Parquet Wood Flooring Explained: An Expert Guide
There’s something rather special about parquet wood flooring. Radiating elegance and sophistication, it’s a wonderful way to make a statement that will stand the test of time. Historically, parquet was the flooring of choice for aristocrats and royalty, but today it’s far more affordable, practical and very much back in fashion.
The rich dark tones of walnut parquet laid in a herringbone design. See the full project here
An example of the elaborate parquet flooring found in castles and stately homes. Photo by Michael D Beckwith via Unsplash
The History of Parquet Flooring
Parquet originates from seventeenth century France. The original, elaborate parquet designs took considerable time and skill to achieve and as the solid wood segments were prone to warping, the floors often had to be removed and replaced over time. This made it incredibly expensive and the ultimate style statement for the rich. Today, parquet woodblocks can be made from stable engineered wood, so they are more affordable, durable and versatile.
Parquet Flooring Style Options
The changes in modern day living have fuelled the trends for open plan rooms and large kitchen diners, so bigger and bolder parquet designs have become more desirable. Combined with modern finishes, there’s plenty of choice to create a look that's both current and stylish. For those who prefer a more antique look, specially aged blocks look convincingly old and worn, as seen in one of our recent projects. Other options include unsealed wood which can be finished in a colour of your choice or pre-finished flooring available in a huge range of colours.
We fitted this walnut parquet throughout this home
Pale parquet flooring will brighten a room and is great for achieving a Scandi look
Parquet Wood Flooring Design Options
Herringbone is undoubtedly the most popular design and will make a room appear longer or wider, depending on which way the blocks are fitted, as the points in the pattern draw the eye along the floor. Other options include, double herringbone, basket weave and brick designs. More intricate designs are possible, but the installation costs will increase with the complexity of the design.
The curved skirting provides an interesting contrast to the rigid rectangular parquet blocks which have been laid in a herringbone design
Parquet Wood Flooring Border Options
There are several design options to consider, but the choice may be restricted by the size of the rooms. If a room is joined to a narrow hallway and the parquet is running throughout, for consistency it’s better to have the same design everywhere. When fitted without a border, the design will create a seamless, continuous look, while a single or double border will define and emphasize the size and the shape of the room. For larger areas, this effect is even stronger when combined with a tramline. This can be in a darker or lighter shade to create an interesting two-tone effect.
Oak Parquet with a single border and darker wenge tramline
Three toned floor. Dark parquet flooring, lighter tramline and dark single border
Mitred Corners with Parquet Flooring & Wood Floor Borders
We always recommend featuring mitred corners, as it helps the border to flow around the room and avoids unsightly, smaller cuts of wood. The mitred corners look particularly impressive when they mirror the design of fitted furniture and architraves. This requires skill and craftsmanship to execute, which is why some fitters are unable to offer this service. We have perfected our wood crafting skills over many years, with meticulous attention to detail.
Large format blocks with a single border and mitred corners
Aged parquet blocks. The border mirrors the design of the architraves for a professional fit
As with all good things, parquet wood flooring looks its best with a little maintenance. In some cases neglected, tired parquet will benefit from a complete overhaul to bring it back to its former glory. We use all the latest equipment to make the sanding and resealing process as dust free as possible for minimal disruption, as seen from these examples of our recent work.
Full restoration of a rare panga panga floor
If you are considering a new parquet wood floor for your home or next project and require fitting or design advice, we would be more than happy to help.