Wednesday, May 9

Kraft Paper Floors

Casual visitor: I really like your bedroom flooring. What kind of wood is that?
Us: Um, the paper kind.
Paper floors?

Mm hmm. Our bedroom flooring is paper. A while ago, when construction was just a pipe dream Erin and I smoked every now and then, he brought up the idea of paper floors. He'd seen something obscure about it on the internet, and he thought I would love the idea because it's so cheap. I hated it.

Fast forward like 5 years... we're out of money, we still need a bedroom floor, and all of a sudden I love the idea! We found an online instruction video which was really helpful, and brainstormed ways to make it our own. We decided we didn't like the "patchwork" pieces look, and wanted to create something that could be mistaken for wood. We decided to go with planks.

1 gallon of Varathane Water-Based Poleurethane, a roll of brown kraft paper, and a gallon of Elmer's Glue later, we were ready to begin. We cut the paper into long-length-planks and short-length-planks that together would span our whole room. We also made three different plank widths - 8", 10" and 12" - to give the floor some variation. Each plank was individually crumpled, flattened, and re-crumpled three times to get the grooves we wanted. 
Our kraft paper floor
Once we'd glued all the "planks" down according to the video, we ended up with a few spots that needed to be cut out and re-planked. This was a pain, but pretty easy. When the whole thing dried we stained the floor with a dark (almost black) wood stain to make the grooves and crinkles stand out. Most of the stain was rubbed off, but it added a lot of character to the overall floor. We put on 6 (?) coats of the polyurethane and called it good.

Kraft paper floor next to dark stained English oak
We love this floor - it looks great with our lime green bedroom wall (Benjamin Moore's "Feel the Energy", in case you were wondering.)

As far as yurt floors go, I think this would work swimmingly. If you don't want to spend much money on real flooring, but you want to avoid the plywood floor look, I say do it. Our bedroom is around 200 sq. ft., so pretty big, and we used a 100' roll of paper. The subfloor here is plywood, and before papering the floor we went around and filled every screw hole, nail hole and crack with putty so the paper wouldn't have mini-divots throughout.

I have to say, I was skeptical in the beginning, but this turned out quite nice, and I would recommend it to anyone trying to put in a unique floor on a very tight budget.


Jami @ An Oregon Cottage said...

This turned out great! Thanks for letting us know- I'm sure there are others who want to see how cutting the paper into strips turned out.

Reed @ Kraft paper said...

Hey great thread. Well I haven’t heard about this. Well we all know that Kraft paper is commonly used to help stuff boxes that are partially empty so that the contents don't move during shipping. Hey thanks for sharing this useful information with us. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I would like more imfo on how you cut the paper in strips & layed down for the floor? How did you keep them straight & did you just butt them up to each other or did you overlay them? Please answer back as I'm planning on doing this treatment really soon Thanks Deb

Linz said...

We didn't cut the paper - we tore it length-wise, and it was happy to tear in this direction (kindof like newspaper like to tear in one direction and not the other...).

We overlapped the strips by about an inch. It wasn't difficult to keep them straight, but we did have the straight plywood seams underneath to help keep us on track. If you don't have those, you should probably chalk-line some lines across your floor for reference.

Good luck with your project!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for answering back so quickly.I've already did this just tearing the paper. It turned out like sandstone. I didn't stain it I liked the way it turned out. But on to the next bedroom & no more carpet YUK. Just wanted to try the plank design just a little nervous. I'm doing this over concrete so will try using the chalk line. Wish me luck HAHA

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to try this in my home! GREAT job!

Anonymous said...

Really wanting to try this. Ripped up the carpet in my bedroom last week and wasn't sure what I was going to do. What kind of filler should I use? Wood? Should I prime the wood after filling all the holes? Love your floor!!!

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