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How to Make Hardwood Floors Stunning: Parquet, Borders, Inlays & More

Posted by: San Jose Hardwood Floors

Do you want your hardwood floors to stand out? In addition to finding the perfect species and finish, another consideration is design. We've discussed plank width and diagonal patterns already, but there are additional ways to add a decorative element to your floors: through parquet and basket weave patterns, picture frame borders, and medallions and laser inlays.

Parquet Hardwood Flooring Pattern

As a popular choice, parquet consists of a decorative geometric mosaic of wood. This hardwood flooring pattern's fascinating history and custom installation patterns make it worth considering for your home.

The History of Parquet Hardwood Floors

Parquet floors were developed by the French in 1625 as a way to replace marble floors, which required supportive joists that often rotted. Another benefit to the new parquet hardwood floors were their ease to clean.

Because of the attention to detail they required, these floors were only available to wealthy and royal families. In the 1700s, parquet hardwood floors were available in various estates throughout Europe. In fact, this is where the term "parquet" originated. It was first coined as the way to refer to a "little forest," due to the fact that the use of all this solid wood in the floors recalled the woods that surrounded Versailles and all the other majestic French and European mansions, villas and residences.

When factories began to mass produce hardwood flooring (1840-1910), European parquet floors started making their way into American homes. To save on cost, "wood carpet" was developed; this method included a heavy canvas with thin strips of wood glued to it. Needless to say, this option was not nearly as durable as the original parquet hardwood floors.

Modern Parquet Floors

Today, parquet floors are an astonishing contrast to standard hardwood flooring. These floors are available in many modern and custom patterns as well as classic European styles and come in standard 3/4-inch, 3/8-inch or custom thickness. Parquet hardwood floors can also be made from a wide variety of wood species, so you have a lot of options when it comes to this flooring pattern.

How are parquet floors installed? The wood tiles are glued down over wood or concrete subfloors. If you do opt for this type of hardwood flooring pattern, it's best to only use solid wood and avoid veneers.

Basket Weave Hardwood Flooring Pattern

If you’re going for a classic, elegant look, you may want to consider basket weave parquet. As wood floor patterns go, this is one that provides a luxurious, traditional look and feel to the space. It's a great option for a wide variety of homes as the design complements all sorts of furniture and decorations. It also works well in both large and small rooms.

What exactly is basket weave? Think of a woven basket and you’ll get the general idea. This style creates added dimension to a space, and depending on the overall look and feel you want, you can use different hardwood flooring colors to accentuate the basket weave pattern.

Which species are best for this pattern? Maple and oak are most common, although a lot of hardwood flooring types can be used. Generally, homeowners choose lighter colors for the majority of the floor and then add accent squares in species like black walnut or mahogany to make the pattern even more apparent.

Not sure if you can afford basket weave wood floor patterns? The good news is this is a design element you can fold into smaller areas of your home, such as just the entryway or a portion of your living room floor.

Picture Frame Border Hardwood Flooring

Picture frame hardwood floors use contrasting colors and widths to create a frame around the perimeter of the room. They’re a fantastic way to make a stunning design statement, provide individuality to your home and give your space a formal, dramatic flair.

There are a lot of ways you can customize your home with this style of hardwood flooring. The color, species, width and pattern options are endless, and they can be installed with a simple frame around the space or with more elaborate, distinct inlays in the corners.

Not sure how to use picture frame border hardwood floors in your home?

  • Use them to separate one space from the room next door
  • Use this pattern to highlight your home’s unique structure by following the walls of your entire house
  • Highlight the room’s features, such as a space for dining or a cozy fireplace area

It’s worth noting that this style of hardwood flooring requires a final sanding once it’s installed, so avoid using prefinished materials. It’s also tricky to install, so make sure you turn to experts like those at San Jose Hardwood Floors so you can rest assured it’s done correctly the first time.

Custom Flooring Elements: Borders, Medallions and Laser Inlays

Hardwood floor design isn’t tied to only to planks. San Jose Hardwood Floors can create custom borders and laser inlays to add a unique design on your floor. We also work with manufacturers like Oshkosh Designs that can create custom medallions and other types of decorative elements for your flooring; their gallery features more than 60 designs you can browse through for inspiration.

Adding Custom Elements to Your Hardwood Floors

What tips should you consider when adding borders, medallions or laser inlays to your floors?

These three design options give your space a beautiful focal point, so as you look at your space, think about where you want the focus of the room to be. One important element to keep front of mind is how the room will be used and what furniture might cover it up. For example, we've talked to a lot of customers that decide they want borders in their bedroom, spend the extra money to make it happen and then cover them up with the bed, dresser, end tables, etc. This advice carries over to other rooms as well. If you're planning on spending a little bit of extra money on laser inlays or medallions, make sure they're in a space that won't be covered with a couch or area rug.

Another important question to ask when considering borders is the experience of the flooring mechanic that will be doing the work. Installing borders is a very technical process and needs to be done by a journeyman installer.

Want to know more about what types of hardwood flooring patterns, borders and inlays are available for your home? Come visit our showroom! Our experts are happy to answer any questions you have and help you find the perfect floors for you. Also, make sure you contact us for a free in-home estimate. If you give us a call Monday-Friday, we can provide a quote the very next business day!