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Bathroom Remodel – Build A Counter Out Of Wood Flooring

2019 update – Click here to read an updated tutorial on how to make a wood flooring countertop!

How to build a countertop out of wood flooring

As you may or may not know, we have started remodeling our tiny master bathroom. You know that dresser that a gave a makeover the other day?

Dresser makeover

Well, it’s our new bathroom vanity! (or at least we’re working on it.)

Dresser as vanity

Here is a before picture, just for reference.


There was one problem with the dresser/vanity swicharoo….the top of the dresser wasn’t deep enough for the sink I bought. It wasn’t even close actually,  the sink hung over by at least six inches. I really liked the sink I had bought and Adam suggested we just build a new countertop. Sold.

We have built a few wood countertops before (we, haha…I mean Adam) and this time he decided to make things simple and create one out of wood flooring. Usually you make them out of wood planks (like we did in our other bathroom and for our farmhouse table) but to do it right you need a joiner, table saw, planer (or belt sander), kreg jig and bar clamps. We borrowed what we didn’t have in the past but this time Adam just wanted it to be simple. I’m guessing most of you don’t have those tools either, so this way is a nice alternative.

You can use pretty much any flooring you want. For this project Adam wanted unfinished solid hardwood, but we used engineered and prefinished flooring (leftover from our floor) for the countertop in our laundry room.

The unfinished wood was actually a little hard to find, Adam got some maple from a place called S & S Wood Floors in San Antonio.

Hardwood maple wood flooring

To make the countertop he just cut a piece of plywood to size and started gluing the planks on.  (Don’t you judge me just cause I have a washing machine on my front porch!)

How To Make A Wood Counter (without many tools)

How to make your own countertop

He added a piece to the front so that it looks clean and hides all the ugliness.

Wood flooring countertop

And that’s about it…pretty simple. Next we just had to cut a hole for the sink and add sealer to make it water resistant.

Cutting a hole for the sink is pretty easy too, here are the steps…

  1. Have your husband cut out the template.
  2. Have your husband tape the template to the counter (after careful measurements) and trace it.
  3. Have your husband put on his creepiest sweatshirt, haul the counter out to the garage, and cut the hole out with a jigsaw.
  4. Bam, done. How easy was that?

How To Cut A Sink Hole

Next Adam handed it over to me for finishing. I wanted the countertop to be dark, so I grabbed some stain (provincial by Minwax) and went to town…

Bears Butthole

The second Adam got home from work that day he said “Holy crap babe, what did you do to  that countertop?”

“What do you mean? I stained it. You don’t like it?”

“Umm no, it looks terrible. Maple doesn’t stain well, you needed to leave it natural”

So, defeated, I sanded it down and put on a coat of tung oil instead.

Minwax Tung Oil on Maple

Here’s the counter in our bathroom after three coats (I haven’t  sealed it yet)…

Wood Flooring Countertop

Okay, let’s be honest…. I hate the color. I really wanted a dark rustic wood. Adam says we can’t stain cause….well, you know. I haven’t yet figured out how to make us both happy. But I will….you know I will.  Dang miscommunication. If only Adam count see the pictures inside my brain when he is buying wood. The maple is beautiful, really…its just not the right color.

Here are a couple more pictures so you can form your own opinion….

Simple DIY Wood Countertop

how to make a countertop out of wood flooring

I’m going to experiment with it a bit and will post again when I figure it out!

UPDATE – I successfully stained the countertop, GO HERE to read that post.

Stained maple wood flooring countertop

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  1. It looks a lot like the kitchen island I refab’d and I didn’t like it either (but the customer is always right or something). You should have told him that the furry butt-hair stain would have hid his manly shave-stubble. But seriously, what about sealing it with some ebony wax and cowboy it up?

  2. What about the sink drawers? The dresser had drawers? Are you gonna build cabinet style doors for the front to hide the plumbing?

    1. The drawers are going back in, we just aren’t there yet. Its going to take some customization the make it work and I’m pretty sure the middle drawer is going to be a false front.

  3. Sounds exactly like something my husband would say. Or maybe has said. He’s not exactly “in” on my visions. Ya know?

    I agree though. Maple is very pretty, but yes, you can stain it and yes, it’s too buttery for that gorgeous green dresser/vanity.

  4. I also think it looks gorgy, but I’m sure it would either way. I love the fake-job on the depth to fit the sink – brilliant! And it will give you more counterspace.

  5. What color are you going to paint the walls? I’m not a fan of light wood either, but depending on the wall color the lighter top may brighten up a small room.

