We had this weird windowless room with no purpose so we thought to make it a pantry. It needed quite a bit of work to come around to the functional side. Some shelving went in but the floor was a train wreck – awful cheap disgusting carpet.

After that got ripped out, I had to figure out what to put in its place that was sturdy, looked good, and was inexpensive. After visiting a pallet rehabber, the idea was hatched.

More info:

Our final result

The awful cheap carpet

We couldn’t even vacuum it. It would shred and get tangled in the vacuum. Awful. Terrible. Had to go.

Block collecting

I started collecting little blocks of wood already pre-cut from a pallet rehabber over the course of several months. They were for free. And as we know, free is good.

A step

We have one little step down into this room which I covered using smaller, thinner pieces of wood I collected. As you can see, the nails were still in the wood (albeit trimmed by the pallet guys), the wood varied in type, age and size.



I got some foam floor insulating roll stuff, rolled that out and put all the blocks back over it. With a nail gun, I tacked down each block with one or two brad nails.


I mixed up a concoction of fine sawdust, gloss oil based polyurethane, and mineral spirits to thin for the “grout.” I can’t say this was an easy process. It wasn’t.

Hand scraping

The next day the floor was a wreck and I thought I had ruined it. I hadn’t done the best job with the grout and ended up having to hand scrape the whole floor. Ugh.


The last step was two coats of the same gloss oil based polyurethane. It’s all I had time for but it’s holding up well.

Last step: enjoy


We love it. It’s unique, custom, and all for less than $100, with all the wood being free.

Yeah it’s a tad uneven, but sock footed or barefooted is no problem. We wanted the wood to stay in “as-found” condition. There are no splintering pieces as I was very selective, and since this particular room doesn’t vary in temperature or humidity throughout the year, the floor has held up exceptionally well.