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Parquet Hardwood Flooring

by Adele Joy

Compared to typical hardwoods, parquet hardwood flooring offers a distinctive and unique look. It consists of geometric patterns in tiles of wood, and originated from woods where many small pieces of exotic woods being arranged in intricate geometric patterns. The visual effects of parquet hardwood flooring can be quite stunning, and variety can be brought to the room simply by moving a rug of piece of furniture to expose or cover different patterns. Modern parquet hardwood flooring consists of solid tiles of wood pre-arranged in patterns, making it easy to install.

Parquet hardwood flooring is generally the cheapest option, and also easy to install: done by simply gluing the tiles to a wood or concrete subfloor. However when considering its suitability, keep in mind that it is harder to refinish than other solid wood floors and its life span is relatively shorter.

Parquet hardwood flooring exists in a variety of woods such as oak, cherry, mahogany, beech and walnut. And from the basic parquet to basket weave and herringbone, parquet hardwood flooring has many design options. These designs come in large tiles made up of geometric patterns composed of individual wood slats, held in place by a paper or plastic mesh backing.

Parquet is a good choice in areas where the moisture content of the flooring is expected to change significantly over time, because the smaller pieces arranged in different directions result in less overall cross-grain expansion. Parquet flooring can be attached to either a wood or concrete subfloor; however concrete subfloors often require an underlayment to help compensate for any unevenness. Unlike strip or plank flooring, parquet flooring is laid in two directions at once. Parquet hardwood flooring should be laid by starting in the center of the room and working outwards toward the walls. This establishes a centered and well aligned geometric pattern.

Preparing to lay your parquet hardwood floor:

  • Store the wood tiles in the room they are to be installed in for at least 24 hours so they can acclimate to the temperature and humidity.

  • Buy about 5% more flooring than you calculate you will need, to compensate for any mistakes. The extra material can also come in handy later in case of damage.

  • The last tiles against the wall will need to be cut to fit. They should be cut slightly smaller than the measured space to allow for expansion of the wood. A ¼” – ½” space is usually sufficient.

  • To avoid mistakes, make a dry run of the pattern you want to lay out by laying a test arrangement before permanent installation. You can do this by following the steps below.

To lay a dry test arrangement of your pattern

  • Find the center of the room by measuring from wall to wall.

  • Snap a chalk line between the center of opposite walls, then snap another chalk line between the other two walls. The intersection between the two lines is the center point.

  • Make sure the two intersecting lines form right angles.

  • Lay a test run of parquet along the chalk lines starting at the center, working toward the wall. Adjust the center to keep the tiles on the edges of the room from being cut too thin.

To actually install parquet hardwood flooring, continue from the steps above to those below:

  • Using a trowel, spread adhesive on a 2’ x 2’ area at the intersection of the chalk lines and let it thicken and become tacky.

  • Pressing firmly, lay down a tile on the adhesive using the lines for placement. Ensure the placement of the first tile is accurate, as it will determine the layout of the entire floor.

  • Tap the tile into place with a mallet, placing a piece of scrap wood on top to protect the tile. If any adhesive seeps between the tiles, clean with a cloth soaked in solvent. Working toward each wall, fill in one quadrant at a time. To avoid putting your weight on any one tile, use a piece of plywood as a kneeling board.

  • Allow the new parquet hardwood floor to dry for a least a day before using.



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