plywood flooring

How To Install And Finish Plywood Flooring?

Installation and finishing of plywood flooring is a practical, affordable option that can result in a beautiful, durable, and personalized floor surface. Whether you want to start a DIY project or want to upgrade your current flooring, this in-depth discussion by Floor Land will guide you through every step of the procedure.

plywood flooring

Materials And Tools You Will Need

Assemble the necessary equipment and materials before you start:


  • Plywood Sheets (3/4 inch thickness recommended)
  • Screws (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches)
  • Construction adhesive
  • Floor filler
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Stain or paint (optional)
  • Polyurethane sealer or clear coat
  • Tack cloth
  • Baseboards or trim
  • Wood putty (for nail holes)
  • Primer and paint (if painting the floor)


  • Circular saw or table saw
  • Drill/driver
  • T-square or straightedge
  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Hammer or nail gun (if using nails)
  • Paintbrush or stain applicator
  • Paint roller and tray (if painting)
  • Paint sprayer (optional, for larger areas)
  • Paint or stain brushes
  • Paint or stain roller
  • Sanding block or orbital sander
  • Putty knife
  • Flooring nailer (optional, for a secure fit)
  • Safety gear (gloves, safety glasses, dust mask, ear protection)

Step 1: Preparing The Subfloor

Make sure your subfloor is clean, dry, and level before putting down plywood flooring. Remove any nails, adhesive traces, or flooring materials that are already in place. To guarantee a smooth surface for the wood, fix any broken or uneven subfloor pieces.

Step 2: Measure And Plan

Determine how many amount of sheets you will need by measuring the size of the space. Start in one part of the room and working your way across is recommended. Leave a thin space (about 1 /8 inch) between each sheet to allow for expansion. Plan the layout to avoid having seams line up with subfloor’s.

Step 3: Cutting Plywood Sheet

Cut the hardwood sheet to meet the room measurement using a table or circular saw. Make sure the cuts are accurate and the sheets line up with the intended pattern. Wear the proper protective clothing when using power tools, advises safety experts.

Step 4: Securing The Plywood Sheets

Apply construction glue to the subfloor first, making sure to cover it evenly. Aligning the first piece of hardwood with the corner of the room, you should position it there. Use screws or nails to fasten the wood to the subfloor, spacing them around 6 to 8 inches apart in the field and along the edges.

Step 5: Subsequent Rows And Staggering Seams

Apply adhesive to the subsequent rows’ seams and space them out so they don’t line up with the subfloor’s seams. For increased stability, make sure the sheet edges meet over a floor joist or subfloor support. Once you’ve covered the entire floor, keep doing this.

Step 6: Filling Seams And Gaps

Once all of the plywood pieces are in position, use a putty knife to fill any gaps and seams with floor filler. To dry and sand, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Step 7: Sanding the Surface

The entire wood surface should be sanded using increasingly finer grits of sandpaper. Use coarse-grit sandpaper (such as 80-grit) to begin smoothing off any roughness or imperfections. Upgrading to finer grits (such as 120- and 220-grit) will result in a smoother finish. All the corners and edges should be properly sanded.

Step 8: Staining or Painting (Optional)

To create the desired aesthetic, you can now choose to stain or paint your wood flooring. If staining, follow the wood grain when using a paintbrush or other applicator to apply the stain evenly. Before adding a second coat, if desired, let it dry fully. When painting, use a primer first and let it dry completely before using a few thin, even coats of paint.

Step 9: Applying a Protective Finish

The application of a clear polyurethane sealer or clear coat can protect your plywood flooring and give it a glossy appearance. Apply a few light coats, letting each one dry completely between applications. This will give your floor resilience and make it stain and moisture-resistant.

Step 10: Installing Baseboards or Trim

To fill in the expansion gaps and give the room a finished appearance, install baseboards or trim around the room’s perimeter. To accommodate natural expansion and contraction, fasten the trim to the wall rather than the plywood.

Step 11: Final Touches

Look for any residual flaws or nail holes on the floor. After letting the wood putty dry and sanding it smooth, fill them in. Use a tack cloth to wipe away any dust or dirt when you’re pleased with the surface.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Maintain your plywood floor by routinely vacuuming or sweeping out dirt.
  • To lessen wear and tear, put area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas.
  • As plywood is sensitive to water, avoid prolonged exposure.
  • Immediately clean up spills. When necessary, reapply a coating of clear polyurethane to maintain a protective finish.

Winding Up

Plywood flooring installation and polishing can completely change the look of your room. You can have a stunning, reasonably priced, and long-lasting floor surface that meets your demands and aesthetic preferences with careful planning, accurate installation, and appropriate finishing. Your finished floor will be a monument to your craftsmanship whether you decide to stain, paint, or leave the plywood’s natural beauty uncovered.