Hardwood is undoubtedly the most elegant and chic option for flooring. However, if you want to know what the epitome of elegance means, you should see parquet, which is a very intricately crafted form of hardwood flooring. It was not called the favorite of kings and wealthy for nothing! Parquet tiles are a piece of art, and hence, were outrageously expensive earlier. However, in the second half of 20th century, they came within the reach of commoners and could be extensively seen in homes built in 50's and 60's.
These tiles are made from different pieces of wood with varied grains and patterns, which are laid side by side to create a very dramatic effect. Wood of any tree can be used for making parquet tiles. However, oak wood looks particularly enticing. There are various patterns in which wooden tiles can be arranged. Herringbone, basket, chevron, and brick are some commonly preferred patterns in this type of flooring. In addition, geometric patterns and large ornate/floral patterns also look equally charming. Sometimes, parquet tiles can be selected such that they only vary slightly in grain pattern or color. This gives a very subtle, yet eye-catching, appearance to any room.
Parquet tiles are very lightweight and easy to install. Cheaper tiles are called veneer parquet tiles, as they have a strip of high quality wood affixed to a particleboard. They also come in laminate material. Typically, these tiles come in the form of tongue-and-groove attachment which simplifies the task of laying them. However, one needs to take care of the desired pattern and grains while laying these tiles. Wood grain naturally shows a lot of variation, hence it is recommended that you combine tiles from several boxes and then lay them randomly. This will give a more natural look to your flooring in terms of color and grain. Before laying the tiles, find out the center of the room. Make a square marking at this point. This enables you to lay the tiles at exact right angles. The tongue-groove attachment may take some time getting used to, but you will get better at it with practice. If you have an irregularly-shaped room, arched walls, or any other focal point which you wish to bring to notice, then follow a distinct pattern for this area, so that it stands out from the rest of the room.
Parquet tiles are generally resistant to rough usage and staining. A daily routine of sweeping/vacuuming along with wet mopping is sufficient to keep the floor sparkling clean. However, avoid soaking your wood flooring with water, as it may adversely affect the parquet. Place area rugs or door mats at entry points to prevent your flooring from getting dirty due to heavy foot traffic. If the tiles start showing signs of wearing, you can consider refinishing your flooring. Most quality parquet tiles will allow you to refinish them a number of times before actually replacing them. Veneer tiles can be refinished only once or twice, while laminate parquet tiles cannot be refinished at all. So, before refinishing hardwood floors, do take into account the type of finish on your tiles. Old flooring will typically have lacquer, varnish, or shellac finish, while recent ones will have polyurethane coating. Choose your refinishing material accordingly.
Thus, parquet flooring is an elegant, convenient, and easy-to-maintain flooring option. So, if you wish to add to the value of your home, this flooring is definitely the way to go.