Parquet flooring, a timeless classic that can last a lifetime, writes Peter Keane
Real wood flooring is a versatile, timeless option that brings nature indoors while filling the home with warmth and character. Parquet flooring is a particularly popular option that always stands the test of time. Real wood flooring is a classic choice that works across any style of property, from contemporary to traditional and everything in between. It is also a surface that is suitable for virtually any room in the home, from making an entrance in the hallway, to creating a sense of calm and tranquillity in our living spaces and bedrooms.
Engineered wood boards, thanks to their construction, are suitable for damp and humid areas and can be installed on top of underfloor heating, so your real wood floor is as luxuriously warm to walk on as it is beautiful to look at. This is because an engineered board has up to 11 layers of plywood backing, with each layer glued at a 90-degree angle to the adjoining layer. The top layer of a precious hardwood is then glued on top, resulting in a much more stable floor with negligible reduction in the lifespan of the floor and a robust construction that is perfect for any room. This includes most kitchens and bathrooms, where humid conditions won’t cause the wood to warp.
Injecting personality and character into large and small spaces alike, the trend for real wood flooring means parquet has never been so popular, bringing a timeless elegance combined with a modern twist to the home. Creating an elegant and sophisticated look, the combination of colour, wood detailing and pattern makes for a real statement floor.
From herringbone and basket weave to brickwork and chevron, the pattern options with parquet are just as diverse as the range of woods available. Go large with 600mm sized blocks for a modern twist on a design classic or opt for an aged design to add extra character with a reclaimed effect. The style of laying pattern chosen will depend on the setting, the size of the parquet, the species and grade of wood and even the finish, but the end result will be the same regardless; a beautiful wood floor that will be a focal point of the room.
Once laid, keeping real wood parquet looking as good as new is straightforward. A combination of dry cleaning to remove dirt and dust particles and damp cleaning to protect it against scratches is really all that is needed for a lacquered or oiled floor. For weekly cleaning, a capful of correct concentrate mixed with water and applied with a damp mop will suffice, while to refresh the look and lustre annually, which is important in high traffic areas such as the kitchen, use a concentrated polish, again applied with water and a damp mop.
Chosen well and with the right care, a parquet floor will look the part for many years; the most difficult decision will be in choosing which wood type to opt for.
Herringbone is a classic laying pattern for parquet, with the blocks laid so they inter-lock in a diagonal pattern. Most commonly, the points of a herringbone pattern floor are laid parallel to a room’s longest wall, or towards the window. Traditional in style, this pattern is suited to wood with an aged look, so that it resembles reclaimed wood. To give the look a modern twist there is no reason why different species of wood or different finishes can’t be combined, for a really striking impression.
Equally as traditional is basket weave parquet, which can be laid in several different styles. Each pattern has its own unique style and is ultimately down to individual preference and the size of the blocks being used.
For something a little more contemporary brickwork and ladder patterned parquet look particularly striking when chosen for long, narrow spaces such as entrance hallways.
A timeless classic that never goes out of fashion, chevron parquet really looks the part when laid over large spaces. Choose individual chevron blocks of standard sizes to lay one by one, or engineered chevron boards glued together in a row on a board for easier fitting.
Peter Keane is director of the Natural Wood Floor company. For more details visit naturalwoodfloor.co.uk