Install Hardwood Floor Medallions

Lead Image for Install Hardwood Floor Medallions

Hardwood floor medallions are an elegant and distinctive way to add to the home décor. Medallions are purchased separately from other flooring and come in round, rectangular and oval shapes.

Before beginning with medallion installation, note that the medallion should be maintained in conditions that control the temperature and humidity for at least one full day (24 hours) before installation. Before and after the installation, use either a built-in or portable humidifier to maintain a humidity of 40 to 60 percent. Be especially vigilant in the winter, when dry air is common. Failing to control the humidity leads to warping, cracking, and gapping with medallions and wood floors.

Mark Area

In rooms with an existing hardwood floor: Decide on the location for your medallion. If you are installing a square or rectangle medallion, use a template to trace the outline onto the installed wood floor.

If the floor is not yet installed, mark the medallion shape on the subfloor.

Install Hardwood Flooring

If you are installing a medallion on an existing hardwood floor, skip this step.

Using the manufacturer’s instruction, install the wood floor around the medallion area. Overlap the medallion area by ½ to 1 inch all around so that you will create a tight cut and leave no gaps. Keep nails away from the medallion install area.

Replace the Template

Line up the template with the lines you have traced on the floor and temporarily tape it down with painter’s tape, double-sided tape, or small staples, and be sure that it completely covers existing flooring.

Cut Hole for Medallion

Using a piece of wood along the line as a guide, use a router in several passes, cutting about 3/16” each pass. Cut down to the subfloor. Repeat for the other sides.

For a round medallion, use a jig, pivoting around a center point that is ½ the diameter of the medallion circle to create a perfect circle, or use a wood template. Again, use several passes and cut to the subfloor.

Clean Area Thoroughly

Use a vacuum then a damp rag to thoroughly clean any wood dust from the area. Put a piece of tape under the medallion area, test fit it into the hole to be sure it is largely flush with the floor, then remove the medallion.

Glue Medallion

Using flooring adhesive of moisture cure urethane adhesive, cover the medallion area. Place medallion in the hole, and put heavyweight that is evenly distributed on the medallion. Bags of sand and concrete on top of an old blanket both work well.

Clean off excess glue immediately and allow the glue to cure according to suggestions by the manufacturer. There is normally a 24 hour curing period.

Sand and Finish

If your floor and medallion are pre-finished, your task is done! If not, sand the medallion and floor to ensure an even fit. Fill any gaps with wood putty, then finish the medallion in concert with the rest of your flooring.