Cheap Flooring Idea: lath floor

 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…

an inexpensive diy flooring idea. The lath floor is beautiful and cheap to diy.[call_to_action link=”” button_label=”Pin and Save!” rounded=”false” btnsize=”medium” color=””]

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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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  1. Tracy
    August 17, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    I would sand it, and then pour that polyresin stuff on it. That stuff makes it pretty much indestructible.

    • Nellie
      August 18, 2017 / 12:59 pm

      Good tip! Although, I will say that the porch paint we used was crazy strong stuff!

  2. Sarah
    April 8, 2015 / 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.

  3. Adam H
    October 10, 2014 / 9:06 pm

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

  4. Nina
    September 27, 2014 / 12:26 am

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

    • Nellie
      September 28, 2014 / 9:48 am

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

  5. rhonda
    September 11, 2014 / 4:45 am

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

  6. Dixie
    July 30, 2014 / 10:57 am

    Could this be glued to concrete slab?

    • August 1, 2014 / 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 / 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 / 12:04 pm

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

  7. Alicia
    July 17, 2014 / 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?

  8. Kelley
    March 29, 2014 / 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.

    • March 29, 2014 / 11:26 pm

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

  9. Jamie
    March 19, 2014 / 3:41 pm

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

    • March 19, 2014 / 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 :)

  10. Kim Borges
    February 28, 2014 / 8:04 pm

    Wonderful work!!

  11. February 25, 2014 / 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 / 10:58 pm

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

  12. Dawn
    February 9, 2014 / 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!!!

    • Beth Christensen
      July 17, 2017 / 8:16 am

      I would love to see a picture of how your floor looks!

  13. Theresa Zuber
    February 7, 2014 / 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.

    • February 8, 2014 / 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!

  14. Rebecca
    January 28, 2014 / 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 :)

    • January 30, 2014 / 3:52 pm

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

  15. Samantha
    January 5, 2014 / 9:50 pm

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

  16. Rachel
    January 5, 2014 / 12:05 pm

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

  17. Kay Pedigo
    January 5, 2014 / 11:53 am

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

  18. TeriLynn
    January 3, 2014 / 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 !!

  19. pierre young
    December 29, 2013 / 3:06 pm

    Do you have a facebook page I love this flooring

  20. November 11, 2013 / 2:49 am

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

  21. Adam
    September 15, 2013 / 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?

    • September 18, 2013 / 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 / 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.

        • October 13, 2013 / 12:09 pm

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

  22. sally white
    August 21, 2013 / 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 / 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

      • August 25, 2013 / 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 / 12:02 pm

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

          • November 21, 2013 / 7:01 pm

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

  23. Logan
    August 6, 2013 / 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!

    • August 6, 2013 / 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!

  24. October 17, 2012 / 8:00 am

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

  25. karah @ the space between
    October 16, 2012 / 8:12 pm

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

  26. October 16, 2012 / 6:34 pm

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

  27. October 16, 2012 / 6:32 pm

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

  28. Jillian Robertson
    October 16, 2012 / 1:13 pm

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

  29. Carla Muller
    October 16, 2012 / 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 / 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!

  30. Meeha Meeha
    October 16, 2012 / 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!

  31. Holly Lefevre LaRock
    October 16, 2012 / 12:27 am

    Brilliant…gorgeous…I want to try this!

  32. Bliss
    October 15, 2012 / 10:07 pm

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


  33. Shasta Farrar
    October 15, 2012 / 9:28 pm

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

  34. Hilani Ellis
    October 15, 2012 / 9:04 pm

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

  35. Jill
    October 15, 2012 / 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 :)

  36. Megan
    October 15, 2012 / 2:35 pm

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

  37. Jessica @ Dear Emmeline
    October 15, 2012 / 9:07 am

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

  38. October 15, 2012 / 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 / 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!

  39. Inspire Me Heather
    October 15, 2012 / 5:38 am

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

  40. Katie Goldsworthy
    October 15, 2012 / 12:37 am

    That is soooo awesome!

  41. miznelliebellie
    October 14, 2012 / 9:49 pm

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

  42. Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations
    October 14, 2012 / 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 / 9:49 pm

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

      • Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations
        October 14, 2012 / 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

  43. Gwen Whitfield
    October 14, 2012 / 9:38 pm

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

  44. Meg @ Nutmeg Place
    October 14, 2012 / 9:24 pm

    Holy moly girl! I LOVE it!!

    • miznelliebellie
      October 14, 2012 / 9:27 pm

      Thanks so much!!

  45. Ashley @ Domestic Imperfection
    October 14, 2012 / 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 / 9:17 pm

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

  46. Shannon Fox
    October 14, 2012 / 9:11 pm

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

    • miznelliebellie
      October 14, 2012 / 9:12 pm

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

  47. Jen @ Four Marrs & One Venus
    October 14, 2012 / 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 / 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 :)

  48. October 14, 2012 / 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 / 8:55 pm

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

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