What is Faux Flooring?

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  • Written By: Norma Jean Howland
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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Faux flooring is a manufactured floor usually made from a laminate that looks like another kind of substance, such as hardwood, marble, or slate. Although faux flooring may look similar to the real thing, it will often cost a fraction of what it would cost to purchase the authentic material and is usually simpler to install. This kind of fake flooring can mimic almost anything, from weathered rocks to genuine leather. An alternative style of faux flooring is the trompe l'oeil type, a floor featuring designs, pictures or paintings. This type of floor is meant to deceive the viewer with optical illusions that give the appearance of bricks, stones or painted scenes with detailed imagery.

Often, faux flooring is an alternative to hardwood, especially if the underlying surface is concrete. Installing a traditional hardwood floor onto a concrete surface is not usually practical since a subfloor may have to be built. This will not only cost more but cuts down on valuable floor-to-ceiling space in the room. Faux wood flooring can usually be installed on concrete. This kind of laminate often passes for genuine hardwood flooring because it comes in similar styles, such as parquet or antique-type plank flooring.


If a homeowner enjoys the challenge of do-it-yourself installation, faux flooring may be appealing. For instance, installing a real marble floor is a job that requires a professional, but a faux marble floor is a more manageable project. Since installing a real tile floor usually involves working with messy grout, a faux tile floor can be an attractive choice since it looks real but does not require grout.

For an unusual type of floor, the visually deceptive trompe l'oeil style is one way to draw attention to a room. Although the creation of this faux flooring can be time consuming, the end result may be mistaken for real stone, brick or tile. Sometimes a trompe l'oeil floor will feature an original painting with details that draw the viewer into the scene, almost as if they have stepped inside the picture. A playroom floor might feature kids swimming in a pool or an upstairs bathroom may offer details of underground pipes trailing off into a blue sky. A dining room floor may deceive viewers into thinking they have just walked into a diner, with hand painted images of cooks, waitresses and booths.


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