Wood Accents: The Star of Your Space

by Jason Brubaker

Every space needs a focal point to direct the eye, soothe the senses, continue a theme, hide an unsightly feature or make a statement. One of the easiest and most beautiful ways to create a focal point is by using wooden accents to complement or contrast with your wood floors. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


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If your facility includes stairs, they can easily become a natural focal point. Stairs don’t have to be ugly or utilitarian, and making a beautiful staircase doesn’t have to be expensive.

Whether or not your floor is real wood, wood just naturally makes a statement. Choose treads with rounded end caps to prevent tripping and to provide a sophisticated appearance. You can mix and match stairs and risers to create a beautiful staircase. Use light wood risers and dark treads, or dark risers and light treads, to increase visibility and improve safety while providing a stunning architectural focal point.


Infused wood comes in a variety of moldings that match or contrast with the finish of your flooring. Quarter round or flat moldings can be used to provide a transition from one surface to another, whether that transition is created by floors that are different heights in adjacent rooms or by spaces around corners. Combining multiple sizes and styles of moldings together can create a custom look that adds to the unique character of your facility.


A wooden baseboard gives a finished look to any room while protecting walls from dings and kicks. A baseboard also helps keep a space cleaner by preventing dust and dirt from settling in the seam near the walls.

Many restaurants and hospitality facilities use plastic moldings and baseboards as a matter of course, but the richness of a matching wood finish piece can’t be beaten.


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Natural wood is naturally beautiful The grain forms attractive patterns all on its own, but the variety of finish colors and grain patterns available can be used to create even more beautiful patterns in your floor.

One of the simplest ways to use wood as an accent is to use an eye catching layout when you install the planks. Instead of a traditional random end to end pattern, consider creating a square pattern by laying the planks perpendicular to those in adjacent squares. Be sure to create squares of equal size across the space to avoid a haphazard look.

You can also create a herringbone effect by laying uniformly sized planks on the diagonal to one another. You can adjust the size of the chevrons to suit the dimensions of the space by using longer or shorter planks.

Planks of equal sizes can also be used to create a uniform brick-like pattern, or layout in a basket weave look.

One of the most striking ways to use wood as an accent is to use contrasting wood colors to create a pattern. You can use inlays of dark wood on a light wood background or use the lighter wood to create contrast in the darker floor. One example of how to do this might be using the dark wood to create a geometric pattern, a shape such as a compass, or a facility’s logo. Whichever way you decide to create your accent, the effect will always be striking.