring.

We started with a liberal coat of mineral spirits.
The mineral spirits cleans the pallet wood and soaks into the grain of the wood, to open it up so the sealer will penetrate and adhere.

We applied the mineral spirits with a low nap wool applicator and brushed it on around the edges of the room.
When the mineral spirits were completely soaked into the wood, we then started applying the finish.
The finish was applied in the same manner as the mineral spirits.
We are using a product used on basketball gym floors.
The product is for high traffic and resists scuff and marks.
Perfect for our ranch style life!

The grain of the pallet wood popped when the floor finish was applied!

With each coat applied, the floor became richer and richer in appearance.
A total of four coats, of the finish, have been applied.

We each have our favorite plank!

Flower Boy's is the center board in this photo.

Drewman's is the center of this one.

My favorite is all the planks with the knot holes.

The builder walked in the door yesterday and gasped when he saw the floor.
We have had so many nay sayers and negative reactions when we were researching ways to lay this floor.
We had one contractor give a bid of $12,000 to put the floor down.
We never once thought this floor wouldn't be beautiful or even thought it couldn't be done.
We are so proud of our stellar job and all that our hard work and efforts have produced!


The Art Of Pallet Wood Flooring!
MASTERED!!!!!!



Note:  Since this post was originally blogged, there has been an astounding amount of activity here.  We are honored and blessed to have so many people search us.  We do ask those sharing, please give credit where credit is due and ask permission prior to sharing our post.  There is an email us button on A Building We Shall Go to contact us.  
We are proud of our work and efforts to create such a beautiful floor and expect to be credited as the original creator.


Thanks,
Rancher Girl


Below is a photo of the living room after the furniture was moved into the house. 

Copyright 2013 A Building We Shall Go!
All rights reserved

154 comments:

  1. I love your floors! I too am installing pallet flooring in my home. I was wondering how your floor have held up and if there is anything you would do differently? In all your research, can you glue the planks to concrete? One floor installer told me no as I would have moisture problems and the boards would pop off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Pallet Wood Floor has held up just as we expected it to! It is wonderful! We LOVE it!
      We wouldn't have done a single thing different! It was worth every cramp, late night and sleepless hour!
      We installed the sub floor as the moisture barrier. Your info is correct. Our research showed the sub floor was necessary as a moisture barrier between the concrete and the pallet wood.
      Good Luck!
      Make a Beautiful Floor!
      WE DID!!!

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    2. So the plywood was treated for moisture works better for the moisture barrier than the "vinyl" ones used with laminate or other floorings from the flooring stores?

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    3. We r hoping to cover some hideous laminate tiles. Would they glue easily to those? Or how would u recommend us getting it to stick down?

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    4. Crystal,
      Our recommendation would be to pull up the laminate and attach the pallet wood to your subfloor. We would never overlay an existing floor. This is only our opinion.

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    5. Did you glue the sub flooring down? As I have concrete, and have to replace my floors, and I am LOVING these floors..so I am curious about the sub flooring..

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    6. Thank you! We LOVE our floor too! The sub floor post can be seen at "Prep Time". It should answer all your questions.

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. Sorry several questions 1st what did u use for sub floor 2nd what u use to adhere sub floor to concrete 3rd what u use to adhere pallet floor to sub floor

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    9. Rosa,
      Follow the highlighted "Prep Time" link on The Art of Pallet Wood Flooring to get all the details of the sub floor.
      The pallet planks are top nailed to the sup floor as explained in the "Pioneering" post.
      Again, all the links, to each step in our process of creating this beautiful floor, are highlighted in the above blog post.
      Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  2. Did you sand them, I have looked they seem like there very rough? Thanks for your reply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the boards were ran through a planner. None are rough. When I get home, I take off my boots and walk around in my sock feet. Nights and weekends I will walk around barefoot. There are no splinters or sharp areas on any of the boards. We did, however, use a hand sander on some of the boards to remove some sharp areas, prior to sealing.
      We would not have changed a single step in creating this beautiful floor. We love it!!!

      Delete
    2. Instead of using a planner, could they be put down and a big drum sander used? Sliding each board thru the planner seems more difficult!!!

