About Oak Parquet Flooring About Oak Parquet Flooring

Parquet floors—or oak parquet flooring—first used in Versailles in 1684, are characterized by the small squares of wood laid in a geometric pattern and glued to a sub floor. Originally, these floors replaced marbled flooring because of the frequent washing needed for marble floors. Now, in today's buildings, they are used for floors in many types of structures, including residential.

Types of Wood Used

A variety of wood is used to manufacture the wood squares for parquet floors. The variety of wood used for these floors adds contrasting grains and colors from such wood as walnut, lime, maple and oak. Some of the expensive parquet floors come from mahogany and other tropical hardwoods. Even bamboo, though it is not classified as a wood, is often used to make up the squares of some parquet floors.

Maintenance

These floors, especially those made of hardwoods, typically last longer than other types of flooring. The famous parquet floor at Boston Gardens, for example was used there from 1952 until 1999. Parquet floors are usually maintained by brushing and mopping. The use of vacuum cleaners is rare because particles of grit that become embedded in the brushes and consequently scratch the floors wood surface.

Flooring Removal

When parquet floors were first used, the square pieces that made up these floors were clued to sub-flooring with the same hot bitumen used in installing some types of roofing. Today, cold adhesives are used in the installation of new floors. This glue has a reputation of being very strong and makes it quite difficult to remove the parquet pieces. In some cases, removing these squares requires the use of a chisel and hammer. A tile adhesive remover is sometimes used to get these adhesives off sub-floor surfaces. 

Design and Use

For homeowners who want to add flair or the quaintness of an older home, they can often choose parquet flooring that comes in a variety of patterns, wood grains, and colors. These wood floors are used, at one time or another, in every room of the house, even living rooms and halls. They are widely chosen by do-it-yourselfers as a favorite flooring because these floors are easy and inexpensive to install and maintain. For dining room or living room use, a darker color is normally used. For applications where the actual design is the central focus, light and dark squares are often mixed to form patterns such as checkerboards. Foot traffic estimates often will determine the type of pattern to be used, and the type of wood chosen. High wood grades with a harder finish will normally last longer under high traffic conditions.

Installation

Installation of this flooring requires prepping of the floor surface, insuring that it is level when the tiles are laid. If it is not level, a leveling compound will usually be added until it is level. For installation on a concrete base or subfloor, styrofoam or heavy plastic will usually be added as insulation.

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