Out of the many types of flooring materials on the market – carpet, tile, laminate, terrazzo, etc., the parquet wood floor remains a favorite. Parquet flooring is available in “tile” shape and is composed of pieces of wood put together in a pattern. Each tile is held together prior to installation with a backing, usually a thin, flexible plastic or fabric mesh.
Given the many patterns available today, anyone seeking a pleasing one should have no problem finding one. Wood patterns vary from the simple and understated to the very complex and feature a variety of wood species. One interesting combination is to play off dark wood grain against light wood grain to achieve a three dimensional effect.
Parquet Flooring Layout
As with other types of flooring, layout is the point at which to begin. This is a bit easier than ceramic tile since there are no grout lines to contend with. To begin with, measure the length of your room or area, divide by two, and mark your center point.
In order to have equal size border tiles on both sides of the room, this point will be either the center of a tile in the middle of the room or the intersection between two tiles. Work it both ways to see which way gives you them most attractive borders. Follow the same procedure with the width of the room.
If your intended pattern is more complex, such as using a decorative rectangular strip, be sure to take this into consideration.
Once your border is established, strike control lines with indelible (red) chalk in any corner to determine a starting point. These lines should show where the first full tiles next to the border tiles are to be installed. Check the lines for perpendicular using the 3-4-5 method and adjust them as needed.
Parquet Flooring Installation
You will be doing yourself a favor investing in a good pair of quality knee pads for this project before you begin. Don’t put yourself in the position of having to run to the store for them an hour into the project!
Once the layout is complete you are ready to begin installing your parquet floor. Using a notched trowel, spread out a rubber based mastic and begin laying tiles.
Just trowel out a thin coat. If it oozes up between the tiles you are putting down too much. Rubber based mastic is the best because it adapts to seasonal changes with regard to moisture level and temperature. In other words, it is more forgiving than regular glues.
Only trowel out as much mastic as you can work within a fifteen minute period. Give each tile a light tapping with a rubber mallet to ensure good contact. Once you’ve gotten workable area of full tiles down you can start laying the borders that intersect the established full tiles. To cut the borders, use a chop saw.
Wood Floor Finishing and Maintenance
Maintenance will depend on the finish. If your parquet floor tiles are prefinished, you are good to go. Feel free to wax the floor if you want to give it additional luster. If the tiles are not prefinished, you may stain the floor to a different shade if you wish and then finish it with two coats of polyurethane. If you do stain the floor, let the stain set at least overnight.
Polyurethane is a very tough, long lasting finish so you should get at least several years worth of wear and tear before having to sand and refinish.