Wood Substitute

Leather often conjures images of equine-related items, belts, purses and briefcases. Considering it a viable substitute for wood doesn’t even make most people’s lists, but Rockville, Md.-based EcoDomo recycled leathers are meant for just that. The company’s recycled leather products can be used in place of wood in all interior applications, including flooring, and mixed with wood finishes in tables, desks, cabinets and floors.

Established in 2005, EcoDomo began strictly as a manufacturer of recycled leather tiles. Since then, it has expanded to include interlocking planks, decorative borders, cork and custom design options.

Leather, considered a rapidly renewable resource because it is derived as a byproduct of the meat industry, originates from tanneries, one of which manufactures leather for BMW car seats. The recycling process uses 99.8 percent of the product input in the manufacturing process in a closed-loop water filtration system. The waste that is produced is clean enough to be used in residential landfills. EcoDomo’s products have been tested to be low-VOC by Greenguard, California Section 01350 or ISO methods.

The leather tiles and flooring can be used anywhere in a house except for full bathrooms and in light commercial applications. Previous uses include ceilings, staircases, furniture, board rooms, commercial hotel and bank lobbies, restaurants, gyms, elevators, fireplaces, theaters and specialty décor applications. The Rainforest Collection, available in plank and tile floating format, can be used below grade.

Standard sizes include 12 by 12 in. and 18 by 18 in. Ten other tile sizes range from 2 by 6 in. through 24 by 24 in. The floors bear similar wearing characteristics to a linoleum floor and have indentations comparable to cork. Leather also is naturally sound absorbent.

For installation, leather tiles are glued down to a high-quality plywood floor using contact cement adhesive. EcoDomo offers its flooring pre-glued with technology that enables tiles to be installed directly over drywall, primed concrete or plywood with no further adhesive application.