Flooring Guide: Parquet Flooring

Floor Construction Types                     Floor Installation Method                     Floor Finishes                     Floor Edge Styles

Parquet flooring is a series of wood flooring pieces that create a geometric design. For centuries wood parquet floors were desirable products available only to the rich. By the end of the 19th century, with the development of the steel nail, tongue and groove wood flooring was introduced. Although the flooring was inefficient (only the top 1/8” (3mm) of the ¾” (18mm) thickness is sandable/usable) it was a big progress at that time. At the end of the 1930’s, with the development of concrete floors and flooring adhesives, mosaic straight edge (no tongue and groove) 5/16”(8mm) thick construction was introduced. This much thinner product had the same sandable/usable thickness as ¾”(18mm) T&G flooring.

Example of parquet floor Different parquet flooring example

The mosaic parquet flooring industry flourished worldwide, but for some reasons during 1980’s-1990’s virtually disappeared. All mass produced wood flooring materials are now only T&G. The majority of the floors are ¾”(18mm) thick. Newly introduced 5/16”(8mm) thick solid T&G strip flooring claimed to be environmentally friendly. This product is not environmentally friendly. This clam is false. It is a completely disposable product; there is no way to sand it. Recently introduced laminate flooring is T&G too.

The idea of making high quality parquet flooring to be produced in volume, affordably and environmentally friendly was originated in 1970 by Anatoli Efros, the founder of Parquet By Dian. At that time he was the head of the department of Ukrainian Woodworking Ministry, producing wooden components for construction.

The parquet flooring division consisted of 17 factories producing over 60 million square feet of various parquet construction. The high quality flooring that they produced was 3-ply, 40mm thick (1.5”), with a ½”(13mm) thick top hardwood layer. This construction was bulky, extremely unstable and expensive. The parquet had to be nailed down to a wooden sub floor. Mr. Efros decided to eliminate the wasteful two bottom plies and develop a system to glue the parquet directly to the sub-floor. The biggest challenge was to create a technology of parquet installation, finishing and maintenance, which would produce a finished floor that would last for over 100 years.

In 1975 Mr. Efros immigrated to the USA. He found that unlike the U.S.S.R., where the parquet industry offers a full package, consisting of the manufacturing of products, its installation, finishing and maintenance, the USA parquet manufacturers only manufacture the flooring. They do not control the installation, finishing, or maintenance. After 25 years of research and development, he successfully completed his project of manufacturing a practically indestructible parquet construction (including water damage), that when used with special adhesives and finishes eliminate the need to replace a floor for over 100 years.

Parquet Flooring Care

Hardwood floors add charm and beauty to almost any room, but like any other flooring, they need regular care to maintain their quality appearance. A lustrous polished wooden floor won't stay that way for long unless it is looked after. Maintaining that luster is going to be less troublesome than the ongoing cleaning and maintenance of carpet and in the long term, easier and less expensive than for most vinyl or other floor coverings, which will eventually need to be replaced.

Parquet Floor Daily Maintenance

For all types of floors, regular sweeping and mopping is best. Use brooms and brushes made with fine bristle and exploded heads. Keep in mind that water and wood don't mix, so keep the moisture on the floor to minimum. One thing you shouldn't do is damp-mop waxed floors as excessive surface water can cause the finish to flatten, and may eventually penetrate and damage the wood.

Dirt and grit are a timber floor's worst enemy! It doesn't just hide the gleam of polished floorboards; its abrasiveness actually harms floorboards too. Place doormats or rugs on the inside and outside of doorways. This will help trap dirt, grit and other abrasive materials, preventing damage to the floor through scratching, grit becoming embedded and reduce dust.

High heel shoes, especially worn ones, will dent any hard floor surface, even concrete. Perhaps you could encourage visitors to take off high heels on arrival.
With furniture legs, it is not so much weight but movement that damages floorboards. Fit protective pads to the legs of tables and chairs so that they can be moved easily without the risk of scuffing the floor.

Wipe up any spills as soon as they occur using a damp cloth. Taking quick action can prevent any staining of the finish or the actual wood.

Strong light, particularly direct sunlight can cause a chemical reaction in wood causing it to change colour (aging or weathering). Move rugs occasionally and use curtains or blinds to protect the floor from direct sunlight.

Following are tips which will help to preserve the beauty of your floor:

  • Regularly sweep and vacuum the floor to prevent any loose dirt or grit from scratching the surface and use damp clean cloth with mild detergent if necessary
  • Don't clean floor with abrasive pads, polish, powerful soaps or cleaners
  • Place doormats inside and outside at every entrance
  • Use felt pads under chairs and table legs to prevent any scratching
  • Avoid furniture with wheels as they may dent the timber
  • Always protect your floor when moving heavy objects. Use an old rug (wrong side up) and slide the object along the floor on the rug
  • Place a rug in areas where spillages may occur i.e. in front of the dishwasher and sink.