Cheap Flooring Idea: lath floor

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If you have been following NellieBellie on Facebook you have been aware that I have been neck deep in a revamp of my hallway. I knew that we would be taking up the carpet that was there. But, what to put down…I had no idea. Cheap flooring is hard to find, and often not very attractive. DIY cheap flooring next to impossible! So, I turned to my binder of diy ideas that i had written down over the years. I remembered that I had an idea months ago of making a floor from lath. After talking over the logistics of yet one more of my diy ideas with Nate, my cheap flooring came to be…DIY lath floor.

And this is what we have now after this diy cheap flooring project…

A diy idea for cheap flooring from NellieBellie. Lath floor tutorial. An idea for inexpensive DIY flooring that can keep the costs down if you are willing to do a bit of work!

Right?!?? Can you believe that? I am soo excited about this project. The best part? The cheap flooring cost me…

Cost breakdown…

  • $14.00 for the wood.
  • $35.00 for the paint (it was fancy pancy because I wanted texture and super strong!)
  • $28.00 for the threshold thingys. ( I needed 4 of them suckers)

Seriously people. I spent the most  money on stuff other then the floor itself. How is this possible??? I’m a cheap flooring whiz, if I don’t say so myself!

Let me show you how this diy project went. You might want to try it!


  1. You need to remove the carpet. This is tough. I skipped my workout that day and did this instead. Okay, for real…I don’t have workouts. But, I skipped my workout that I thought of doing.The trick is at the bedroom seams. You should have a seam from when they laid the carpet. Hopefully, you can just pull it apart nice and easy. If not, pull out the cutters and cut nice and straight!

how to install cheap flooring: diy lath floor tutorial. 2. Take up the stairs and the carpet pad. Watch out for the spiky things along the wall edges. Those things are NASTY!! You will have staples EVERYWHERE! And gaps between the stairs and wall (if you are doing stairs)

NellieBellie: diy lath floor tutorial. create this darling diy floor for cheap cheap cheap!

So, enlist some help to take turns taking out staples. You cannot forget a staple. They need to come out!! Your feet will thank you. Or your butt (no really, Nate totally sat on a staple. Is it wrong that I giggled?)

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Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Sarah

    April 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Did you do the lath down the entire stairway? I love what you have done, it has inspired me to replace my lanolium floors with lath in our hallway! And the carpet on our stairs. Just curious if you posted or have any photos of the stairs.

  2. Adam H

    October 10, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    When you nailed it down do you do it diagonally like traditional hardwood or did you staple/screw through the top?

  3. Nina

    September 27, 2014 at 12:26 am

    it’s brilliant. Where did you buy your wood laths? Thanks.

    • Nellie

      September 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

      We got ours at Menards. I believe they are available at most lumber yards as well.

  4. rhonda

    September 11, 2014 at 4:45 am

    that is a BRILLIANT idea!!! wow- congrats.

  5. Dixie

    July 30, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Could this be glued to concrete slab?

    • the Bellie

      August 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Um…we have absolutely no idea! Not the answer you wanted…but hey, honesty is better than telling you it will work and then finding out later we are liars, right?

    • Ollie Horton

      September 18, 2014 at 10:07 am

      I have seen on Pinterest where some have used Liquid Nails or some other super duty glue to glue down wood floors. I will be attempting this as we have concrete floors under our carpet.

      • Nellie

        October 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        Good luck! Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

  6. Alicia

    July 17, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Great idea for floors in trailors, light weight and mommy can do it. What do you recommend, before we moved in, the lamenant floor was is actually the subfloor, so lath or reclaimed pallets for floor to place over after removing lament tiles?

  7. Kelley

    March 29, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    What type of nails did you use to keep the wood from splitting? We are doing our floors with the Lath and we are afraid that it will split. My father in law has a nail gun fo us to use. We just need to know what size nails.

    • the Bellie

      March 29, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      We don’t remember the exact number, but they were just basic finishing nails that fit in our nail gun…

  8. Jamie

    March 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    How does it look now??? I want to try this but I want to see how its held up!

    • postitmaster

      March 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      There’s actually a link at the bottom of the post to show how it held up. I could get the link for you…but to be honest, I’m too lazy today :)

  9. Kim Borges

    February 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Wonderful work!!

  10. Gail @

    February 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    WOW! This is such a huge difference. Love the color you chose for the floor. It really looks great!

    • Anonymous

      July 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      What kind of paint did you use? How is it holding up? Looks great!

  11. Dawn

    February 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Hi! I was tickled pink when I saw you did this! I did something very similar to my entire house (except the kitchen, which I still want to do!) I work at Home Depot, so I had one of the guys rip bunch of plywood (quarter inch I believe) into twelve inch planks. I staggered them and screwed them down with deck screws. I was looking for an “Old Farm House” look, and that’s exactly what I got!! I painted them white with porch and floor paint, and they have been down for about 8 years, and get better looking the more beat up they get. And trust me, with 3 cats, a puppy, a 16 year old and a husband that works outdoors every day, they take a beating!!! I just mop them like you would a regular floor because the porch and floor paint is made for outdoors and can take the moisture. Thanks for sharing that, now you lit a spark under my butt to do the kitchen!!! And my husband will thank you for that!! Have a great day!!!

