DIY Dining Table from Reclaimed Building Materials – Recycled Basketball Court Flooring

Ever since I stopped moving every year, I’ve wanted to get a big dining table, something that could fit at least 8 people. Finding one big enough at a retail furniture store was difficult, and when I did find it they were really expensive. While working on our house, we discovered home improvement stores that stores that sell reclaimed or recycled building materials. There are many local non-profits that do this, but one national “chain” is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which accepts material donations to fund their charitable home-building goals.

I was exploring one of these stores when I came across a 8 ft x 3.5 ft sheet of what look like reclaimed hardwood flooring. Upon closer inspection, it was actually pieces of the flooring from an old high school basketball court. The underlayment was still attached, and it was pretty sturdy. A handmade sign suggested making a table out of it. How cool is that?

The store had already recycled a piece for themselves. After some sanding and adding a border with reclaimed 2x4s, here’s what it looked like:

It cost us $60 plus $20 in reclaimed wood for the border, legs, and apron. Now to borrow some power tools and learn some carpentry

Comments

  1. Heather says:

    My parents first dining room table was a door! They put it on a pair of sawhorses, as I recall, and painted it.

  2. As a long time Habitat supporter and former employee I think its great that you found your local Restore — the money you paid for your table will help build a house that Habitat will sell (not give away) to a family in need on a no interest mortgage.

    I hope you’ll post some photos of the finished product.

  3. Yeah I can’t wait to see how the end product looks. Good find, as always!

  4. Please be careful with the border. The table top wood will expand and contract along its width, and a tight order down the side of the table may split later when humidity and temperature changes. If the wood is quarter-sawn you will have less expansion to worry about. You can tell if it is quarter-sawn by how the growth rings look on the end. If they are all parallel to each other and perpendicular to the board top and bottom then you may have quarter-sawn wood. The end grain should look like this: ||||||||||

    If not quarter-sawn, then you may want to skip the border or do some kind of unglued dado in the border to allow for expansion and contraction.

    Best of luck.
    Tom

  5. Nice find! I built a similar table out of a reclaimed bowling lane. You can see some photos on Design Sponge here:

    http://www.designspongeonline......board.html

    Tom makes a good point. The carpenter I hired actually used metal bands to hold the wood slats together, in addition to a maple band.

    Good luck!

  6. @Heather – Cool, the place I went to had doors on their ceiling of their office inside the warehouse.

    @David, Chris – Thanks!

    @Tom – Thanks, I’ve read similar advice about the wood expanding with the seasons. My wood is actually quarter-sawn, luckily. I like the border because the edges are a bit ugly, and it would make my big table even bigger. :)

    @Ryan – Very cool, I doubt mine will come out that nice.

  7. Borrow power tools? Man you need to BUY power tools!

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