Versailles parquet flooring
Versailles panel flooring also known as Versaille parquet has a history which dates from the 17th century. As the french name suggests it was first designed and installed in the magnificent France’s chateaux. Since then the installation and finishing techniques have remained almost unchanged until the second half of the 20th century when all the wood flooring industry started to benefit from the technological progress.
Nowadays the Versailles parquet comes as pre cut blocks to be manually assembled in situ or ready made panels which can be even prefinished.
Although there is a tendency to use the Versailles panel technique to achieve different flooring patterns the traditional way is to have squared bordered sections which contain a repeating pattern. The square panels can be laid diagonally or longitudinally. The best alignment should be chosen always in accordance to the room features.
A brief description of the work involved: our Versailles parquet flooring is designed to go above the industry standards and to produce exceptional results. Beside the common solutions, we developed our own special techniques. Bellow we provide a description of a comprehensive fitting service.
Furniture: many times we are asked to work having the bigger furniture items around. Indeed this requires extra care on our behalf so if possible we try to stack the lighter items over the heavier ones and move them in the safest area. Of course polyethylene dust sheets are used to cover the furniture, fireplaces, built-in cabinets and shelves etc.
Sub-floor types and checking: for a Versailles parquet fitting, the sub-floor, especially it's state, has the same critical importance are the foundation has for a building. Always a proper assessment is done before starting the the wok and after removing the existing covering (if it is the case). Mainly there are 2 types of sub-floors: wooden or mineral. The wooden sub-floors are made of pine boards, chipboard, plywood or osb and the mineral ones are usually screeds.
Existing covering removal & skirting removal: there are just a few floor coverings suitable to be considered sound sub-floors for fitting a new Versailles parquet floor over. For this reason we have to remove them. Most encountered are carpet, laminate flooring, vinyl, ceramic tiles, old floating or glued wooden floors. For each one of these we choose the best suitable removal method to minimize the damages on the sub-floor.
Also the skirting need to be removed to allow fitting the parquet panels. This will be done carefully to avoid as much as possible damages to the upper part of the wall.
Sub-floor checking and preparation: this stage is so neglected and underestimated by many yet it's failure means the failure of the new floor. On each project we take enough time and insist in dealing properly with this stage. So, we have many dangers to cope with: damp in the floor and walls, rotten joists and/or boards, cracked or missing boards, loose areas of screed, uneven screed and many, many, many more.
If the desired surface to be covered with a Versailles parquet floor is made of screed or concrete and is situated on the ground level or below we will strongly recommend to have a liquid DPM (damp proofing) rolled all over the surface. The chances to have a damp infiltration during the lifespan of your floor are very high so why not to be on the safe side. We apply this case also for recently done screeds which still contain residual humidity.
The screed sub-floors tend to present higher areas, "humps" which will be grinded. The cracked areas or lower ones as well as the loose ones will be repaired with epoxy mortar (water free).
For wooden floors all loose or squeaky boards will be secured. If we encounter a structural issue and if it's local we will deal with it otherwise this might generate an additional stage of work from a building company. After this, because the Versaille parquet floor requires a plane and stable surface, plywood will be fitted all throughout.
Sound proofing: at this stage when the sub-floor is totally accessible we can work the sound proofing or impact sound reduction. Soon a blog post will accompany this stage for more details.
Doors and door frames: now the door frames will be undercut too so the new Versailles parquet floor will be neatly fitted under. Also the doors will need adjustment as the new floor height will stop them from moving. Thus they have to be taken off, trimmed only with the required height and hanged back.
Setting the alignment and the starting row: for Versailles parquet floor we may consider this the most important part of the whole project as if it’s done successfully the end result will be exceptional. As said this is a critical point for which we once again take the time to get all the measurements right. All the data is calculated, analysed and the best solution is chosen.
The aim for this procedure is to obtain a symmetrical floor against all walls as well as parallel with all of them. Indeed, due to the walls layout, corner angles and walls curvature we can't achieve our aim on all sides. Because of this we measure from different perspectives so to ensure the most visible areas will look as you would like to.
Fitting the Versailles parquet floor: after so much preparation it's time to start fitting the floor. According to the agreed method of fitting we lay the underlay or start spreading the adhesive. We have the starting row prepared and from this we construct the Versailles parquet floor. Also when fitting the expansion gap will be considered all around the perimeter.
Precision: by using different techniques we managed to reduce the number of additional mouldings used for a floor.
These are another mark of our floors:
- precision cuts along the patio doorframes
- seamless joint with tiled areas (when the ceramic tiles are cut in a straight line)
- special remaking of the exposed edges (i.e. along the balustrade base rail)
- precision cutting around integrated elements (i.e. floor sockets)
Integrating a small step: many homes have had improvements over time like extensions added. Due to given conditions the added space may have a sub-floor which is lower than the main floor. This situation creates a breaking line in the continuity of the floor and by this the aim of creating a bigger space might not be achieved. We have created a solution to integrate the step in such a way that actually it becomes a discreet design feature.
Frames: seamless integrated frames are proofs of craftsmanship. You may choose to have them around the fireplace or to integrate an entrance doormat. The possibilities don't stop here and we would really enjoy to hear your ideas.
Fitting the skirting or beading: ss the floor is now finished and if the skirting was removed earlier on, is the time to fit the new skirting. After the fitting is done the workmanship of a painter will be required to fill all the gaps against the walls and sometimes at corners which are to deviated from the correct angle.
Thresholds (door trims): are used to join the new floor with the adjacent floor coverings (carpets, tiles, vinyl etc). We will match them as much as possible with floor colour so to achieve seamless blending. A proper threshold has to be fitted under the closed door, yet so many times the adjacent floor covering ends to much inside or comes to much forward. When possible adjustments are done on all sides to ensure the best finish.
Furniture back & felts: now all is done, the equipment loaded and the new floor thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned. We will stick felt pads under the furniture and will rearrange it as it was initially.
As a few notes about fitting a Versaille parquet floor:
- Our state of the art cutting equipment will be connected to dust extractors. Despite all these a measure of chips and sawdust will result as they are blown away by the circular saw blades especially.
- Also it is noisy. This is due once again to the circular saw blades when cutting, and not only.
- It is best to be cautious, so according to the site conditions, wood type and source, the acclimatisation may be required which means to leave the wood inside the fitting area for about 2 days (engineered) or 7 days (solid). We recommend trustworthy suppliers which will deliver your floor with the moisture content according to agreed standards.
We hope that now you have a more in-depth information about how to opt for a Versailles parquet flooring.