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What is Inlaid Flooring?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Inlaid flooring is flooring with a decorative pattern which is set into its surface. Many inlaid floors are made from wood, with contrasting patterns and ornaments in different types of wood which will show up well against the primary flooring. Stone, tile, metal, and other materials may be used in inlaid flooring as well. Many stunning examples of inlaid flooring can be seen in old buildings, although the technique is less common in modern construction since it can get very expensive. Inlaid floors are often quite beautiful, especially when well cared for.

When inlaid flooring is installed, the pattern is carefully mapped out before installation begins, and the pieces of the flooring are meticulously cut and put together like a puzzle. Some inlaid flooring may include accents in other materials like bronze, bone, or stone to add even more contrast to the design. Once the entire floor is assembled, it can be finished, polished, and treated. If the floor is well made, the seams between the inlaid portions will be totally smooth, ensuring that the floor still stand up to years of use.

Some people also use the term “inlaid flooring” to refer to a special type of vinyl flooring which is made through the deposition of multiple layers of grains. This flooring holds up well because as it wears, more flooring will be revealed, in marked contrast to veneer floors which wear away to expose their unsightly underlying support structure. Inlaid vinyl flooring can get expensive because it requires more material and a lengthy manufacturing process, but in high traffic area it can be quite useful.

Many people like to get the look of wood inlay without having to spend a great deal of money. Some companies sell manufactured inlays which can be easily inserted into the border or center of a wood floor. These inlays might consist of medallions, ornamental borders, and so forth, and some of them are quite nice. Accents made from metal and other materials can generally be included for an additional price.

Stone inlay usually needs to be assembled by hand, since stone is heavy and it is hard to assemble sections of flooring offsite. Once of the most classic stones used in inlay is marble, since it comes in a range of distinctive finishes and it polishes beautifully. Other stones can be used in stone inlay as well, including stones found on the building site. For people who want the look of stone without the expense, tile inlay or mosaic flooring is a beautiful alternative.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon284235 — On Aug 09, 2012

Your post in inlay flooring is really nice one. It also a very difficult task to put a wooden inlay in the surface, so for that we need some help of those people (home designers) to give us the perfect idea about it.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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