Parquet Wood Flooring: Perfection in a Durable Form

Parquet wood flooring, or floors of wood tiles, has enjoyed an aristocratic past. Sumptuous dining rooms, the dens of mansions—parquet wood floor tiles formed an expensive symbol of elegance. Today, however, the expense has greatly diminished (more so for do-it-yourselfers) and anyone may enjoy the beauty and durability of a parquet floor.

Parquet is most often chosen for its decorative appeal. Coming in many styles and patterns, parquet wood floor tiles could easily be chosen for its durable nature—installed properly, a parquet floor should last you quite a long time. If anything, homeowners may require new finish for the floor, but the flooring itself is immensely strong. Furthermore, that decorative appeal is adaptable to numerous décor styles from colonial Williamsburg to modern minimalist to Tuscan charm. The warmth of wood is unmistakable and surpasses most other materials in terms of beauty and durability.

Installing parquet flooring yourself will most likely cut your floor’s price tag in half. The installation is not fraught with frills and special skills. It tends to be a streamlined process that requires laying parquet tiles along an adhesive and employing a mallet to fix them into place. Preparing the surface, gathering the necessary tools and learning a few simple techniques means you’re halfway to a beautiful parquet floor.

Naturally, you will need to choose your parquet wood floor tiles. Manufacturers make a wide variety of patterns. Typically, when you visit your home improvement or tile store, you’ll find commonly sold patterns such as Monticello, Fontainebleau, Canterbury, Haddon Hall, Bordeaux and Herringbone. Pattern choice is different from wood choice - you must also consider a variety of woods. The tiles come in pre-finished and unfinished squares, as well as solid or laminated wood. Some popular wood choices are maple, ash, white oak, red oak, walnut, pecan and even teak. While parquet is popular for its smooth finish, some homeowners prefer a textured variety of parquet that is also available.

The cost of the wood, the finish and the intricacy of the pattern are all factors that will affect the price tag. Solid wood is also considerably more expensive than laminated pieces. However, a quality laminate piece will be comprised of three or more layers of hardwood veneer. Purchasing pre-finished tiles means that the manufacturer has baked a sealer into the wood and coated with a wax or urethane finish for worry-free maintenance. If you can afford the added cost, this is a hassle free option. You simply install the tiles and voila! your floor is finished.

Unfinished parquet tiles are less expensive, and of course, they allow the installer to finish precisely according to taste, which can be the upside of the project. The project will entail considerable mess, though. Once the floor has been installed, the finish requires sanding the floor, staining it, and laying down a couple of coats of protective finish. The process will take several days as each separate coat must thoroughly dry before moving on to the next.

When you come to purchasing your floor materials, know your floor’s area - the dealer should help you determine the amount of parquet tiles and adhesive you’ll need. Choose a water-based mastic adhesive especially if you are doing the job yourself - no toxic fumes that are contained in solvent-based mastic. Some homeowners rely on self-stick parquet tiles, but the surface has to be absolutely smooth and perfectly clean to make for a lasting floor.

Keep in mind that a parquet floor will not do particularly well in areas where moisture is a problem in the home. Moisture will cause the wood to swell and eventually break loose. Wood and water are never very good friends. If you are installing a floor below ground level, a laminate parquet floor is actually the best choice because of the moisture issue of such conditions. In any case, a clean, smooth and dry surface makes for the most ideal conditions for parquet.

Some tools you may likely need if you’re doing the installation yourself: a notched trowel for spreading adhesive, an edger to sand the floor’s perimeter, a sand belter for sanding, a drum sander for the sub floor, coping saw for cutting the tiles, a floor roller to firmly push the tiles into the adhesive, and a mallet to give the tiles their initial push. Avoid a floor roller for pre-finished tiles—allow a mallet to do the job in that case.

Parquet wood flooring is an elegant feature for any home when left bare or accented with decorative rugs or mats. Its appeal is timeless and will adapt to any décor style for nearly any room in the house.