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violet holly
Surface For Painted Floor

I have a 15' x 15' 2nd floor bedroom (1880 home) that needs new flooring. Recent visit to flooring store informed me

that I am looking at @1200.00 for either quality carpet or laminate wood look flooring approx. 222 sq. ft. total.

I love the look of painted floors. I think this can be done for less than 1200.00.

Once I take up old carpeting and pad, could I cover sub floor with plywood and then paint?

Because there are so many types of plywood, wood species, core types, manufacturing processes -

what type of plywood would give me a smooth finish and ability to resist dents etc.

What thickness?

If this sounds like a truly stupid idea please advise, but be kind...

Re: Surface For Painted Floor

Quote: "If this sounds like a truly stupid idea please advise"

No, it's not a stupid idea. In fact, if this is your home and you have a free and clear trust deed on this home, you can do anything you want in it.

Before you start a flooring job, you have to determine if the sub floor can support the weight. Go to johnbridgetileforum and use their deflection formula to determine that. If the floor goes on a slab, you know you have a good sub floor.

What plywood to use? at least 3/4" thick, finished side up. Make sure it's nice in appearance, splinter free or sand it. It's also nice to create V edges.

Paint? floor paint, then protect it with poly. Another option is stain. Find out more about this at specialty paint stores.

Will it be cheaper than traditional floors? it could be, depending on your choices.
You do the math: you will need at least 8 sheets and at probably $45-$50 a sheet, that's $400 +tax. Delivery and labor, fasteners, equipment rentals, paint, supplies and various other unexpected expenses - and guess what, you can be right up there with the 1,200 estimate you quoted. Or more.

Will I do a thing like this? No.

violet holly
Re: Surface For Painted Floor

Thanks very much for the reply. Many things to think about. Just ripped up a corner of the carpet where there was a pet "not so, accident" - anyway, wood sub floor had no damage thankfully. Now I'm thinking perhaps to look into vinyl sheet flooring or vinyl tiles. There are a few options with solid or near solid color tiles where one could create the look of painted squares. Again thanks for your input.

Re: Surface For Painted Floor

The wood floor itself is no longer serviceable after being covered with carpet for ?(decades). I took up some awful beige carpet and refinished my bedroom's wood floors. So unless you have seen it, don't completely discount it. 1880 wood flooring may turn out to be far nicer than anything a mere mortal can afford today.

A. Spruce
Re: Surface For Painted Floor

$1200 for 222 square feet sounds a bit exorbitant to me, is this materials and labor or just materials? I would highly recommend shopping around, both different flooring stores AND private flooring contractors. When you interview contractors, ask them where they shop for their materials, pros DO NOT purchase from big boxes or boutique outlets, the good ones use flooring suppliers, places where flooring quality is generally better and cheaper.

I would not recommend the use of plywood because it is not designed for use as flooring and will not hold up. Why not just paint the subfloor and be done? When you get tired of the paint, or it doesn't work out to your expectations, it will be easy enough to cover it up with any type of flooring you wish.

Vinyl sheet goods will be the cheapest and most durable, however, IMHO, who wants a vinyl bedroom floor, unless this room will no longer be a bedroom and you need a water resistant floor in it.

If you are trying to do this yourself, you could use peel and stick vinyl squares, I don't recommend them for a number of reasons, but they are cheap and they will do the job for a couple years until you can afford to do the job right. Another DIY alternative would be Pergo and Pergo-like products, again, I wouldn't recommend or use them due to durability issues, however, it is easy enough to install yourself.

If you truly want a floor that will last, then you are relegated to using good quality materials and likely professional installation, is it going to cost you more this way, sure, however, it is going to last you for years.

The thought I would like to leave you with is this, do you want to improve your home, add value to it, or do something that would be a detriment to value? While a $1200 flooring may not add much value to your home, I can assure you, painted and/or cheap floors will DEVALUE it by at least that much.

Re: Surface For Painted Floor

The quoted prices worry me, but they may be the norm in your area. Always get several bids from recommended contractors for any job you want done and be sure they all would be doing the job the same way with no shortcuts so that you can compare them.

Painted floors can be an OK solution, buying you time to do something better down the road. Stick-on vinyl squares are cheap and easy and do not work well on any surface which is not almost perfect. They never last long before you start having problems but they too can 'buy you time'. Carpet is usually the next cheapest option but it's going out of style unless it';s sculpted expensive stuff. Glued-down sheet vinyl will last a lot longer but it's a bit harder to DIY well and a pain to remove if you want to get back down to the original wood floor later to refinish it. Edge-glued sheet vinyls are easier to do but more prone to tearing where not glued. And the original floor can be refinished even if some wood needs to be replaced.

If cheap and temporary matters most, paint the floor as-is. If you want better and your floor is relatively flat, cheaper laminate may do OK even with it's limited lifespan; just avoid the cheapest stuff as it's essentially junk. If you want a long-life floor a really good laminate would be my choice. None of these will inhibit restoring the original floor later on which would be my ultimate goal. But as Spruce said, it's your house and your choice so do what you want to because it's you that you have to please.


Re: Surface For Painted Floor

Sanding may take out some of the pet stain from the wood, and a dark stain will hide a lot of those spots as well if you want to try sanding and stain.

But if you want to paint the floor than who cares about stains and staple holes? Just seal it with some kilz if it smells, and fill the staple holes with wood putty.

Besides, I think in the 1880s painted floors were common, so it's historically appropriate. My 1865 home seems to have had painted pine floors before someone put linoleum/congoleum down around 1920. The upstairs hallway floor looks to have been painted a very bright and loud yellow. Other rooms were dark brown or grey.

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