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08 Mar 2021

Following the Pattern

Parquet flooring is a popular choice, adding warmth and character to any room and with a timeless appeal that means there’s no danger of it going out of fashion. But just how suitable a flooring choice is it from a practical stance and can it be fitted as a DIY project? Here, we speak to Peter Keane, Director of The Natural Wood Floor Co., to find out.

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There are many advantages to parquet flooring, accounting for its popularity down the years. It is a classic choice that works across any style of property, from a contemporary urban bachelor pad through to a classic country cottage and everything in between. Engineered wood parquet boards are suitable for virtually any room in the home too, from the kitchen where it combines with other popular materials including stone and metal, to the living room to add character and warmth, through to the hallway for a grand entrance.

Engineered boards are suitable for humid areas such as kitchens and most bathrooms and can be installed on top of underfloor heating, so your parquet floor is as warm to walk on as it is to look at. That’s because an engineered board has up to 11 layers of plywood backing, with each layer glued at a 90º angle to the adjoining layer. The top layer of a precious hardwood is then glued on top, resulting in a much more stable floor with negligible reduction in the lifespan of the floor and a robust construction.

Injecting personality and character into large and small spaces alike, the trend for real wood flooring means parquet has never been so popular, bringing a timeless elegance to any room throughout the home. Creating an elegant and sophisticated look, the combination of colour, wood detailing and pattern that is possible with parquet make this a real statement floor.

The first task, of course, is to measure the space required for flooring, to ensure adequate materials are purchased. To do this, multiply the width by the length of a room as this will give you the area. Then allow 5 to 10% on top of this for wastage – important when laying parquet woodblocks.

With your measurements taken care of, it’s then time to decide on a pattern, and this can be harder than it looks because there are lots of options available, all of them guaranteed to create striking results. Parquet wood block flooring can look stunning in small or intricately-shaped rooms such as entrance hallways or main living rooms with bay windows, protruding fireplaces, alcoves etc., the pattern follows the contours in the room and, with a border, can frame it making a real statement piece.

Herringbone

This is a classic laying pattern for parquet, with the blocks laid, so they interlock in a diagonal pattern. Most commonly, the points of a herringbone pattern floor are laid parallel to a room’s longest wall, or towards the window. Traditional in style, this pattern is suited to wood with an aged look, so that it resembles reclaimed wood. To give the look a modern twist, there is no reason why different species of wood or different finishes can’t be combined, for a really striking impression.

Basketweave

Equally as traditional is basketweave parquet, which can be laid in several different styles. Each pattern has its own unique style and is ultimately down to individual preference and the size of the blocks being used.

Brickwork

For something a little more contemporary, brickwork and ladder-patterned parquet look particularly striking when chosen for long, narrow spaces such as entrance hallways.

Chevron

A timeless classic that never goes out of fashion, chevron parquet really looks the part when laid over large spaces. Choose individual chevron blocks of standard sizes to lay one by one, or engineered chevron boards glued together in a row on a board for easier fitting.

The style of laying pattern chosen will depend on the setting, the size of the parquet, the species and grade of wood and even the finish. Go large with 600mm-sized blocks for a modern twist on a design classic or opt for an aged design to add extra character with a reclaimed effect. We always recommend that parquet is fully bonded to the subfloor with a flexible adhesive, as parquet woodblocks are not suitable to float or fix with nails and our best advice here is to seek advice from an experienced parquet fitter who will ensure you achieve the best results.

Once laid, a parquet floor will not only be timeless but should also last a long time, providing it is cared for and maintained appropriately. A combination of dry cleaning to remove dirt and dust particles and damp cleaning to protect it against scratches is really all that is needed for a lacquered or oiled floor. For weekly cleaning, a capful of correct concentrate mixed with water and applied with a damp mop will suffice, while to refresh the look and lustre annually, which is important in high-traffic areas such as the kitchen, use a concentrated polish, again applied with water and a damp mop.

If after many years of wear and tear your wood floor requires a refurb or you are updating your decor, re-sanding can make it good as new and a blank canvas for the latest colour trends. Local serious damage from deep scratches, dents or leaks can be rectified by removing the affected blocks and inserting a new one, whilst it requires an experienced specialist, it is possible.

Chosen well and with the right care, a parquet floor will look the part for many years; the most difficult decision will be in choosing which wood type and pattern to opt for.

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