As homeowners spend more time outdoors and continue to invest in functional outdoor living spaces, finding ways to add personality into their designs is a top priority. Decks can be a great way to achieve this personalization and offer a variety of ways to add some flair to your outdoor area.  

For a more subtle design, incorporating accent colors to stair risers or deck trim could be just the thing you need to set your deck apart from your neighbors. But, if you want to take your design up a notch for an even bolder look, consider adding an inlay – a custom-designed decorative element built into the deck.

Decking Inlays – What to Know

In the right circumstance, a decking inlay can ensure your deck is just as visually stunning and design minded as the rest of your home. And, because they are customizable, they offer an easy way to infuse your deck with your own personal touch.

“Installing an inlay can be a great way to break up the look of larger decks, specifically those larger than 20 feet,” says James Moylan, president of Design Builders, Inc. “When it comes to placing the inlay, you want to take in account your furniture and décor layout so the inlay is well positioned. As for inlay designs, I personally think a simple design – one that is subtle but adds some flair – is the best way to go.”

While inlays can provide a design statement to your outdoor space, they also offer a functional role as well.  

  • They visually break up large spaces. An inlay is a great way to add visual interest to a large, expansive deck. While it is a matter of personal preference, an inlay can feel crowded or busy on a small deck, so many design firms only suggest them for large outdoor spaces.
  • They hide awkward board lengths. Sometimes a home’s particular layout results in unusual deck board lengths or atypical dimensional elements within the deck. An inlay can help mask these irregularities and create a more seamless look.

Decking Inlay Styles

Since decking inlays are custom created, the design possibilities really are endless. Want to show some love to your favorite sports team or city skyline? Custom inlays can be created just for that.   

If you do find yourself overwhelmed by the process of choosing a decking inlay, not to worry. You can’t go wrong with these four popular design options:

  • Compass
  • Celtic/Gaelic knot
  • Curves, rounded lines or leaf patterns
  • Square

Decks can have a tendency to be quite traditional in design but the days of the standard square, one-colored deck are slowing going away. Custom inlays offer a design element that is uniquely yours. So, if you had to choose an inlay for your deck, what would it be?

Post written by Design Builders, Inc., a home improvement contractor in the Washington, D.C. metro area.