Parquet flooring is wooden flooring composed of small blocks that form a repetitive pattern. Sometimes these patterns are embellished with inlays of contrasting wood, or other materials, and usually they are geometric in shape. The most popular designs are created using regular four-sided blocks and the best known are chevron and single or double herringbone, however, the classic Versailles pattern is also becoming popular. And the same blocks used to create a herringbone pattern can also be used to create the more unusual patterns like basket weave, Flanders weave, or brick patterns in either stack bond or stretcher bond, all of which are stunning.
The complexity of installation meant that traditionally parquet flooring was a sign of wealth, but modern milling methods now make it a truly beautiful option open to anyone for use in either domestic or commercial applications.
Parquet is wood flooring with an interesting history
Parquet designs originated in Europe, and across the Atlantic there is now a huge resurgence in interest. The earliest well-known examples date back to seventeenth century France, where Louis XIV chose individual blocks of wood to replace the marble flooring in the renovated Palace de Versailles. This was a practical as well as stylistic decision, since the joists beneath the marble had been rotting away due to the constant washing. Another early example, considered a work of art in its own right, in the Galerie d'Hercule at the Hotel Lambert in Paris was, unfortunately, damaged by fire in 2013.
In the United States parquet last peaked in popularity in the 1960s, but it is now enjoying a renaissance over here too. Until recently the individual blocks used to create these dramatic floors were only available in solid wood, and installation was a time consuming process, even for experienced floor fitters. This was because the blocks had to be sanded down and finished with numerous coats of oil once in place on site. But at Havwoods it has been our mission to introduce the 21st Century technological advances found in wooden planks into the options that allow you to create intricately patterned wooden floors.
Parquet flooring options from Havwoods
All Havwoods' herringbone blocks stocked in the US are pre-finished and we offer options in both solid and engineered wood. The latter often come in larger dimensions than is traditional, resulting in a more contemporary-looking floor, and are usually suitable for installation over underfloor heating. If you want an antique appearance, we also offer both tumbled and reclaimed options.
Our chevron blocks, where the short ends are cut at an angle and fit together in a point, are all engineered for stability and supplied pre-finished, whilst a pre-finished, pre-assembled option - our "chevron pattern panels" - make installation even easier. And our classic Versailles designs - small wood squares held together by what appears to be an interwoven mesh of wood strips and contained within a wood frame, are also, in fact, supplied in pre-finished, pre-assembled panels.
Parquet flooring in your home
Many flooring installers are adept at fitting floors and will advise you fully, however, there are a number of criteria you should consider. All of the Havwoods' products are real wood and, like any wood floor, must be installed on a stable, dry and level substrate and be allowed to acclimate to the room for at least 72 hours before being laid - detailed installation instructions may be found here.
Parquet is one of the most elegant and decorative flooring options available and works particularly well in living rooms, dining rooms and foyers. Conventional design wisdom says that patterns can overwhelm a small space, but in reality herringbone and chevron patterns can work particularly well in long, thin spaces. Just remember to work out your pattern carefully before you start. The designs repeat so, if the rows are not perfectly straight and precisely aligned with the walls, the result will be disappointing. And remember, walls are not always perfectly square so you need to take this into consideration too.
Once installed you can protect your investment with the correct care. Parquet should be maintained just like any other real wood floor, the details depending on whether you have opted for a lacquered, oiled or UV oiled finish. Maintenance guides can also be found on this website here.