Hardwood Floor Designs, Ideas - Inlays, Insets
End block floors (picture right) contain hardwood that is cut from the end of larger pieces of lumber. It's up to anyone's imagination. One can use actual logs, or products cut from 4 x 4's and the like. Installation can be very time consuming but rewarding. Typically rough cut lumber is laid in a urethane based adhesive, allowed to cure, grouted (filled), and finally sanded and finished.
Other End Grain Installations
Here's another example of what one can do with their imagination. Unfortunately the images were taken prior to the digital age. In any event this was completed by a Detroit contractor who paid nothing for the actual hardwood as it was taken from the trees on his property. Plenty of air drying was necessary before the actual installation was performed.
Metal Insets, Inlays
Brass is the most common metal used with wood flooring designs. They can help define areas or changes in hardwood direction or species within a defined area. These elements are usually thin material or about 1/4 inch in thickness.
With the right professional, other metals have been used in recent years including aluminum. These items can be found in metal fabricating shops in your home town. Installation, sanding, and finishing requires some knowledge in the way metals can react caused by friction in the sanding process.
Focal points are often smaller prefabricated arrangements thatcan be used virtually anywhere including the staircase shown. Oshkosh Designs out of Wisconsin presents a number of these products ranging in size from 4 to twelve inch. Patterns include compasses, starbursts, and botanical elements that come with directions, a template for installation and are affordable to those that cannot afford much larger medallions. The small step designs shown were inlaid prior to installing the actual treads.
Our opinion is expect more of these smaller designs in years to come. For those with finer woodworking skills, simple focal points could easily be a reality.
Fabricated or Job Site Corners
These elements can be purchased or created on the jobsite with the same material being used. Jobsite work will require a lot of pre-planning and precision.Some ideas include Greek key borders or simple basket weave corners.
Stenciled ideas can be accomplished by anyone. However a basic knowledge of when should be given top consideration. For unfinished floors a sealer coat should be applied after the initial rough and finer sanding is done. This will insure paints or dye will not leach into adjacent areas.
The kitchen project on the right involved installing a diagonal field of solid five inch white oak, followed by a three row border. This site finished floor was then stained white with the stenciling performed after the sealer.
Stone Medallions, Mosaics
Manufacturers that offer hardwood medallions can also track down other possibilities. Included are granite, ceramic, and travertine designs. Some higher end products actually contain stained glass.
Not so common are unique parquet patterns, except standard finger block that has been popular in the past, found in the big home improvement centers. Finer more decorative parquet patterns can be customized with practically any species. Some of the more popular design names include Canterbury, Marseille, Fontainebleau, and Chateau.
Sure, it's not related to hardwood flooring for the most part, but worthy of a mention. Once again Oshkosh Designs brings to the stage a unique engineered leather floor (above). The surface is comprised of genuine leather in their Artizano leather collection. Arriving in 3/4" format so the tiles can be used with solid 3/4 inch flooring.
Frame options include over twenty different species to choose from. Leather colors show eight with our last count. Light shaded pearl white to almost black appearances.
Image Sources: Oshkosh Designs (stairs, leather)