Can I use wood pallets for flooring?

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

I'm wondering if I could use wood pallets for flooring, (taking them apart of course :)
and then paint them white and distress them with a light sanding, and then coat with an acrylic urethane.
Has anyone had any experience with using wood pallets for flooring or with a white painted floor?
Any other ideas for a cheap floor? It will be going in a 900 sq ft upstairs with 2 kids bedrooms, a guest bedroom, a bathroom and a small living room/play area.
I really don't want to spend a lot of money on flooring as these rooms are rather small and by the time I get furniture in there you won't be able to see a lot of floor anyway. I'd rather spend my money downstairs.
I seen some threads on brown bagging, but I don't think my husband would go for that. Might do it anyway!? cheap flooring anyone?

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Are you going to have a subfloor to put the pallet wood on? The individual wood planks from the pallets may not be strong enough to support much weight without a subfloor or a lot of bracing.

The wood planks are also very rough. You'd need to sand them thoroughly and get them smooth so no one gets splinters from walking across the floor.

Once smooth, you could even stain them I bet. The stain might hold up better to foot traffic than paint would. And then if you don't like what it looks like, you can always watch freecycle or freesharing or Craigslist for free or cheap carpet to cover the floor.

I like the brown bagging idea too and have been considering doing that to my dining room floor. Wuvie makes it look so easy, doesn't she? She sure is a creative woman.

Whatever you do, Lily, please share pictures. You know I want to see!


Missouri City, TX

Some pallets may have some exotic woods. Motorcycles shipped form the East Indies sometimes have magogany boards.

If you wnat to use them, be sure to check for any hidden metal with a metal detector then plane to the same thickness.
This will allow ypu to see what species or color the wood really is. You want it matching - even though you are going to paint it.
I would run them through a router table with tongue & groove bits to make a solid floor.

Sand to about 120 to 150 grit. This can be done once the floor is laid. Rent a floor sander for a day. If the boards were planed properly, it should not take many sanding belts, disks, etc. to finish. Be sure to buy more than you think you need - you can return the unused ones for credit. Also get several different grits and work from the lowest grit count to the highest - do not skip grits - the scratches from the courser grit will still show. Paint can cover some, but not all of those.

Like Nancy/Ann said - take pictures - before, during & after. Also be sure to take pictures of the products used. You will need to touch up form time to time and want the results to match.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

I was at Home Depot today and picked up some samples of Allure resilient plank flooring. I broke out in a rash and my throat started itching and my eyes swelled.
I didn't connect it to the sample right away. I am allergic to everything anyway, so it could be who knows what. Well as the day went on, every time I handled it, I had a reaction. I finally put it together. After the symptoms calmed again, I put the sample right on my face. I immediately broke out in a rash and my mouth, throat, eyes started severely itching and swelling.
I am afraid to use ANY vinyl or 'fake' wood type flooring now :(

I will be forced with using a real wood product it looks like.

Missouri City, TX

Sorry to learn of your reaction to Allure. We used it in our restaurant. It has been installed nearly 3 years now and some of the "wood picture" has been scrubbed away by the traffic, but over all it has stayed together. You might want to contact the manufacturer and expalin your situtiation and ask what chemicals could be causing your reaction.

Is there a Lumber Liquidators store near you? Might check some of their enginerred floor samples to see if you have a reaction to the chemicals used in them, too.

Many natural woods can be toxic - cedar sanding dust for instance. So, going with a natural wood should should be checked carefully.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

I tried to leave a comment on the product rating on HD website to review the flooring.

I explained that I had a very bad allergic reaction to the sample and that people who are sensitive to chemicals, smells or have bad allergies may want to consider a more natural alternative for their flooring. My comment was not approved for posting! imagine that!

Apparently they only allow positive comments.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

wow I just ran across this website which talks about the problems people are having with the
Allure flooring sold at Home Depot, apparently it looks like the company manufacturing AND selling knows there is a problem but refuses to do anything. Looks like the product is made in China and malaysia and is produced using recycled vinyl flooring. I never thought about it before, but I think there was some gypsum board sold a few years back from China that was making people sick and there was a big lawsuit about that. I am going to start paying more attention to where some of my building materials are coming from. I definitely do not want to build a house that is full of poisons! I cannot believe that HD would know there was such a problem with this flooring and yet continue selling it!

Seattle, WA

Yikes. I love your idea of using the pallets, esp. if you can get them for free! Where did you see the brown bagging thread? Do you mean brown paper bags?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I know this thread is a couple of months old I'll reply anyway. I think you might be able to but it is going to be a supreme pain to do it. Pallets are made out of the poorest grade of wood around. Some are hard wood and some are soft wood. I'd expect a yield no more than a quarter of wood buy the time you get rid of the pieces that are too bowed, cupped broken or whatever. The main problem is that the boards are really too thin to start with.

I'd go over to the habitat for Humanities store and see what they have reclaimed.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

We have decided to use porcelain tile with a wood grain pattern. It is about $4 a sq ft, but it will be worth it, permanent and look good, be easy to clean!

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

That's good. If it's like the quarry tile various places like restaurants use it's super durable.

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