Flooring (main) : Flooring articles : Parquetry flooring

Flooring: Parquetry

Parquet flooring or parquetry is a specialised form of timber flooring using small blocks or fingers of wood to create highly decorative patterns.

There are two types of parquetry available:

Block parquetry - is made of individual blocks available in various thicknesses. The most common size is 260mm x 65mm x 19mm thick.

Mosaic parquetry - is small individual fingers supplied in a sheet form. It is available in 9mm thickness making this a cheaper alternative to block parquetry.

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Both block and mosaic parquetry can be used to create almost endless pattern ideas to suit your decor. However block parquetry can be created into a wider variety of different patterns than mosaic parquetry. (Vinyl woodgrain 'planks' can be laid in designs to resemble parquetry, although not as intricate.)

Where Parquetry is Suitable

Parquet floors are best installed in a large formal area, such as a dining room or formal lounge, where the beautiful, intricate patterns can be seen to advantage. Parquetry also looks striking in an entrance hall or foyer.

Installing Parquet Floors

As with timber floorboards, block and mosaic parquetry have to be installed over a solid flat and stable foundation. This makes parquetry a very durable and sound flooring option.

If parquetry is applied directly over a concrete slab, the slab must level and have an epoxy membrane applied before the parquetry is laid, to prevent moisture rising and causing the parquetry to cup.

Finishes for Parquet Floors

There are three types of finish for use on timber floors:

  1. Solvent Borne polyurethane
    (one pack, two pack and moisture cured provide some of the hardest finishes available today, with gloss levels from matt to a very high gloss. Polyurethane finishes are resistant to abrasion, but may scratch if care is not taken. They will generally darken over time. There is generally a strong odour after sealing
  2. Water Borne polyurethane and polyurethane/acrylic mixes
    should be applied over a sealer which enhances the colour of the timber. Acrylic is often added to water borne finishes provide more body, but results in a softer, less wear- resistant finish. Products with little or no acrylic provide a flexible, hard-wearing surface. Finishes range from matt through to high gloss and do not darken with time. There is little odour with water borne finishes.
  3. Oil Based Finishes Varnishes
    shellac and the traditional tung oil, are still used, to recreate the effect of the polished and waxed timber floors of the past. A softer finish, they require much more maintenance, and provide a low-gloss sheen.

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