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Old 12-16-2015, 05:27 PM   #1
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Pallet flooring

Evening all,

I have an '82 Apollo that im going to be renovating the inside of in the near future. I was looking into putting down an engineered hard wood as i have heard alot of good success with this type of flooring. I then came across an artical where some guys used the boards off of some used pallets to refloor their living room. I thought i might try the same in the Apollo after jointing and plaining and varnishing they screwed them down and with all the variations in color and grain the flooring looked wicked and very unique.

So my question is would the pallet planks work?

I know wood expands, and those that have used engineered hard wood glue down their flooring because it doesnt expand or is less likely to. I know there is some flex in the chassis as well but i assuem this works as again it has been done before with the engineered.

Thanks in advance!!!

Matt
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:10 PM   #2
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Wow...very good question.
I think you might have a hard time getting enough pallets with the same type of wood. some pallets use oak, and others softer wood.

On the construction side, you would have to have a good sub-floor to fasten to.
And this "could" cause height (thickness) problems.

But if you had a solution to those issues, you should be fine.

regards,
Dan
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:42 AM   #3
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it would probably work but would be a lot of work. Pallets are dirty and full of gritty sand so they are very hard on your tools.

I think most of our pallets in the south are oak.

There is a pallet company on I10 east of San Antonio that will sell you a pickup truck load of pallet cut offs for $10
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:48 AM   #4
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Pallet wood can look nice but it is a pain to work with.

We used them in the art to make things as it is cheap oak.

Problem is the nails are ring shank and impossible to get out without damaging the boards.

They use a special band saw to cut the nails to remove boards or you could use a bird beak nail puller.

If you cut between the rails you have short boards.

Short answer is it could work with a ton of labor but the material is cull wood and not very stable.

You may check with the flooring places to see if you can get remnants or leftovers from flooring jobs or just get the engineered stuff.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:26 AM   #5
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Far more trouble than it's worth, unless you have a free source of lots of pallets. And even then I would not bother (for the reasons TQ60 cites). Pallet are made of the coarsest, cheapest, tough wood and used ones are broken and filthy. Unless you want a really distressed wood appearance, you will need a planer and wear out many blades making decent looking flooring from them.

An RV doesn't have a lot of sq ft of floor, so materials cost is not a big factor. The job is mostly labor, a lot of fussing with fit and cuts. And a lot of prep work on the subfloor. Buy a nice quality (aka "luxury") laminate, vinyl plank, or engineered wood and go for it.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:26 AM   #6
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Thank you guys for all the quick responses. I know there isnt alot of floor space I just thought it looked cool and would be differnt. However after reading yalls thoughts and opinions i believe im going to go with engineered. I never thought about how dirty the wood would be and how hard on my tools it would be. I can pick up pallets for free, or find places that sell them pretty cheap. Thanks guys for the input, i appricate it! I included a pic of what i was going for for grins.

Thanks Guys,

Matt
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:40 AM   #7
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Somebody did a LOT OF WORK to plane, fit, sand and varnish those pallet boards!

Looking at this floor, I am also reminded that pallets don't have fixed board widths either - they use whatever rough cuts are cheap and available. Trimming them all to some consistent width is yet another chore.

I've used pallets for several things over the years and always end up concluding it was more trouble than it was worth.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:43 AM   #8
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What you want is hickory. It can gain the same effect as the pallets light/dark. I did my last rv in it and it was great looking.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:05 PM   #9
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Gary: Yeah the blog that I found the idea from, the folks planed them several times, used a jointer to make sure they all fit right, and sanded and varnished for quite some time. One of the perks for me was that they wouldn't be all the same width. I want to say in the blog they had 3",4", and 5" boards and worked them in, in some sort of pattern. something like 2 rows of 3", 3 rows of 4", and a row of 5"... rinse and repeat. I figured I could so something similar in the Apollo.

SCEP: Very cool! I was actually looking at some engineered hickory having the same color differentiation online. I believe that's the way I'm going to go.

Thanks guys, I believe I'm going to have to let the pallet dream sail in favor of the engineered hardwood. It seems like a bunch of work, that I'm ok with, but the amount of time per end result seem to be unanimously one sided.

Thanks

Matt
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:21 AM   #10
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the pallet wood is full thickness - usually 3/4 inch
full thickness wood has the tendency to attract moisture on the edges resulting in a cupping effect. I have full thick oak in a hallway in the house and it cups on the edges when the moisture level increases
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:47 AM   #11
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I would be careful in selecting pallets. With all the foreign trade taking place now the law requires that pallets be pressure treated with insecticide. That could be harmful to your health in a small space.
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:13 AM   #12
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Denniscw, You are aboslutely right, yet another aspect i had not considered. I worked for lowes for a few years, and now im in the plant inspection biz. I remember we had to have gloves on to load pressure treated wood, and ive been to a few chemical plants where they make the stuff they pressure treat wood with. Really really nasty stuff. With an 18 mo. old and dog i dont want them running around and playing on all that.

Matt
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
One of the perks for me was that they wouldn't be all the same width. I want to say in the blog they had 3",4", and 5" boards and worked them in
I get that, but you still have to true up each row. Mixing widths is the same row makes for a whole lot of work fitting uneven board together - sort of like building a natural stone wall.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:44 AM   #14
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Sometimes free can be higher cost than just buying what you want.
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