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What is parquet flooring?

Posted on July 20th, 2012 In: Articles, Floor Sanding Articles

If you’ve pulled back your old carpets to reveal a beautiful parquet floor underneath, you’ll be understandably delighted. But what exactly is parquet? And if you’re planning to have a parquet floor laid in your home, what are your options?

Parquet is without doubt one of the most desirable types of wooden flooring. Don’t just think ‘school assemblies’ and ‘church halls’ – parquet is far more than merely that characteristic herringbone pattern you remember from your school days. Parquet flooring is made up of small pieces of hardwood that are joined together to produce a variety of different geometric designs. In much the same way that you lay paving stones on sand to be sure of an even surface, parquet flooring is normally overlaid on top of a softwood floor. This results in an incredibly well insulated floor too, with practically no opportunity for draughts and ‘cold spots’ to occur, as the floor is extremely well sealed.

Parquet flooring has been elevated to an almost artistic level, and some extremely elaborate floor patterns are highly sought after. The actual process of laying a parquet floor can be done either manually by experienced craftsmen, or today by machines that are specially designed for the job. But either way, laying a parquet floor is no job for an amateur. To get the true effect of a parquet floor, it is always best to leave the job to the professionals.

Is it expensive?

A parquet floor screams quality from the second you see it, and yes, they can be very expensive. Because rarer hardwoods are often used in the pattern, they can be a little controversial too, as some hardwoods are becoming extremely hard to source ethically. However, engineered hardwood is providing a less expensive and more sustainable option. This uses a fine veneer of the hardwood overlaid on top of plywood. So you still have all the effect of a hardwood floor, but at a fraction of the cost and with none of the ethical debate that surrounds the use of genuine hardwoods.

Is it right for my home?

Parquet flooring can be incorporated into any style of home, whether it’s a traditional, older property or an ultra-chic modern apartment. If installed by professionals, a parquet floor can become the signature flourish of any décor, elevating what would normally be a perfectly fine but relatively uninteresting room into a showpiece of interior design. Ideal for high traffic areas as well, parquet looks equally at home in a corridor as it does in a living room. However, if you are planning to install a parquet floor into an area such as a kitchen or bathroom, talk to your installation experts first as prolonged exposure to moisture in particular can cause parquet floors to warp. Your floor installation team may be able to recommend specialist surface treatments that will give you an enhanced level of protection against moisture damage, spills or scratching.

Are they easy to look after?

Parquet floors are as easy as any other type of wooden flooring to look after. Once installed, they require relatively little maintenance, but do remember that the surface can become worn and scuffed over time, so they will require a polish every few months to keep them looking pristine. Small scratches can be dealt with using ‘touch up’ sticks that can be bought through specialist outlets, or if your floor needs a little extra boost you can always call in your floor sanding specialists to give your floor a full service! Parquet floors are a gorgeous addition to any home, and are a worthwhile investment in your property too.

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