Meanders (Greek Keys/Frets)

The pattern is called meander, Labyrinth, and Maze. This was one of the first border patterns to become popular.

Contents to Section Below:

Square Wave

167 Floor border: P167 South Midwood Year? 

252 Floor border: P252 Park Slope circa 1899 

164 Floor border: P164 South Midwood Year? 
All corners covered. Bands are 1-1/2" wide. Border width is 7". Then surrounded by 1-1/2" oak, 1" mahogany, and 2" oak. Inner field is 2" slats laid diagonally.

222 Floor border: P222 West Midwood c1910 
This border was in the hall on the second floor. This was the only picture I was able to get in the house. The first floor was entirely carpeted wall-to-wall. On the second floor the three bedrooms had good patterns, with one being a triple twist. But all had furniture and stuff covering all corners. Pictured here is the starting corner in the hall. Note how nicely the square wave melds with the corner block. The pattern border width is 5-1/4". Mahogany bands are 3/4" with 1/4" maple between. Oak background blocks are 3-1/2" × 1-3/4". Surrounded by 1-3/8" oak strips. Inner field is diagonal fingerblock with 2" slats in a 12" square.

99 Floor border: P099 Bedford-Stuyvesant 1901 
A square wave. Border pattern width is 5". Mahogany bands are 3/4" wide. Maple bands are 1/4". Oak rectangles are 1-5/8" × 3-1/4". Side oak strips are 1-1/2". Inner field is diagonal fingerblock with 2" wide strips in an 8" square. The same border, not pictured here, has an inner field of diagonal fingerblock with six 1-1/2" wide strips in a 9" square.

275 Floor border: P275 West Midwood circa 1910 

259 Floor border: P259 Lefferts Manor 1897 

  Floor border: P099a   Floor border: P099b

193 Floor border: P193 Prospect Lefferts Gardens Historic District 1906 
Pattern border is 5" wide. In the ribbon the mahogany is 3/4" and the oak 1/4" wide. Oak inner blocks are 1-5/8" × 3-1/4". Surrounding oak strip is 1-1/2" wide. A very interesting inner field. Maple strips are 1/2" wide. Fingerblock has three fingers 1-5/8" × 5-7/8".

255 Floor border: P255 Ditmas Park Historic District, circa 1905 

Linked Boxes

28 Floor border: P028 Beverley Square West 1900 
This can be looked at as a chained Othala rune that has been stretched and then attached together. The center maple band is 3/4" and the outer walnut ones are 1/8". Inner squares are 1-3/4" on a side. There is a 1/4" gap between corners. Border width is 6-3/8", split into two 2-5/8" boards and a 1-1/8" center board. Maple feature strip is 1-3/8". Oak strip between the maple and the border is 1-3/4". Outer oak strip is 2". The Chicago Floor Co has this pattern in No. 60. It has a corner.

244 Floor border: P244 Beverly Square West circa 1899 

"L" Meander: Thin Meander

Unequal strip widths add a rare twist to the common "L". More like the "T" meander.

177 Floor border: P177 Prospect Lefferts Gardens 1906 
In a front hall. Reversed coloring. Very lovely. Maple band is 3/8" wide. Mahogany is 1" wide. Making a 3-1/8" wide pattern. Larger right trapezoid is 3-7/8" long. Surrounding is 1-3/8" mahogany and 1-3/4" oak. Inner field is 2" slats in 8" diagonal fingerblock.

172 Floor border: P172 West Midwood 1906 
The mahogany is 3/8" wide. The oak in between is 1" wide. Giving a pattern border of 3-1/4" wide. Surrounding is 1-3/8" oak, 1/2" mahogany and 1-1/2" oak. Inner field is 2" slats laid diagonally.

294 Floor border: P294 West Midwood circa 1910 

"L" Meander: Common

The following Greek Fret (Greek Key) is a common border and corner. I have a spreadsheet that calculates the sizes of all pieces based on a given strip width.

270 Floor border: P270 Crown Heights North circa 1899 

27 Floor border: P027 Caton Park 1909 
Again, like the other room in the same house, they put effort into getting the pattern to go around the fireplace.

153 Floor border: P153 Ditmas Park 1907 
Having maple for the insides is unusual.

209 Floor border: P209 Fiske Terrace 1905 
Pattern border is 6" wide. Each band is 1.2" wide. Ratio is 4. Surrounding is 2" oak, 1-1/4" mahogany, and 2" oak. Inner field is diagonal fingerblock with 1-1/4" wide slats in a 11-1/4"? square.

4 Floor border: P004 Bushwick 1897 
This is similar to the one above, but the corner and dimensions are different. This has the right corner for this border. This was another one that was difficult to figure out the dimensions. I wasn't expecting it to be in thirds of inches (or twelfths). This is E.L. Roberts No. 2408 with an extra mahogany strip around it. See measured drawing.

187 Floor border: P187 Stuyvesant Heights Historic District 1892 
Overall border is 6" wide. Strip width is 6/7". Inner field is straight 8" fingerblock with 2" wide fingers.

119 Floor border: P119 Crown Heights South 1913 
Pattern width is 4-3/8" wide (5 × 7/8"). Repeat is 7" (8 × 7/8"). Inner field is 1-1/4" slats in 7-1/2" fingerblock.

10 Floor border: P010 Windsor Terrace, Park Frontage 1911 
The pattern here in a narrower size. Only two woods: mahogany and oak. The field parquet is 8" square, with four 2" wide strips. The corner and border are clearly 6" wide. I fudged the dimensions to make it 6-1/8" wide. I didn't see how seven divides into 6". This is E.L. Roberts No. 2382. See measured drawing.

