Recycled Wood Flooring Modern Shelf




Introduction: Recycled Wood Flooring Modern Shelf

So this project started when my mom had some Wood floors put in at her house... If anyone has ever installed floors, you're bound to have extra pieces, either from scrap cuts or from not using the whole box that you had to buy (flooring usually comes in multiple pieces per box, whether you need all of it or not). She asked if I could somehow use the wood to make shelves for her.

***(UPDATE) Minor Correction. My mom notified me that the proper name of her flooring was "Engineered Real Wood Flooring." The concept should work the same with basic laminate flooring, just adjust your cuts accordingly..

Free wood? Great! Laminate floors? Not ideal...So laminate floors have a thin to very thin veneer on them of actual nice wood and usually some kind of plywood or cheap manufactured wood underneath that. The top looks good, but you don't really want the rest to show. A few easy cuts later on the table saw and we were all set to go.

For this project I used:

-Leftover Wood Flooring

-Scrap 3/4" MDF

-A Table Saw (with a high tooth count blade, blades with less teeth will probably tear up the delicate laminate. Check what your blade is recommended to cut, or cross your fingers and hope for the best)

-Sand Paper


-Wood Glue and a few screws and nails.

TOTAL COST: $0, since I had everything around my shop. The only thing I didn't have was the refinishing oil, but that was provided to my mom when she got her floors installed.

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Step 1: The Inner Frame

So lets start with the basic idea for the inner frame. I wanted something that was strong enough to hold up a shelf that was cheap, readily available (Scrap), and easy to work with. Luckily I had some 3/4" MDF laying around, so I decided on the thickness of the shelves and planned my math accordingly.

I basically made an "E" shape out of strips of MDF. The parts were glued and nailed together (MDF wasn't ideal because I didn't predrill and the MDF started to split. It wasn't my finest work, but I decided it didn't matter much since I was gluing anyway and it was going to be hidden on the inside.). The long part of the "E" was where the shelf was going to be screwed into the wall, and the shorter "Forks" extended out and were the supports for the empty box shelf of Wood Flooring.

Step 2: The Outer Box

So now the part where you should make small adjustments to cut it as clean as possible.

Since this wood flooring had the Plywood with about 1/8" of Nicer wood (fairly thick for laminate Wood Flooring) on top, I cut some rabbet cuts out of the sides of the flooring so that only the nicer wood showed at the end. Depending on how you want your shelves to look, you can vary which pieces are cut each certain way. I chose to have the 4-sided box sit against the wall and have the front face large enough to overlap (Cap) all the edges of the sides. It just left it with a clean look when looking straight on at the shelves.

I dry-fit the outer box pieces and verified that the inner supports would fit easily inside of it. Once everything looked good, I glued the Wood Flooring pieces together to make the outer box.

Step 3: Finishing

Once your pieces are glued together, take some rougher sand paper and try to smooth out any rough corners. Be careful not to sand too much and go through the thin laminate layer. Once the corners seem to be about where you want them, sand again with a high grit sand paper. I used 400 Grit for the final sanding. If you don't use a high grit sand paper at the end, the rougher sanded spots will look drastically different than the super smooth factory finish on the rest of the floor planks.

I found out from the floor installers what they use to refinish the flooring if little scratches occur and they said to use the touch-up oil shown in the picture. Your flooring may be different, but this is apparently what the floor manufacturer uses to finish the wood before it is installed. After a small coat of touch-up oil on the sanded edges, it looked much better.

Step 4: Install

Now that you have all the pieces done, you need to think about install. To mount the MDF "E" to the wall, I used 3 screws on the smaller shelves and 4 on the larger. Pre-drill the holes where you are going to put the wall screws in and have them slightly screwed in. At this time, you should also drill a small hole on the top or bottom of the shelf near the back wall connection. This screw basically just holds the Flooring Box you made from sliding off of the supports. Use a short screw that will go through the flooring and screw into the longer part of the "E".

Cover any areas near the install point to avoid dirtying or damaging the existing furniture.

When mounting the shelf to the wall, check which side you would like the single exposed screw to show. The lower shelf on mine had it on the bottom and the other two had the screw on top since these were out of the field of view for anyone looking at the shelves. Once that is decided, position your "E" on the wall and screw in the center Screw. After it is mounted on the wall by the center point, you can put a level on top and adjust the sides until it is balanced. Screw in the other screws to the wall and slide the Outer box onto the "E". Use a screw driver and install that final exposed screw that we pre-drilled earlier so that it doesn't slide off the wall.

Your shelves should be nice, strong, and Modern. Clean up your mess and add decor. Thanks for reading my first Instructable with many more to come. For project updates or other things that I do, check out my website at, or follow me on Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter @StudioDarose.

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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    The timing was perfect on this. I just got done doing my floors and wondering what to do with the rest. They look amazing and seem pretty simple.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Those shelves look amazing! Definitely on my to do list!


    Reply 4 years ago



    4 years ago

    thanks, I realized that after I posted it and put in a note right after the first paragraph the day it was posted, I just never updated the title.


    4 years ago

    Looks great but technically that is engineered hardwood, not laminate.