As many of you know, it was just two short weeks ago that we opened the doors to the Picklee shop in Newport, RI! Getting the shop ready was a super exciting (and stressful!) process. We were faced with a stinky, old, run down storefront that had been neglected for YEARS, but we had big plans to make the shop a beautiful place. Sort of like reviving a stinky old chair…but on a much larger scale
We fell in love with the space because it was in historic home built in the early 1700′s, so it was packed with original details and character…oh yea, and it was in the heart of the Newport waterfront shopping district =)
When it came time to renovate the shop, one of the first projects we took on was the floor. The shop came with a Berber carpet that was probably three thousand years old…OK, maybe not that old-but it sure looked and smelt like it. We knew we wanted to bring in beautiful & unique flooring that kept the shop true to it’s era, and save on costs at the same time. We tossed around ideas for a while, and then eureka! We decided we would create a wide plank, farmhouse style flooring using good ol’ fashion PLYWOOD! Sounds a little crazy right? That’s what the guys at Home Depot thought too…just wait until I march back in and show them this!
I am absolutely thrilled with how beautiful the Picklee shop’s plywood floor turned out! Its classic and true to the age of the space with it’s wide plank style, yet has a coastal farmhouse feel with it’s rustic look and white-washed finish. I’ll to show you exactly how to get the look by making your very own wide plank plywood floor!
First, I head over to my local Home Depot to scope out the different types of plywood. I chose to use standard 1/2″ thick 4′ x 8′ sheets at a cost of just under $20 each! I opted for these because they wern’t perfect. They had knots, markings and lots of color variations…this was exactly the look I was going for!
With (lots of) help from the guys at HD, I loaded up my cart with the plywood sheets. I needed 14 sheets since I would be covering an area of just under 450 square feet. My original plan was to bring the sheets home and convince my lovely fiance to cut them into into planks for me, but then a miracle happened…the wonderful man at HD offered to cut them all for me!
In order to have zero waste, I chose to have the boards cut into 8 inch by 8 foot lengths, giving me six planks per sheet of plywood. Thankfully I picked a slow time of day to go to HD because it took a little over an hour (and two trips to the shop and back) to cut all 14 sheets. I am so grateful to the guys at Home Depot, even though they looked at me like I had 10 heads when I told them my plan for the planks
Once the planks were cut, I brought them into the shop and laid them out. First, I took out an electric sander and sanded all rough edges and splinters. Next, I made up a mixture of 1/4 CeCe Caldwells Simply White Chalk Paint and 3/4 water. You can alter this mixture depending on how “white” you want your flooring. I used a roller attached to a broom handle to apply a coat of the white washed paint to all of the planks.
This next step is where my lovely fiance came in…some days I just don’t know what I would do without him =) First, Brett applied Bostik flooring adhesive to the backs of the plywood planks. Next, he laid them into place then used a finish nailer to secure them to the floor. We were lucky enough to have a strong wood sub-floor to shoot the finish nails into. Brett used 1 1/2″ nails and shot them in on an angle. We chose this method because we wanted the floor to have that rustic look. The nails were spaced out about every 12″, placing two all along either side of each plank.
It’s important to have spaces in between the planks because wood will shift and expand over time. We found that a metal straight edge gave the perfect distance between planks, so Brett used that as a spacing guide.
As Brett went on nailing down the boards, he used a table saw to cut some of them into different lengths so that we would give the boards a staggered look. You can see some of the shorter lengths above…
See I helped a little here, passing him the pieces
Once the entire floor was down, about 6 hours later…we applied three coats of Minwax Polyurethane (in satin) to give the floor a protective finish. We waited 24 hours in between the first two coats, then only 2 hours between the second and third coat. Less than $300 and a day later, the floor was complete! I couldn’t be more happy with the results =)
Here’s a photo of the floors inside the Picklee on Spring shop, 4 months after the install! They are holding up wonderfully and we receive compliments daily!
I’ve had lots of questions about how to calculate square footage needed, here’s how…
Each sheet of plywood it 4′x 8′ (32 square feet). Simply divide the total sqaure footage of your space by 32 to figure out home many sheets you’ll need. Then just add an extra sheet or two for scraps!