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    3. Ruth,
      You could sand one side, but the pallet planks are very uneven on both sides. We felt it best to plane both sides so the planks would set evenly on the subfloor and not pop up do to the warp of the plank not being flat. Planning the planks also took off any type of material or chemical that may have soaked into the wood. We felt taking the entire plank down to natural wood was best for us.

      Delete
  3. Your floor is amazing!!!! I would love to have one but at 61 I just don't think the knees would survive and I know I would never convince the Hubs to try. So I'll just admire yours and dream about what it would look like on my floor. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol!
      We LOVE our floor! It is one of a kind, that is for sure! I think each floor, done with pallet wood, would make it's own pattern and detail, as all the boards are unique!
      We are in our 40's. The floor was a ton of work! We felt old by the time we completed it. BUT it was worth every second!
      Had it not been for our teenage son, who collected every pallet, helped tear apart every pallet, prepared every board, and helped lay the entire floor, we couldn't have done it! We are so proud of him and his drive to make this floor happen.
      If you read the beginning blog "HOUSE FIRE", you will understand what this floor means to us. It was a huge healing for our family! Not to mention the bonding and glue to put us back together.
      The pallet wood floor is a vision I have had for a long time. It is a blessing how that tragedy has allowed us to take the vision and bring it to life!
      We are so proud of ourselves and the work we have done to create such a beautiful floor.
      Dreams Do Come True!

      Delete
  4. Very cool! How many pallets did this take in total? We're looking at milling boards for a floor, but this might be easier if we have access to enough pallets.

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    Replies
    1. Easy is not a word we would use to describe the preparation of the pallet wood or the laying of this floor.
      Long hours, back breaking, knuckle busting, sleepless nights, timeless research, and a lot of hard work. Including blood, sweat and tears, would be more descriptive. We wouldn't have had it any other way! We love our floor! But "easy", it was not!
      The number? It simply wasn't something we kept count of. So much of the pallet wood was unusable, warped, damaged, stained or too thin. We do estimate 100+ pallets were used to complete our floor, but the number torn apart to collect the amount of pallet wood needed is unknown

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  5. You may want to check out PalletTruth dot com. Using wooden pallets indoors brings some serious health and safety risks, never mind environmental damage. Those things are loaded with formaldehyde.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hygge,
      Agreed, SOME pallets CAN cause serious health and safety risks when used indoors. NONE of the pallet wood used on our floor was "loaded" with anything. We were very cautious when choosing the pallets used for our floor. All, of the pallet wood used, was stripped to bare wood and approved for indoor use.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. how can one tell whether or not a pallet is fit for indoor usage? I have started collecting pallets and I would like to know how to tell the difference.
      Thanks!

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    3. http://greenupgrader.com/19085/how-to-tell-if-wood-pallets-are-safe-for-crafting/

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    4. I don't understand the "environmental damage" comment at all. How is re-using something that would otherwise go into a landfill damaging the environment?

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    5. Seriously?? Carpet, linoleum, paneling, drywall, every construction material builders use is "loaded" with formaldehyde and many other poisonous chemicals unless you pay extra to buy the "green" items that do not have as many chemicals in them!!!

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    6. Nice job by the way....floor is beautiful!!!!

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    7. Thanks Much!
      We do LOVE our floor!

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    8. Agreed some pallets can be loaded with dangerous stuff...but do you really think store bought flooring isn't? Carpet, linoleum, even store bought wood flooring. Doesn't stop with your floors either. Curtains, furniture, kitchen appliances, even your silverware and tupperware, your make up, cleaning supplies, shampoo, soap...even your food! All of it loaded with chemicals that is slowly killing you. And you can shout organic and "green" all you want but you're a fool if you think those are 100% safe as well. This stuff is even in the air you are breathing and the water you drink. Some sources are safer than others of course but you can't avoid all of it. We humans are nasty creatures.

