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


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