Care and Maintenance of Parquet Medallions
If you are the proud owner of a sanding parquet floor that has been embellished with a glorious medallion centrepiece you may, understandably, be a bit wary about how to care and properly maintain your floor. Fortunately parquet, like any real wood, is not overly complicated to care for, and a little regular maintenance goes a long way to keeping your parquet in pristine condition.
One of the main factors in causing deterioration in wood flooring is temperature. Over the years a consistently humid atmosphere will cause tiles to warp and, in some cases, split. Another main cause of damage is the settling of heavy pieces of furniture, high heels and ground-in grit and dirt coming off the soles of shoes. Water damage is also a factor. Water that is allowed to puddle on the floor is never good for parquet tiling and will, if left unattended, seep in between the tiles to cause rot below the surface.
The ideal temperature for the preservation of parquet flooring is between 180 and 230C. During hot weather it is a good idea to air the room by having a flow of air travelling through the area from open doors or windows. In winter humidity needs to be increased by using a humidifier or, in the cases of large areas such as in stately homes and hotel foyers, an interior fountain or aquaria are ideal.
Furniture legs should be covered with felt feet protectors or carpeting before being placed on the floor and when moving furniture, never drag it across the tiles as this is guaranteed to cause serious damage to delicate motifs!
If the parquet medallion is on a high traffic area such as a reception or hallway then it is essential to have a mat at the door which can catch most of the grit from shoes. If you are fortunate enough to have a parquet medallion in your home then you can install a boot box by the door and teach children (and adults!) to remove outdoor footwear before entering the house. If the floor in question is in a commercial or public building then the boot box may not be an option, but in such cases, make sure there is adequate jute matting placed strategically at every entrance.
Parquet flooring restoration in general can be sanded in the same way as can other types if hardwoods although when choosing a finishing remember that the medallion should be carefully finished in order to gain and to retain the lustre worthy of a central showpiece.
Be a show off
Show off your parquet medallion to best effect by carefully selecting the right finish. Your choice of finishing should be dependent upon the area, how much traffic passes through, the amount of natural light it receives and of course the temperature of the room.
Parquet finishing oil is absorbed into the pores of the tiles, making them shine and acting as an effective protection against grime, grit and abrasive dirt particles. Oil also defines the wood grain of each tile and is especially striking on light coloured medallions and edging designs. The downside of using oil is that it will eventually show signs of wear and tear in terms of scuff marks and small scratches, making the tiles feel slightly rough to the touch.
However you can sizeably lengthen the life of your floor’s appearance with proper cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning should consist of sweeping twice weekly, mopping with a (lightly) moist mop every four weeks and a complete freshening up every 12 months. If you do this then your parquet floor and medallion centrepiece should last for 8 years or so before requiring a complete resanding and refurbishment.
Parquet flooring can be vacuumed lightly, but do not use the hard floor carpet attachment. Instead select a nozzle and skim lightly over the floor. Parquet and medallions respond very well to a simple dusting. Tie a dry duster around a mop head and move across the tiling to bring a natural and healthy shine to your parquet medallion.