How to Professionally Restore Your Parquet
Most popular in bungalows built during the early to mid 20th century, parquet floors are now highly desirable. Homeowners who discover parquet lurking beneath ancient and crumbling old carpet have good cause to be delighted, and those who discover an unusual design or medallion pattern have cause to be doubly pleased.
However, it might be that the floor has a few missing or damaged parquet tiles and if this is the case don’t let that put you off. The cost of a professional restoration will be well worth the initial outlay. Beautifully restored parquet floor sanding of any design adds depth and glamour to a room and will always be a talking point when friends come to call. It can also raise the value of your home.
A little help from your friends
Loosened tiling can be fixed back into place relatively easily, but damaged tiles will have to be replaced although sometimes sourcing the correct pattern is more challenging than the actual replacement process. This is especially true if your parquet is old and of an unusual design. However, you can enlist the help of your friendly local floor specialists who will be delighted to source replacement tiles for you.
Whether you decide to revamp the floor yourself or obtain a quote from flooring specialists is entirely down to confidence in your own ability and how much time you have allocated to do the job. Don’t try to fit the entire restoration process into a weekend (in some cases even a week is not long enough) especially if the room is large and you are working alone.
Parquet – the info
Parquet is fixed together by tongue and groove although older style tiles may be glued with bitumen tar. In any case always handle the tiles with care as they may be quite fragile. If your floor is held down with bitumen then it is likely that much of it will have secreted onto the tiles themselves over the years. If this is the case, remove all carpeting extremely carefully and remove any large pieces of bitumen with a scraper before starting the sanding process.
Residual bitumen may also cling to the under-floor area and this too will have to be removed. Don’t be tempted to skip this somewhat painstaking process as bitumen adhesive will seriously impede the re-bonding of the tiles.
Depending upon the condition of the floor, it may be necessary to apply a levelling compound (acrylic) to even up the floor before attempting to reinstall any tiling. If so, apply exactly as stated and allow plenty of ventilation through the room.
This done, you can now reinstall your tiles by following the existing pattern. Although there will be gaps between tiles try to make sure these are kept as small as possible. Trowel on new adhesive on the under-floor and make sure to use a ridged trowel or else put ridges in the adhesive yourself so that the tiles can sit securely. Clean any spillage as it happens. It is much easier to remove adhesive before it dries in.
The sanding process
Now you can lightly sand the tiles to remove imperfections and achieve a uniform smoothness of finish. You would be best served by hiring an industrial sander for this part and avoid heavy sanding, even if the floor looks as if it could use one! Several light sandings with you in control is much better than a heavy sanding, which may remove too much of the tile veneer. Complete the perimeter of the room by using a hand held sander to get in flush to the skirting. Vacuum carefully after each sanding.
The big finish
When your parquet tiles are shining like new with their pattern clearly defined then it is time to apply a finishing of choice. Whatever type of finishing you choose, apply in accordance with instructions and allow adequate drying time – ideally 48 hours before bringing in furniture.