Parquet flooring is made up of geometrically shaped wood pieces arranged in various patterns, such as herringbone, basket weave, and square-on-square. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of installing parquet flooring in your home, including preparing the subfloor, laying the flooring, and finishing the installation. With some patience and attention to detail, you can transform your space with a beautiful parquet floor.
Preparing the Subfloor
- Assess your subfloor: Before you begin, it is essential to ensure that your subfloor is suitable for parquet flooring installation. The subfloor must be clean, level, and dry. It can be made of concrete, plywood, or other appropriate materials.
- Clean the subfloor: Remove any debris, dirt, or dust from the surface using a broom, vacuum, or damp cloth. Make sure the area is free of any adhesive residue or loose particles.
- Check for moisture: Excess moisture can damage your parquet flooring and cause it to warp. Test your subfloor for dampness using a moisture meter or by taping a piece of plastic sheeting to the floor and leaving it for 72 hours. If no condensation is under the plastic, your subfloor is dry enough for installation.
- Level the subfloor: Use a long straightedge to check for dips or high spots on your subfloor. Fill any low spots with self-levelling compound and sand down high spots until the surface is level. Allow the levelling compound to dry as per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Install a moisture barrier: Lay a layer of polythene sheeting over the entire subfloor to protect your parquet flooring from moisture. Overlap the edges of the sheeting by at least 2 inches (5 cm) and tape the seams to create a continuous barrier.
Laying the Parquet Flooring
- Acclimate the flooring: Allow the parquet flooring to acclimate to your home's temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. This helps to prevent warping or shrinking once the flooring is installed.
- Plan your layout: Determine the direction in which you want the parquet pattern to run. Remember that running the pattern parallel to the longest wall often creates a more visually appealing effect. Measure the room's dimensions and create a centerline to help guide the installation.
- Dry-fit the flooring: Arrange the parquet tiles on the subfloor without adhesive to ensure proper alignment and a balanced pattern. Adjust the tiles to avoid narrow strips at the room's edges as needed.
- Apply adhesive: Mix the parquet flooring adhesive following the manufacturer's instructions. Using a notched trowel, spread adhesive on a small section of the subfloor, starting at the centerline and working outwards.
- Install the parquet tiles: Begin laying the parquet tiles along the centerline, following your chosen pattern. Press the tiles firmly into the adhesive, ensuring they are level and flush with one another. Use a rubber mallet to tap the tiles in place gently.
- Work in sections: Continue spreading adhesive and laying tiles in sections, ensuring that the pattern remains aligned as you progress. Use a straightedge to check for level and alignment regularly. Allow the adhesive to dry for the time specified by the manufacturer.
Finishing the Installation
- Fill gaps and seams: Inspect the installed parquet flooring for any gaps or seams between the tiles. Fill these gaps with wood filler, making sure to match the filler colour to the flooring. Apply the filler with a putty knife, pressing it firmly into the gaps. Allow the filler to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Sand the floor: Once the filler is dry, sand the entire parquet floor to ensure a smooth and level surface. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper (40-60 grit) and work your way up to a fine-grit sandpaper (120-150 grit). Be sure to sand with the grain of the wood and vacuum or sweep up any dust created during the sanding process.
- Stain the floor (optional): If you desire a different colour or tone for your parquet flooring, apply a wood stain according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Use a brush or cloth to apply the stain evenly, following the wood grain. Allow the stain to dry completely before proceeding.
- Apply a finish: To protect your parquet flooring and give it a polished look, apply a polyurethane finish or another suitable wood finish. Use a brush, roller, or applicator pad to apply the finish in thin, even coats, following the wood grain. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. Most floors require at least two to three coats of finish for optimal protection.
- Reinstall baseboards and trim: Replace any baseboards or trim that were removed before the parquet flooring installation. If necessary, cut the baseboards to accommodate the new flooring thickness. Nail the baseboards and trim in place, and apply wood putty to cover any nail holes. Sand the putty smooth and paint or stain the baseboards and trim to match the rest of the room.
- Install transition strips: For rooms with different flooring types, install transition strips to create a seamless appearance between the parquet flooring and the adjacent flooring. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the proper installation of the transition strips.
- Clean and maintain your new parquet floor: Regularly sweep or vacuum your parquet flooring to remove dirt and dust. Clean the floor with a damp mop and a wood floor cleaner, avoiding excessive moisture that can damage the wood. Protect the flooring from scratches by using felt pads under furniture legs and area rugs in high-traffic zones.
Installing parquet flooring in your home is a rewarding project that can enhance the aesthetics and value of your living space. With careful preparation, attention to detail, and proper finishing techniques, you can achieve a stunning parquet floor that will last for years. Enjoy your beautiful new parquet flooring and the warmth and sophistication it brings.