      Delete
  6. How big was the room? It's beautiful and we are considering doing it ourselves, but we have a VERY small house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicole,
      The room is between 400 and 500 sq feet.
      Without a tape measure in hand, I am not real sure.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. I did this years ago in a much smaller scale when I built my kids' tree house my daughter wanted hardwood floors, granite counters, and stainless steel appliances like she always seen on HGTV. I wasn't about to spend lots of money on hard wood floors, so I took some pallets from work that were going to be thrown out. I stripped the wood off laid them over the plywood floor, carefully nailed them down in the existing holes with roofing nails, when I got done I sanded them down with 60 grit and then 240 grit sandpaper. Then swept vacuumed mopped then swept and vacuumed again when dry. I then put down 6 coats and when dry I laid down a thick coat of Johnsons paste wax and buffed it really good. My Daughter is still waiting on the granite and stainless but I think she will have to get her own real house for that. My son who could tear apart a concrete wall with a rubber mallet has yet to destroy the floors in the tree house despite being exposed to hot cold and wet not to mention muddy boots and things being scooted across the floor. I have added some more paste wax every once in a while and my only complaint is it can get pretty slick when wet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great story, Josh!
      We are glad to know our floor will hold up to our Ranch lifestyle, just as we expect it will. It has done so to date! Thanks for the confirmation that is will be here a long as we live.
      Rancher Girl

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    2. Cool Story Bro

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    3. If you want to keep it from being slick, you can add white sand to the paste wax. Gives it a bit of traction.

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  8. How large was the floor you did? How many pallets did it take

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our floor is 18' 6" x 16' 8".
      The number? It simply wasn't something we kept count of. So much of the pallet wood was unusable, warped, damaged, stained or too thin. We do estimate 100+ pallets were used to complete our floor, but the number torn apart to collect the amount of pallet wood needed is unknown.

      Delete
  9. How large was the floor how many pallets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our floor is 18' 6" x 16' 8".
      The number? It simply wasn't something we kept count of. So much of the pallet wood was unusable, warped, damaged, stained or too thin. We do estimate 100+ pallets were used to complete our floor, but the number torn apart to collect the amount of pallet wood needed is unknown.

      Delete
  10. Wondered how I might lay something like this on a concrete floor. Any ideas there? I believe back home, my late husband laid some type of plywood down and glued it to the floor, but I'm not sure. Been a very long time ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our pallet wood floor is laid over a concrete floor. There are links within the blog that take you back to each step of our processes.
      Good luck,
      Rancher Girl

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing nice information. Its really very useful for us... Oak Flooring

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by!
      We are honored that you and other flooring companies have taken an interest in our project.
      We are beginning to believe we are true pioneers!
      Rancher Girl

      Delete
  12. This turned out AMAZING! We build many many things with pallets, and I think I will have to convince my husband to do this with me! Our living-room is in need of a new floor, so this may be the perfect time! What's your secret on taking the pallet boards apart?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We used a sawsall to take the pallets apart. Then we drove the nails out, instead of pulling them. All is explained in the blog post ~ Pallets Repurposed http://abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com/2013/02/pallets-repurposed.html
      Thanks for stopping by!
      We would love to hear how your flooring project works out for you all.
      Stay in touch!
      Rancher Girl

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    2. LOVE the floor,you should be proud.I would be.

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  13. I have wanted to tackle this for my home but got so much push back ... Your hard work ends in a beautiful result, something to be proud of and enjoy for a hundred years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Caroline. We too received much push back and negative comments. We never once thought our floor wouldn't be beautiful! We are very proud of our floor and the work we have done.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. If your floor already has wood sub-flooring, do you need to use the moisture barrier paper?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LadyLuck,
      That would be a question for the flooring professionals.
      Sorry, we can't answer that question.
      Rancher Girl

      Delete
  15. It's amazing how you managed to do all this by yourselves! We're planning to do flooring in the coming weeks as well. I'm sure it will be hard work, but looking at your finished product, I think it will be well worth it for us in the end. Best of luck and I hope your 40-something-year-old bodies recover from being on your hands and feet for long. :)

    Kendra Dennis @ ChuDitch.com.au

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kendra! Our bodies have recovered! We have enjoyed our first Thanksgiving and Christmas in the new house. The pallet wood floor has held up beautifully! We are very proud of our work and had always wanted to do it by ourselves. This floor was the project that glued our family together after our house fire.

