Leather Tiles: A Contemporary Choice for Flooring
Pooja Patel is an Architect by profession. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Arch (B.Arch.). She is an Architect at SDCPL – Gharpedia. Her writing weaves creative ideas and tips that offer a sustainable approach and informative content in the field of architecture and interiors. Apart from being blogger, she also participates in Architectural design & detailing at SDCPL. You can easily connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram.
If you are now planning for your home’s floor designing, leather tiles are indeed a contemporary choice for you. But what makes leather made tiles unique? Are these tiles extremely durable or are they easy to maintain for longer? Well, leather tiles are good looking no doubt and it can add a splashy look of your flooring, but like the two sides of a coin, these tiles are built with some pros and cons, which you must be aware of before using them.
Flooring of your home is a major part of its internal décor and hence it has to be planned in a meticulous way. It’s a fact that for good flooring beauty alone is not sufficient, but without look, utility and affordability cannot win the competition either. When it comes about the flooring of your house, it has to be a unique combo of both beauty and utility.
There are some user-friendly features of leather tiles. For example, leather tiles are easy to maintain and cleaning is an easy and inexpensive process. If properly maintained, leather tiles can last for more than 50 years.
Leather itself is a versatile material, so are the leather tiles. You can fix it around the curved walls or wrapped around the pillars. It can be folded over the wooden panels which is perfectly flexible for adding customized wrap and covering for implementing a three-dimensional smart look.
Leather tiles are a unique natural product. According to Freund Manufacturers, “Leather-covered walls and floors give interior design an expression of individuality, exclusivity and aesthetics.” Leather tiles have some more specialties to offer for its users. Let’s check first the specialties that are advantageous. We will call them the pros of leather tiles.
Advantages of Leather Tiles
01. Aesthetically Appealing
- Leather tiles are quite appreciated for their elegant and irresistible aesthetic appeal. Not only the floor with leather tiles looks sophisticated and clean, but also leather as the base material is a natural product and it is non-toxic, organic, and reused material made home décor product. Leather tiles can add a specific ambiance to the room. These tiles have the capacity to suppress sounds as well as the tiles are capable to add a warm luxurious feel to the room premise. With a touch of elegance and a contemporary feel, leather tiles can add a smart classy appearance to room decor.
- You may customize leather tiles to achieve a variety of looks ranging from traditional, contemporary, formal, casual, elegant, rustic, etc. It makes the flooring attractive. Besides these tiles are easier to install and rearrange to accommodate dynamic as well as heavy duty work environments.
- These tiles are available in a wide variety of colours and patterns that you can select as per your customized decor.
- Leather tiles are durable and long-lasting as conventional flooring materials. These tiles are less demanding in terms of care and cleaning than traditional flooring materials. Once installed, the leather tile floor lasts longer than other floor tiles.
- The leather is fire-resistant and sound absorbent. It can even be treated with water-resistant finishes for kitchens and bathrooms. It is made from animal skin, so it is highly adaptable to changes in accordance to temperature and humidity. It will provide the warmth in winter and remain cool in summers.
- Leather made tiles can help in boosting the acoustics property in the premise by absorbing some part of reverberating sound energy. This makes these tiles a good choice for screening rooms, executive boardrooms, libraries, theatres, bedrooms, etc.
06. Easy to Maintain
- Good quality leather tiles are easy to maintain. Some leather floor tiles are treated with the wax solution to promote their water resistance power. You can wipe these tiles simply with a clean cloth to remove the dust.
07. The Leather is Considered as a Unique Material
- Leather floor and wall tiles are a newer introduce in market. These days, people search for materials which are versatile than solid wood or usual fiberglass. People nowadays prefer home materials made from natural resources, which leather tiles are. Further more, the imperfect and rugged look of leather tiles is what makes add to its uniqueness.
08. Other Advantages of the Leather Tiles You Cannot Overlook
- Leather tiles are easy to install and easy to repair by simply pulling a strip to replace it.
- It is dimensionally stable, and neither these tiles get shrink nor tend to get loose.
- It is comfortable to walk on the slightly rugged surface.
