How to Make Over a Dining Room Table With Hardwood Flooring

Do you have a worn-out, solid wood dining table that needs new life? Learn how to resurface it using inexpensive flooring boards.

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter


Skill Level
Estimated Cost $150
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Tools and Materials

  • compressor
  • nail gun
  • 2" finish nails
  • measuring tape
  • paintbrush
  • stain
  • rags
  • orbital sander
  • 40-grit sanding pads
  • speed square
  • miter saw
  • table saw
  • 1 box of 3.25" hardwood flooring
  • polyurethane
  • safety glasses
  • gloves
  • hammer
  • construction adhesive
  • caulk gun
  • paint and primer-in-one
  • pencil

Step 1: Clean Table

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter


Clean the surface of the existing table. Even though construction adhesive is heavy duty, make sure the surface is clean, dry and free of oils for the best adhesion.

Step 2: Prep Frame Pieces

The frame around the tabletop will allow for a finished edge and be the perimeter guide for the flooring cuts. To determine the height of the frame, add the thickness of the flooring board and the thickness of the tabletop. Use a table saw to rip the tongues and grooves off the frame boards.

Step 3: Cut and Attach Frame Pieces

Use a miter saw to cut the corners at a 45-degree angle for a clean, uniform look. To rip off the tongue and groove edges, set the table saw to the width of the tongue/groove and run the board through the saw. Attach the boards to the sides of the tabletop using 2” finish nails. Make sure the frame is the correct height so that the flooring boards will be flush to the top edge of the frame.

Step 4: Cut Starter Pieces

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter


The tongue and groove should be ripped from the corner pieces to ensure a snug and even fit within the frame. To rip the tongue/groove edges, set the table saw to the width of the tongue/groove and run the board through the saw. It is easier to rip the tongue/groove of the board prior to making the 45-degree cuts on the miter saw. This way the board remains longer when it’s being pushed through the table saw.

Step 5: Lay Out Tabletop

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter


Begin in one corner and work diagonally toward the opposite corner. Moving from the corner across the table, use the frame as a guide for the 45-degree cuts. Set the board on the edge of the frame and use a speed square to mark the angle and then cut it to length.

Step 6: Glue It Down

Apply construction adhesive to lock the boards together with the tongue/groove. The tongue and groove will give a strong hold without gaps in the table. Use a piece of scrap wood with the hammer or mallet to pound the boards into locking position so they’ll all fit snugly together. Don’t hammer directly onto the tabletop pieces as you don’t want to risk damaging them.

If the table is larger than the long flooring boards and multiple boards are required to complete one diagonal, use a 90-degree cut to install the boards end to end. Only the boards that butt against the frame will be 45-degree cuts. Be sure to stagger the joints for a better aesthetic.

Step 7: Prep for Refinishing

When all boards have been installed, add a custom finish. If the floorboards are already the desired finish, stop here and enjoy your new table. To add a custom finish use an orbital sander to remove the existing finish from the flooring boards. Be sure to clean off all sawdust and residue before applying the stain. Add a coat of polyurethane to seal the wood and protect it from spills and stains.

Step 8: Don’t Forget the Base

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter


If the base of the table needs a new finish as well, sand it and paint or stain to the desired color.

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter


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