Inlaid Wood Flooring

by Carmen Corbin on January 15, 2012

If you love the look of hardwood floors, but want to take it up a notch, consider integrating an inlaid wood pattern into your flooring design. 

Wood inlays are decorative accents that are composed of contrasting colors of wood.  Assembled like a puzzle, they are placed within a trimmed out space in the main hardwood floor as a focal point.  A variety of woods can be used, such as mahogany and walnut for darker shades; teak and cherry for medium shades; and ash, maple and oak for lighter shades.  Of course, other exotic woods can also be ordered to really make it unique.

Medallions and Borders

Many inlaid wood flooring designs involve medallions placed in the center of a room, foyer or stair landing, often in the shape of a compass, star, pinwheel or nautical item.  Custom medallions in the form of a family crest, animal or hobby related design can also be made.  Visit for lots of great examples.

To define an area or add a classical touch to a larger room such as a living room or dining room, consider using an inlaid wood border.  Popular patterns include geometric shapes, Celtic knots, ribbons, floral/vines, scroll or just a solid contrasting band of darker wood.  Corner blocks can also be used to create further interest.

Stone and Tile Inlays

Inlaid flooring isn’t just limited to wood.  Stone and tile inlays can also be set into a hardwood floor or tile floor in many of the same designs or custom mosaics.  Materials like marble, granite and travertine create a beautiful look that you and your guests will admire for years to come.

No matter which material your inlay project is made from, this type of home improvement can be quite expensive.  You can, however, get a similar look with inlaid sheet flooring, which resembles inlaid stone or wood.  Another money saving option is to buy preassembled inlay medallions, which are installed as one piece.

Traditional inlay methods are not best do-it-yourself project.  It takes a lot of skill to ensure smooth seams and no gaps, so hire a professional wood flooring company to get the beautiful results you want.  They’ll also know the best way to polish and seal the finished inlay.

For more information and ideas on using inlaid wood flooring in your home, call or visit your local home improvement contractor or wood flooring professional.

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