Thursday, February 21, 2013

How To Install Parquet Flooring

Parquet Flooring is a very unique type of wood flooring. Once regarded as a cheap alternative to hardwood flooring, Parquet has really come into it's own as an economical and popular choice for those homewners who like the look of wood flooring in their home. Properly installed Parquet Flooring looks good and will last a long time when installed on a sound wood underlayment kept free of water. Generally it comes in 12x12 tiles and 5/16 in. thick, and there are two types of Parquet Flooring : Pre-finished and unfinished. Pre-finished Parquet tiles can be installed by a homeowner with basic to moderate carpentry skills, and is a pretty straightforward installation. The drawbacks to installing prefinished Parquet tiles is that the floor will not be as tight and smooth as a sanded Parquet floor. The tongue and grooves on the tiles are not precise, which can leave a slight unevenness in the completed floor. There is only a very thin layer of wood above the tongue and groove, which means you can carefully sand and refinish the floor only once, when the finish becomes worn. Unfinished Parquet, which has no tongue and grooves, is the choice of most professional flooring contractors. It can be re-sanded and refinished several times because of the lack of tongue and grooves, but it is difficult and tricky to sand it right as the wood grain runs in different directions. Parquet can handle moisture better than hardwood floors, but it should not be installed in bathrooms or rooms which have damp or below grade concrete floors.

Preparation.

The trick to laying a top-class Parquet Floor is to provide a rock-solid subfloor. Unlike hardwood floors, the Parquet tiles will not make your floor any stronger, and if your subfloor has bounce it can slowly separate the  tiles over time as the wood expands and contracts. Even if you have a 3/4 in. subfloor, it is recommended to screw an additional 1/2 in. plywood over the subfloor to make it stronger. Stagger the joints so they do not line up with the original subfloor. Parquet tiles can also be glued directly to dry concrete floors that are above ground level. Treat the Parquet tiles as you would any other type of wood flooring, by giving it 2 to 3 days adjustment time before installation in the room you will be laying them.

Installation.

Begin by removing all baseboards in the room. If you cannot remove the baseboards, you can butt the tiles against it and when the job is completed you can install Quarter-Round Moulding between the floor and the baseboards, to hide any gaps and give it a professional finish. Measure the room, and then snap chalk lines at right angles to each other to divide it into 4 equal sections. Spread the Manufacturer-recommended adhesive as you go along and give it acclimation time, about 10 to 15 minutes until it is tacky to touch. Lay the Parquet squares in a pyramid following 2 chalk lines snapped at right angles to each other, and set the tile by covering it with a 2x2 piece of scrap plywood and gently tap it down with a hammer or rubber mallet. Use a jigsaw for intricate cuts, a miter saw for diagonal and straight cuts, and at doorways, cut off the bottoms of door casings (vertical trims) by using a pullsaw. Bump a tile against it, mark, and cut.



Parquet Flooring 

Parquet Floors can turn your rooms into a beautiful wood mosaic, and it comes in some very interesting and intricate styles, and different wood variations and colors. This often under-estimated and under-appreciated wood flooring, when properly installed, can make a fine addition to any room and give your home's floors a little more variety !