Parquet wood flooring is beautiful and because it is hard-wearing and tough it can give you joy for many years. It is also a sensible economic investment as it can add considerable value to your home, of around 2-3%.

But when you start researching it can get a little confusing. What’s the difference between chevron wood flooring and herringbone wood flooring, for example.

Is parquet only suitable for older houses? Does it have to be solid wood or are there engineered wood options? These are all common questions.

In this article, we’re breaking down the essentials of parquet flooring and giving you all the information you need about this timeless flooring solution.


What is Parquet Flooring?

Funnily enough, the literal translation of the French word parquet is floor. So, when we say parquet flooring we are actually saying floor flooring.

However, in flooring terms when we say parquet it means a patterned wooden flooring. The patterns are geometric and repeating. Some of the most common types of patterns are chevron or herringbone, where short wooden planks are put together on the diagonal making the familiar zigzag patterns. Other kinds of parquet that you may have seen include the squares, basket patterns (either square or diagonal) and the brick pattern.

Parquet can be made of solid wood or engineered wood.


Brief History of Parquet Flooring

The idea of using geometric patterns (particularly the chevron style) to increase durability underfoot probably began in ancient Rome.

However, indoor wooden parquet flooring rose to prominence in the 16th Century in France with artisans creating beautiful patterns with small blocks of wood. It was popular with the wealthy and its placement in the palace of Versailles ensured its popularity not just in France but all over Europe over the next few hundred years.

As with other fashions that demonstrate financial prosperity the intricacy of the patterns which demonstrate the skill and the length of time taken would be a show of wealth.

Only following WWII did parquet flooring begin to lose its prominence as a flooring of choice. Partly, because more affordable options became more readily available such as carpets. But also with the new flooring materials such as linoleum and vinyl.

However, a resurgence in the popularity of parquet came along in the form of the beginnings of engineered wood in the 1960s and 70s. This made parquet affordable again.

It has remained in vogue since then with house buyers excitedly rediscovering original parquet flooring in homes that they are refurbishing and modern parquet flooring being put in new builds and older homes alike all over the UK.

The exceptional quality and variety of both solid wood flooring and engineered wooden flooring means that parquet can be laid in a wide array of wood species, colours and finishes meaning that parquet, in all its durable beauty, can suit any style of home.


Benefits of Parquet Flooring

Some of the benefits of parquet flooring include:

  • The chevron and herringbone pattern can create an illusion of space in a small room.
  • The legacy of parquet as being popular with the wealthy throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries and it’s prominence in stately homes and such mean that it exudes luxuriousness.
  • It’s not a fad. For a lasting style that won’t go out of fashion it’s a great choice.
  • The stability of the chevron and herringbone designs particularly are exceptionally durable.


Parquet vs Herringbone

Parquet flooring simply means patterned flooring and herringbone is a style of parquet.

The herringbone pattern is named as such because it looks like the skeleton of a herring fish.

It is a common pattern in flooring, brickwork, paving (allegedly it’s beginnings were on Roman roads) and in textiles. It is a zig-zag pattern but with defined breaks between each rectangular segment (see image). The breaks are created by the 90 degree angle on the ends of the blocks.


Difference Between Parquet and Chevron Flooring

Chevron flooring is a type of parquet similar to herringbone parquet but without the 90 degree angle. This means that withe chevron flooring the zig zag pattern only goes horizontally. With the herringbone pattern the 90 degree angle creates a vertical zigzag pattern as well.


How to Select the Best Parquet Wood Floor for Your Project

You want parquet flooring because it looks fantastic and because it is hard-wearing and so will last a long time.

This means that you need to put thought into not only what will suit your current style of interior design, but what will also have aesthetic longevity.

Bear this in mind when choosing the colour, pattern and finish of your parquet floor.

When selecting the thickness of your parquet give thought to how much foot traffic that area will get. High footfall areas will need to be thicker for extra durability.


How Much Does Parquet Wood Flooring Cost?

The cost of laying parquet flooring in your home varies considerably according to a number of factors.

These include the type or species of wood. Pine is one of the cheaper options at about £25-30 per square metre. Oak is at the other end of the scale at upwards of £35m2. With mid-ranged species such as Maple coming somewhere in between.

However, the patterns or types of parquet make a difference in price too. With more elegant and intricate patterns being higher in price than brick, chevron and herringbone patterns.

Whether you are choosing engineered wooden flooring or solid wood parquet also makes a difference to price. Additionally, thickness of either of these types will impact the cost and the quality of your parquet floor.

Finally, the finish of the wood and the type of join (such as tongue and groove or click together) will also affect your costs.

When thinking about the costs of parquet flooring it is important to consider the additional expenses such as whether you will be using a contractor. If not, ensure you are up to the task yourself - you don’t want the additional expenditure of fixing your mistakes! Bear in mind also that although smaller blocks are cheaper, they take longer to fit. Work out which is going to be better for you.

Hopefully, you now have a clearer picture of parquet flooring and the next steps you need to take to install it in your home. If you have any questions or to chat about our beautiful selection of parquet please get in touch with us at Wooden Floors UK.

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