Parquetry is the decoratively patterned flooring created from a mosaic of timber pieces. Usually, but not exclusively, the pieces are geometric in shape and the most common shape is a four-sided block, sometimes referred to as block parquetry. From this block a number of patterns like basket weave, Flanders weave, or brick patterns in stack bond or stretcher bond can all be created.
The complexity of installation meant that parquet flooring was traditionally a sign of wealth, but modern milling methods now mean that this truly stunning option is open to all. Perhaps this recent accessibility has contributed towards its current popularity, but whatever the reason there is now a global surge of interest in such statement flooring, with the front runners being the classic single or double herringbone and chevron patterns.
The benefits of modern parquet flooring
Dating back to seventeenth century France, the earliest well-known examples of parquet flooring are in the Palace de Versailles, where individual wooden blocks were used to replace the marble flooring. This was deemed more practical because the joists beneath the marble were rotting away due to the constant washing.
Until recently the individual blocks used to create such dramatic floors were only available in solid timber. Installation was a time-consuming process, even for experienced floor fitters, since such blocks must 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 timber floorboards into the blocks needed to create these more intricately patterned wooden floors. In other words, to source pre-finished, engineered wood parquetry.
Now we are able to offer a wide variety of shades of shades and finishes for parquet flooring. Most are created in oak, most are pre-finished, with all the advantages this provides, and most can be installed over underfloor heating. But, most importantly, all can be installed quickly and easily with minimal mess.
Parquetry options from Havwoods
In Australia, we now stock two parquetry block shapes: the classic block (otherwise known as herringbone blocks) and chevron blocks, where the short ends are cut at an angle and fit together in a point. Of particular interest is the size of our herringbone blocks, since many are larger than the classic 65mm or 70mm width for a more contemporary take on a traditional pattern.
In addition to individual blocks, we also stock pre-assembled chevron pattern panels, which make installing a chevron floor as easy as installing floorboards. Whilst 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 supplied in pre-finished, pre-assembled panels.
Parquet flooring in your home
Many flooring installers are adept at fitting parquet floors and will advise you fully, however, there are a number of criteria you should consider. All Havwoods' parquet 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.
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.