  12. Theresa Zuber

    February 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I used lathe to cover the wall under the bar at my sons house. We love how it looks! We stained his and applied it to a piece of plywood for the base and then installed the plywood on the upright wall. After it was screwed to the studs we applied the final strips of lathe to cover the wood screws . Inexpensive but time consuming. :) However the end product was so worth it. I got my inspiration from a bar front at a Starbucks.

    • miznelliebellie

      February 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      That’s a great idea! I love using lathe. It is time consuming but it turns out such a cool end result!

  13. Rebecca

    January 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

    My husband and I are OBSESSED with this!! Mind if I ask how it’s holding up now that you’d had it down for a while? We’re thinking about putting the same down in his man cave. It won’t be a super high traffic area like your is, so I think it’ll be fine. Just wondering :)

    • miznelliebellie

      January 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      It is holding up beautifully for us! I am fairly certain the super paint helps, but…we are loving this!!

  14. Samantha

    January 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Go Girl! Spectacular!!! Love cheap and giving anything a try.

  15. Rachel

    January 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Looks awesome! What paint did you use??? I love love loveeee the color!

  16. Kay Pedigo

    January 5, 2014 at 11:53 am

    The color of the floor against the white walls is “eye candy.” Great idea!

  17. TeriLynn

    January 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Did you give it a sanding before painting it? And I was also wondering, do you have it in a “high traffic” house? I currently have carpet and dogs, they are all trained but I still can’t figure out how to teach them to wipe their own paws before coming in. Lol oh and kids too so just wondering how it would compare for wearing issues. I’m totally thinking of doing this in my kitchen, dining and living room areas !! Thank you for the tutorial. Awesome idea. I’m totally gonna try it !!

  18. pierre young

    December 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Do you have a facebook page I love this flooring

  19. Daphne

    November 11, 2013 at 2:49 am

    what a transformation. Congrats! I so love the color, very cool to the eyes :)

  20. Adam

    September 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Looks really pretty. How’s it holding up a year later? Have you seen the tutorial about using plywood ripped into strips to create a floor? Any experience with that?

    • miznelliebellie

      September 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

      It is holding up fantastic!! I might give it a quick coat of paint. Yes…I have seen that. No, I don’t. Truthfully…this floor is so wonderful that I wouldn’t feel the need to try something else!

      • Anonymous

        October 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        Thank you so much for this tutorial. I yanked up some stair carpet (after unsuccessfully trying to patch a problem area). I was not planning to do that nor suddenly find myself needing to spend a fortune to have new wooden treads or some other option put in. I was thinking of doing lath strips, since they are so easy to cut. I thought I would stain them. As you said, it is a cheap solution and if it does’t last – no big deal. It was great to hear they have held up.

        • miznelliebellie

          October 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm

          I’m so glad to hear I gave you some inspiration for getting fabulous without costing alot of money!

  21. sally white

    August 21, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Hi love it ..I think Im going to do this ..question “ dont you have to put space between the boards? I thought you had to ..what nails did you use “ nail gun or a hammer” did you glue them down first and I am sure you sanded after …great I want to do it too….sally

    • sally white

      August 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Hi love it ..I think Im going to do this ..question “ dont you have to put space between the boards? I thought you had to ..what nails did you use “ nail gun or a hammer” did you glue them down first and I am sure you sanded after …great I want to do it too….sally

      • miznelliebellie

        August 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

        I didn’t put space between the boards. Well, I take that back…I stuck a penny in between each one (the vertical way). We used a nail gun and yes…sanded them afterwards!

        • kate

          November 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

          Did you nail the face of the boards or the edges?

          • miznelliebellie

            November 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm

            On the face. I think if you were to nail on the edges there would be splitting?

  22. Logan

    August 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

    We were inspired by your lath flooring months ago and decided to give it a try throughout our mobile home. We tore up carpet, took out a bathroom, replaced some subfloor, and then laid the floor. We used staple guns and it went down pretty fast. We included some holey pieces and different colors of the strips (red, grey, etc). We sanded it smooth and added 7 layers of polyurethane…. BEAUTIFUL! Everyone who walks in loves it. Thanks for the cheap inspiration!

    • miznelliebellie

      August 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      That is incredible! I am so pleased to hear it…and love your 7 coats of polyurethane AND the strips of color. What a fabulous idea! Thank you so much for letting me know of your success. And congrats on that hard work!

  23. Dawn Brown-Di Donato

    October 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

    AAAAAAMMMMMAAAAAAAAAZING!!!!! Thank you sooooo much for saving me a bundle on my master bedroom build!!

  24. Steph@The SillyPearl

    October 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Wow! What a beautiful transformation! I had not even heard of lath…thanks for sharing what it is!