    1. They are going white and getting a delicate turquoise stencil. Sounds a little weird, I know, but I think it will look really great (and brighten up my tiny dark bathroom). I think I need a dark rustic counter to “man it up” a bit.

  6. I too have a husband who can’t read my mind or my creative vision, but in all fairness, I think I broke him.
    Although I’m not real big on light woods, I like the maple as a countertop. I guess for the sake of both of you getting your way, if you’re not committed to the green you could make that dark. Then do your accents in green.
    Otherwise, it is really pretty just the way it is.

    1. I’m totally married to the green, lol. Adam is okay with dark, he just hates how terribly the maple stains. Its uneven and splotchy, I just need to find a way to make it dark AND even. Maybe if I seal it first and then add stain, like when I messed up my paper bag floors? I don’t know. Thanks for the input :)

  7. You know…. Brawn first stained our new table a dark color. I knew this was to be the underneath and not the final, but I sure didn’t like it and yeah… yeah, that is how I would of described it too. A bears butt hole. Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks Adam.


  8. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, is the dresser standing 6″ away from the wall then? We had maple cabinets at our last house that were stained and they were pretty even. There must be some kind of trick to make it more even, try googling it and let us know if you figure it out. Does it just need to sit for longer with the harder wood? Need multiple, multiple coats? Looking forward to seeing it all done…

  9. I Love the green and I think you should stick with your vision of the dark wood. You have a great eye and our husbands need to trust. I had a similar problem when I stained my yellow pine windows for my husbands den/office a dark mahogany color to match our entertainment center. First I went to Sherwin Williams with a sample (shelf) from the entertainment center and a piece of yellow pine and they custom made a stain color for me to match then I used a wood conditioner (made by Minwax) before applying the stain which helped with the splotchiness. They look great!! I am not sure how it will do over the tung oil though, you may have to sand them again, The guys at Sherwin Williams really know their stuff maybe they could answer that question. Hope this helps.

  10. I have to say I understand wanting the counter dark and think I know exactly the look you were going for, the maple is nice but not when you wanted dark. I used an ebony stain recently on a chair and it made all the difference. Good luck sorting this out between you and Adam.

  11. Oh boy, I am totally feeling you on this post! A) my washer and dryer are currently in the garage. This means I trip over my husband’s tools and car grease and metal shavings on the way to do laundry, and then arrive to find a dryer lid covered in greasy dust and spare car parts. This means that his recently proposed solution to moving the washer and dryer to the back patio was thoroughly approved by moi. A bit of redneck yard decoration in exchange for my sanity? Yes please! and B) of course the menfolk have this thing about disguising high quality wood. I have no magic tricks to help you convince him. Maybe show him Dana’s dark butcher block counter for a visual? Here’s the link. http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/05/22/finishing-the-walnut-butcher-block/ I recently refinished a maple table, and just a word of caution, maple tends to stain blotchily and a pre-treatment (either the one Minwax sells or a half and half solution of wipe-on poly + mineral spirits) will help a lot, especially when trying to stain dark.

  12. Lovely Adam, though helpful, is mental. Men have this obsessive/compulsive/almost unholy love of BARE WOOD. (Gosh…that sounds…never mind). Men glorify wood. Just look at all those ridiculous furniture ads on Kijiji. Men will try to get the highest price for a piece of crap that pleads desperately to be burned. Why? Because it’s WOOD. I say when men start popping out the babies, then they get their say! Until then, stain what you want to Babe!

    1. Haha, thanks for standing up for me! Adam doesn’t care if it goes dark though, he just thinks maple stains terribly. His family owned a custom cabinet shop growing up so he does appreciate the natural beauty of wood. He said he will sand it down for me again and we will figure something out.

  13. I’m usually a dark wood kinda girl too, however, this is pretty.
    What about Sand N’ Sealer before staining ? I have used it with
    some success. Good Luck =)

  14. I can barely take it. I’m obsessed with Adam’s creeper sweathshirt. Mostly bc Jesse has this ONE sweatshirt that looks like someone died in it. And he wears it every weekend all weekend long when I make him crawl in attics and do all the man-projects for me. :) Shhhhhh…..don’t tell anyone!! Love this post, girl!! Oh yeah, and the dresser looks awesome. But I already told you that. You owe me an email…..feel free to take 4 centuries like I did. ~V

  15. Lol! Love the “creepy sweatshirt” comment. JM dresses like a hobo pretty much any time he isn’t going in to the office for work, but it means I have all these great sweatshirts and giant button up horrible ugly plaid flannel shirts to wear as “aprons” when I’m staining something or whatnot. :-)

  16. That counter top looks fantastic. We did the same thing in our powder room turned full bath remodel as well as with our entertainment center in the living room: built a counter top out of flooring. We used oak floring and I stained it Ebony – minwax. Took four coats to get it that nice almost black finish that matches with IKEA’s black-brown cabinets that we used. Love the Moen faucet!