Disadvantages of Leather Tiles
Nothing in this world is ideally perfect. So are the leather tiles. The following are the disadvantages of these tiles:
01. Sensitive to Humidity, Sunlight, and Heat
- Leather tiles are not suitable for highly humid areas unless they are concealed with waterproof sealant. They can even get faded or may turn discolored if exposed recurrently against dry or hot environment. Exposure to scorching sunlight is detrimental to its quality and color.
02. Responsive to Wear and Tear
- Leather is prone to change its appearance and feel if used at random. It tends to develop a rich patina over its surface may get affected by the high traffic movement. Leather tiles will suffer from all these problems if encountered with similar triggers.
03. Less Stain-Resistant
- Leather tiles are prone to develop stain than the regular flooring tiles especially if anything falls on it and if it is not treated with wax.
- Although the smell of leather is not obnoxious, it is not pleasant either. If the room with leather tile-floor remains locked for long, it may tend to plug your nose.
Leather – More Affordable for Homeowners
Leather tiles were initially used in the lobbies of hotels, on the walls and ceilings of corporate offices and board rooms, as well as on the bars and walls of upscale restaurants. As leather is a good option for busy spaces and classy lifestyles, the use was always the emblem of upscale life style and urban decor.
Moreover, leather can be maintained simply with a clean cloth to clean dust. If regularly maintained, leather tiles are sure to last for several decades. It also meets standard building requirements and can be instantly moved or replaced.
Leather Tile Installation
Leather tiles are generally installed on the concrete subfloors and plywood. The following are the general steps for leather tiles installation:
01. Prepare the workspace and material to make it easy and hassle-free. In order to provide adequate conditioning, take out the tiles from the packaging pretty before installing.
02. These leathers made tiles are completely natural product with shade variation. While installing, you need to select randomly the tiles and its colours to enhance the beauty of shading variations.
03. You need to apply adhesive and be sure that the glue is applied thoroughly on the surface. Make sure to install the tile from the actual starting edge.
04. Repeat these aforementioned steps thoroughly throughout the installation process. Then apply pressure to the tiles with the hands and then follow a rubber mallet.
05. Once the first tile is in place, align the next tile to the edge of the first tile. Fix it firmly and consistently
06. You have to lay the tiles in a straight grid pattern or in any other pattern of your choice.
07. Leather tiles must not be installed on floors with under-floor radiant heating. The rapid temperature changes may cause the tiles to contract and expand at a different rate than the floor surface, which may cause disruption of the floor.
08. Sand the surface so that it becomes completely smooth and even.
Applications of Leather Tiles
The leather tiles are have earned huge popularity in modern home décor. Leather tiles are used as leather flooring with floor tiles and wall claddings as wall tiles and ceiling tiles. They are heat-insulating and soundproof products which make people feel cozy and natural.
These tiles are found in market in various combinations of colours, shapes, and dimensions, which allow the users to create various designs and color effects on floors, stairs, and walls. You can also use these in outdoor areas like portico, balcony, etc.
Sizes Available in Market
There are 16 standard sizes available in market for leather tiles:
Square Size : 18″, 16″, 14″, 12″, 11″, 10″, 8″, 6″
Rectangle Sizes: 12″x 18″, 6″x 18″, 6″x 12″, 3″x 12″, 2.5″x 12″, 2.5″x 8″ & 2.5″x 12″ left & right chevron, and 19” x 19” carpet tile inlay size.
Keleen Leathers, Inc., a premium manufacturer of leather tiles has been developing leather for flooring for more than 25 years. According to them, leather has extensive capability to be used for walls, floors, and in creative cladding of architectural components like staircases, furniture and interiors of all kinds.
Briefly to conclude, leather tiles have its various applications in the interiors and has manifold pros and few cons. Versatility can be created with its shades, shapes, and color shades.
Leather tiles can create a lively ambiance which can add an opulent luxurious feel in your premise. It is an excellent choice for bedrooms, libraries, living rooms, boardrooms, and many more. These tiles can be used as wall tiles, floor tiles, door panels, and headboards, however it is important to buy these quality products from authentic outlets only as you will never be able to differentiate between natural leather and similar looking artificial products.