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  16. Beautiful work ! You guys did an amazing Job.

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  17. Your flooring is beautiful, what was the brand name of poly that you applied? I was thinking that Fabulon might work, but have been on quest to find quality gym poly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure of the brand name we used. It has been too long... We purchased it from a local "Mom and Pop" Paint and Paper store. It was costly. ~$100 per gallon
      We didn't want to go with the products "off the shelf" at the larger box stores. We wanted to get a product from someone that had knowledge and could advise us on the application.

      Delete
  18. Your floor looks amazing! My hubby and I just picked up the pine flooring for our living room (if we had seen this blog a month earlier probably would have gone the pallet route instead) and I too am interested in knowing in the brand of product used to finish the floor. Thank you for pointing out about the mineral spirits... did you use it because the wood was re-purposed pallets or because it helps open the wood up (no matter what type)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure of the brand name we used. It has been too long... We purchased it from a local "Mom and Pop" Paint and Paper store. It was costly. ~$100 per gallon
      We didn't want to go with the products "off the shelf" at the larger box stores. We wanted to get a product from someone that had knowledge and could advise us on the application.
      The mineral spirits will open up any type of wood. It is a cleaner and conditioner to prepare the wood for the final finish.

      Delete
  19. Just curious about the edges of the wood if they were sealed with something to keep water from going between the pieces of wood when the floor is mopped etc.???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sealer took care of covering any exposed edges. The planks are butted tightly together, as it took the three of us to lay the floor properly. There are no gaps in the planks.

      Delete
  20. What an incredibly beautiful floor! I didn't even know you could build a wood floor out of pallets, but that is such a great idea! I now want to try doing something like this when I get a house; I never really liked wood floors because I felt like they would get more damaged than anything else, especially with kids and pets. But this is gorgeous, I love all the textures and colors! It's so unique.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Angela. We do love our floor! We are very proud of our work.

      Delete
  21. How does this hold up against dog claws? I have six dogs and would like something other than tile in my house! This is beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. We have two German Shepherds that live in the house with us, as well as being a ranch family. The floor has held up as we expected it to. No scratches, mars or marks!

      Delete
  22. how did you nail this down? From the top or the side? what type and size nail did you use? Di you use a nail gun or hammer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The nailing process is explained by following the highlighted link "PIONEERING" post.
      Attached is the link if you missed it...
      http://abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com/2013/04/pioneering.html

      Delete
  23. Going to share this on my fb page https://www.facebook.com/Greatrowing everyone will love it. Of course Credit goes where it belongs. I don't want to loose this powerful more than welcome information. This will be the flooring in our new home, would you like to come and supervise? Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We would love to supervise! Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
      Thanks for sharing our blog!

      Delete
  24. In some of your posts you stated you didn't want pallets to be too thin, do you remember roughly about how thick the boards were that you used. I have been thinking about doing this for about a year now. I have found 2 places I can get pallets. it will be a small mudroom floor on the left and then on the right area, I will have a wood furnace that I will put slate down in that area and then the actual walk way I would love to do the pallet wood there too. I was even thinking about using some on the walls too and then dry brushing some with a white wash. I have some old doors that I am going to use to make closets out of. I can't wait to start this project this year. unless I can find some cheap help most of the work is going to be done myself. the basics are all ready there. I can't wait

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    Replies
    1. The floor planks on our floor are from 9/16" to 5/8" thick.

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  25. Most awesome thing I've seen in awhile, beautiful job

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! We are very proud of our work. We too believe we have made a beautiful floor.

      Delete
  26. Did you tongue and groove the boards?

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    Replies
    1. We did not tongue and groove the planks.

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    2. Charles,
      We have had no headaches from the floor. Actually the professionals shared with us their experience in restoring a 100 year old train station floor that had been top nailed. Their boards were not tongue and grooved either.
      We love the look of the floor and the fact that it was top nailed.

      Delete
  27. I'd love to see the room now with furniture in it. I think the floor looks amazing but I can't picture it with furniture... I worry that the floor is so interesting the room might look too busy in the end?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ricki,
      I will upload a photo of the living room with furniture. Remember we are a ranching family, so the living room furniture is all leather ranch style. We think it complements very well together.

