Customized flooring options Today, hardwood floors remain a very popular choice in home remodeling projects. And while the common installation features flooring that covers the entire area inside a room, hardwood floors also lend themselves well to being customized through the addition of special insets, medallions, borders and other elements. That having been said, it should be understood that not every flooring products dealer/installer is proficient at creating and/or installing these elements. Moreover, they will add significant extra cost to the flooring project.
Nevertheless, if you can afford them, they will provide a totally unique extra design dimension to any interior area, and there are several online firms that specialize in designing and creating large and small insets for residential and commercial customers.
There are several custom design elements that can be used to enhance decorative hardwood flooring. They are placed as described below:
- Apron –This defines wood flooring placed outside the border. This area is usually filled with the regular hardwood plank flooring. Plank can be placed parallel to the walls or at a 90 degree angle to the walls. Typically, the borders would be installed approximately 12-inches from the wall, leaving the space for the apron. This is space is provided so that the border is not hidden from view, and also so that adjustments can be made to allow equally-wide aprons for ends and sides.
- Border – This is usually a pattern of flooring surrounding a room, or at a transition area, outside the flooring’s field. Borders can be used to highlight a specific area, or to create a decorative threshold between rooms. Borders are most often produced in about three foot solid sections with repeating patterns.
- Border Corner- This describes a border element designed to complement the border pattern by intersecting the flow of the pattern at the corners usually where they turn. A typical border corner is a square piece that is installed where the border must make a 90-degree turn.
- Field – The field is the primary floor area within the border. A field can made with the regular plank floor, a patterned product or with parquet flooring. Parquet floors are fabricated from hardwood pieces and pre-assembled as tiles that are ready for a glue-down installation.
- Medallions & Inlays – These are custom patterns that are to be located at a focal point of the floor. Medallion inlays can be round, oval, square, or any other shape that is suitable for installation as a focal-point in the center of a room. Medallions are available or can be created in various sizes, and can be added into an existing floor, or installed as an important integral element of any new flooring project.
Stock vs. Custom Designs
Some manufacturers may offer ready-made or made-to-order hardwood floor designs. Generally speaking, these are very generic elements that cannot usually be modified. The best idea may be to hire a professional floor designer who can coordinate your colors, patterns, textures and sizes with other surface elements.
Finally, keep in mind that there are ‘flooring artists’ that can work with you to create a ‘one-of-a-kind’ flooring inset for your home or business. They don’t come at bargain-basement prices, but their creative talents are worth it in the end.