Faux Leather Floor Update

I’ve done several faux leather floors (aka paper bag floor) and some definitely worked better than others.

The paper floor on my dining room looked amazing when I first got it done, and was a huge improvement over the vinyl:

Here's a current view of our dining room window.  (The only part of this remodel that makes me sad is I just painted this room and added molding.  This was before we knew that tearing down walls was possible.

Unfortunately the floor didn’t hold up as well installed over the vinyl as it did installed over wood subfloor (particle board).  I’ll elaborate on why in a minute.

Here’s a better picture of another floor I’ve done in a red Mahogany Stain:

For my previous post with detailed instructions on how to lay an inexpensive paper floor see here:

http://groceryshrink.com/2010/05/illustrated-guide-to-faux-leather-floors.html 

The floor is moppable and holds up well when installed over a hard surface like subfloor plywood or particle board.  (I haven’t tried it over concrete but have heard that others had good success with that.)  For areas that will get wet, seal the edges with quarteround and caulk and be sure you have at least 5 coats of floor strength poly on the floor.

Back to why my dining floor was a fail:

The vinyl under the dining room was super cushy and not in good shape–with divets in the surface and air pockets underneath.  The elmer’s glue didn’t stick to the floor after it dried creating a floating floor effect.  The paper did stick to itself and once sealed with poly I had an awesome flooring sheet that was shaped perfectly to the room.  But I could have gently rolled it up and carried it right  out :).

This wouldn’t have been a problem if I had sealed the doorways and edges with caulk, or trim or something.  I was lazy and knew it would be temporary so I left it.  When a breeze went through the room it would lift up the floor which would flap around then lay back down, lol. This can be hard on wear and tear especially when the back side of the floor is still just paper.

Also my chairs had metal feet on the bottom (under the wood legs.)  I didn’t cover them with felt or anything and they tore holes in the floor pretty quickly.  The furniture that was covered or didn’t move much (like the rubberized feet of my big round table) didn’t damage the floor at all.

Another mistake I made was to  just end the floor across the entrances to the next rooms without threshold or anything to tie it down. I had planned on adding on within a few days to those areas and eradicating all traces of vinyl, but it never happened. The kids would catch the edges of the paper floor with their feet and tear up sections (you can see this really well in the after picture at the doorway to the kitchen.)

I still recommend the floor wholeheartedly for small areas that will go directly on wood subfloor.  Larger areas take a lot longer to lay but can still be beautiful and work out well if you are sure to protect the floor from rough furniture, and have every edge covered and sealed.

Hope that helps anyone considering this inexpensive flooring option. We’ve recently been pricing tile and hardwood to make a more permanent floor for our remodel and can really appreciate how affordable a Faux Leather floor is!

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