      Delete
  28. Thank you for this post - I am seriously tossing around the idea of laying a pallet floor in our motor home - it is small and I don't think the weight of the pallet wood would be a problem - if anything, it may even help with stabilization by adding the weight to the bottom (not sure since I am not an engineer or anything but, it just sounds logical to me - LOL)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for sharing your story. Two years ago I started with pallets building the vanities for our new houses bath rooms and will be building the island in the kitchen. In the process we begging looking at thes boards as flooring.

    I did not go the route you did ( which I think has a lot of character ) I took all five inch by five eights and sized them a uniform width than resawed them to half inch, finished them off by cutting three eights half joints. All of the fastening down was with one and one quater star drive screws face driven.
    The sanding was with a body grinder with thirty six grit cross sanded and with the grain to leave more swirl than showed up on their own . I will use a light stain to even out the range of colors, but also show the variations
    The finish will be Waterlox ,three coats.
    I figure about sixty boards to a square and we will have a total fifteen hundred sq ft.
    I bought the board from a place that remakes pallets so all I had to do was drive nails with a air Hammer with a nail set bit in it just thought you would like to know how the other lives...oh yesterday you can lay a floor like this over concrete, put the plastic roll stuff down with three quarter ply over it, cheers. Mark and Waneta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good to hear from others who have done the same with pallet wood. I am not sure which one of us has done the most work. Thanks for sharing!

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    2. @The old viking: Where/how did you find a company that remakes pallets? I would love to try this project, but my biggest fear is taking all those pallets apart.
      ~Board to Tears

      Delete
  30. What type of nails did you use for the planks? Did you find the different thicknesses of the planks to be a issue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We used the nails that fit our dinosaur. The information can be found in the Pioneering post.
      We did not find the different thicknesses of the planks to be any kind of issue. We loved the look it gave to our floor and still do!

      Delete
  31. Wow ....... it amazing. A great job done and I know now it feels in the end to do it and then laugh off at the estimates contractors give. I'd say totally worth doing it.
    I have a marble floor that I want to wood, would I still need a sub-floor to counter the moisture factor or can I just hammer away on top of the marble?
    Would it paste or should I drill and nail it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam,
      We are in no way flooring professionals. We got several tips in laying the pallet wood from our building contractor.
      We are sorry, but you questions are questions for contractors or flooring professionals.

      Delete
  32. Absolutely beautiful! Can you tell me what a "dinosaur" is?

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    Replies
    1. Our "dinosaur" is explained in the Pioneering post. It is the tool used to drive the cleats into the plank securing it to the subfloor. We named it the "dinosaur" because there are no top nail pneumatic nailers available. We had to go old school! Each nail was driven by hitting the "dinosaur" with the mallet. Lots of manual labor to put this beautiful floor down.

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    2. As long as you planed both sides equally there will not be any warping, I did wood floors for twenty something years. It looks "Okay" but it is not my thang. to splotchy for my taste. And did you put down a moisture barrier?

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    3. We did just what the flooring professionals told us to do.
      We LOVE the look of our floor! It is very fitting for our Ranchey lifestyle!

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    4. Charles Everett Barbee. You sir, are a pompous ass. I believe you posted to pat yourself on the back and boost your ego . Who cares if it isn't up to Par for you. They didn't work their ass off for YOU, they did it for them. And I think it is awesome. I like when people do things themselves instead of paying a "professional" ridiculous pricing. Nobody, and I am sure this family cares if you think it is "okay or splotchy". Maybe we should come to your house and pick it apart. You ASS.

      Delete
  33. Hey Rancher Girl, Another great accomplishment from your blog. Love the floor, time well spent ... Congratulations!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      This was the project that bonded our family back together after the house fire.
      We love the floor too!

      Delete
  34. Hi just wondering about the cost? Can you give me some insight. Looking to do something like this to save money. Thank you for any info. The floors are beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! We think the floor is beautiful, as well.
      The cost was in the tools and equipment to prepare the planks and the "dinosaur" to lay the planks. The cost wasn't an issue to us. This was a project we wanted to do as a family. I will say the project was very time consuming. That again, was not an issue to us. This floor was the glue that bonded our family back together after our house fire.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  35. Did you have trouble finding pallets that were safe to use? Some pallets are fumigated with Methyl Bromide which would not be good to use for any household purpose.

