I am sure I can speak for many photographers out there, but props aren't cheap. As a photographer who travels and goes to her newborn clients, I am always looking for the easiest way to transport things. Since downsizing recently from a Dodge Durango to a Toyota Camry - I realized that transport space was no longer a commodity I had (as I was trying to fit a 4'x4' ottoman into the back of the Camry - with no luck).
I had been shopping around for those lovely wood-floor looking vinyl backdrops, and found some that I really liked, decided to buy, and then saw the shipping! Shipping was the same cost as the backdrop itself. YIKES! So I went on a mission to find something that was a little more cost friendly.
That is when I headed to Home Depot...
At Home Depot I located the flooring department, and all I can say is - flooring overload! I narrowed down what I did NOT want. I didn't want anything super thin or glossy. This cut out the faux wood floors (laminate flooring) that already have an adhesive on them. I chose the glueless laminate flooring by Home Decorators Collection. This was the snap together flooring - giving a nice tight seamless look. It was the perfect length to where I didn't have to cut it, and it came with 7 slats that were 7.99" each (seriously, why not just make it 8"?!).
I had originally planned to connect all and mount to a piece of plywood, but remember the issue I mentioned above about trying to fit a 4'x4' ottoman in my car - yeah that wasn't going to work, and the weight would have been too much.
I went to the MDF section of the lumbar department, to see what other options I had to make it (a) more transportable and (b) not as heavy. I found Bender Board MDF that is 3.375" wide and 96" in length. Perfect!
I knew that ultimately, I didn't need to mount the slats on something solid, they were pretty solid when they were put together - I just wanted to give them extra support to keep them from bending during transport/storage. So I decided on cutting the MDF board into 14" slats, and glue 3 of those along the seam of 2 of the laminate flooring slats that were snapped together.
Make sure that the slats are snapped together correctly. If you are seeing a seem on the top - they aren't put together right. They should fight very snuggly.
I glued the MDF board slats to the laminate flooring back with some heavy duty glue - this glue bottle came in handy without having to buy a caulking gun. Tip: when squeezing the red "trigger" have the tip flat to the surface, and do a zig zag down the slat. The glue goes on a lot smoother that way.
I ended up being able to make 3 pieces with 2 slats each, leaving me with 1 extra slat. I decided to put 2 slats long ways on the extra slat so that I can use it if I need to add width to the flooring (putting the slats long ways allows the extra slat to sit at the same height as the rest of the flooring.
The end result...
I can't wait to make more in other colors/wood grains! This is a GREAT alternative to buying the vinyl floor/backdrops for so many reasons! One being the price! I spent about $45 on all my materials (cost of laminate flooring varies). This makes a nice sturdy floor and easy to transport if you have to take it somewhere. It can also be used on carpet, which the vinyl floor drops can't, and it doesn't crease or wrinkle!