When considering the best floor type, uppermost in mind is the look and the feel a design can give the room. An intricate style can really set off a room, adding interest, atmosphere and personality.

Parquet flooring

A hugely popular choice for its low maintenance and relatively easy installation (although you should use a contractor if you have little or no DIY experience and skills). Parquet flooring is basically a collection of straight-edge wooden pieces joined together in a mosaic style.
Stunning and intricate designs can be created thanks to the basic but pleasing aesthetics of pieces of wood laid in geometric patterns and forming interesting decorative styles. Much of its appeal comes from the natural beauty of wood with its different grains and colour contrasts automatically adding to the variety of the look to create a captivating floor.
A classic example of an interesting parquet style is the herringbone type. As its name suggest, this usually consists of rectangular wood blocks laid in an angled ‘herringbone’ style. There are variations of this:

  • Chevron – looking like the rank stripes on military uniforms.
  • Single – where single blocks are angled but overlap each other.
  • Double – where double blocks are angled but overlap each other.
  • Diagonal – where the ‘chevrons’ cross the floor diagonally.

The possibilities and shades of the wood are many and varied to create a great look.

Medallions and Inlays

These complement hardwood flooring, and provide a stunning way of enhancing an existing floor by ‘dropping in’ a design or creating a new floor incorporating medallions and inlays. They are basically patterns of various types: circular styles are popular but any shape is possible. They can be either ‘off the shelf’ designs you select from a flooring company or a design you may have created yourself or asked a designer to do for you.
The flooring company will provide or make up your medallion – or medallions – and have them fitted. All kinds of intricate and eye-catching patterns can be created including 3D effects and designs rich in artistic content and colour.
Stone or wood medallions are the usual materials. What you choose would depend on the type of floor you already have or are thinking of having.

Floor borders

These are a great way of combining simplicity with something a bit more intricate. The borders near the walls are given a design that can really lift the look of a plain hardwood or tiled floor.
The sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to selecting a border. Flooring companies who offer floor borders will usually provide a comprehensive selection, but it’s often possible to provide your own design – or have one designed to your brief – if you prefer. A common look is to have two ‘lines’ like the tramlines on a tennis court but filled with a pattern of some type.
They don’t have to be just at the floor’s border – they can be deployed in breaking up the floor area. For example, you could have a square or oblong in the floor or use them to maybe link up sight lines like pillars.
As with medallions above, floor borders are available in hardwood or stone – and marble, too.

Choosing your floor

With the different types of flooring material and the scope of what’s possible, choosing a floor type and design can be overwhelming. The key is to consider the use the floor will experience, and the aesthetics of the room. What effect are you hoping to achieve? What’s missing presently that a different floor can give? A good flooring expert can help here.
Joe Bishop is the Director for luxury hardwood flooring specialists – William Beard Flooring. Joe has over 11 years’ experience in working with timber flooring, he is a highly skilled installer and restorer of wooden floors.