Parquet flooring: everything you need to know

Pick your favourite parquet style for floors (or even walls) and learn how to maintain this classic look

parquet guide
Boom Project

What is parquet flooring?

First used in France in the 17th century, it is made of woodblocks glued to a sub floor to create geometric patterns – available as both solid and engineered boards. The advantage of a solid floor is that it can be refreshed by sanding back and re-oiling or lacquering. Engineered flooring is pre-finished and more stable, so good for adding underfloor heating.

Parquet requires a level sub floor (to ensure blocks sit flush) so will need professional installation.

What parquet flooring patterns are there to choose from?

Popular styles include traditional herringbone, chevron (often found in Parisian apartments) and more complex Parquet de Versailles and Mansion Weave patterns.

Also in demand are herringbone and chevron designs laid using oversized boards, which give a bold, modern look that works well in open-plan spaces.

Is parquet flooring easy to maintain?

Yes. Treat it as you would a normal wooden floor – sweeping and mopping lightly. To protect it, seal it using hard wax oil, or for a higher sheen choose lacquer. Beeswax gives a rich, mid-sheen finish.

If parquet is damaged, individual blocks can easily be removed and replaced.

parquet guide
This original oak parquet has been restored to bring out the natural colours
Felix Forest/Living Inside

What wood should I choose for parquet flooring?

The most popular is oak, from golden brown to silvery grey. It can be coloured by coating it with wax or coloured lacquer. Alternatively, the boards can be fumed with ammonia – ‘many floors are treated in this way to give a smoky base,’ says Jeandré Du Toit, sales director at Ecora.

Dark woods such as wenge and walnut add drama, while pale maple has a Scandinavian feel. You can also combine different woods and add tiles.

What about reclaimed parquet flooring?

Reclaimed flooring can be cheaper, but the cleaning, sanding and sealing process often counters any savings. Look out for original mahogany, sapele and merbau parquet – no longer milled for environmental reasons.

How much does parquet flooring cost?

Basic reclaimed parquet starts at £25 per square metre, while complex designs in high-quality timbers can be up to £400 per square metre. Don’t forget installation costs, which are about £90 per square metre.

8 of the best parquet flooring styles

From traditional herringbone to ultra-modern twists, there’s a parquet pattern to suit every home. Here are our favourites...

Herringbone parquet

This classic parquet works well in period and modern properties. If space allows, extra-wide boards like this ‘Nero oak’ giant herringbone by Element 7 make a statement. From £254.40 per square metre,

parquet guide
‘Nero Oak’ giant herringbone by Element 7
Element 7

‘Biscuit’ parquet by Patricia Urquiola

These boards with bevelled edges and curved ends can be laid in a number of formations for a playful take on traditional parquet. £192 per square metre,

parquet guide
‘Biscuit’ parquet by Patricia Urquiola for Listone Giordano
Listone Giordano

Chevron parquet

This parquet pattern can be used to make a narrow space appear wider. Engineered European white oak in ‘Whirlpool Edge’ by Domus gives a really contemporary look. From £112.78 per square metre,

parquet guide
‘Whirlpool Edge’ chevron parquet by Domus

Industrial parquet

Using all of the timber, including the lighter sapwood, these boards, made from morado or Bolivian rosewood, are striking and sustainable. From £96 per square metre,

parquet guide
Industrial parquet from Solid Floor
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Parquet de Versailles parquet

This historic pattern replaced marble floors in the Palace of Versailles in 1684. Solid black charred Elm from the ‘Vault’ collection by Ted Todd adds a modern edge to this historic style. £359 per panel,

parquet guide
‘Parquet de Versailles’ parquet from the ‘Vault’ collection by Ted Todd
Ted Todd

Mansion Weave parquet

This style of parquet flooring is perfect for use in difficult shaped rooms, as it is non-directional. Ecora sells an engineerd oak version that is fumed and oiled to bring out the grain in the wood. From £167.82 per square metre,

parquet guide
‘Mansion Weave’ parquet by Ecora

Hexagonal parquet

These engineered oak tiles by Bisazza were designed to be used alone or to mix with the brand’s ‘Cementiles’ range of encaustic tiles for a mixed-material look that can be used to define zones in open-plan homes. £216 per square metre,

parquet guide
Hexagonal parquet tiles by Bisazza

Dutch Weave parquet

Laid at 90-degree angles, this parquet has a smart, regimented look. We are fond of the ‘Dutch’ parquet in ‘Brasil’ by Cheville. £74.75 per square metre,

parquet guide
‘Dutch’ parquet IN ‘Brasil’ by Cheville

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