  17. I love the conversation between you and your husband! I’ve had eerily similar conversations with mine. I think the unstained maple looks nice, but I agree with you, the dark wood looks great!

  18. I’m so happy you linked this up to Give Me The Goods Monday! I hope to see you again next Monday ;)
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

  19. I think with this post you may have saved us a lot of trouble and some money, yeahoo, gotta love that one since we don’t have any. Being on SS does not allow for buying planks to make a kitchen counter or anything else for that matter, lol. We happen to have some flooring out in our shed we’ve had for ages. Not enough to do a room but enough to make a new counter top I’d bet. Now I just have to talk the hubs into trying to do it. It’ll take alot of planning, saying naughty words, hollering at me but we’re going to do it. I’m losing my hearing anyway so what the heck.
    We have crappy mfg. home counter tops, no money was wasted on those babies. On top of that our counter top is in shape of a horse shoe in our kitchen. Groan. It’s coming up off the counter and the cheapy front stuff is breaking off in several places. Can you imagine how a new counter top would make me feel? Like I’d struck gold.
    So thankful you did such a great job on your bathroom counter top, it looks gorgeous. I’ll be happy with any shade of wood to get rid of the cruddy white junk that stains if you look at it. Thanks many times, you must have known I needed some inspiration. Gazooks. Happy days. Loved the little peek shot of your little one in first photo. Hope your Mother’s day was wonderful.

  20. I am with you. It needed to be stained darker. Maple is a gorgeous wood, but so is Cherry, Walnut, etc., and….you can stain all of them. I am very amused with your husband’s description of what it looked like stained the first time! Thank you so much for sharing at Redoux!

  21. Hi Ashley,
    I just love this project! Such a great look, with so much character. I can’t get over how much I love it (and I love the darker stain, too!).

    Also, I work with Cassity over at Remodelaholic.com, and we would love to feature you and this whole project. If you’re interested, just drop me a line at [email protected] and we can discuss the details. Thanks!

  22. You guys did a really good job! How long did you guys spend on this project? I’ve been thinking about getting orange county bathroom remodel for our place, but we cant decide if we want to do it ourselves or not. What are some of your recommendations or advice?

  23. In addition to gluing the flooring to the plywood did you also edge glue the boards together to keep them from shrining and/or to keep water from seeping into the cracks?


  24. Hi,
    Great job on the countertop! Glad the stain worked out for you – LOL at the bear hole finish. Been thinkin’ of doing something similar. Might you mention – thickness of flooring pieces and plywood. Was it all 3/4 inch?
    Kent, Washington

  25. Thank you for this post! I just tried to stain my Ikea beach countertops last night and they ended up super blotchy and ugly, and I was pretty crushed. This post gives me hope that a good sanding and some conditioner will fix it! But I’ve learned my lesson now…. test on a leftover piece first.

  26. So I just found this post and love the result! How has the wood lasted on a day-to-day basis after so long? After some mold issues I am very weary of any type of wood in any area where this is even a hint of water. But this process would certainly make it easy to revamp our bathroom sink

  27. Great tutorial! I am a fan of yours- not only did you inspire by floating shelves below my kitchen cabinets, I also used this post to create kitchen countertops! Hope you don’t mind I linked up! Thank you!!!

  28. Yes, a kitchen and bathroom is also the important part of the home which makes your home beautiful. I love all the ideas which make our house, kitchen and bathroom looking shinny. There are many industries which remodel our home kitchen and bathroom and give the best look. There is also a site which makes our kitchen and bathroom beautiful.

  29. How did you make the front edge look so neat? It looks streamline, like one piece. I want to do this but was wondering if I should do a 45° angle rip cut to make it look solid. If this looks just as good, I’ll save myself having to borrow extra tools! Did you just glue the top down or did you also nail it? And how is it holding up for you in a wet area?

  30. This is amazing!
    Can you tell me how you safely removed the top to the old dresser? And why you chose to remove it instead of going on top?
    Thank you!

  31. How did you do the end caps of the countertops on the exposed ends?
    They look absolutely beautiful and I want to give it a shot. Please reply
    Thanks, Dana

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