The Common "L" Meander: Folded Ribbon Corners

2 Floor border: P002 Clinton Hill early 1900s 
The house was built in 1872, but this flooring had to have have been added later. Most likely early 1900s. This appears to have only two woods: mahogany and oak. Though the wood between the mahogany may be a different type. See measured drawings.

55 Floor border: P055 Bedford Section 1881 
The bands are 3/4" wide, giving a pattern width of 4". In spreadsheet, use 3/4" for width of strips and 4.5 for middle piece length. For the corner enter 1" for strip width.

237 Floor border: P237 Midwood Park circa 1930 
Bands are 25/32" wide, giving a pattern border width of 4-29/32". Surrounded with 1" oak. Inner field is 2" diagonal slats.

The Common "L" Meander: Pinwheel Corners

All of the borders in this section have the same dimensions. See spreadsheet. The middle piece is 5" long, giving a repeat of 8". The bands are 1" wide, giving a pattern width of 5". The outer mahogany band is 1-1/2" wide. Giving an overall border width of 10". Between the border and inner field should be a mitered strip. It is missing in some of these. In house build year order.

56 Floor border: P056 Bedford Section 1881 
House is too old. This must be a refloor.

126 Floor border: P126 Crown Heights North Historic District 1890 
Inner field is 2" slats in 8" diagonal fingerblock.

51 Floor border: P051 Crown Heights North I 1894 

82 Floor border: P082 South Midwood 1897 
Inner field is 1" slats in a 12" diagonal fingerblock.

85 Floor border: P085 South Midwood 1901 
Inner field is 2" slats laid diagonally.

176 Floor border: P176 Prospect Lefferts Gardens 1906 

147 Floor border: P147 Park Slope Historic District 1908 
Inner field is 1-3/4" strips in fingerblock.

138 Floor border: P138 Lefferts Manor 1910 
Inner field is 1-1/2" strips in 12" fingerblock.

68 Floor border: P068 South Midwood 1910 
Inner field is diagonal slats 1-1/2" wide.

198 Floor border: P198 Caton Park Year? 
This is one of the rare ones that miters around the corner block. Bands are 1" walnut. Surrounding is 1-3/8" walnut and 2" oak. Inner field is diagonal fingerblock with 1-1/2" slats in probably a 12" square.

234 Floor border: P234 Midwood Park circa 1930 
Border pattern is 5" wide. Surrounded with 1" oak, 1-1/2" walnut, and 2" oak. Inner field is 2" diagonal slat.

Pinwheel Corners and Extra Strips

173 Floor border: P173 West Midwood 1906 
The junction of the inner oak strip should have been mitered. This one has an extra strip of mahogany on the outside only.

150 Floor border: P150 West Midwood 1908-11 
Bands are 1" wide. Ratio is 4. This one has an extra strip of mahogany on the outside only. Inner field is 2" slats laid diagonally.

178 Floor border: P178 Prospect Lefferts Gardens 1906 
This one has an extra strip of mahogany on the outside and inside. Making for a very wide border overall. They did miter the mahogany around the corner block, which delineates the block better.

276 Floor border: P276 West Midwood circa 1910 

278 Floor border: P278 West Midwood circa 1910 

The "T" Meander

I created a spreadsheet that has the sizes of all pieces.

220 Floor border: P220 Crown Heights North II c1907 
Not only did this house have six borders worth photgraphing, but the floors were put down by experienced craftsmen. With a little effort one can blend this pattern around the corner. All corners, expect not the corner with the beginning and end. That corner has to and had a corner block. Mahogany bands are 1/2" wide. Oak between the border and the inner field is 2" wide. The inner field is diagonal fingerblock with three 1-1/4" and six 1-3/8" slats making a 12" square. The floor had a wax finish.

285 Floor border: P285 Park Slope Historic District 1931 

26 Floor border: P026 Caton Park 1909 
A page on Caton Park. I like the way they took this pattern around the corners of this fireplace. The fret pattern is 6-1/2" wide and has a 12" repeat.

248 Floor border: P248 Prospect-Lefferts Gardens Historic District 1907 
This is the way these corners should be done.

112 Floor border: P112 Park Slope 1909 - Apartment.
They could have done a better job of integrating the border (1/2" mahogany strip surrounding by 1-1/4" oak). Pattern border is 6" wide.

154 Floor border: P154 Ditmas Park 1907 
Ribbons are 1/2". The wide band is 1-3/8". This is repeated for the surrounding strips. The inner field is 1-3/8" slats in 11"? fingerblock.

197 Floor border: P197 Caton Park Year? 
Walnut bands are 1/2" wide. Same dimensions as the others. Inner field is diagonal slats 2" wide.

53 Floor border: P053 Crown Heights North I 1894 
Instead of going around the corner here's a nice corner block. Though the corner's feature strips didn't get a clean intersection. The pattern is 5-15/16" wide. In T-Meander spreadsheet enter =1+5/16 rectangle width and 1/2 for strips.

107 Floor border: P107 Midwood Park Historic District 1904 
The inner border width is 6". The mahogany strips are 1/2". The oak pieces are 1-5/16" wide. That makes the oak right trapezoids 2-7/8" high. The oak Isosceles trapezoids are 8-5/8" wide. The inner field is 2" diagonal slats.

194 Floor border: P194 Prospect Lefferts Gardens Historic District 1906 
The same measurements as #107. Note interesting inner field.