January 12, 2014 Steven Murphy
Leather may not be the material that first pops into your mind when considering new flooring for your home. But why shouldn’t it? Leather is naturally beautiful and luxurious as well as being durable. Leather tiles can also be colored and dyed according to individual taste, or to suit your existing interiors.
Leather tiles are made using wholesale leather hides cut to size which are then stuck to wood, this process has made leather flooring less labor intensive to install. Once the tiles are laid, they are coated in a wax sealant which acts similarly to ceramic tile grout in filling any spaces, and making the leather tiles easy to keep clean.
Leather tiles can be swept and vacuumed the same as most other flooring types and spills can be mopped up with a damp cloth. It is important that leather tiles are refinished each year however, depending on the amount of traffic as well as personal preference it can be left longer. Like upholstery leather used in furniture, natural leather hide looks better with age. If a well worn floor with a rich patina is what you are looking for, refinishing your leather tiles may be less of a priority. If the desired look is to keep the tiles in mint condition, they will need to be re-waxed more regularly.
The enemy of a beautiful leather floor is direct sunlight and moisture. These factors can cause the leather to buckle and bubble, reducing both its appeal and durability. For these reasons, leather tiles should not be installed in areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Leather tiles are much better suited to bedrooms, living rooms and offices. Leather tiles can also be used on walls and ceilings; this is particularly popular in theatre rooms as the leather will naturally absorb sound, lessening echo and enhancing sound quality.
Leather tiles can be self installed however some important factors will contribute to either the success or failure of the job. It is imperative that the leather tiles are unpacked and stored for at least two weeks in the room where you intend to install them. Remember that leather is a natural material that breathes, and letting the tiles adjust to their new environment is essential. Preparing your existing floor is also important because any uneven surfaces can potentially show through once the tiles are laid. After making sure the existing floor is smooth and clean, read the instructions before you start. Leather should be considered as an investment, and correct installation will ensure you capitalize on that investment.
An ethical choice for consumers is also available when it comes to leather flooring. Leather needn’t come directly from the leather tannery as tiles made from recycled leather can be purchased. These tiles are made from old furniture, breathing new life into old upholstery leather. Tiles made from wholesale leather hides are sort after for their durability and beauty, and this distinctive flooring type is sure to be the talking point of your home.