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    Replies
    1. Richard,
      We did not have a problem finding the pallets. Pallets that are fumigated are marked. We also had the planks tested. All planks on our floor were safe for household use.

      Delete
  36. I will be doing this to my house. I found a perfect place to get free Pallets. If you have a lumber liquidators near your place like I do they told me that any time I see pallets to come and get them...Right now I have a closet to lay and I will be starting my livingroom.. Question I have is did you lay anything under it and 2 how does it hold up against the pets opps?

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    Replies
    1. Drewman actually had a pallet route when we were collecting pallets. One of the places on the route was a large liquidator box store. We did have a hard time getting the hardwood pallets from the big box stores.
      We did install a sub-floor. That post will be under "Prep Time".
      We are German Shepherd breeders, as well as being a cattle ranch. Our floor has held up just as we expected it to. It has withstood cattle poop, water, snow, ice and whatever else has been tracked in on our boot, as well as the dogs. We have no scuff marks, mars or dents on the floor and have lived in the house almost a year now.
      WE LOVE OUR FLOOR!

      Delete
  37. We're about to start pulling pallets apart after seeing your blog. I'm SO excited to start! We're finishing approx 1200 ft2 as well, and I have a few questions.

    1. How did you "test" the wood to make sure it was safe for indoor use? I know each pallet is marked, but how did you also test yours? Or is running each board through a planer on both sides enough to eliminate any potential health risk?

    2. With 4 coats, plus the mineral spirits....just wondering how many gallons of liquid you went through to finish your floors? At $100/gallon I'm thinking this might get more pricey than I originally thought?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The planks were taken to Drewman's shop class. Testing was done there.
      Cost on this beautiful floor is not cheap. Although the pallets were free, there is a significant cost in tools, equipment, blades and supplies. The planks are very dry (and should be so there is no shrinkage after the floor is laid) therefore they soak up A LOT of mineral spirits and sealer.
      Totally worth every dollar and second spent! We would not have changed a single thing in our process!

      Delete
  38. I'm in awe .... just saying, I like the character of the floor. inspired

    ReplyDelete
  39. Very nice! I love it. What a labor of LOVE! Thanks for sharing! May I repost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Post away! Please make sure you list A Building We Shall Go! as the source of your post, linking it back to us and do not remove our watermarks from any of the photos.
      Thanks

      Delete
  40. What a fantastic job! I am thinking about doing this for the floor in my greenhouse... I probably won't stain it, and maybe won't even plane the planks. I'll have to make some decisions when the time is closer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We are proud of our work and LOVE our floor!

      Delete
  41. How did yall prep the boards. Did it require sanding?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the links, for each step, are attached to this blog post. Just click on the highlighted link and it will take you to the subsequent post.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  42. Wow! Your flooring is beautiful!! What a wonderful idea!! I am sharing w my husband for our remodel!!

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  43. Really great post you have mentioned with helpful guidance. I really like your brilliant post.Thanks for share with us..

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  44. I love this flooring if you have pallets its a great way to save money and have a nice home.

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  45. Hi! Love your floor! We are in the middle of doing one just like it in our sun room. If you wouldn't mind, can you tell me the name of the product you used to finish the floor (finish for basketball courts)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen,
      The product is called "GYM Floor Finish". We purchased it from a mom and pop paint and paper store.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Rancher Girl

      Delete
  46. I am finding many pallets are made of very soft pine. Did you reclaim this wood as well? Does the finish help to keep it from getting dinged up real badly?

