Parquet floors look very different from typical hardwoods. They were originally made up of many small pieces of exotic woods arranged in intricate geometric patterns. Modern hardwood parquet floors are made up of solid wooden tiles predisposed in patterns, making them easy to install. Parquet floors are generally the cheapest, however, they are more difficult to repaint than other solid wood floors and their lifespan is relatively shorter.
Hardwood parquet floors come in many designs, ranging from basic parquet to basket weave and herringbone. They come in large tiles made up of geometric patterns made up of individual wooden slats, held in place by a paper or plastic mesh backing. The visual effects of parquet floors can be quite impressive, and variety can be brought into the room simply by moving a furniture mat to expose or cover different patterns.
Parquet flooring can be attached to a wood or concrete subfloor, however concrete subfloors often require a base to help compensate for unevenness. Because smaller pieces arranged in different directions result in less overall cross-grain expansion, parquet is a good choice in areas where the moisture content of the floor is expected to change significantly over time.
Parquet floors come in a variety of woods including oak, cherry, mahogany, beech, and walnut. It is a good idea to rehearse the pattern you want to design by placing a test setup before permanent installation.
Wood tiles should be stored in the room in which they will be installed for at least 24 hours so that they can acclimate to the temperature and humidity. You should buy about 5% more flooring than you estimate you will need to make up for any errors. Additional material, if not required, could be useful later in case of damage.
Unlike slatted or plank flooring, parquet flooring is laid in two directions at once. Hardwood parquet floors should be laid starting in the center of the room and working toward the walls. This establishes a well-aligned, centered geometric pattern.
Find the center of the room by measuring from wall to wall. Draw a chalk line between the center of the opposite walls, then draw another chalk line between the other two walls. The intersection between the two lines is the center point. Make sure the two intersecting lines are at right angles. Lay a parquet test along the chalk lines starting in the center, working towards the wall. Adjust the center to prevent tiles at the edges of the room from being cut too thin.
Using a trowel, spread the adhesive over a 2 ‘x 2’ area at the intersection of the chalk lines and allow it to thicken and become tacky. Pressing firmly, place a tile over the adhesive using the placement lines. Make sure the placement of the first tile is accurate as it will determine the layout of the entire floor. Hit the tile in place with a mallet, placing a piece of scrap wood on top to protect the tile. If any adhesive seeps between the tiles, wipe it off with a solvent-soaked cloth. Working toward each wall, complete one quadrant at a time. To avoid putting your weight on a tile, use a piece of plywood as a kneeling board.
The last tiles against the wall will need to be cut to fit. They should be cut slightly smaller than the measured gap to allow for the expansion of the wood. A ¼ “- ½” gap is usually sufficient. Let the new parquet floor dry for at least a day before using it.