Everything you need to know about parquet
When it comes to extravagant flooring, parquet has the edge. It is made of tiny pieces of wood arranged with geometric patterns, parquet is an attractive aesthetic element for any space. In the United States, parquet reached its peak in the 1960s. But after that, like other boom trends, demand slowed.
However, recently wooden floor has shown signs of revival and this is due to modern manufacturing techniques which offer consumers a greater choice of wood species and patterns. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons as well as pricing as well as installation and maintenance to determine if this striking design is right for you.
What is a parquet?
Parquet comes from the French word “parqueterie”, which means “small compartment”. It was first introduced to France in the 17th century during which craftsmen crafted intricate designs by carving and fitting small pieces of wood one at a time and then gluing them to the floor. Due to the skill and time required, parquet was originally only available for affluent homes and public structures. Some of the earliest examples still exist, such as the Galleria d’Hercule at the Hotel Lambert, Paris – and are considered works of art as such.
Possibilities And Prices
Although craftsmen can always put together unique parquet flooring, the majority of contemporary flooring is made up of square tiles with pieces of hardwood that are glued together with thread or a thin plywood base.
Bespoke parquet is not often found in modern homes as it requires cutting pieces of wood and putting them together like a puzzle to create mandalas, mosaics and various other intricate designs. The handful of custom flooring companies charge $20 to $45 for each square foot or more, depending on the complexity.
There are a variety of hardwoods like oak, chestnut, and ash that are popular for these tiles. You can also find exotic species of bamboo and other woods. Parquet tiles are sold per carton and are available in 9 inch, 12 inch or 18 inch sizes. If the tiles are installed by a homeowner, parquet costs between $3 and $5 per square foot. Installation by a professional can drive the price up to around $7 to $10 per square foot.
Advantages and disadvantages of parquet
Before investing your time and money in a wooden floor, take a look at its positives and negatives.
- Variety, with hundreds of intricate designs to choose from.
- The warmth and awe of authentic wood.
- Tile installation is easy to DIY with no nailing required.
- It’s not easy to finish (see later).
- Do not install above ground level (in basements) due to typical moisture issues.
- Not recommended for high humidity areas, such as laundry rooms and bathrooms.
Many flooring contractors and flooring experts are qualified to install parquet tiles. However, whether you decide to work with a professional or attempt the task yourself, these tips will help you understand what is needed. Remember that manufacturer specifications differ, so it is important to follow the instructions included in the box of the floor tiles with parquet.
Preparing for installation
The parquet must be laid on a stable base, such as a solid subfloor. The ground must be flat and dry. Get rid of baseboards before installation.
Let it acclimate
Parquet is real wood and should be acclimatized to the space it is placed in to minimize the possibility of gaps forming later in the boards. The typical acclimatization time for hardwood floors is two weeks. Place the boxes in the room. There you do not need to remove the tiles. The wooden slats can move without notice as they adapt to humidity and temperature.
Be sure to plan your layout well.
Parquet tile patterns repeat with each subsequent tile. If the rows are not straight or exactly aligned with the walls, the results will look sloppy. Some pieces are not square, so you will need to be aware of this when designing the plan. The tiles come with clear instructions on how to create an ideal floor plan. Follow these instructions exactly to get professional results.
Use tools and materials recommended by the manufacturer
The tools and materials recommended are specifically designed to provide the most effective results, so don’t mess with ready-made materials. The type of adhesive is different depending on the type of tile, but the manufacturer may also recommend a trowel with particular notch sizes.
Cut with a jigsaw, not a circular saw
Although it is normal to cut different types of wood flooring with the circular saw, parquet usually has tiny threads embedded in these pieces of wood. The wires could get caught in the rotating blade of the circular saw, causing a hazard, destroying the tile and damaging the saw. The up and down motion of the jigsaw can cut wire and wood without causing problems.
Be sure to protect your investment with the proper care, and your flooring will last for many years to come.
- To maintain your floor, mop the floor with a wool or microfiber mop to remove dust and light particles.
- Be sure to clean up spills quickly using sponges that absorb water. Use a damp sponge or washcloth to remove sticky spots.
- Vacuum at least once a week or as needed, with an attachment for your brush.
- Use the cleaning products specially designed for wooden floors monthly or as often as needed to maintain a sparkling and shiny appearance.
- Beware of dust removers for wooden furniture which could make the floors extremely slippery.
- Avoid using a steam mop. Heat and humidity could damage the finish and increase the grain size of the wood.
- Avoid applying floor polish or wax specifically designed for ceramic tile or vinyl floors, as they may damage the floor finish.
- Place rugs in high traffic areas to protect your flooring finish.
- Use silicone sticks or felt protectors on furniture legs to prevent scratches.
With proper maintenance, parquet will retain its shine for 10 to 15 years or more. Over time, even the most meticulously maintained floors can begin to look dull, especially in high traffic areas. If the finish coat becomes thin, refinishing may be an option, but should be done by a wood flooring professional.
Refinishing a parquet floor is not an easy task as removing the previous finish requires sanding and the wood must be sanded in the direction of its grain to avoid crooked marks. Since a floor parquet has pieces of wood running in different directions, removing the previous finish without damaging the wood underneath requires meticulous attention.