custom plywood floor patchwork design using salvaged/recycled veneer ply cut-offs

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Project by meanjgreen posted 08-29-2011 08:09 AM 12034 views 5 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

custom floor using 5/8 plywood. I have been salvaging and saving veneer or veneered plywoods from Walter P Sauer’s scrap bins and other local manufacturer’s in Brooklyn for a while. Recently got a chance to put them to use. Got a client to go for it, and luckily everything has been working out so far. Am on to a finish currently, gonna tie, or attempt to tie all the different pieces/tiles together, as well as for protection and preservation-by using polyurethane (high-build). this is my first floor, among several “firsts” with this project. am concerned with my approach to the finish. (having different finishes on the unique woods/pieces used.) Underneath was an original wood floor, looked maybe 1960’s or 50’s, and that was revealed after pulling up some old nasty linoleum or laminate squares. Used wood glue, and square-bit/head wood screws. made a 5/8”x 1” custom trim around edges out of solid walnut from an old dinner table’s legs. This project is on the second floor of a brownstone in the Gawanis/Caroll Gardens area of Brooklyn. Will upload the pics of finished product.

-- Saving the planet! handmade object at a time. ~J. Greene - Montgomery, Al. Residing in (Greenpoint) Brooklyn, NY

17 comments so far

View ChadR's profile


80 posts in 1482 days

#1 posted 08-29-2011 08:20 AM

That is really cool. I would love to see more photos if you have them.

-- Some people have a way with words... some people... not... have way.

View StumpyNubs's profile


6555 posts in 1805 days

#2 posted 08-29-2011 01:22 PM

I love it except for one thing- are the square head wood screws visable? Looks like they are in the photo. Visable screws on a floor are an eyesore in my opinion, especially a modern looking square head. (A slotted head would give it some character, but would be a serious pain to drive all of them in!) I would have covered the heads the with wood plugs of a contrasting color.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View amagineer's profile


1399 posts in 1602 days

#3 posted 08-29-2011 01:31 PM

It must be difficult to piece together a pattern like that. Will you have an issue with so many small pieces with twisting or bowing?

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2081 days

#4 posted 08-29-2011 02:25 PM

I think it looks cool as heck! My oldest daughters room will soon be converted into an office / sewing room / drum rehearsal (youngest daughter) room. I’m thinking something like this would look flat out cool in there. Better start saving my scraps…..

Thanks for sharing and the idea…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Manitario's profile


2386 posts in 1888 days

#5 posted 08-29-2011 04:19 PM

wow, interesting idea! It is a modern twist on the old plank flooring. More pics would be nice and some pics once you finish it.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View StumpyNubs's profile


6555 posts in 1805 days

#6 posted 08-29-2011 05:00 PM

Hope my point above didn’t step on your toes. It doesn’t take away from the great idea you had at all. It’s just my personal opinion :)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View B13's profile


463 posts in 1698 days

#7 posted 08-29-2011 05:04 PM

Great save! that rocks!

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2996 days

#8 posted 08-29-2011 05:44 PM

I’m with StumpyNubs – love the idea but the screws kinda bug me. Do some of those pieces have cuts in them (are they filled if so?) cool looking floor.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Sarit's profile


494 posts in 2144 days

#9 posted 08-29-2011 06:13 PM

That’s wildly creative. I love the look.

I’m guessing the client will never be able to refinish the floor without sanding right through the veneer. It might be important to make sure they know that.

I’m with StumpyNubs too, if you plug them with some contrasting walnut plugs, it will really be an eye catcher. You can always make a small mockup and see if the client will pay you more to do the plugs.

View deon's profile


2355 posts in 2030 days

#10 posted 08-29-2011 06:55 PM

Looks good!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Brett's profile


918 posts in 1764 days

#11 posted 08-29-2011 07:10 PM

Way Super Cool! I love this kind of stuff. Great idea. Now I am going to start packratting plywood cutoffs. We need more pictures when you get them.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View spud72's profile


321 posts in 2499 days

#12 posted 08-30-2011 12:26 AM

Original concept, well done.

-- Guy,PEI

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 1638 days

#13 posted 08-30-2011 03:39 AM

Will there be issues with wood movement during seasonal changes in NYC?

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

View meanjgreen's profile


22 posts in 1571 days

#14 posted 09-01-2011 02:40 AM

great comments guys! Thnks! yes the screws was an issue and I contemplated it from the get-go. 1st let me say that originally I was contracted to buy an Ikea laminate deal to put down and I just was really bummed to even have to go there. but my client is just a younger girl who has had recent success as an entrepreneur and wants to do some things bit by no means has a lot of money and the kicker-she doesn’t even own, she’s paying rent! the dead-beat landlord is getting free upgrades! but were having fun and it’s been a free-cycling adventure. It’s great.

I had just really been wanting to try a floor like this (the ply) and I wanted to make my client happy as well as produce something that might be something to bring me more work as I’m a new resident to brooklyn and trying to build clientele. so the floor I offered at the same price. needless to say I had to use why I could find or already had. that being said originally planned to leave the screws as is but since have used wood filler which yes I like better, and is a nice attention to detail. so yay!

Were on to a beautiful 8’x2’ piece of BEAUTIFUL granite that’s white-ish with amazing brown, orange, grey, and yellow-ish lines and sunburst looking natural colorations in the stone/rock. plans- a dining table against a wall with an extension below that will slide out for a larger surface area.. found it night after Irene. not sure about if a company just didn’t have a use for it or storage, or the storm had something to do with it. regardless a huge score on the scavenger – front! As a metal worker I’ve always had fun trying to defy gravity and just see what I could get-away with, going against typical ways to build, and support weight (safely) so should be fun, were gonna try and float it by anchoring to a brick wall that we plan to strip(paint) and expose. stand by!!

-- Saving the planet! handmade object at a time. ~J. Greene - Montgomery, Al. Residing in (Greenpoint) Brooklyn, NY

View meanjgreen's profile


22 posts in 1571 days

#15 posted 09-01-2011 02:54 AM

yea I did explain the veneer and sanding issues when a concern surfaced. there were just a few (thankfully) issues that normally sanding might have been used but I addressed them by manipulating the poly-finish as coats were being applied and all-good! one concern has been trying tonneau her off it after those luckily some out of town trips by her.

-- Saving the planet! handmade object at a time. ~J. Greene - Montgomery, Al. Residing in (Greenpoint) Brooklyn, NY

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