Interior work begins

Well, would you look at that… another year has gone by as quickly as it takes me to write another post 🙄. Another soggy and windy winter has settled into the Pacific Northwest and it only seems fitting that this next long-delayed post detail the interior process.

Before the insulation was installed, I had already ordered my interior paneling for the walls and ceiling. I went with 5/8” TNG pine paneling to keep weight and cost down. We spent a fair amount of time comparing 5/16” paneling vs 5/8” paneling. Of course, it would have been nice to go with the thinner material to reduce weight. But after trying a small test area, we determined the 5/16” was a little too flimsy. When the material arrived, we let it acclimate inside the tiny house for nine days before installing it.

Acclimating all the paneling for the walls and ceiling.

By this point, I had an idea of what I wanted the interior color scheme to be. I decided to leave the natural color of the pine paneling (I’ve seen some people paint it white) and accent with golden-brown in the cabinetry and main flooring. It took about three or four days to install the paneling on all the walls and another couple of days for the ceiling.


After much hemming and hawing, I decided to stain the ceiling paneling.

Bedroom loft ceiling.
Main living area ceiling.


Once all the paneling was up, we busted out the storage loft flooring and main flooring installations in a day. For the storage loft flooring, we used the same material that we used for the walls which was 5/8″ TNG. The floor support beams were only 12″ apart, so this material was sufficient for this application.

Storage loft complete!


For the main living area flooring,  I chose an unconventional material: high grade plywood. I got the idea from Ana White. She and her husband build tiny houses in Alaska and they put out amazing DIY videos on YouTube. The downside of using plywood is its softness, so it scratches and dents easily. Having a “nice” floor wasn’t a top priority for me since most of it would be covered up by cabinets and furnishings. It’s not like I was going to sit and stare at my floor and think, Man, that’s some sweet flooring! It just had to be functional. The installation was pretty straight forward but tedious with the (what seemed like) one thousand neatly placed and evenly spaced screws that went into securing the plywood to the floor joists.

During the week, I applied three or four coats of polyurethane that is specifically for floors to help protect the plywood.

Main flooring done!


The following weekend, we worked on installing the bedroom loft flooring which was a bit more involved but a memorable experience. The bedroom loft support beams are 24 inches on-center, and needed to hold several hundred pounds, so it required something sturdy. We decided to go with 1 ½ inch-thick TNG 2 x 6 fir car decking that we would then plane down to 1 ⅛ inches thick. Running the planks through a planar gives them a nice smooth surface.

Someone had told me about a local carpenter who might be willing to help us for a small fee. So, the day we picked up the boards we headed over to this guy’s workshop and after some nominal instruction and lending us a couple of earmuffs, he left us to plane the boards ourselves. He was such a nice guy and wasn’t going to charge us since, he claimed, we did all the work, but I gave him some cash anyway. I was just grateful he let us come into his personal workshop and let us use his industrial planar.

Planing the car decking for bedroom loft flooring.


Installing the decking for the bedroom loft flooring was pretty straight forward. Since this was to be a “living” area, we decided we’d need to sand it to a smooth surface. Lucky us, our buddy Ross had a belt sander he let us borrow for the job. This turned out to be the most laborious stage of the flooring process, especially with the limited amount of head room. I’d take planing planks over sanding any day.

Sanding the bedroom loft flooring.

The last bit of flooring we had to install was in the bathroom. I thought it would be a bad idea to have wood flooring in the bathroom, so I went with groutable peel-and-stick vinyl tile. However, being that it was April and vinyl tile needs to be installed in warmer temperatures, we didn’t actually get to this project until the end of June.

Bathroom floor done!


Author: Debora Schwartz

I am a traveler, a writer, an outdoor enthusiast and a tiny house dweller.

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