Sunday, January 4, 2009

Faux Wood Floors

We put tile in our bathrooms. The photo below shows the tile in our hall bath. The tiles (Havana by Mediterranea) are made to look like wood. The tiles have a long rectangular shape to resemble boards. They come in different colors. We put a dark wood (Tobacco) in the master bathroom, which is quite dramatic. The color below is Tropicana Gold, which looks like a whitewashed wood. This photo was taken before cleaning the grout dust off. I love, love, love it and this is what I want for the whole house as soon as our sad budget allows. Meanwhile, I had to fake it with paint.

Yesterday's post explained all the prep work. To fake the wood-look tile, I first measured and painted board lines onto the base-coated floor with a dark brown paint. In some places I could see where the pieces of subfloor met. I incorporated those plywood lines with my painted lines, so that now, no one notices them. I measured and marked where my lines would go with bits of blue tape. The first room I did, I drew out the lines first with pencil, but that was a wasted step. My husband cut a long piece of very straight metal for me to use as a guide and to steady my hand when painting the lines.
Next I painted lines in the opposite direction to mark off individual boards. My tile pieces are short so I kept my painted boards a bit short. That turned out to be helpful when painting because the boards weren't longer than my reach. If I were trying for a more real looking wood floor, I would have varied the length of the boards more and made many of them longer.

When putting in the color, I worked on one or two boards at a time. The top color is mixed with a glaze. I used a ratio of 1 part paint and 3 parts glaze. I used a wood graining tool to make it look like wood. First, I paint on the paint/glaze mix - it looks awful at this point. Next, I quickly ran the curved part of the graining tool over the board. Since plywood is a bit rough, it didn't look as real as it does when you use the graining tool on a really smooth surface. Next I took the edge of the tool and combed in lines, which made the boards look like rough hewn lumber. The photo below shows some boards before the wood graining and some after.
Here's a closeup showing the floor after the graining.

Here's a completed floor. I messed up a bit in this room. There's a section where my glaze ratio is different from the rest of the floor. The color appears lighter or darker with different ratios. It's not too noticeable and with furniture in, it's a non-issue. Still, if anyone is going to try this, it's a good caution for making sure you stay consistent with the ratios!

to see the basic steps 
for painting sub-floors.

Here are more links on the topic of faux wood floors -
Home DZine
Dave's Garden


  1. Love your floors. I think when my husband gets home from work today, we're going to have a discussion!

  2. Hi, I found you through Mary at Little Red ouse. COngratulations on winning her give-away. Her photos are beautiful! This is a wondeful project and you did a great job. Thanks for showing your step by step process:>)

  3. Wow, beautiful floors!

    Denise, you won the drawing on my blog! Could you email me with your name, address and phone number so I can get the photo out to you?

    Mary at Little Red House

  4. Wow beautiful, very nice and very great floor. Have a nice day and thank you for sharing.

  5. What brand of flooring is the wood/tile? Love it!!!

  6. The tile that looks like wood is made by Mediterranea. There is a link to the site at the top of this post. I checked the link and it's still good.

    I still love, love, love the tile. I love both colors. The photo in this post shows the light color. In our master bath, I have the dark color in wider planks. It's very dramatic. I'm pretty sure I have photos of it somewhere on my site. If not, I need to add them!

  7. Would like to see a photo of your master bath with the darker color wood look tile floors. Haven't been able to locate a photo on your site. Have I just overlooked it?

  8. I hope to do a post on my master bathroom real soon. I will retire a second time this Thursday and as soon as I catch my breath and recuperate from the tax season, I'll post about my master and be sure to include photos showing the floor. Look for this post around April or May 2010. I love the floors in that room.

  9. awesome floors!! i found your blog googling for faux wood floors. Now subscribed =)

  10. Hello, Denise! Those are really cool way to design the floors. They seem real wood to me, very convincing. We tried that before in our kitchen, actually. This time, we're gonna install real Los Angeles hardwood floors in the living room. We chose Oak Honey for the color 'coz it's classy and my wife loved it. Anyway, your post made me think of faux wood floors on some area of the house. Nice!

  11. What type of base paint did you use? And then what did you use to go over the top of the floor when you were done, to protect the paint job? Thanks!

  12. Love your floors. I think when my husband gets home from work today, we're going to have a discussion!

    Flooring company

  13. I didn't know you did this! That looks really great! I bet it was some back breaking work? We just laid tile in the bathroom that looks like wood and it was work, let me tell ya! Also, I hadn't heard that the linky tools was charging now! That's too bad!

  14. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    You could have saved yourself so much time by using wood-plywood cut into strips of your selected size-lay just like hardwood and stain-cost very low.I did this in my sons room and that was 5years ago.cost for a 10x12 was about 125.00 including stain/poly. HIMP store will cut your wood for you so its just like an unstained engineered floor when you bring it home>>try it in your next room-you will love it

  15. Your floors are very nice, i also want to replace the hardwood floor of my guest room, termites damaged it badly, will keep this information in mind, thanks for sharing.



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