Parquet Flooring - The Pannelled Beauty

Installing Parquet flooring

Parquet Flooring

Parquet flooring refers to creating a patterned surface that is composed of a number of small strips of wood.

The sizes of the wood strips / panels can be anything from 1" by 6" to 12" by 12". Parquet flooring design possibilities are near endless but there are three main recognized ones:

* Standard Style

* Fontainebleau Style

* Herringbone Style

Many people chose strips for a more contemporary look. It creates a linear effect in a room, often promoting the illusion of a larger space. Planks, on the other hand, differ in that the effect produced is more of very antique county traditionalist look

Parquet flooring can be produced form a number of different types of wood. Darker types generally give a more traditionalist look. Cherry wood (American and Brazilian) will gain a deeper shade very quickly on exposure to sunlight. Woods with lighter shades give a more contemporary effect.

Is there a risk having all those seams? Not at all! The seams are sealed, therefore any chance of dust upsetting the appearance is avoided. Newly fitted strips should be sanded before the sealant is applied.

Installing Parquet Flooring

The wood panels need to acclimatize for a few weeks before installation can begin. Begin by first laying a row (dry) along the longest wall - leaving just over half an inch between the wall and row. The gap allows the wood to expand and any excess is filled in with cork and then covered over with moulding.

Lay (dry) a second row running in the opposite direction on the opposite side of the room and mark the position on the floor. First lay all the whole panels making reference to the manufacturer's installation and mixing instructions. Remember to drop the panels into position rather than slide them.

The edges of the room might require specially sized pieces. A fine toothed saw used in conjunction with a template are just the tools for such task. Once laid the entire parquet floor can be lightly sanded before being varnished.

Repair and Maintenance

Parquet floors (if sealed) just need a quick sweep and rubbing with a wax that has a solvent base. Some are treated with a lacquer - these types only need to be run over with a vacuum and maybe the occasional wipe with a damp cloth.

Over time the surface may start to house scratches. To remove these and any other imperfections the floor will have to be sanded again and then re-sealed. In the event of damage the relevant strips can be removed (and the glue underneath) and a new tile put in its place. If you do not have any left over strips you will find you may have to experiment with several wood strainers to get the strips to match the original surface.


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