What is Parquet Flooring?Written by: Yarl Christie
Out of all of the different flooring types on the market, parquet flooring is considered to be one of the most exquisite and luxurious. Used for decades in commercial and public sector settings, in recent years these floors have become particularly popular in domestic environments too.
So, what is parquet flooring and is it a good choice for the home? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about this superior flooring solution.
What is Parquet Flooring?
Parquet style flooring is created with 100% wood, yet unlike real solid wood, it consists of several layers. Three tough wooden layers are placed at an angle in parquet flooring construction, in order to give them a stronger, more stable finish.
Developed in France, parquet style floors were originally used by the Royal Family and the wealthiest French residents. However, over the years they have become a lot more affordable, making them a popular choice in households across the world. The most distinguishing feature of parquet flooring, is the fact it is made up of strips or blocks of wood, put together to form unique patterns.
Understanding the different types
Like other types of flooring, you’ll find a range of different types of parquet available. The most common material used is oak, although you can find more exotic woods occasionally too.
There are two main types of parquet floors on offer, including solid wood and engineered wood. The only real difference between the two is the price. Solid wood parquet floors tend to have a more luxurious design, making them the most expensive option out of the two. The fact you can buy engineered wooden parquet flooring, makes it more affordable for those on a tighter budget.
There are numerous pattern options available, with Herringbone being the most common. It’s a fairly simple pattern, though there are variations available featuring double, diagonal or single pattern designs. Other style options include Chevron, basket weave and hexagon. So, no matter what style you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in this great range.
Installation & Maintenance
When it comes to installing parquet flooring, it is best done by an expert. Those with advanced DIY skills may be able to fit them by themselves, but there are a few factors to consider.
Firstly, it’s important to avoid using nails to secure the floor down. Instead, a high-quality flexible adhesive specifically designed for parquet flooring is the best option. You should avoid using all-purpose adhesive as this typically isn’t strong enough.
If you’re installing the floor on top of concrete, you’ll also want to make sure you use a polyethylene film layer between the subfloor and the parquet flooring. Finally, when it comes to cutting the wood, a circular saw or handsaw is best used, ideally on a workstation where the wood can be clamped to reduce the risk of injury.
In terms of maintenance, you’ll be happy to know that parquet floors are really easy to maintain. Ideally, you’ll want to vacuum the floor a few times a week, or simply give it a sweep if preferred. You’ll also want to mop the parquet floor once a week. If the parquet is oiled or lacquered, you’ll also need to ensure you know how to take care of these types of surfaces.
Pros & Cons of Parquet Flooring
It’s important to look at both the pros and the cons of parquet flooring before deciding whether or not it’s right for you. So, let’s start with the pros. The main benefits parquet flooring provides includes:
- It provides a striking appearance
- It’s long-lasting and durable
- Very easy to care for
- Increases the value of the home
There’s no denying that parquet is one of the most beautiful styles of flooring available. There are lots of different unique designs to choose from and they really capture your attention. You can even tailor the flooring to your own design preferences, creating your own distinctive patterns. So, if you’re looking for a floor that’s going to really wow in terms of aesthetics, parquet is definitely worth considering.
It’s also remarkably durable. This is largely thanks to its unique construction, consisting of layers which are diagonally placed for ultimate strength and stability. Provided you ensure the floor is well sealed and adequately cared for, it’s sure to last for many years.
Speaking of caring for the floor, it’s surprisingly easy to do. The only thing you really need to be aware of here, is that you should avoid using any abrasive cleaners. Provided you use gentle cleaners and you sweep the floor regularly, you should find it looks sparkling new for years.
Depending upon what type of parquet flooring you invest in, it can add real value to the home. Buyers love parquet flooring, so they’re typically willing to pay that little bit more for a parquet style floor. You’ll just need to make sure it’s installed correctly and you’re investing in the highest-quality materials to experience this benefit.
So that’s the main pros of parquet flooring, but what about the cons? Well, there aren’t as many disadvantages but it’s still worth being aware of the following:
- Parquet is susceptible to scratches
- They can be damaged by excess moisture
- They may fade in direct sunlight
- They need to be sealed and polished
Like all wooden floors, parquet flooring can be easily scratched. However, unlike other types of wooden flooring, repairing these scratches can be really costly. This means you’ll need to take care to clean the floor regularly to protect it against debris, as well as avoid wearing heels while walking over it, and protecting it against marks from furniture.
They also aren’t designed to withstand high levels of moisture. So, you’ll be limited in where you can install them and when it comes to mopping, you’ll need to make sure the mop is only slightly damp, rather than soaking wet.
Fading can also be an issue depending upon whether the parquet floor has been oiled or lacquered with a protective surface. It’s recommended you rearrange your furniture regularly to ensure it evens out the floor’s exposure to light.
Finally, although he general care and maintenance of parquet flooring is straightforward, you may need to seal and polish the floor upon installation. This helps to stop the floor appearing dull after a while. It’s worth noting that not all parquet floors will need to be sanded, sealed and polished. So, it’s a good idea to learn more from the manufacturer before buying a particular parquet style floor.
Overall, parquet flooring is one of the most popular and valuable styles of floor you can add to the home or business. With so many different ones to choose from, it’s worth comparing your options before deciding which one is right for you.