Design Elements: Medallions, Borders, & More

You can create a one-of-a-kind floor by mixing wood with other materials such as stone, tile, slate, marble, metal, and even leather. For example, highlighting a marble foyer with wood makes a dramatic entryway, while incorporating brushed nickel accents into your kitchen wood floor could accent your professional series appliances.

Many homeowners opt to add a custom border or medallion to further accent their hardwood floors and compliment the home décor. These Medallions and borders are available in many different designs, shapes, and brands. Here are a few design ideas to get your imagination fired up.



Rather than the usual horizontal look, in this custom home, the flooring was laid diagonally, enhancing the look of the floor through directional appeal, while providing a visual separation between the dining area and the adjoining rooms. As the homeowner looks across the grain, the floor guides them towards a focal point in the room or into an adjoining room.

Diagonal Dream


Field: The “field” is the central section of a hardwood floor, within the bordered area. It can be of any hardwood species, in any pattern and installed in many different ways.

Border: A decorative area that surrounds the field, augmenting and enhancing the beauty of the field material. Borders can also be placed within the field to achieve special purposes in the design.

Frame or Skirting: Is the area between the border and the wall. It se


rves to size or balance the room and to bring the border away from the wall.

Corners: There are several ways to turn a corner in the skirting or frame. The installation can be parallel with or perpendicular to the field and stepped or mitered as shown.


Area rugs may be considered as an additional design element placed over a hardwood floor, not just for decoration, but also to protect the finish. However, you must be cautious in choosing a pad. Pads that are made up of PVC or solid rubber without air holes will suffocate the finish on the floor, causing it to become dull or faded and pads that are very stiff will slide around and scratch the floor. We recommend using rubber pads with a honeycomb design, as they do not slip and will allow the floor finish to “breathe.”