Comprised of small strips or blocks of wood laid out in a geometric pattern, parquet wood flooring originated in France in the 1600s. Its design gives floors an almost mosaic appearance. Today, the comparative subtlety of herringbone and chevron patterns is the most popular decorative choice. However, many homeowners prefer the old geometric style of squares, lozenges, and triangles, or even larger visual features such as sun or star effects.
The wood in parquet flooring is either solid or engineered. Engineering involves layering different wood types and applying a top layer of hardwood. Whichever type you choose, the appearance is the same.
Style Choices, Types, and Costs
Your first consideration when choosing parquet wood flooring is which type of wood to use. The most common choices are cherry, maple, oak, and walnut. However, many homeowners prefer the look of more expensive options, such as teak and mahogany.
Engineered Parquet Flooring
If you choose engineered parquet flooring, your wood choice forms the hardwood veneer covering the layers of wood used to create the parquet strips and blocks. Each “tile” includes three or four layers of wood to create a plank thickness of 14 millimeters. Then, a 4-millimeter hardwood veneer goes over the top. These engineered tiles tend to withstand weather variances better than traditional parquet tiles do, at a lower price.
Costs for engineered parquet tiles vary widely, due to the wide variances in styles. However, the more common geometric pattern tiles range from $2 to $11 per square foot. The cost to hire a contractor for installation in a room of 120 square feet averages between $2,000 and $2,500, depending on your location and the cost of materials. Unless you already own the proper installation tools, doing it yourself may cost substantially more.
Hardwood Parquet Flooring
The hardwood strips used to make parquet tiles measure between 18 and 20 millimeters thick. Boards fit together with a tongue-and-groove design. Harder woods withstand regular wear and tear better than softer woods do, acquiring fewer scratches and dents. However, with proper maintenance, your hardwood parquet floor will last many decades.
Natural wood parquet tiles in standard geometric patterns cost between $5 and $15 per square foot. Price depends largely on the type of wood used, but taking the average tile cost of $10 per square foot, professional installation of a 120-square-foot room averages $3,000, depending on where you live.
Do not install wood flooring in moisture-prone areas such as basements or bathrooms, as humidity causes the wood to swell. As it dries, the wood then contracts, causing premature damage.
Maintaining Parquet Wood Flooring
Wood floor maintenance is a breeze if you remember two things: do not use a wet mop or a steam mop, and do not use cleaning products designed for vinyl or tile. Both practices damage your beautiful wood flooring. Cleaning up after a spill requires no more than a slightly damp cloth.
For day-to-day cleaning, a soft bristle broom or dry microfiber mop works well. Weekly use of the vacuum on the bare floor setting helps remove dust from between boards. Finally, perform a deeper clean with a monthly application of a cleaner designed for your wood type.
For extra shine, use either a buffer or light wax, only applying the wax to light traffic areas every other time you apply it. Area rugs and felt protectors applied to your furniture’s legs protect the wood from scratches and dents. During dry winter weather, plug in a humidifier to minimize gapping.
If a scratch occurs, lightly sand the scratch and seal with a liberal application of floor wax.