    Your floors look amazing thanks for blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kate,
      We collected loads and loads of pallets. Many were soft pine. We did a great deal of picking and choosing to find a good combination of woods. Many pallets we collected did not make the cut for our floor. We don't dings or dents in our floor because of the choices we made with the wood. We collected for months prior to starting the project.
      As with all hardwood flooring, finish is key.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  47. Just saw your pallet floor, and I LOVE IT!!!!!! WOW!!! Super, Super Job!!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. How did you deal with all the holes from the pallet wood?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We didn't deal with the holes. For us, it was a huge part of the look we were going for. The sealer did its part to seal and fill in.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  49. I love your floor looks wonderful we did our spare bedroom with exterior barn wood cut to 6inch width and left the length would love to post pic so you could see just don't know how but great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tim! We are pretty proud of our work.

      Delete
  50. I am loving these floors so much! I live in the Northern corner of British Columbia and it gets really cold in the winter, so homes are known to shift with the weather. So I am just wondering if you know anything about that and if they would hold up in the winter? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janelle,
      The slab of our home is a post tension system. It has a cable system running through it and the cables are tightened to 25,000 pounds per square inch. Therefore, our floor and home does not move. We live in Oklahoma. We experience very dry summers and extremely wet winters. Most recently we are experiencing earthquakes! Even with the earthquakes, we haven't had movement.
      I'm sorry I can't answer your question. You might check with professionals in your area. Our builder provided us with great guidance, as did our son's wood shop instructor.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  51. I never would have thought to re-purpose pallets by using them as flooring. It actually looks really amazing! I've been trying to decide whether or not I want light or dark hardwood floors, however, I think I like the mixture that the pallets provide. How many pallets do you need to make this work?
    Claudia Rosenburg | http://www.torontopallets.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claudia,
      Our son collected pallets on a pallet route for weeks prior to tearing them apart. We had stacks! Several hundred!
      We have no idea how many it took to complete this floor. It just wasn't a number we kept count of. A lot of the pallets collected weren't able to be used because the planks were to thin, the wrong type of wood or damaged.
      When we started preparing the planks, some were warped and damaged to the point of not being able to use them.
      We tore apart many more than we were able to use.
      When the project was complete we had less than six planks extra.
      It took A LOT of pallets!
      Thanks for stopping by! We Do LOVE Our Floor!

      Delete
  52. I love your floors. We bought a trailer almost 3 years ago that we are living in and need cheap ways to redo all the screwed up work the previous owners did. I will be making my husband do this. I wanted to do wood flooring and was going to settle for cheap store bought stuff, but this would be even better. Thank you for this awesome idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tygermon2008,
      Be warned... Although the wood is from free pallets, the floor is not cheap! We could have put a professional hardwood floor in for the cost spent preparing these planks. This was not an easy task and it was very time and labor intensive. We wouldn't have changed a single step in our processes though. We LOVE our floor!

      Delete
  53. That is the most beautiful pallet flooring I have ever seen. AWESOME JOB!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am rebuilding my Mother's farmhouse to live in and LOVE this idea! She has two house on her farm and I hope to do both before I die...I am 62 years old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaninchen,
      YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!
      Good Luck to you!

      Delete
  55. Thank you for sharing this beautiful pallet-wood floor, and lovely story. I'm so sorry about the fire you had, but reading about your family's labor of love in rebuilding -- down to the fact that you each have a favorite plank -- is so inspiring. I could see your story becoming a best-selling book, or movie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christina,
      Don't make me cry! Such sweet words!
      We are blessed to inspire so many and to share our story. We feel if we can help others than we have done our job.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  56. I think I found you via Pinterest.
    I, too, am rebuilding by myself from a fire. I'm starting to think about my kitchen floor. The OSB look is yesterday's style!

    I’m loving out floor, just like everyone else! I’ve been collecting pallets from a medical supply equipment importer. These are the huge MRI-type machines. The pallets are 3/4″ oak. Right now, they’re aging in the front yard. When the weather turns cold, I’ll bring them inside and let them dry out for a month or two. Then [drum roll] I’m going to take them apart and do exactly as you delineated in this nice series.

    I’ve already made drawer and door fronts out of some for MBR cabinetry. LOVE the wood! Anyway, just wanted to tell you I think you did a really fantastic job. Love the holes, nail places, and character.

    Good thing I live alone, though. Don’t know many who would tolerate a ton of pallets in the living room for a few months! LOL!

