Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor
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cinchouli
using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor

Hello everyone! 1st time poster here.
Usually I can figure this out on my own either with my husband or father.
But I have never saw this done before. Even after searching the net not finding what I need.
Ok. I have decided to try something unique. I want to attach canvas like fabric to my wood floor. Before you reply with why cover the original wood floor, because I want to. :cool: I really would appreciate any help here I can get. So far I have seen some really good answers to other questions, so I can tell this is a great site with knowledgeable people who know what they are doing.
I know to sand and clean the surface free of dirt, grime and dust. But how to apply the fabric to the floor is the problem. I'm thinking of using Minwax polyurethane as an adhesive to attach it to the floor since what I use needs to be clear incase it bleeds thru the fabric. Then putting down 2/3 coats over the fabric to seal it. The fabric is smooth. Would the polyurethane allow for a smooth hard surface over the material? :confused: Hoping for any ideas on this. Thanks

A. Spruce
Re: using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor

Your plan of attack is probably the best one.

Other things you will need to consider is how to pull the fabric taut so that you don't load it up with wrinkles and folds. I would suggest doing some sample boards with different techniques and find one that will transfer to full scale with ease.

DO NOT use Minwax Poly, it is complete and utter junk!!!!!!!!!! You also want something that is rated for use on floors, which most poly's are not. Take a look at General (that is a brand name ) and McKlosskies finishes.

cinchouli
Re: using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor

Thank you for the heads up about the minwax, saved me a few bucks. I have a spot to try several ways. I'll give that a try. Thanks.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor

From the historian's perspective:
Canvas was traditionally applied to wood floors with small (#3 or 4) carpet tacks with the edges rolled under, then painted. To get it taut they wet the canvas first, and it tightened as it dried. Then it would be painted in decorative patterns with oil paint, and finally varnished. Typically a floorcloth would last from 1-10 years depending on the wear, before needing re-varnishing. They were popular in colonial times up until the advent of cheap machine-woven carpet in the 1850's, and sheet linoleum put them away completely.
The problem with cementing the canvas to each board is that when the wood shrinks in the winter, the stress on the fabric will be incredible at one narrow line, and something will need to give. Tacking at the edges lets the entire canvas breadth take the strain.
Casey

Don
Re: using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor

The above approach will also save a ton on labor if you ever want to take it up.

Have you explored painting your wood floors, instead?

cinchouli
Re: using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

From the historian's perspective:
Canvas was traditionally applied to wood floors with small (#3 or 4) carpet tacks with the edges rolled under, then painted. To get it taut they wet the canvas first, and it tightened as it dried. Then it would be painted in decorative patterns with oil paint, and finally varnished. Typically a floorcloth would last from 1-10 years depending on the wear, before needing re-varnishing. They were popular in colonial times up until the advent of cheap machine-woven carpet in the 1850's, and sheet linoleum put them away completely.
The problem with cementing the canvas to each board is that when the wood shrinks in the winter, the stress on the fabric will be incredible at one narrow line, and something will need to give. Tacking at the edges lets the entire canvas breadth take the strain.
Casey

That is where I had gotten my idea during a search for paint patterns on the floor. A person had shown how to make a floor cover w/canvas. Using the back side of linoleum to mount the canvas to. Sounds to be the best way. Then just tack it all down, add my trim, and hope it turns out good enough for all who see it pause and look. :D

cinchouli
Re: using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor
daspyda wrote:

The above approach will also save a ton on labor if you ever want to take it up.

Have you explored painting your wood floors, instead?

Actually yes. I was looking for Patterns when I came across a website explaining floor coverings, and another explaining how to make one. If it doesnt work in the hall, I can always put it in the mud room. lol

ordjen
Re: using canvas type cloth fabric to cover wood floor

Heavy fabric wallcoverings have been hung for decades with heavy bodied pastes. It they will hold canvas fabric to a wall, I don't know why it would work for a floor. Some of the pastes are actually clear and non-staining. Granted these are water soluble, but if several coats of urethane are put over them, water penetration and lossening of the paste should not be a problem.

I would agree with one of the previous posts that you might want to make a sample before commiting to such a large project If for any reason you have to take up your canvas, you will have quite a job on your hand.

Incidentally, a hundred years ago, brand new plaster walls would be covered with canvas and then painted This solved the problem of spider cracks in the plaster. Also, after years of paint build-up, one could grab the canvas and rip it right off the wall, leaving the virgin plaster. The canvas, as far as I know, was hung with old fashioned wheat paste. I obviously never hung this canvas, but I pulled alot of it down over the years!

The main difference in floor urethanes over regular urethanes is the addition of such things as aluminum oxide to increase wear protection. Aluminum oxide is commonly used for sandpaper grit. It is milled so fine as to be invisible in the varnish.

Keep in mind that oil urethanes have a little amber tone to them and will get more so with age. This may or may not be advantageous, depending on the look you want. Water borne urethanes are very clear and remain so. However, the water borne urethanes are not as sticky as oil urethanes, if you are considering using it as the adhesive.

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