Instructions for Wood Inlays

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    The Basics

    • A wood inlay is created by installing pieces of floorboards in a contrasting color. This process is usually done after the wood floor has been installed. The floorboards used for the inlay should be the same thickness as the floorboards used for the rest of the floor. A router is necessary to cut away the section of the floor where the inlay will be installed.


    • Creating the inlay design and the stencil is the first step. In a wood inlay kit, the inlay is already assembled, and a stencil is included for easy installation. Without a kit, you will need to cut the floor boards with a saw and arrange them to make a design. Once the design has been decided upon, draw a stencil on a piece of plywood and cut it out with a jigsaw.


    • Place the stencil on the floor in the desired location of the wood inlay. Use small finishing nails to secure the stencil to the floor. Using a router to trace around the inside edges of the stencil, make a 1/8-inch deep cut into the floor. After making one complete pass around the stencil, repeat this procedure and cut into the floor 1/8-inch deeper, until you have cut completely through the wooden floorboards. Make a series of shallow cuts to avoid cutting into the subfloor. Remove the floor boards with a chisel. You may also remove the stencil at this time.

      Spread wood adhesive onto the subfloor with a small notched trowel. Set the wood inlay on top of the adhesive. It should fit snugly into the recess that you created with the stencil. Walk on the inlay in order to press it down firmly into the adhesive.

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