  25. karah @ the space between

    October 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    this is a great use of inexpensive wood. awesome look!!!

  26. Paula@SweetPea

    October 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Your new floor looks great! I like the color that you chose.

  27. Jessica@fourgenerationsoneroof

    October 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Looks great! I’m sure you are glad it is finished :) Lots of work huh?!

  28. Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

    October 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I am in love with your new floor! My favorite color and my favorite budget, cheap! Fabulous!

  29. Jillian Robertson

    October 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Wow wow! That is awesome! I wish we had a house. *sad face* Great job! :)

  30. Carla Muller

    October 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Looks great! Did you prime, paint and then seal the floor? Did you use floor paint like the kind for outdoor wooden porches? If not, what kinda paint did you use?

    • miznelliebellie

      October 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Carla!!
      These were painted with a specialty paint …Porch and Floor by Dutch Boy with primer/sealer. This is a very, very sturdy paint. It is for porches. And, I love it.
      Love that floor! Looks all gappy and old.
      P.S. thanks for commenting!

  31. Meeha Meeha

    October 16, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Beautiful boards, Nellie, such a great color! It looks like award season in Blogoland, so please come over to receive the Dardos Award!

  32. Holly Lefevre LaRock

    October 16, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Brilliant…gorgeous…I want to try this!

  33. Bliss

    October 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    You picked the perfect color for the cottage look. You and your helpers did good, looking forward to the reveal.


  34. Shasta Farrar

    October 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Good job, girl! Beautiful color. Thanks for answering that lathe question….I had no idea what that was.

  35. Hilani Ellis

    October 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Wow, girl you got it going on! :) Great project!

  36. Jill

    October 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Love, love, love the color and the cost can’t be beat! I asked for lath at the local big box store and got a tilted-doggy-head “huh?” Oh well, I’ll keep looking and in the meantime drool over your floor :)

  37. Megan

    October 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Your floor is amazing! Wow…I love the color. Megan {Our Pinteresting Family}

  38. Jessica @ Dear Emmeline

    October 15, 2012 at 9:07 am

    looks great Janel! I love a pretty cottagy floor. :)

  39. Anne@DesignDreams

    October 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Lucky you finding all those bundles of the same widths! Although staggering widths might be another cool look. Really love this project – when did you sand the lathe? before or after the install?? Have a great week!

    • miznelliebellie

      October 15, 2012 at 7:53 am

      Believe it or not…I didn’t sand the lathe. This stuff was so great. And I used a very thick paint that eliminated all need for sanding. But, you are right…it is a step that should probably be done if necessary!

  40. Inspire Me Heather

    October 15, 2012 at 5:38 am

    GET OUT! Wow, that looks so beautiful – well done girl!

  41. Katie Goldsworthy

    October 15, 2012 at 12:37 am

    That is soooo awesome!

  42. Korrie@RedHenHome

    October 14, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Wow! This is truly amazing. Great work!

  43. miznelliebellie

    October 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    See potatoes and aqua floors. It’s meant to be :)

  44. Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations

    October 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Holy crapola!!! Those are AWESOME!!! And EXCELLENT Tutorial! I’m leaving this on my dear husband’s FB page, so he can get over his “not again” phase before he gets home from work!

    Kristy @ Shona Skye Creation

    • miznelliebellie

      October 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks!! Good luck on getting your husband over the phase :).

      • Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations

        October 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm

        He’s a dork. He said, “You want blue floors?” While I love your color choice, it wouldn’t work in my house. I said, “No, goofball, I want to try the technique!” LOL

  45. Gwen Whitfield

    October 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    You go girl! It’s simply amazingz!!!

  46. Meg @ Nutmeg Place

    October 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Holy moly girl! I LOVE it!!

    • miznelliebellie

      October 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks so much!!

  47. Ashley @ Domestic Imperfection

    October 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    This looks amazing, Janel! The color is fantastic and the price is even better :) Also, I may be a little late in noticing, but I love your new picture… you look beautiful!

    • miznelliebellie

      October 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you!! You aren’t late…it was just added yesterday!! You are right on time! Thanks for noticing!

  48. Shannon Fox

    October 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    More with the teasing? Well.. I LOVE the color, It’s like a tropical vacation :))))

    • miznelliebellie

      October 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      absolutely! Milking this one. Really, I’m still working on pictures.

  49. Jen @ Four Marrs & One Venus

    October 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Good Gosh Holy Smosh – this is AMAZING~!!!! Love that Floor…one day I will come over and dance my feet across it- One day I will! Great job!!

    • miznelliebellie

      October 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      some day we will sit and chat right on that floor. why bother with furniture when we can use the gorgeous floor :)

  50. Natalie Davidson

    October 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    You know thats my favorite colour right? So I’m in the front row to see the big reveal!!!! Cant wait. And so far – looks AWESOME!!!!! xxx Nat

    • miznelliebellie

      October 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks Nat!! I love that color too…so pretty!!

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