Home » DIY Plywood Floors/Part Two/Bathroom Install

DIY Plywood Floors/Part Two/Bathroom Install

Welcome to Part Two, the Bathroom Install in my DIY Plywood Floor Series.  If you missed part one, where I discussed the cost and install, you can read that here.  In this post I am going to show you how we installed it in our bathroom and the steps we took to fight future moisture problems.


Let me first state that wood flooring is not at the top of the list of popular flooring to install in a bathroom because of the constant state of moisture that a bathroom can be in. When we were considering installing plywood, we did some research and these articles here and here helped us decide that it was worth a try if we took the proper steps to insure the floors would be as durable as possible to moisture.

plywoodfloorbathroomWe started just like the other rooms with 3/4″ sub-floor.  The planks were cut previously by Weirton Lumber into 8″ planks, so we just had to be cut to fit lengthwise, making sure to stagger the seems like we did in the previous rooms.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomThere are two things that make this install different than the bedrooms.  One, we used 100% clear silicone around each plank and Two, we used a considerable amount more nails than before.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomThis is graphic explains how we did it.  Before we installed each plank, we put a fine bead of silicone around each piece, and the surrounding planks.  Then once we had it in place, we nailed it down, using the same size nails from the previous rooms, but instead of nailing a row every 16″, we nailed every 4″ around the perimeter of the plank.  Then we nailed a few down the middle and wiped up any silicone that might have oozed out.  Let me walk you thru this step by step.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomTake a measurement of the plank you need to install.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomMeasure twice, cut once.  We used a circular saw.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomApply a bead of silicone to the planks that will be touching the one you are installing.  We went around the perimeter of the room with silicone later on.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomMake sure you get all the sides, including the plank you are installing.diyplywoodfloorbathroomOnce you have your plank down, now you are going to nail it in place.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomUsing the same finish nailer that we used in the bedrooms, we nailed one every 4″ going along the perimeter of the board.  If the plank is a little bowed, just use more nails.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomMake sure that the seams were really tight. Remember the nails are really tiny and they sink into the wood, so don’t be afraid to use more if necessary.  Just do the majority around the perimeter of the plank instead of rows down the middle.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomOK, so here is where you have to pay attention.  As you go along, make sure to use a damp towel to wipe up any silicone that comes thru the seams.  If you do not do this, when you go to apply your finish, it will not take and your original plywood color will show thru.  It is like clear rubber, nothing will stick to it.  (I am speaking from experience……cue sad music.)

diyplywoodfloorbathroomJust keep repeating those steps until all of the flooring is down.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomWhen we finished installing the floor, we also applied silicone around the closet flange for the toilet.  This is not the most glamorous picture, but it is the best I could do.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomIn case you are wondering, I am not experienced in plumbing toilets, and I didn’t take any photos of this part, so I made this graphic to explain how we made sure our toilet was correctly installed on top of the finished floor.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomWe did one more step before applying the finish.  We went around the whole perimeter of the room and put a bead of silicone where the plywood met the walls and bathtub.  Our goal was to get the floor to be as sealed as much as a pool would be.  If there was a toilet overflow or a bunch of water on the floor from the kids showering, it was going to be extremely difficult for the water to make its way under the plywood flooring.  We want it to just stay on top of the floor so we can wipe it up.

diyplywoodfloorbathroomHere it is with the paint and four coats of clear top coat.  Nice right?

The kids have been using the bathroom for about 2 months now, and so far so good.  I have shower mats for them to put down when they get out of the shower, and they pick them up again when they are done. And I also have a coat rack for them to hang up their wet towels so they don’t end up on the floor.

I am really pleased with the floors, and I am so glad that we have one seamless floor for the whole upstairs.  No ugly thresholds for me!  As far as longevity, we won’t know for a while if all of the silicone we used works well enough to ensure that no moisture builds up underneath, but we sure did our best to prevent it.

I will mention that we installed the flooring before we installed our sinks and toilet, and we recommend you doing the same.  It would be really difficult to silicone and cut you plywood to fit around an existing sink and toilet.

Thanks for hanging around, next week I am going to show you how I picked the color of the floor and the application process.  I will gladly answer any questions you have and don’t forget to Pin for later!

Part Three – The Floor Color

Part Four – Update and Summary



  1. Jessica says:

    Hi. I’m looking at doing this in my bathroom and this tutorial is super helpful! I was just wondering how it’s holding up? It’s been almost a year since you posted this, has there been any problems with moisture or anything?

    • Sarah-Marie says:

      Hi Jessica! The bathroom floors look just as good as the day we installed them! I was a bit paranoid at first, with 4 kids using the bathroom everyday, but so far so good. I put a small area rug near the sinks and the kids use small bath mats when they get out of the shower to catch drips….no problems so far! I have used a swiffer wet jet on the floors to clean them and still no issues. I think the silicone is the magic ingredient to this project, best of luck!!

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