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What is Parquetry?

May 26, 2014
What is Parquetry?

Parquetry is a term originally borrowed from the French and basically means a patterned or decorative timber effect.

There is perhaps no better example of parquetry than France’s exquisite Versailles Palace, and in particular the breathtaking Hall of Mirrors. One look at this grand room and you need little convincing as to the design merits of parquetry.

Hall of Mirrors  France

That said parquetry isn’t exclusive to royal palaces or museums!

On the contrary it has successfully been used in all manner of homes, from chic urban apartments to sprawling French manors.

What is parquetry?

It is largely used on flooring to create surfaces that are often meticulously detailed and truly bespoke.

If you’re currently looking at flooring for your new home, or you’re planning a renovation and you’d like a floor with incredible impact, then parquetry could be an alternative to more conventional timber floorboards.

Five top reasons to use parquetry in your home

  1. It delivers big on originality. Parquetry’s decorative formations can vary greatly – from conventional block or Herringbone patterns to incredibly ornate, detailed and intricate motifs

  2. It can help you tread lightly on our environment. Parquetry boards are often cut from disused pieces of timber, old floorboards, etc. So they essential re-use an old product, but revive it entirely and return it to its former glory (and then some!)

  3. It’s high on charm. That reclaimed timber? Very likely it has a story to tell, not to mention a beautiful patina that only comes with time. What an affect that can have on a room…

  4. Not really sure what colours or types of timber to use? Why settle with one type of timber when you could indeed use a combination? This delivers an advantage when it comes to your home interior – you will have more freedom of choice when considering décor that can go with one type of timber colour or the other

  5. Unlike timber flooring, parquetry does not involve a tongue and groove, so it can be refinished several times over its lifespan

Traditional charm

The more conventional parquetry patterns include Herringbone, brick bond, basket weave, wood weave and square on square.

Mosaic effects also deliver a more traditional form of parquetry.

This is achieved by laying small ‘fingers’ of timber in tiles, creating a huge number of patterns and variety.

What’s trending in parquetry?

A more modern-day spin on parquetry patterns include combining longer length timber boards with wider boards.

Timber talk

There is an abundant choice of timbers that can be used for parquetry floors.

These include:

  • Alpine Ash
  • Ironbark
  • Turpentine
  • Blackbutt
  • Spotted Gum
  • Brushbox
  • Tallowood
  • Rose gum
  • Jarrah
  • Tasmanian oak
  • Sydney blue gum

Not all timbers can be used across all parquetry patterns, so enquire at your local parquetry specialist.

Laying parquetry

Parquetry is glued down over a flat, clean and solid sub-floor.

Parquetry can be applied over plywood, concrete or particle board substrate.

Once parquetry is laid it is then sanded and finished with a range of coatings.

You should allocate about a fortnight to installing parquetry in an average sized family room.

Looking after parquetry

Good news! Once laid, you don’t have to walk on eggshells when you’re on a parquetry floor.

On the contrary, parquetry is a robust surface ideal for high traffic areas.

Moreover, it’s easy to maintain.

Just brush it with a soft broom or soft vacuum setting, and clean with hot water and a well-wrung cotton mop.

We’re reasonably confident you won’t be wanting to emulate the Hall of Mirrors, but certainly a room with parquetry flooring will deliver on charm, timelessness, originality and usability. Enjoy!

To view parquetry products for sale on RenoExchange, please visit here.