Faux home finishes: Get the look for less

High-style forgeries for your home

From hardwood to marble and brick, get the look for less.


The phrase “faking it” is often used as a pejorative. In decor, it should be used as a compliment. High-style forgeries let designers and homeowners create beautiful, durable spaces at a fraction of the price. Here are five of the most convincing.


SAVE 74% Flor’s Graphic Carpet Tiles vs. Oliver Yaphe’s Graphic Lexi Rug

Carpet tiles are usually associated with bland office spaces but Chicago-based Flor makes design-savvy versions (avg. $6.25/sq ft) for the home. Because they come in small modules, they’re inherently economical: tiles can be replaced on a per-spill basis. Unlike high-end rugs made of natural fibers like wool or cotton ($24/sq ft), they’re manufactured from recycled plastic. Purchase the mat flor.com


SAVE  32% Red Grandis vs. mahogany

Red Grand is ($2.90/ft) is a sustainably grown, FSC-certified hardwood from Uruguaythat works well for flooring, cabinetry and furniture. It has a reddish, knot-free grain that’s comparable to mahogany (from $4.25/sq ft), but because it doesn’t have the same name recognition, is more affordable. Available through Upper Canada Forest Products at ucfp.com


SAVE 46% Ikea’s Fastbo Backsplash Panel vs. Frigo Design’s Stainless Steel Backsplash Panel

Ikea’s Fastbo backsplash panels ($8.23/sq ft), made of an aluminum-coloured resin, are a convincing substitute for stainless steel ($15.30/sq ft). They cut well and adhere to many wall surfaces with hardware-store glue. The drawback is they’re sensitive to certain kinds of heat: put them near a gas cooktop and they’ll cook themselves. Available at ikea.ca


SAVE 85% Formica’s Calacatta Marble Countertop vs. Marble Trend’s Calacatta Marble

MONY01_S_KNOCKOFF_COMP1Formica is famous for its flimsy laminate and particleboard countertops. But its 180fx series is made of a solid resin composite to eliminate peeling. A five-foot maximum span means seams are inevitable, but the grey ribboning is real enough to fool haughty houseguests. And at about $22/sq ft, it’s a steal compared to real marble, which can cost a hefty $152/sq ft. Available at formica.com/en/ca


SAVE 57% Century Architexture’s Brick Veneer Panels vs. Urestone’s Aged Brick Panels

Toronto-based Century Architexture has engineered 1/4-inch thick, lightweight wall panels ($6/sq ft) that can be glued to a wall to create a trendy, industrial look. It’s not only cheaper than similar, pre-mortared products ($13.95/sq ft), but also infinitely easier than moving to a real loft conversion. Available at centuryarchitexture.com

(Images courtesy of: Ikea; Flor; Formica; Century Architexture; Hardwoods-Inc; iStock)