Parquet flooring came from the practice of visually defining the area of the floor in a palace where the throne of the ruler would be placed. These areas were often raised and had designs more intricate than other areas of the floor.
In France, by the mid 1600s, improvements in wood flooring assembly allowed designs to become more detailed. After this improvement, wood floors became just as intricately designed and expensive as marble and stone floors. These designs started being used for entire floors in the homes of aristocracy and gained popularity in Paris as a symbol of wealth.
The popularity of parquet flooring grew after it was used in the Palace of Versailles. Parquet floors in different designs are used throughout the palace with the most well-known example being in the Hall of Mirrors.
How its made
Parquet floors are comprised of small pieces of wood arranged in a repeating, angular, geometric pattern. Often, a smaller pattern repeats over different areas of the floor becoming part of a larger overall pattern. The designs can be relatively simple like a herringbone or more complex like basket weave and Versailles styles.
There are two methods for constructing a parquet floor. Block parquet floors consist of individual small solid wood blocks in pre-cut lengths arranged to create a pattern. Custom designed block parquet floors are still available, but today the look is more often achieved with larger wood panels. The smaller wood pieces are fitted together and bonded to a backing to create the larger panel, similar in concept to ceramic or glass mosaic tiles. The larger panels are then arranged to create the floor design and adhesive is used to attach them to the subfloor.
Parquet floors can come in solid hardwood, engineered wood and laminate. Exotic woods are also available, but considerably more expensive. This flooring is most commonly made of oak, but walnut is often seen as well.
Different varieties of wood are often used together to give various colors to the pattern. Unlike traditional strip or plank flooring, the grain of the wood will also vary. Parquet floors can be unfinished, requiring on-site application of stain and protective coating, or factory finished.
Wood parquet floors are a more formal look and are often used in large open rooms, such as living rooms, dining rooms and in foyers. Because there is so much pattern, parquet floors usually look better where the rest of the room design is kept simple. The amount of pattern can also be overwhelming for a small room.
Advantages and disadvantages
This flooring is somewhat better than traditional strip or plank hardwood floors in humid areas. Because the individual pieces are small and the grain goes in different directions, parquet flooring is slightly less prone to expansion because of high humidity.
Another advantage to solid hardwood parquet floors is that they can be refinished. However, even though this floor can be refinished, the process can be a little more difficult. The sanding can be especially difficult since the grain goes in different directions. Because of this changing grain pattern, parquet flooring is more prone to scratching across the grain.
Gowdy Flooring can handle all types of flooring for your big or small remodeling project. Call us today at (806) 353-6226 for any questions about our products and services. You can also connect with us via e-mail. We welcome your visit to our showroom located at 5205 S. Coulter St. in Amarillo, Texas.