    P.S. Found you via another site; which is yours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christine,
      Folks thought we were crazy when we started collecting pallets too. We had stacks and stacks! Now they walk in our home and mouths drop at the sight of our floor.
      You may follow me on pinterest @bobesue.
      If you go to the top of the blog page, on the right hand side is a follow us button for facebook, instagram, twitter and pinterest. We would love to have you follow.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  57. This is great! Can I receive these "instructions" by email or otherwise print them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Freddie,
      We are working on instructions to be purchased via a PDF Download. We hope to have it uploaded on our blog page soon.

      Delete
  58. Would this work on a bathroom wall??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you ask that Che-Che.
      I have plans to do this on our master bath wall soon. We will use the extra pallets collected for the floor. It is my opinion, the plank thickness for a wall wouldn't be an issue, as it was for the floor.
      I LOVE the look!

      Delete
  59. My Son's and I just pulled up the flooring in my kitchen to find 100 years old unfinished Pine Hard Wood Floor, I can not wait to put a finish on it and see the beauty of the wood!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carie,
      What an awesome find!
      Good luck to you all!

      Delete
  60. Your floor looks amazing!! Well done!! I love the idea of using pallets! For our wedding, my hubby and I (well, most of the hard work was done by hubby) used pallet wood to build the tables for our reception! They came out beautifully!! One day, when we can afford our own home, I hope that we will be able to follow your instructions and build our very pallet floor!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Do you have any suggestions on a price to charge a customer? Looking at exclusively doing this type of flooring in and around florida

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cean,
      We are in no way flooring professionals. We will say, we received a quote from one of the potential builders of our home. His quote was over $12,000 for this floor. Needless to say, he did not build our home.
      Our cost in this floor, although the wood was free, was not cheap. The cost in tools, blades and materials were that of a purchased and installed hardwood floor.
      We would not have changed a single step in our process to create this beautiful floor, as it was the glue that bound our family together after our house fire.
      Good luck to you and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  62. Just tried posting but don't think it went thru...
    This is absolutely gorgeous!!!! Great idea. How does it hold up with dogs? How do you clean it? Isit hard to keep clean?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamie,
      Along with being a ranching family, we also breed and raise German Shepherd Dogs. Ailey Mae, our female GSD, lives in the house with us, along with a mini Aussie, Princess Sheba.
      Our floor has withstood everything our boots and dogs have thrown at it and on it.
      I clean it with hardwood floor cleaner, just as you would any other sealed hardwood floor. It is not hard to clean. Rosie, our vacuum, runs over the floor daily. I mop it weekly, unless we have wet weather, than it gets mopped daily, due to the dogs and ranch life. We don't have small children, so spills are few and far between. If a spill happens, I clean it up with cleaner and a wet towel, just as I would on any other hard surface floor.
      We LOVE Our Floor!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  63. This is truly fabulous. I'd like to pin it on my Pinterest page and my FB page. This would look gorgeous in my kitchen. My favourite part is that you are repurposing an item that most people would toss. My 7-yr old son is learning from me how to use what you have and make what you need. This project is something we could do as a family, as you did. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer,
      If you share on Pinterest, Facebook or other social media, we do require you link back to A Building We Shall Go. Please do not remove our water marks. We do have Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter links on the top right hand section of the blog. You may link back to all our social media sights for there.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  64. Really great project and your results are totally fabulous! I am inspired! Thanks for the instructions and tips. I am starting to collect pallets. If I actually get anything done, I will let you know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We would love to see your finished product.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  65. Let me ask... what did you do about the preexisting nail holes in each plank? They can not be reused for new nails can they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul,
      Using the type of nail system we used (cleat nails), no the holes could not be reused. We left the holes. The epoxy filled them in. We loved the look and believe it added to the ranchey feel of our home. Perfect fit for our lifestyle.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  66. Did the mineral spirits or the gym floor top expand at all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dusty,
      Neither expand.
      Mineral Spirits is a cleaner/conditioner for the wood. It, as well as, the Gym Floor Finish absorb into the wood.

      Delete
    2. Ok thank you I was wondering how you got them all the same thickness

      Delete
    3. Dusty,
      The planks were planed to the desired thickness prior to laying them on the floor.

      Delete