USA: Parquet Flooring: Parquet Floor Manufacturers
ABOUT PARQUET FLOORING
Parquet Flooring is a mosaic of wood used for decorative flooring in geometric designs. The large diagonal squares known as Versailles Parquet were introduced in Versailles, France, in 1684 as an alternative to marble flooring. Parquet flooring can use a variety of woods, including Oak, Walnut, Cherry, Lime, Pine, and Maple. Parquet Flooring can take two forms: solid parquet, and parquet panels. Solid parquet consists of wood blocks which are glued down in geometric patters such as the herringbone pattern. Parquet panels normally lock together using tongue and groove joints.
Parquet panels are veneers of hardwood, known as the wear layer, glued in geometric patterns to a base of cheaper wood or plywood. Parquet panels are available in a wide range of designs, and are capable of producing spectacular decorative floors of traditional or contemporary design. Because they are made off-site, they are much more economical than having similar parquet patterns installed by craftsmen on site.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
There are two main types of parquet: standard parquet and custom. Both are high quality and relatively expensive products; the custom parquet is very expensive, as the designs are cut to order, and despite the use of the most modern machinery much hand work is involved. For this reason custom parquet is generally used only in projects, such as restoration of historic buildings, where the very highest quality and specific designs are needed. We concentrate here on the choices available in standard parquet.
Standard parquet is normally supplied as pre-fabricated square panels, where the shaped hardwood pieces have been permanently glued to a strong plywood backing. These panels will usually have a tongue and grooved edge, so that they can be securely locked together as well as being glued or nailed to the sub-floor. The most common sizes for these panels are between 15 inches and 39 inches square. For very large spaces, where a grander scale is required, parquet flooring panels can be supplied up to 7 feet square. These panels are offered in a wide range of hardwoods, and in a variety of traditional parquet flooring patterns.
The choice of hardwoods for parquet includes Light Oak, Aged Oak, Driftwood Oak, Dark Walnut, Hickory, Maple, and Cherry. For the best quality products, giving a truly traditional appearance, the surface is hand scraped, hand bevelled, etched with acid, and oiled and waxed. The choice of wood is largely a matter of preference between a light and dark appearance. Light woods will give a more cheerful, uplifting feel. Dark woods are most appropriate for more masculine, formal, interiors.
In terms of pattern, the first choice is whether to have an edge piece around each panel, or to have a continuous pattern, extending across all panels. The first approach is the more traditional. Within the edge the choice lies between a traditional herringbone pattern, or more elaborate weave patterns. In both cases parquet flooring will give a rich, traditional feel to any room. We particularly recommend parquet for use in older properties.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
The following leading manufacturers, selected by Abacus Construction Index, have comprehensive websites, with information on all aspects, including online catalogs, colours and materials, and care and maintenance.
Contour. Contour Parquet, of Fishkill, New York, designs and manufactures fine original and reproduction parquet, panel, and plank hardwood flooring. Parquet is available in hand carved, burnished, or feather sanded finish. Contour also supplies cork tiles in custom colors and sizes. It offers a range of nine geometric parquet panel designs. Woods include: Light Oak, Aged Oak, Driftwood Oak, Dark Walnut, Rustic Butter Maple, and Black Cherry. Contour also supplies the following Continuous Pattern parquet: Weave, Herringbone, Chevron, and Twisted Weave. Standard parquet panels are available in sizes from 15 inches square up to 34 inches square. Grand Parquet panels, for large spaces, are available in sizes up to seven feet square. Borderless parquet flooring gives a continuous appearance in lattice or chevron designs.
Czar. Czar Floors, of Newtown, Pennsylvania, is a specialist manufacturer and installer of custom hardwood floor inlays, parquet, floor medallions, and borders. Unlike some manufacturers who use veneers of 5/16" or as thin as 1/16", Czar makes all its floors from 5/8" thick hardwood. This provides ample thickness to withstand damage and to allow for future refinishing of the parquet flooring. Computer controlled cutting machines, using AutoCAD software, produce the pieces of inlay, which are fitted together precisely by hand. Czar Parquet is available in many modern patterns as well as classic European designs. It is available as parquet blocks, and also as parquet wood tiles intended for glue-down installation. No stains are used to create inlay designs; each flooring pattern is made up from different wood species, carefully matched by the designer to produce the desired color effect.
Pavex Parquet. The Pavex Parquet company exports from Romania a variety of wood floor medallions and borders for use in parquet floors. The Pavex Parquet border range includes a classic Greek Key design, as found on ancient Greek pottery, made from light and dark oak. Parquet floor medallion designs include patterns of eight rays set into two overlaid square frame borders.
OTHER RELATED PRODUCTS
Publisher: Abacus Construction Index is a professionally edited directory of recommended construction websites, published by Extonet Ltd. It is financed only by Google advertising; no payment is received from included websites.