Parquet flooring comes with an air of continental elegance and traditional charm that makes it a very popular choice on the market. While not for everyone, parquetry holds some great qualities of which you may not have previously been aware.
Regardless of whatever preconceived ideas you might have, there are in fact many applications of parquet in traditional and contemporary homes alike. As such, there are a whole host of reasons why you should consider incorporating parquet into your own home. In this post, we endeavour to take you through these various benefits of parquet flooring one by one.
History and tradition
Many people see parquet flooring as a timeless classic, capable of bringing a touch of formal elegance to any home. With a long history of use by European aristocrats dating back to the 1600s, it has strong associations with the sophistication and class of high society. As a result, the impression it imparts upon your home recalls this rich heritage of luxury and beauty, imbuing your home with a sense of tradition.
Despite previously being the sole preserve of the wealthy, parquet flooring is now relatively easy to get your hands on (and it doesn’t have to be so expensive either). Its appearance isn’t limited to the old waxed walnut designs of Versailles, so rest assured it works well with homes both traditional and contemporary.
Parquet flooring can be laid out in various different configurations, from the choppy zigzags of herringbone patterns to the smooth chequers of basketweave patterns. With each individual wooden strip being unique in some way, you can achieve a vibrant play of colour and texture across the entire floor. The detailed design and intricate fit of parquet flooring makes it an eye-catching statement piece in any home. It works to immediately add interest and excitement to your interior, regardless of style or aesthetic.
Parquet flooring is traditionally made from various elegant hardwoods, the exact material depending on its source and price. These include woods such as oak, walnut, maple, cherry, and even some luxury woods like mahogany. Each of these materials come with their own unique textures and grains, allowing you to choose specific design elements according to whatever suits your interior best.
Parquet flooring can also be made from engineered wood, which comes with a light sheen that is perfect for contemporary homes and homes with underfloor heating. These material options (in addition to the wide range of available patterns) make parquet a truly versatile type of flooring, ripe with opportunities for experimentation.
Parquet flooring is nowhere near as expensive as it used to be. When ‘tongue and groove’ carpentry was brought about in the 1990s, parquetry could be installed by simply clicking the individual blocks together (as opposed to carefully gluing them together). This made it more accessible to everyday homes and allowed it to be mass-produced. Ever since, parquet flooring has been an affordable option for interiors of all stripes.
While more intricate designs will inevitably be more expensive, there are plenty of cheaper options available on the market today. Indeed, if you really wanted to cut costs, you could even lay the flooring yourself as the tongue and groove designs are fairly intuitive. However, for the best results, we highly recommend that you hire a professional to install your parquet (unless you’re a veritable DIY expert).
If your parquet floor is properly sealed and kept clean over the years, it is likely to last a lifetime. It has all the durability of any wooden flooring, only reinforced by its tight-fit design. In addition, most parquet tiles are treated with a sealer during the manufacture process. This makes it ideal for rooms with high footfall and lots of movable furniture (e.g. dining rooms and hallways).
Unfinished parquet can be adequately treated and finished after it has been installed for added durability – this has the benefit of allowing you to change its colour and texture if needs be.
Parquet flooring was initially introduced to the Palace of Versailles because the original marble flooring required too much maintenance, and its reputation as a low-maintenance option still stands today. Aside from the usual mopping and vacuuming, it is unlikely that your parquet will require any major work (mainly to the durable qualities listed above).
Just like any wooden flooring, you should avoid using cleaning supplies that contain abrasive chemicals or materials with a rough texture as these could permanently stain and scratch your floor. Use non-toxic products and smooth wipes for the safest maintenance routine. Note: the way you maintain your parquet flooring will depend on whether it is composed of engineered or solid wood – check with your flooring supplier for the exact details.
If you need more help choosing a new type of flooring for your home, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Hudson Flooring team and we’d be delighted to help you out.