If you’re a lover of timber flooring it’s more than likely you also have an appreciation for parquetry. The flooring sometimes better known for it’s most popular patterns, Herringbone and Chevron, is an enduring classic that is considered a premium product choice.
What is parquetry?
In general terms, engineered parquetry in Australia and New Zealand is available in three main categories:
- Custom Panels
Parquetry flooring is laid in a decorative pattern and uses smaller pieces of wood than your traditional strip timber flooring. Herringbone and Chevron refers to the most popular patterns used in parquetry. See the difference in patterns in the Mint Oak Parquetry in Herringbone pattern with the custom made colour Noah (above) and the Chevron pattern (pictured below), or custom panels (also pictured below). The Mint Oak Parquetry flooring pictured is used in the Hall & Hart Ascot display home and is an elegant example of the flooring used in a modern provincial design.
The majority of engineered parquetry is prefinished European Oak. These are often supplied with factory applied custom stains and coatings in the herringbone design, although chevron blocks are becoming more prevalent.
Australian timber species are becoming more widely available in engineered parquetry options, with multiple suppliers of Blackbutt and Spotted Gum herringbone blocks offering a variety of sizes and finishes, with more timbers and finish options just over the horizon.
So, what are the main things to consider apart from the obvious aesthetics?
- Parquetry floors are timeless – they have been installed throughout the world for hundreds of years and have always been considered a premium choice.
- Parquetry floors are inherently more stable than traditional strip floors due to the varying angle of the timber grains and the full trowel glue installation techniques.
- Parquetry floors create a feeling of spaciousness
- Grading (this refers to the natural characters in the timber) is often cleaner in parquetry compared to its equivalent boards. Smaller sections are easier to find without knots and imperfections.
- Subfloor levels must be flat, smooth, sound and dry. Whilst this is a requirement to some degree in all timber installations, with parquetry the flat and smooth is more important.
- The skill of the installers needs to be up to the task – parquetry installations would be considered near the very top of the skill tree so ensure you engage a supplier that has plenty of experience in laying parquetry.
- If installing a raw block to site stain and finish, the sanding technicians also need to be up to the task.
Engineered parquetry floors offer a unique sophistication with amazing durability and stability. The vast majority of truly aged timber floors are parquetry – a testament to their continued appeal across the ages and to the strength and durability of their design and installation techniques – many of which remain unchanged over the years.