How to varnish & care for parquet floors

Written by cynthia measom
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Parquet flooring is a hardwood floor that is noted for its geometric pattern. Often referred to as patterned flooring, caring for parquet is easy. If the homeowner chooses to varnish their floor, it will add a protective coating that will keep it from being damaged by abrasive elements and actions. While varnishing a hardwood floor will take some preparation and labour, the effect it will have on the life and appearance of the floor far outweighs any work that has to be undertaken to apply the protective coating. Varnishing, along with proper care, will result in an attractive and well-maintained floor that will last for years.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Broom
  • Hammer
  • Safety goggles
  • Respirator mask
  • Orbital sander
  • 100-grit to 120-grit sandpaper
  • Dust cloth
  • Vacuum
  • Paint roller
  • Paint pan
  • Polyurethane, acrylic or water-based varnish
  • Paint brush
  • Rugs
  • Fine-bristled broom
  • Dust mop
  • Felt pads

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    How to Varnish a Parquet Floor

  1. 1

    Sweep the floor to remove any dirt and debris. Hammer in any nails that are sticking up above the surface of the floor, or out of the baseboards.

  2. 2

    Put on safety goggles and a respirator mask and use an orbital floor sander and 100-grit to 120-grit sandpaper to completely sand the floor. Sweep the floor thoroughly, and wipe down the baseboards with a dust cloth, if needed. Vacuum up any excess sanding dust.

  3. 3

    Use a paint roller and pan to apply the first coat of polyurethane, water-based or acrylic varnish to the floor. Follow the product instructions for application. Allow the varnish to dry for the recommended drying time.

  4. 4

    Sand the floor with the orbital sander and fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the finish. Sweep and vacuum all remaining dust.

  5. 5

    Use the paint roller and pan to apply a second coat of varnish. Follow the product instructions for application and drying time.

  6. 6

    Repeat Steps 4 and 5.

    Caring for Parquet Floors

  1. 1

    Place rugs at all of the entrances to your home. They will help trap abrasive dirt and debris that can scratch your floor's surface.

  2. 2

    Sweep the floor with a fine-bristled broom regularly, and use a dust mop as necessary.

  3. 3

    Immediately wipe up any spills that occur. For stains or sticky substances, use a damp cloth.

  4. 4

    Install protective felt pads on the bottom of furniture feet to avoid scuffing the floor.

  5. 5

    Avoid exposing your floor to direct sunlight frequently. It can cause fading.

Tips and warnings

  • Ventilate the area in which you are working as well as you can.
  • Be sure to work backwards when applying varnish to the floor. Leave yourself room to leave the area without having to walk across the varnished floor.
  • Avoid damp mopping parquet floors as this can cause damage to the finish or the wood.
  • Never use any abrasive materials or cleansers on a parquet floor. This can damage the finish.

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