Can You Use Pallet Wood As Flooring? Important Things To Keep In Mind

Wood is one of the most widely used flooring materials, and for good reason. Some of the benefits of classic hardwood floors include impressive durability, simple maintenance, and versatility. Wood floors work well in most rooms in kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms, so homeowners often install them throughout a home. Unfortunately, they can be costly. It costs about $6 to $12 per square foot to have wood flooring installed. Wood pallets are an affordable way to obtain the look of hardwood without the high price, and they can be used as flooring successfully. However, there are some caveats.

You might be intrigued by the idea of pallet wood flooring because of its low cost. If you are able to snag pallets from local businesses for free, then you don't have to pay anything for the materials. However, pallets are obviously not designed to act as a floor material. As a result, there are many challenges associated with trying to make pallets work in a home as flooring.

The challenges of pallet wood as flooring

If you plan to move forward with a wood pallet DIY flooring installation, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure success. Free wood pallets can be hard to come by. If you choose to reach out to local businesses to obtain pallets that they would otherwise dispose of, you will probably find it will take months to collect enough to install a brand-new floor. One pallet is only enough to install 2.5 square feet of flooring. You will need to plan accordingly if you prefer to take this approach. Of course, you can also purchase pallets online, but this would make this project a bit more costly.

Another obstacle to keep in mind when collecting used pallets is that there is a chance they may be contaminated with mold, pests, or hazardous chemicals that could pose a risk to you and your family. Some pallets are treated with methyl bromide, a pesticide that is harmful to humans and the environment. You will need to carefully inspect the pallets to ensure they are safe to use. You may also want to consider asking the business you obtained the pallets from whether there is a chance they could have come into contact with any of these contaminants.

How to make wood pallets work

Although there are many challenges associated with using wood pallets as flooring material, you can make them work with a bit of extra effort. Keep in mind that you will have to spend time taking each pallet apart by removing nails. Cleaning each pallet is also one of the most important first steps. You can create a pallet-cleaning solution with ½ gallon of bleach and one to two gallons of water. Spray the liquid onto each piece of wood to help sanitize it before moving forward with floor installation.

You may leave the damp pallets outside to dry completely after spraying them. The sun's UV rays will also act as a disinfectant, which may give you even more assurance that your pallet wood is clean enough to use inside your home. Finally, before using your pallet pieces to create a floor, keep in mind that you will need to run each piece through a wood planer to make them even.