What is Parquetry Flooring?

On April 15, 2019 by Himanshu Shah

Parquetry Flooring

Parquet wooden floors feature a distinguished crisscross pattern that is arranged by placing smaller wooden tiles in a repeating pattern. Traditionally, these floors were installed piece by piece, but in today’s time, parquet flooring features wood slats pre-stuck together against a backing material. The floor can then be installed simply by gluing and nailing the backing material onto the surface.

Since hardwood is the primary material used for parquetry flooring, the performance is also similar to solid hardwood flooring.

Over the Times

Traditionally, parquet flooring was common in the homes of wealthy people. It was an exclusively more enjoyable creation of excellent craftsmanship. Each wooden slat was cut and fitted into small pieces, forming unique and attractive geometric patterns. Such floors originated in the 16th century when they were first laid over a marble floor. Since then, they became a staple in the flooring world and a preferred choice of the upper class. During the war era, carpets became popular, but even then, parquet floors remain dominant. They were often paired off with carpets to achieve a sleek look.

It was in the 1960s and 1970s that manufacturers began producing thinner tiles that distinct between 9 inches and 12 inches. These were made from re-engineered wood and then arranged in geometric patterns. Though the appearance was similar to original parquet flooring, the costs were lower because the tiles were much smaller and easily cut and glued onto a thin hardwood veneer. Overall, the costs were quite reasonable and everyone, regardless of their class or status, chose parquet floors over other options.

Features

Thickness

Generally, the most common tiles of parquet flooring range from 9 inches to 10 inches. They come in both square and rectangular forms. The thickness of these tiles is between 0.30 inches and 0.75 inches. The tiles are attached to a thin cloth, paper or plastic over a metallic or plastic frame. The topmost wooden layer is oak, walnut or maple.

Unfinished vs. more straightforward Flooring

Unfinished parquet floors can easily get damaged due to dust and other environmental factors. Plus, they get stained easily. These tiles may be sanded or coated with an appropriate material to preserve their characteristics and durability. Even though parquet floors can be treated after installation, it is best to invest in tiles that have been treated industrially if you prefer a higher quality flooring option.

Several finishing options are available for parquet floors. Roughly, they can be refinished the same number of times as a hardwood floor that has a similar thickness, but doing so isn’t easy because the grain is oriented in different directions. When they are not finished professionally, this often leads to cross grain scratching, which cannot be buffed out. Many times, the floor has to be sanded with hand so that it continues to look smooth.

Performance in Damp Environments

Compared to traditional hardwood flooring, recycled timber flooring, and other similar options, parquet floors perform slightly better when exposed to moist environments. Parquet floor consists of small slates. Compared to a traditional hardwood floor, each of these is less likely to expand and contract under humid conditions.

That being said, parquet is still wood, so it will mould and warp if it often comes in contact with water

Design Options

Parquet flooring looks elegant and is commonly used in living rooms, kitchens, foyers and entry hallways. Generally, they work best in informal environments. When installed in kitchens or bathrooms, the intricate geometric designs can be a bit overwhelming and may not be able to bear high traffic and dampness. When it comes to bedrooms, they are only preferred if space is big and luxurious. For small and cluttered bedrooms, parquet recycled timber flooring is usually not a great idea.

  • Herringbone – Deriving its name from a fish, this pattern features rectangular wooden tiles of the same length attached in a crisscross pattern.
  • Double Herringbone – the pattern is the same as herringbone, but double planks are used together for a unique look.
  • Basketweave pattern – this is a simple weave pattern, often created using different wood shades for a more enjoyable and unique effect.

Advantages

  • The wide range of options to choose from – parquet floors are available in so many patterns and styles that anyone is sure to find something they like. And even in terms of the core wood material, you can select from numerous wood types like oak, maple, and recycled timber.
  • The installation is more straightforward, so labor costs are on the lower side. The entire floor is glued without any nails. Once the flooring has been laid, the urethane-based adhesive takes around 60 minutes or so to stick the backing firmly in place.
  • Also, the tiles are thin and can be fabricated or cut with a saw.
  • These days, parquet floor tiles are made from solid wood. As long, as they aren’t exposed to dampness, they remain durable and can be used for years.
  • In some cases, the multi-piece construction also renders a 3D appearance, which looks exotic in drawing and family rooms.
  • Prefinished tiles are readily available in the market, though they can be refinished even after installation. They are stained in many colours and treated with durable polyurethane finishes for extra protection.

Cons

  • The parquet floor is not recommended for wet spaces and in the basement.
  • The tiles are relatively thin. If you don’t choose a reputed provider, the fundamental value will be quite low. Obviously, without a solid underlying framework, the floor may flex sooner than expected.

Though refinishing options are available, they are quite limited when compared to other flooring types. The small thickness only permits slight sanding, which is further complicated by the multidirectional grain.

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