Custom Insets and Designs
Clean the inlay area and glue the medallion in place with the recommended adhesive. When sanding, it may be necessary to use an edge sander on the medallion, depending on the hardness and direction of the species of wood in the medallion; this will reduce the dish out that can occur with mixed species. As always, follow the manufacturer's recommended installation procedures.
Photo 3 is a mixed media floor installed with wood and tile. This Fontainebleau pattern (more commonly known as a basket weave) floor was installed for the 2004 Installation Showcase at Surfaces. Glen Paris, Suzy Namba, Jason Namba, and Steve Marley installed the floor. In this type of installation, it is critical to lay out the subfloor with caulk lines, and material cuts must be accurate to avoid pattern runoff. This type of floor can be installed with pre-finished wood products as well as unfinished wood.
This installation used 13-inch-by-13-inch-by-1/4-inch thick tiles and 4 1/4-inch-by-3/4-inch solid pre-finished planks over a wood sub-floor. Once lines are chalked onto the subfloor, a template of the tile is made using a 3/8-inch piece of plywood.
For a sand and finish installation, you can use blanks where the tile or stone will be set. Construct wood blanks that are the same thickness as the flooring being installed and fasten to the subfloor with countersunk screws, you don't want the sander to hit any screws.
Think laminate floors have design limitations? Not!! Photo 4 is a floating laminate floor that was also installed for the 2004 Installation Showcase at Surfaces. Ken Maynus and Joseph Longoria installed the floor. This floor had the circle insets as well as fiber optic inlays in another area of the floor. As I stated earlier, templates are the key to the cutouts. Photo 5 shows Ken and Joe preparing the circle templates for cutting out the laminate circles with the router. The installers manufactured the templates for this installation. Where this is a floating floor, the router is adjusted to cut half the thickness of the flooring.
The tools needed for this type of inlay requires a router, spiral cut straight bit, top bearing rabbet bit, guide bushing adaptor with a combination of bushings, 1/4-inch medium density fiberboard (MDF) for template material, and sand paper and block. Once the router and template (double face tape to hold the template) have been used to cut out the top half of the depth on the installed floor, the inset can be cut out using the same template, the top bearing rabbet bit is used to route out the bottom half of the inset creating a joint for the flooring and inset.
Photo 6 is an installation from the 2002 National Installation Contest held at Surfaces. Mike Suffia was the resilient winner that year. The radius curve on the floor required a template to follow the contour of the deck area. Trying to maintain an exact distance to follow the contour of the radius is not possible as it creates sharp curves, so a template was cut for the installers to use. The star on the upper deck also used a template for an exact fit. Photo 7 is the installation from the 2003 National Installation Contest at Surfaces where David Rowden was the resilient winner. Photo 8 shows adjustable trammels, they can be used to accurately transfer scribe arcs and lay out circles to large for ordinary compasses or dividers. The trammels are attached to a 5/8-inch- to 1-1/2-inch-thick wood beam, and can be adjusted to the desired diameter.
Photo 9 is a carpet installation by Jim Rank from the 2002 National Installation Contest at Surfaces; Ken Frango was the carpet winner that year. The template for this installation was a seaming diagram. Dimensions from the module were taken and the exact layout was transferred to a work order and seaming diagram. This type of installation requires exacting measurements as the pattern is aligned to certain points, so knowing the dimensions and the squareness of the room in relation to the layout is essential.
We have only touched the surface for these types of installations in this article; there are several associations that offer more in depth training for these types of installations.
Contact the World Floor Covering Association for more information 800-624-6880 x19 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.