My son loves sports. His room is all sports, all the time – which is what he asked for when I redid my son’s room here. So when I found wood from an old gym floor at my favorite salvage store, I knew that it would be perfect for his room. It’s now his headboard!
Just as a reminder, before he had a plain wood headboard:
That headboard actually belonged to my father-in-law when he was a bachelor! That was many moons ago.
Now my son has a headboard that fits with the sports theme of his room and, as a bonus, is just plain funky cool.
To be honest, I didn’t start the day with the headboard project. Oh, no. I started with a project involving some solid wood drawers that my neighbors threw out.
The problem was that it was so humid that the spray paint I was using on these drawers was not adhering well. It was just too damp outside. So, I packed up the drawers and began work on the headboard.
Materials for DIY Headboard from an Old Gym Floor
Here are the materials you’ll need (these links are affiliate links; for my full disclosure policy, please click here):
- wood from a gym floor – check local salvage stores;
- pliers to remove nails from wood – this link is for my favorite;
- tape measure;
- nail gun
- miter saw if you are going to cut the boards (mine were already cut);
I got the gym floor wood at the Lifecycle Building Center, a great salvage warehouse. They had these maple planks that were once a gym floor in a school near our area of Atlanta. I loved how the floor was finished and still in pretty good shape, and how the boards had stripes on them – yellow, blue, and green – my son’s favorite colors.
First, I removed or cut the nails from the wood planks.
Next, I planned in what order I would put the planks on the wall, so that the headboard would be tall enough and wide enough. For all this planning, I ended up not really following it because I wanted a variety of the stripes and colors in each row of wood.
Before starting, I marked the positions of the studs on the window trim above where I was putting the headboard. That way, I could nail into the studs.
Yes, I nailed the boards directly to the wall. Why? Well, I knew the wood planks would be staggered (a look I wanted, to resemble the pattern of a gym floor), and I didn’t want it to be perfect by framing it on a piece of plywood.
To start the top of the headboard, I was lucky and just started underneath the trim of the window above my son’s bed. If you want to do a project like this, and you aren’t lucky enough to have a window, make sure that the first board is level when you nail it to the wall.
Because the floor boards were tongue and groove, I could just hook them together before nailing them to the wall. That ensured the boards fit together snugly.
As I went, I made sure that I liked where the stripes on the wood were. I wanted a random pattern.
As an aside, never let your six-year-old near your camera, or you end up with something dreadful like this. Anyhoo…
Here’s all the wood nailed up on the wall:
I removed his old headboard/footboard combo, put the bed (on a regular frame) back in place, and here’s the finished bed:
Now Mr. I-Love-Sports has a sports-themed headboard, too – straight out of a local gym!
You could also repurpose gym flooring for a table top or as the back for a set of hooks. The wood has character, and usually color and a thick finish!