How to replace a wood trailer floor with steel

Updated February 21, 2017

Trailers are ideal utility vehicles--they can help you move vehicles, trash or anything else you need without messing up the bed of a truck or having to find a tow truck. Most trailers come with wood floors, which makes them more susceptible to rot and damage. Swapping out a wood floor with a steel floor takes time and effort, but the resulting benefits are a stronger trailer floor and less maintenance.

Unbolt the existing bed floor from the trailer using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set. Remove the wood boards and place them to the side.

Measure the width of the trailer. Steel comes in 4-by-8-foot sheets, and getting those sheets cut can cost money. With careful measurements, you can be sure that you get the minimal amount of steel and cuts. If your trailer is less than 8 feet wide, consider laying the steel so that it's one piece from side to side, and multiple pieces down the length.

Purchase the steel at a local steel yard and have it cut to length. If you can't get it cut, you can also mark and cut it using a reciprocating saw, but this is an awkward process and won't provide the straightest cut.

Place the steel onto the trailer floor with the help of an assistant and crawl underneath it. Mark all of the holes left from securing the wood to the trailer using the permanent marker.

Pull out the steel with the help of an assistant and flip it over. Drill out each of the holes using the drill and metal drill bits, stepping up from a small diameter bit such as 1/8 inch and moving up until you're one size larger than the hardware.

Bolt the sheetmetal to the trailer using the Allen head bolts and nuts, the 3/8-inch ratchet, Allen-head sockets and open-end wrench.

Repeat steps 4 through 6 for the rest of the trailer. Once floor is bolted down, the assembly is complete.

Things You'll Need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Reciprocating saw
  • 16-gauge steel sheetmetal or diamond-plate steel
  • Drill and metal drill bits
  • Allen head bolts and nuts
  • Allen head sockets
  • Open-end wrench set
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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.