Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Ultimate Guide to Hardwood Flooring


Fancy Flooring
Sample plank of Cumaru with Maple inlay
Sample plank of Cumaru with Maple inlay

Beyond the main stains of standard flooring, there are a number of techniques and decorative options. Just about anything you can imagine can be done with hardwood floors. You can pickle them, a technique that makes the wood appear whitewashed. Or, you can antique the wood to make the floor look aged. Some other decorative options include:

  • Borders - This is one of the most common decorative options. With this technique, the main area of the floor is one type or color of wood and it is bordered with another type or color of wood.
  • Inlays - This decorative art is centuries old. It involves using different pieces of wood, often in different colors, to make a design within the floor. Inlays can be purchased or custom-designed.
  • Medallions - These designs are a form of inlay that has been used in many historic homes and castles.

It may be tempting to think about the endless design possibilities, but if you're going with the DIY option, you should probably leave the fancy stuff to the experts. These techniques are best executed by professionals.


More to Explore