wood flooring can range from inexpensive painted features to high-end,
handcrafted borders and medallions. Other options include adding exotic wood
accents to an otherwise standard floor or mixing wood with entirely
different materials like marble, tile, and even brass.
Borders and Medallions
The right frame sets off a painting, just as the right focal point
creates a perfect composition within the painting. Likewise, a wood floor
can be enhanced with a carefully chosen border and medallion.
A border defines the main area of the floor, so it contrasts the main
floor to some extent. An intricate border calls for a simple field, and
vice versa. Be careful to keep the border's width in scale with the room.
For instance, a one-foot-wide border would not be proportionate in a
four-foot-wide hallway. Work through the width requirements with your
flooring installer or designer.
Medallions and other inlays are often the focal point in many wood floors.
They can include intricate patterns, detailed artwork, and even corporate
logos and family crests. Medallions are available either pre-manufactured
or custom-made at the job site, and are installed after the floor is
installed to ensure a proper fit.
You can create one-of-a-kind flooring designs by mixing wood with other
materials such as tile, stone, or metal. Different combinations can be used
in borders, accents, medallions, or corner treatments. Materials come in a
variety of colors, sizes, and styles.
Use slate, granite, marble, or tile to unify flooring in different rooms,
act as a transition to the outdoors, or complement a view. A marble foyer
might give way to a marble-trimmed wood floor in a living area or conference
room. Granite-inlaid wood floors can complement granite countertops in a
kitchen installation. Slate borders in a sunroom could act as a transition
to a slate terrace outdoors. Sparkling accent strips of brass, copper, or
stainless steel could add drama in a room with a dramatic city view. The
possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
A little paint can transform an ordinary wood floor into something
unique. For example, a gingham-painted border can add a country touch to an
otherwise traditional wood floor. A classic black-and-white checkerboard
design lends drama to an entryway floor. An artist can create trompe l'oeil
Oriental rugs or marble tiles on a wood floor. Pricing can range from
affordable to expensive, depending on the artist and amount of painted floor
Mixed and Exotic Species
Think beyond the typical oak floor. Consider complementing your floor
with a different species of wood, domestic or exotic, to enliven your entire
room. Try Brazilian Cherry, Bamboo, Maple, Ash, Birch, Santos Mahogany, or
Wenge, to name just a few of the 30 species available today. Depending on
the look you want to achieve, you can find several species to meet your