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How to Inlay Wood on Laminate

David Weedmark

Wood inlays can add a beautiful focal point to any room of the house. Installing inlays on a laminate floor may seem like an intimidating project to anyone who has never cut into a floor before. However, working slowly with an electric router, you can achieve very precise cuts, that will allow the inlay to fit perfectly into the laminate. Before selecting a wood inlay, make sure that is the same thickness as your laminate flooring.

  1. Place the wood inlay on top of the laminate floor where you plan to install it. Then trace the inlay onto the laminate using a fine tip marker.

  2. Set the router to the depth of the laminate, then carefully cut the outline of the inlay into the floor. Do not cut deeper than 3/16-inch. If you cut any deeper, you will risk overheating the motor. For thicker laminates, cut the floor to 3/16-inch, then reset the router for the remaining thickness, and then cut a second time.

  3. Remove the laminate from the subfloor. Laminate is not actually glued to the subfloor. The laminate pieces are glued together side by side. Occasionally, some of the adhesive may have seeped from the sides onto the subfloor during installation. If this has happened, use a prybar and putty knife to lift the laminate and scrape the glue from the subfloor. Then use a belt sander with course-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining pieces of laminate or glue.

  4. Sweep and vacuum all debris from the floor.

  5. Apply the adhesive on the subfloor with a brush while wearing rubber gloves, with adequate ventilation in the room, and according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  6. Put the wood inlay onto the subfloor. Wait for the adhesive to set before walking on the inlay.