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Parquet Flooring: design applications and overview

Parquet flooring has been historically overlooked in the interior design scene. However, its popularity is growing rapidly for a number of reasons.

Parquet Flooring: design applications and overview

Juliet Taylor


March 24th, 2022

What is Parquet Flooring?

Parquet flooring, sometimes known as parkay flooring, is a type of hardwood flooring arranged in repeating geometric patterns. This is achieved by the installation of small slats of solid wood in an arranged pattern to form shapes. Parquet flooring is almost always formed by angular and geometric shapes in repetition like triangles, squares, and rectangles.

Occasionally you may see parquet flooring with curves included in the pattern. This is less common than other designs because curved shapes rarely tesselate, making them harder to cut into patterns that will cover a whole floor. Angular shapes will slot neatly into one another, so they are much easier to manufacture and install.

Parquet flooring is more common than you might realize. The history of parquet flooring has actually been traced back to as early as the 16th century in France. Essentially, any patterned wood floor you come across will be a type of parquet flooring.

The most common type of parquet flooring is herringbone. The herringbone pattern is popular in large floors and European designs, so you most likely have walked across a herringbone parquet floor even if you did not know it at the time. Herringbone is a striking pattern made from an arrangement of rectangles (or parallelograms) in a layout that appears to mimic the bones of a herring fish.

Parquet flooring is made from smaller pieces of wood than the other types of wood flooring. Classic wooden floor planks are typically wider than 10cm and longer than 1m. Parquet flooring pieces are significantly smaller than this and each slat is made of three different layers of wood with a hardwood veneer on the surface.

Traditionally, each individual piece of parquet flooring would be installed one piece at a time and made from solid wood. However, modern parquet floors are much more commonly made from parquet tile. Parquet tile is virtually indistinguishable from classic parquet flooring, but multiple individual wood slats are attached to a backing material rather than being loose for single application.

Parquet tile comes in a range of common sizes, so if you decide that this approach may be right for you there are multiple options. The most common size for parquet tile is 9 inch x 9 inch, 12 inch x 12 inch, and 19 x 19 inch.

Parquet flooring has benefits beyond its superior aesthetic value. It is durable, low maintenance, and affordable. Cleaning parquet flooring is simple as it is stain, scratch and odor resistant. The recommended cleaning routine for a parquet floor is simply a weekly sweep and mop.

Parquet’s hardwood composition makes it naturally resistant to high foot traffic and water damage, meaning it will show little wear over the years. Another benefit is that parquet flooring can be sanded down and refinished when desired rather than a repair or replace.

The installation of parquet tiles is straightforward and can be a simple DIY project. Many well-known parquet flooring brands such as Meister have a secure click installation which can be installed with ease. These floating floors are incredibly convenient, time-efficient and affordable. Read more about floating floor options here.

Parquet Flooring Singapore: 4 Design ideas for Wood Parquet Flooring

4. Dark

Parquet flooring looks particularly good in dark colours. A dark wooden floor creates a moody and sophisticated atmosphere which opens up many interior design possibilities.

Playing off the dark design by toning furniture to match is an elegant way to create a cohesive design theme within your room, or you can contrast the dark parquet floor with bright furniture for a stunning contemporary look.

The best looking dark woods include teak, oak and walnut, and the geometric effect of patterns like herringbone can actually give the impression of a larger room, counteracting the impact of a dark colour scheme.

Dark woods can be more expensive depending on the quality and type, so you may want to do some research first about which in-budget textures, polish and shades will fit best with your interior design scheme. You can purchase a similar dark parquet tile to the ones pictured above here from Alibaba at competitive prices.

3. Laminate and Vinyl

Laminate and vinyl are both alternative flooring options at much more affordable prices than traditional flooring. Laminate flooring is a hybrid flooring option made from multiple layers of resin and fiber board underneath a photographic top layer.

This top layer can be made to mimic other flooring types such as parquet or standard timber floors. Vinyl is fairly similar, though it is made from different materials – usually cork. For more information about the difference between laminate and vinyl, see here.

Both laminate and vinyl flooring can be made to mimic the look of parquet. Purchasing laminate or vinyl flooring vs parquet in the traditional sense is a way to save money on materials and installation.

You can purchase laminate flooring with a parquet effect here for $62.92 SGD per SQM or browse the extensive range of vinyl flooring here on Flooring Supplies. Note that a detriment to these flooring types is that they cannot be re-sanded because they are not solid wood like traditional parquet.

2. Chevron

Chevron is a slightly less common but equally beautiful pattern of parquet flooring which has a uniform zig-zag pattern rather than the staggered asymmetry of Herringbone. Chevron is particularly well suited for small rooms as the uniform pattern has a lengthening effect, almost creating an arrow pointing along the room.

Chevron parquet flooring is often less expensive than herringbone because it has an easier installation and is a slightly simpler style. You can purchase the solid oak parquet floor tile pictured above here in solid oak for $61.84 SGD.

1. Herringbone

As mentioned earlier, herringbone is one of the most popular styles of parquet flooring. It is understated, sophisticated, and adds elegance without detracting attention from the other design features of your room.

Herringbone works best in a rustic and traditional setting, and is equally well suited to light and dark looks. Generally, the darker the parquet floor, the more contemporary an effect it will have. You can purchase light herringbone parquet flooring tiles like the ones pictured above here for just $8.74 per sheet or a similar dark-wood here.

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